Sound Design at Venice High

Youth Voices students practice sound recording at Venice High School.

The exploration of sound often gets overlooked in multimedia production, especially in K-12 education. The emphasis on visual representation often overshadows sonic literacy. Perhaps this is due to the world of graphic design and cinematography involving such complex concepts like composition, movement, space, and lighting, and thus involves quite a bit of explanation and practice. Yet, sound can be a great entry way to storytelling in a more controlled environment. For this reason, students explore sound in the Youth Voices curriculum and investigate elements like dialogue, narration, hard effects, ambience, and music and their relationship to narrative.

They listen to various examples of soundscapes are asked questions like, What does the sound of footsteps on asphalt convey?
"It tells us where we are." explains Joseline. "If the footsteps were walking on sand, we would have a different picture in our head as to where the story takes place."

For the third multimedia production workshop, students were asked to identify all the elements of sound and explain its purpose in the narrative. Then it was time for them to develop their own sound projects, combining recorded sounds like narration and dialogue that they generated with found sounds from GarageBand's library. The assignment had loose parameters as to the type of projects they could create. Some produced an audio representation of a personal memory; some made up stories; some went in a very abstract direction. Below are some of the results.

The Donut Shop
by Belsy Hernandez & Luz Ramos

The Jungle
by Marilyn Duarte & Wendy Quintero

Andrew's Scape
by Andrew Poslusny & Erick Romo

Strange Times at Jack n the Box
by Randall Hill & Rubie Magallanez

by Alyssa Gasca

by Brian Zepeda & Jorge Sosa

Respects to the Dead
by Damian Bautista, Kassandra Ody, & David Alvarado

How Did I Get My Green Eyes?
by Eduardo Vasquez & Margarita Perez-Duarte

Finding Jesus
by Terrence Rutledge & Christian Evans

Tune in or Tune Out
by Jordan Stelly

Quick Story
by Josef Gebre & Tomas Medina

Story About the Beach
by Augusto Garcia & Laura Hernandez-Martinez

by Eric Lopez & David Alvarez