Creativity Works: Audio Production Week #3 round-up

Under the guidance of industry experts, our cohort hones their recording and creative sound design skills in preparation for their final projects

4 July 2023

Written by Kayley Loo


We kicked off the week with self-study. For my project, I had been contacting people that I could potentially use in my final piece and hoped they would be available, but unfortunately, circumstances led to me having to go in a different direction from what I originally wanted. I spent some time plotting and planning an alternative idea.

I also played around with the Zoom H1n recorder we were loaned to capture some of the sounds around me that I felt could be a part of my piece. The day was well spent getting used to my voice and holding the recorder the way Mae-Li taught us; adjusting accordingly to prevent sounds we won’t want in the final recording and finding sounds we're drawn to.


Our session was conducted from home and started with a check-in, free writing our thoughts and intentions for the week. I found this practice extremely helpful as it mapped my concerns and my thoughts all in one place. It’s definitely something I will carry into my day-to-day from now on.

We then checked in with MixCloud, went over the brief again and heard everyone’s ideas. It was incredibly fun to hear that everyone had something different planned and I’m very excited to hear them all at the showcase! Mixcloud left us with some wisdom on how to approach the project. The main tip I got out of it was the need to start strong and utilise as much of your surroundings and background to tell your story as it would enhance your project more than you think.

After lunch, Axel Kacoutié came back this week to show us more magic with sound design. Through a brief they had with Adidas, they demonstrated the ability to create a certain mood for your audience through techniques such as layer building, finding certain rhythms, and being free to explore dynamics and movement and incorporating it into the sound. From that session, I saw that Axel was someone who was super passionate about what they did and it’s very admirable.

The main takeaways I got from them was that over time, with more experience and practice, you’ll be able to understand and be more conscious about what you know to enjoy and not enjoy, and how we can listen and identify any natural rhythms in our surroundings and use these in audio, playing with sounds and using intuition and taste to “show” not tell.

After a small break, we had a panel session chaired by Niccy with Tash LC, Raj Pander, Kamilla Rose. I found that session to be very insightful as they talked about the essential toolkits for presenters, got very candid and honest about money, discussed how “branding” in this industry can take you places, and emphasised the importance of your social media presence, and making connections in this space. Overall, they were very encouraging in our endeavours and were thoughtful when answering our questions.

Presenting It Panel with Raj, Kamilla, TASH LC.png


We found ourselves back in Good Growth Hub with Arlie and Niccy. This time, we had a session on the developmental phase of audio production, from idea to pitch. Niccy’s presentation went through Disney’s phases of ideation, and the general pipeline of developing shows with bigger outlets such as Spotify and BBC. To be honest, it can feel a little overwhelming and disheartening when you hear that many ideas get turned down at all stages, and Niccy is very empathetic about this. But if you’re not afraid of your ideas and are constantly aware and interested in what’s around you, you can make good headway in this world.

After lunch, Niccy gave us a brief to work on in groups, and we brainstormed and presented our ideas from the brief. It helped us get our creative muscles moving as we bounced and played with each other's ideas, while at the same time finding what’s important to stick to in the brief. I will forever be grateful to Niccy and Arlie for being patient and present for us.

After this, we had an Independent Radio Panel, with Frankie Wells (Foundation FM), Rory Bowens (NTS Radio) & JoJo Sonubi (No Signal) chaired by Niccy. They discussed how “naivety” kickstarted a lot of their drive to create independent radio, we had conversations on authenticity and independence, as well as the importance of being confident and able to put themselves out there. My key takeaways from the panel were that if you are specific and passionate about what you can bring to the table you will eventually have an audience. They got to where they are by being focused and patient.


Back at the Good Growth Hub, we had a crash course in editing with Mae-Li. Although I have some audio experience already, I found more tricks with Adobe Audition to streamline my editing process as she talked through the basics and more technical aspects of making this project come to fruition. One of the most important lessons I got out of the session was that it can be overwhelming to do everything at once, so you should start one thing at a time, with voices as your main skeleton.

Mae Li spoke of the importance of listening through the rough draft at least once before going over it with a fine-tooth comb as it would be more cohesive that way. She also showed us something she was working on as an example of how to edit it and it was a very helpful and eye-opening session overall.

We had a break before coming to an employability workshop with Ayumi Konno. She shared with us the Japanese life philosophy Ikigai – the balance of doing what you love, what you are good at, and what you can get paid for. Ayumi helped us find our own strengths to categorise into three groups with prompts. A key thing I got out of it was how “clarity is a choice”— through that mindset, by being clear about what you want, you would be in a better position to make decisions and go about getting it.


We ended the week with another self-study day. I utilised the day to record more narration, met up with more people to interview, and explored using Adobe Audition with more skills equipped in my tool belt. To best utilise my time, I felt that I should start with some edits, even though I felt I did not have enough audio material to begin. It’s important to at least work with what I have rather than wait for “the perfect time”. It feels a little stressful that time has gone by so fast, but all the sessions have been immensely helpful and I’m ending the week with more hope and optimism than I thought.

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