Do Something About the Web Project

Thought Process

Wow what a semester filled with many creative projects. For the final project I was having a hard time coming up with an idea until I heard my sister’s phone going crazy with notifications. I noticed how her phone was making all different sounds, each varying from social media, text messages. and an alarm going off. I also saw a suggested task under the audio section which gave me the idea to create two audio files which would be composed of current sounds of the internet and the other would be older generation sounds of the internet.

Creating the project

I started out by doing research on some of the common things about the internet and technology in general. I knew that phones and social media play a big part of the internet so I wanted to focus my audio file on sounds associated with them. For about three days I began by recording sounds I would hear throughout the day. I used an application on my iPhone to record the sounds and then I uploaded them to my email. For the older generation sounds I could not record those because they do not exist anymore so I decided to download them online. I used different platforms like SoundCloud, Sound pond, and a few others. After recording and downloading my sounds, I needed to download an audio file creator. I used Audacity in one of my previous classes and I thought it would be good for this project too and I can learn more along the way. I did run into a few problems when trying to import my sounds into Audacity, one problem was that my sounds were in M4A format and Audacity only accepted WAV format audios. I then had to download a software which would convert them into WAV format audios. Another problem I encountered was that some of the recordings were too long so I then had to cut/crop the audios. Finally I was able to import them into Audacity. I did some more editing in Audacity like adjusting the volume using the envelope tool, changing the speed and tempo, and changing the pitch.

Sound Journal/Reflection

Everyday/Newer Generations sounds of the web: With the everyday sounds I recorded them throughout 3 days and used my iPhone and laptop to record. 

  • Alarm ringing Sound- I recorded this sound in the morning when my alarm was ringing. The sound was the default Iphone ringtone used in the clock application. The sound was pretty loud and it felt like it was getting louder each time. 
  • Mouse clicking- This is a common sound which most of us hear everyday. Ever since Covid my whole family has switched to remote work and I constantly hear this sound often on laptops and desktops. 
  • Taking pictures and recording sounds- These two sounds are also common and something I hear often. My nieces rarely use iPhones/iPads so whenever they have a chance to use my phone they will always take pictures and videos on the camera application and snapchat. The sound of these two are simple but very obvious. 
  • Facetime sound- This is a continuous beeping sound but quite loud. Facetime is a common application used for communication and visually seeing. I recorded the sound when my sister was trying to Facetime someone. 
  • Text messaging sound- Texting is used almost everyday by everyone, it is known as one of the primary ways of communicating with one another. People may not even notice that when writing and sending a text there are two sounds associated with it. The first being the clicking sound after each letter is typed and the other being a “whoop” sound when the text is sent. I recorded this sound while texting my friend.
  • Facebook refresh sound- Facebook is a social networking platform which is the most popular platform globally. One day I opened my facebook and that is when I heard the little “ding” when the page refreshed. Facebook is not the only social media platform that has sounds associated with it but others do as well like Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok. I recorded this sound from my laptop when I was scrolling through Facebook one night. 
  • Phone charger plug sound- It is funny to think that even the smallest and simplest task like plugging in a phone has a sound associated with it. This sound is simple but satisfying.
  • Google search sound- Searching the internet has a sound associated with it as well. The sound is barely noticeable but it is there when clicking the search button and clicking a link. 
  • Phone closing sound- I ended my audio file with the phone closing sound. Closing the phone usually means we are done using it. The sound itself is barely noticeable unless you really pay attention. 

Old Generation sounds of the web:  Doing these older generation sounds was a bit tricky because I was familiar with some of them but not a whole lot. I used the internet to research some sounds of the internet that were older and asked my dad about a few of them. 

  • AOL mail sounds- I heard these sounds while I was growing up, because my dad used AOL. I immediately knew I wanted to incorporate this sound. The “You’ve Got Mail” sound is actually pretty cool.
  • AOL Goodbye sound- This another sound I heard while growing up because of my dad. This sound was also a nice touch for that era.  
  • The dial up tone sound- This sound was another one I was familiar with because I was raised with landlines that would make this sound effect often.
  • The Windows 3.1 sound- This sound is when a windows machine started up. The sound itself is simple and also satisfying.. 
  • Window 98- This is a sound I was not familiar with however my dad was. It was a bit hard to download this sound because it was not available in many places.
  • Old printer- Printers nowadays barely have noise however before they were quite noisy. 

Word Cloud Creation 

I also wanted to create a word cloud that went along with my audio files and sound journal. I used the internet explorer logo because it’s all about the web. Then I created a list of words that were associated with the web, sounds of the web, and my audio files. I was able to play around with the colors, fomt, and the size.

Conclusion

Doing this project took a while to do however it was fun. I did run into a few problems but that is not unusual because most of time when using the web and technology you will encounter problems. Along the way of this project I got to expand my knowledge with the other tools in Audacity and edit my WordPress site by organizing the menu options. It was my first time making a word cloud which was simple but also interesting. In conclusion the web is a big, sophiscated, and a powerful tool that is really common. The web used to be different than how it is today and that includes the sounds associated with it. Sounds are something that we humans get so adapted to that we hardly ever notice them. It was nice creating a project in which I was able add value to something so underrated: Sounds.

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