Research into Audio Dramas

After out first feedback session with Steve, it was apparent that we needed to do a bit more research into audio dramas. I said to the group that I would go look at different radio dramas and see what they include and what be of use to us when we come to do our audio piece.

My first point of call was Wikipedia and the radio drama page. The page showed us the relevant characteristics that audio dramas have such as a strong dialogue, music and sound effects which helps the listener identify and imagine the characters and story taking place. This is all without the use of a visual aid. It also tells us that audio dramas are not specifically meant for broadcast on radio and are released straight to CD etc. They are also commonly found in the form of podcasts.

The next search I did was for the popular BBC Radio 4 drama, The Archers. This particular radio drama has been broadcast since 1951 on over 16,000 separate occasions. It is the longest running radio drama, and soap opera of any format in the world. The producers of the drama put the success down to a strong story and the believability of our characters.

I also found a very productive post on the web showing what should be included in the drama for different age caterogies. This can be found here. This is known as ‘The Audio Drama Directory Rating System’

From looking at all these sources, it shows that you also need a strong set of sound effects. We already have access to a lot via Soundtrack Pro on my Macbook. We also found other sites such as SoundJay, StonedWash and PacDV which also hold decent sound effects.

We can now see that we have to take many things into account when making an audio drama. Sound effects are perhaps the biggest thing to take into account as we cant use a visual aid, and this is something we have to think about when we come to finalise our drama.


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