Audio dramatizations are my favourite form of story-telling media. When listening to an audio drama, especially with stereo headphones one feels immersed in the story. The best sound designers make it sound as if one person is on one side of the listener and the other on the other side or even like someone ran past. The listener hears the sounds and dialogue but is free to imagine the rest. Through this form of media, complicated and interesting scenes can be created on a much smaller budget than the budget for the same scene in a movie. The same financial benefits can be achieved by telling a story in the form of a book. However, in a book, one does not usually feel that they are immersed in the story. With audio dramas, there are sound effects and foley in the background to help transport the listener to the scene. Books cannot do this, but they do have an advantage. In written media, the writer is free to narrate. In audio dramas, everything must be explained with the dialogue and other sounds. The writers must be careful not to make the dialogue sound unnatural when trying to explain too much with the character’s words.
Audio dramas sound great to the ears and make the listener feel like they are where the story is taking place. They are a great form of entertainment for on the go, or when a person just wants to relax and not have to look at anything to enjoy a good story. Audio drama podcasts have made this form of entertainment even more accessible and good for on a trip.
As sound equipment becomes less expensive, more and more people can create their own audio dramas. With nothing but a closet with some clothes in it and some ever-cheapening microphones, a computer, and a free sound-editing program anyone can learn to create their own audio drama. Audio dramas were very popular before television, and now they’re starting to regain the popularity they once had. With productions by the BBC, Focus on the Family, Lamplighter Theater, Wireless Theater Company, and more, a new age of audio entertainment is coming.
Audio dramas are like movies for the ears. This means that the experience of watching a movie can be achieved while out on a jog, doing household cleanup, or hiking. The difference from watching a movie is that while hiking someone can listen to the story, while also observing their surroundings. Some people say that watching too many movies can be bad for the eyes. That problem is nonexistent with “audio movies”; one must only make sure it isn’t playing so loudly that it will damage the listener’s ears. Having the sensation of watching a movie while walking through an airport isn’t beat by any other presently existing form of media.
While audio dramas aren’t highly expensive to create, they take a lot of work. A typical script can go through upwards of eight drafts, often with the end result differing dramatically from the original idea. To make the audio drama feel more real, all of the actors have to be scheduled to be in the studio at the same time. After everything has been recorded the sound effects must be added. Often the sounds found in the pre-recorded sound libraries just don’t fit right. Then the sound designers have to record the sounds themselves or find a different sound that fits. Then there is the foley. Foley is like sound effects, but it is continuous background noises to let the listener know where the characters are. The sound designers often use pre-recorded foley from public sound-libraries, but if they’re putting some work into making the audio drama they will record sounds like footsteps while listening to the recordings of the actors to match up the sounds perfectly. Because of all the great effort put into audio dramas, and the way they make the listener fee immersed in the stories audi drama is my favourite form of storytelling media