The Sonic Society

Showcasing the very best in new Audio Drama

Welcome To The Sonic Society!

Each week Jack Ward and David Ault are pleased to showcase the very best Modern Audio Theatre (Radio Drama) from around the world. From the days of Old Time Radio in the early 20th century until the modern age of broadcasts, podcasts, and streaming simulcasts, audio plays are movies for the mind!

July 2017
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Sharpen Your Pens, Shake the Dust out of your Microphones

Posted By on July 22, 2017

Wired recently wrote an article entitled: Where is Hollywood Looking for its Next Hit? Podcasts.

From the article:

Like books, podcasts prove that a story works, that listeners like it and will keep coming back to follow it. More importantly, podcasts can prove an idea’s viability at a fraction of the cost of producing a TV pilot. “It’s essentially a prototype of a produced franchise,” says Chris Giliberti, the head of multi-platform efforts at podcast company Gimlet Media. “In Silicon Valley terms, this is an MVP.” And in the past year, TV producers have started to recognize podcasts’ value. Amazon announced last fall that Gale Anne Hurd, who helped transform The Walking Dead from a beloved comics series into a beloved TV series, would be adapting the horror show Lore for the streaming service. ABC is already working on Zach Braff’s Alex, Inc., an adaptation of tech industry podcast StartUp. And now, Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail is adapting Gimlet’s Homecoming for Amazon, starring Julia Roberts.

For a long time now we’ve been arguing that a good audio drama is a great idea to sell to Hollywood. It’s a fraction of the cost with the entire story in tact. Nice to see that others are getting the same idea.

Slate Magazine and the Third Wave of Modern Audio Drama

Posted By on July 21, 2017

Slate Magazine recently wrote an article The Renaissance of the Humble Radio Drama in which they described this strange medium that everyone thought dead long ago is still alive… and thriving?

The author Angelica Cabral writes “Radio dramas may seem like a thing of the past, but they’re still a great way to tell stories.”

We’re almost through two decades and three waves into the modern audio drama wave. How many times have we seen the same article published? Still, any news is good news, and after sending up fireworks in the air for so many years, perhaps the great train of the Internet media is finally starting to notice the display.

Have a look see at which shows are mentioned and see if you agree with their assessment.

 

By Crom 3- Sanctuary!

Posted By on July 20, 2017

Tonight the Amigos present one of Broken Sea Audio’s earliest series “Logan’s Run” adapted by Paul Mannering, and post produced by Paul Mannering, David Sobkowiak and Bill Hollweg.

 

Edict Zero Gets Some Ink!

Posted By on July 19, 2017

Say Edict Zero in the Audio Drama Production Podcast and everyone drinks. This perennial favourite of the audio drama community is becoming more popular outside of the community as well. And it’s good news. Unlike so many of the other darlings that have more in common with youtube confessionals than traditional audio drama, Edict Zero relies on strong characters and developed plots. Recently in Working the Galaxy a detailed interview with Jack Kincaid, Russell Gold, and James Keller shed light on this modern audio drama classic.

Playhouse S0803: Damon Runyon Theatre

Posted By on July 18, 2017

Tonight’s feature comes from the man of a thousand audio drama voices- John Bell from Bell’s in the Batfry and the Queen of the Modern Audio Drama Circuit- Sarah Golding from Audio Drama Production Podcast with the classic and clever Damon Runyon Theater and “Madam La Gimp”!

 

By Crom 2: Black Sun Rising

Posted By on July 13, 2017

Jeff Billard and Lothar Tuppan sit down with Jack to reflect and remember Bill’s original science fiction opus: 2109- Black Sun Rising.

 

The Four Sources of Audio Drama Story

Posted By on July 12, 2017

The world Modern Audio Drama movement seems to be in full swing with Audibles announcement in driving paid audio productions for the future, so it’s worth considering what are the story sources that drive audio drama tales.

