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Let’s Act It Out!
This lesson project is aimed at senior school students from 14 and above studying English or Drama. Students create their own scene either of a play they have created or of a play already written. This is a great opportunity for students to study sound design and recorded voice. This lesson can also be linked to sound design and broadcasting in MediaLearning Intentions
By the end of this project, students will be able to:
- Explore different types of sound
- Practice and develop their use of voice in a recorded performance
- Create a Radio Play including soundtrack, vocals, sound design, audio placement, use panning and some of the deeper settings in GarageBand
- All learners will create a radio play utilising GarageBand
- Most learners will develop a radio play with great use of vocal and sound design
- Some learners will create a radio play with clear character intentions
Students should find that they are able to demonstrate mixing skills but also their use of the Actor’s voice. Recoding audio is the best way to hear your own performance and therefore stretch your ability to extend your vocal acting skills.
GarageBand is an extremely versatile app and is designed to be used by everyone. Therefore, the way you set up your project depends on your resources and access to quiet spaces. (Swipe below to see the many setups recommended for this task). It is advisable that you find as quiet a space as possible like a class room or music practice room. In our school we have our own quiet space and studio setup near the library to avoid any interruption.
Be creative with ways to block out sounds such as popping. This is when plosives create a breath sound onto the mic. To prevent unwanted sounds you can experiment with different sound barriers.
Opportunity Development of Skills
There are many skills on offer within this task. It is advised that you link it to a text you might be studying. You can also use this to create a poetry reading or even your own radio play and record it around a genre such as Horror or Science Fiction. You will really enjoy being given the tools to create. So once you have grasped and practiced how to pull it all together there is a wide range of skills that can be accessed. (Swipe across below to see the range of skills available. This is not an exhaustive list but an overview based specifically with this Shakespeare task in Drama)
Once you have practiced these steps you become familiar with editing. Use the instructions and the picture gallery below to help you follow these easy steps. You are now on your way to producing an engaging Radio Play.
- 📖 Choose your play
- ▶️ Start a new recording project press the🎙️ icon
- 🎧 Record your play in one take ensuring that you leave a gap between each time a new character speaks. You can change the timing later in the edit.
- 🎤 Duplicate your Mic ( as many times as you have characters in your scene ) and split the top track every time a new character speaks.
- 🛠️ Separate the audio across each of the tracks so there is a track for each character.
- 🎙️ Long press onto the Mic symbol and rename each track the character name or effect.
- ⏱️ Play with the timing
- 🎙️Record a Mic without speaking for about 30 second and loop this under all of the vocal tracks. This will help glue all of the vocal tracks together. We call this ambient noise.
- 🎹 Explore the keyboards, pads and other instruments
- 🎚️ Mix your recording by tapping Track setting Button
- 🎵 Export as a music file and share to your friends
Radio Play Example
(Julius Caesar Act 1 Scene 2 by William Shakespeare)
In this scene Cassius persuades Brutus to consider Caesar a tyrant who only wishes to be King and not for the people of Rome. Listen out for the placement of Forest Sounds to place it in Rome.
Students have found this as an excellent way to hear their own acting voice. There is a real buzz when they work in the recording studio. It has been really great seeing students vocal confidence grow with this task. Listening to your voice can be quite confronting and is something to get used to. GarageBand is so adaptable students really do not need a massive recording studio as GarageBand does so much of the heavy lifting. There is a huge wealth of tools for mixing all kinds of tracks and voices. Students found really imaginative ways to muffle out sound including their own studio of a box and egg cartons or, my favourite, head under a sheet or jacket.Students love recording foley with GarageBand’s sampler keyboard this is a great way of introducing students to this amazing art form. Why not publish a new play and turn this into a podcast. You never know you might even start your own series.