TED Radio Hour and ScottLo

The broadcast, TED Radio Hour, tells the unique experience of an MIT professor and her relationship with technology. The story begins with an expose of the professor, intriguing listeners while simultaneously providing important information. It is then explained that she went to a nursing home and saw an elederly woman playing with a robot made to look like an animal.

Uplifting music plays as we listen to how impactful this robot is for the elderly patients. We hear stories of patients that lost their children and were comforted by its presence. Simultaneously, we hear the robot make almost sad, but comforting noises as the patients say how sweet and loving it is. Listeners feel touched as the professor recounts her experience and we hear from other accounts as to how impactful this robot is.

Suddenly, the music cuts, the professor states that she was incredibly depressed and the music switches to a more ominous tone.

This story is a prime example as to how impactful the sounds broadcasters use truly are. The entire beginning was leading us up to hearing this experience was depressing, and yet no one would see that coming (or should I say- hear that coming). The way we as producers utilize sound and music not only sets the tone for listeners, but also provides insight as to how they should be taking in the information as well as where the story may be going. TED Radio hour does a tremendous job in utilizing this in order to almost manipulate the audience and lead them to a shocking twist they could have never seen (or heard) coming.

Listening to ScottLo‘s podcast was very interesting and wildly impressive. From the beginning he does an incredible job setting up as space of connection. The introduction he provides is both informative and personal, making listeners feel close to him and therefore pulling us deeper into his words. His voice itself is isolated as well as powerful. Further, he utilizes sound effects in an inentional and effective way. They are not over used or forced, but rather intriguing and thoughtful.

ScottLo’s work reminded me of how I must be intentional in my work. I can not throw in random sound effects for the sake of it, nor can I come off as aloof. I must make thoughtful choices in order to create compelling work as well as connect with my listeners.

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