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A screenshot of a multitrack audio project in Adobe Captivate

A screenshot of the Rapunzel multitrack audio project within Adobe Audition.

Rapunzel, a Brothers' Grim Fairy Tale

This project is an auditory learning module, done in the style of an audio drama, created within Adobe Audition. I served as the sole audio engineer and project manager for this project and was in charge of finding voice talent as well as compiling, mixing, and mastering the project. As a result, I worked with several voice actors in various environments and collected music and sound effects to provide learners with an immersive audio experience.

The Problem

As the final project in Music and Audio for Instruction Design, this project presents students with a real-world higher education instructional design scenario. Within the scenario, a university professor aims to teach undergraduate German language students traditional German literature in English through audio productions.

The Concept

As the client, I aimed to create an eight-to-ten-minute audio drama of a classic Grim fairytale that could be included as an embedded module within the university's Sakai LMS. To achieve this, I would create a multitrack audio project within Adobe Audition and host it as an embedded audio file on SoundCloud. In addition, as a hobbyist audio engineer with over 20 years of experience working in digital audio workstations, I aimed to leverage the vast network of audio talent I have curated to create a memorable and expressive cast of characters.

The Planning

I created Bug Squash between August and September of 2023. While most of September was spent working with my character artist and composer to develop assets and place them in the game, the entirety of August was spent planning exactly how the game would work.

Initial planning began with completing a training needs analysis, developing an FPI diagram to ensure the project aligned with Merrill's First Principles of Instruction, and a Hierarchal Task Analysis diagram to outline how each chapter would flow through the concepts and reflect Merrill's First Principles.

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Draft script that was presented 

to the voice talent

An Edit Decision List outlining audio cues

EDL outlining audio cues

Once the script was complete, I reached out to my network of voice actors, and collected audio recordings from each of them. Given the diversity of the at-home recording setups, each clip was individually mastered according to fit into the final mix.

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The various recording environments and hardware of the voice cast

The Details

For the final detail work I added various music and sound effects to bring the project to life. This include adding dynamic volume, panning, and effects to the soundscape for immersion. While much of the soundtrack comprised of compositions by Italian composer Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, the vocal track was provided by Rapunzel's voice actress. To compliment the theme of the project, the song is a German folk song named How Sad Flow the Streams, or Da unten I'm Tale in it's native german. Reverb and dynamics were added to simulate the auditory environment of a tower in a valley.

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Part of the effects stack for the vocal performance of How Sad Flow the Streams performed by starlainjury.

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