1. Stage Plays: Many great audio drama from the classics of Theater Five, Radio City Playhouse, Campbell Playhouse, and First Nighter to the modern shows of Crazy Dog AudioBunbury Banter Theatre, and Chatterbox Audio.

Elements You May Find in Stage Play Sourced Audio Drama:
– Classic re-tellings of literary or dramatic stories (like Oedipus, Shakespeare, Mark Twain and others)
– Experimental theatre using the conventions of audio drama to specific advantage (like “Danger” with the entire story in the black out of a coal mine, or taking the perspective of an elbow talking to an eyeball on the same body)
– Staged settings that feel like you are watching a live performance
– Stage presentations with actors who project as if from a stage to a live audience
– Sound Effects and Music that are produced live during recordings
– Recordings where actors are miked in the same session
– Stories focused on deep themes and imagery
– Stories that can be character driven

2. Radio Plays: Old Time Radio Drama produced it’s own style of storytelling from Dimension X, Gunsmoke, and The Adventures of Sam Spade to Decoder Ring Theatre, Campfire Radio Theater, and The Thrilling Adventure Hour.

Elements You May Find in Radio Play Sourced Audio Drama:
– Serialized stories in fixed lengths
– Series narrators that establishing setting, initial conflicts and mood
– A wide-variety of genres but especially emphasizing science fiction, fantasy and horror
– Minimal sound effects
– A focus on plot driven stories
– Cross-over characters and plots from similar themed series
– Six or less characters a show
– Continuing characters in a series

3. Movies (Cinematic Film): While television owes much of its format to Radio Plays, cinematic storytelling has a long history from Lux Radio TheaterAcademy Award Theater, and Star Wars NPR to The Witch Hunter Chronicles, Second Shift, Broken Sea Audio, and the works of Dirk Maggs.

Elements You May Find in Film Sourced Audio Drama:
– Rich Soundscape with textured sound effects
– Modern storytelling with complex social issues
– Long-form serials based on popular cinematic themes/stories
– Profanity and adult situations
– Large casts of characters
– Modern and rich musical themes

4. Youtube Confessionals/Public Radio: For a while, it looked like many audio dramas were coming strictly from a public radio style of documentary format like This American Life and WireTap but certainly some of the same story impulses have arisen from the “confessional” style of video seen in youtube such as LonelyGirl15. Modern examples are plentiful from Lost in Williamsburg, The Black Tapes, Tanis to Subject: Found, The Box,  and Point Mystic.

Elements You May Find in Confessional/Public Radio Sourced Audio Drama:
– First person storytelling with host/narrator
– Personality-based (often person) stories with emphasis on social issues and diversity
– Long form “chapter” episodes often with recaps for previous weeks and previews for next episodes
– An emphasis on informal, often slang dialogue filled with regional colloquialisms
– A variety of production techniques from simple to complex adding to the tone of the storytelling
– Documentary or “Found Footage” style storytelling

Each of the Four Sources have their own benefits and drawbacks and often cater to different listening audiences. If you’re a writer, which style do you prefer? If you’re a fan, which do you seek out to listen?

Scholastically Sonic

Posted By on July 12, 2017

Craig Robotham is amazing. There I said it. A tireless educator, writer, and audio drama lover, Craig has built an impressive collection of dinner theatre audio drama you can host in your own home at Weird World Studios. But that’s not enough, Craig’s assembled a list of supplements and guides to help any educator neophyte in this amazing medium.

Check out his Education List and get ready for the Fall!

Playhouse S0802: Rebecca

Posted By on July 11, 2017

In the triumphant return of Rachel Rumler and her new audio drama group “All Souls Audio” for the Playhouse a revival of the classic “Rebecca” from Lux Radio Theater.

 

Older or Younger in Voice

Posted By on July 9, 2017

Voices.com has some great references and opportunities, hence this audio piece on how to make your voice sound either younger or older by veteran voice actress Cristina Milizia