Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Peoria Plague Redux - don't breathe the vapors, Garfunkel!

I am a fan of radio drama; old/new/whatever

We have a thing here on Sunday nights "the Big Show" on WAMU that has a good number of old fashioned 1940s and 50s stuff. Johnny Dollar. Dragnet. Occasional comedies.

So also, I love all things zombi - undead is a big theme in my RPG games; I don't know why. They are wrong and easy to slay and it's like you're doing the universe a favor and setting things a-right. Nobody can argue the ethics of putting down the undead.

The Peoria Plague was a thing in 1971 or so, apparently produced by this radio station as an homage to War of the Worlds and Romero's Night of the Living Dead.

I tried to listen to this bit of radio history a couple of times and the muddy audio killed me.  I'm not good at audio sorcery, but I chopped out a great deal of noise, slowed it down a notch or two so the announcer doesn't sound hilariously tinny and awful, and reduced the amount of pop n' click.  Thanks, Audacity beta 1.3 from a couple of years ago (my current version)

I don't know if it helps, but it might be slightly better to listen to for you, if you're into that kind of thing.  I find it still breaks down in the middle, mostly since it appears to have been recorded by someone pointing a mic at a radio speaker in a room with an AC or fan in the background, on a reel to reel machine, and to my untrained ears it sounds as if they kept fiddling with the placement.

The proper way to do it would be to have some clever audio technician gently caress it in some crazy high fidelity audio cleaning suite and do it in separate bits, since the noise profile is slightly different throughout.  I have some other software packages I might use to REALLY crank out changes, but this is a part time hobby and nothing I'm innately good at or highly interested in.

Anyways, if you're into Zombies, Simon and Garfunkel, or both (and who isn't, I ask you?), I offer you this:

Before you get all HEY MAN I CANT HERE THIS PART IN THE MIDDLE, let me remind you that I don't know what the hell I'm doing, but I did get some of the fan noise out, since it's an easy filter to muck around with.

Bonus, if you made it this long into the damnable post, is a mix of the XCOM: Terror from the Deep introductory music with some high-end (but poorly utilized) samples of timpani, strings, and etc.  I stole the midi file from my own (totally legit) copy, plugged it into a Soundfont thing and used a marvelous orchestral sample soundfont, I don't know why I give it to you it's something of a personal project to me.

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