November 5th, 2013

Sonic Object Draft: The Perfect Alarm Clock
James Shiel

I used my extra alarm clock as my Sonic Object for this project. It served no needs in my room and I felt an object that already blasts noise could be repurposed for my needs. My goal with the alarm clock is to take the simple audio device to its next level. Alarm clocks blast beeping or music to wake up their owners, but why not take their output a bit further? Perhaps I could change it to still act as an alarm clock, but one that uses more extreme tactics to wake up its owner, while still relying entirely on audio to do so. Perhaps rather than just annoying noises, my alarm clock will play even more motivating noises, like nails on a chalkboard, snoring, strange laughing, uncomfortable bodily noises, or even blatantly terrible or out of key music. Behind all this I could add an incredibly high-pitched buzz that persists until the owner turns it off. Many of these sounds translated quite well in my piece. Uncomfortable laughter, irritable buzzing, off key combinations of notes and all around chaos created the “get out of bed now” effect I was aiming for. I was disappointed that my idea for “psychological triggers” or speech at all in my piece didn’t work with the rest of my sound. I recorded a number of voices and had a character in mind that my clock might affect, but the speech did more to harm my piece’s impact than to help it, and I decided to leave them out.
I put a good amount of work into the appearance of the clock as well. Broken buttons and traces of blood on the top makes it really appear as if it’s being smashed in frustration every morning, and makes it seem all the more vial of a noise machine.
If I were to re do this assignment, I would think more about pacing, as my classmates agreed its climax was weaker than it could have been. Overall though, I was happy with my piece. It’s irritable and unwelcomed, even to the point I found myself sweating as I worked on it. As a complete package it definitely looks and sounds as I had hoped: like an alarm clock from hell.


  • avatar
    deleted_user_3137935 3 years, 9 months ago

    Glad you left any voices out, much better this way. Nice piece

  • avatar
    upsi 3 years, 11 months ago

    hahaha marvelous


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