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!

September 2018
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Put Away Your Cutlery!

Posted By on February 11, 2015

medieval-weapons-291x300THEY’RE BACK! The Medieval Sound Effects Library is up and ready for your next great adventure!
The folks who brought you The Free Firearms Sound Effects Library were successful in getting their kickstarter campaign up and running. So, pass out the joy! Go and download this amazing collection of great sound effects and get writing! We’re ten days into NADSWRIM with only two weeks and a bit left!


Episode 415- Help Getting Grounded

Posted By on February 10, 2015

Two features tonight with Mark Bruzee’s Leap Audioreturns with “On Native Ground” and the It’s About Time Travel Agency‘s inaugural episode “Help Wanted” as Jack makes a choice to save the Audioverse!

Sonic Speaks- 0123- The Higbee Bosun

Posted By on February 8, 2015

Glenn Higbee sits down with Jack and talks audio acting,audio production and the many faces of Glenn Higbee! Including Digital Edior of the very episode!

The Rise of the Audio Story

Posted By on February 7, 2015

serialIt’s been ten years in the Society and nearly a hundred years since the art form began. Most of us who have delved into the latest medium- podcasting have loved every minute of the “on demand” style of listening to stories.

Most recently, some audio stories have achieved a real massive fan following. Shows like Welcome to Night Vale and Serial have certainly hit the big time. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Serial” has been downloaded an average 1.26 million times each episode. With twelve episodes that’s more than 15 million pairs of ears listening each episode, and if that’s a meaningless number, consider 15 million is just roughly under half of all the people who live in Canada.

Serial is a spinoff mini-series from the popular This American Life, an NPR show out of WBEZ Chicago, and focuses on the non-fiction murder of Hae Min Lee and the conviction of her ex-boyfriend Adnan Masud Syed for the crime. The story is framed and provided from the first person perspective of Sarah Koenig an award winning journalist and producer of the show.

Serial is certainly compelling- especially knowing that everything you’re getting in the story is the truth, and while Koenig offers no definitive answers, she raises a lot of important questions as to who truly is responsible for Ms. Lee’s murder.

What I find also interesting is the number of people who have introduced shows like Serial and Night Vale to me as audio drama. But when I go to listen to the stories, as much as I appreciate what they are doing- they really aren’t audio drama as we know it.

First, let’s look at the similarities to audio drama as we know it. All of these shows have a story. They also have characters that tend to speak for themselves, although Night Vale usually works with its own mythical radio host. But this is where the similarity ends.

WireTapArtistPosterAnother good example of this style is Wiretap with Jonathan Goldstein, on CBC radio. Goldstein provides a first person narrative of different aspects of his life and invites his friends and family to speak on these issues through the phone. While scripted, these comedic and often surreal vignettes follow the themes in Goldstein’s life and provide a kind of post-modern critique of the world. There’s an intimacy to this kind of storytelling. It’s the main ingredient in why so many people enjoy listening to their favourite podcasts again and again. While radio has long had a distance of projecting to the masses, podcasting brings the listener up close, with the host of each show almost whispering into the ears.

It’s that sense of being let in on something that makes these shows so compelling for the listener. The modern age has so little connection, and these kinds of audio stories connect.

But they aren’t audio drama. Here’s why.

If Serial were a true radio drama, we wouldn’t be treated to Koenig’s reporter style commentary through out. We’re keenly aware she’s in a studio, and her thoughts are organized in an essay to present information to you- albeit in a relaxed format. Serial, the radio drama would have the sound effects added. The pushing of the recording button. The accidental bumping of the microphone. The nervous little blemishes of real life. Koenig would be unveiling the story for herself as much as for the audience, and we’d walk with her in her explorations for the truth.

Good audio drama is immediate. The listener feels like they are in the room with the action. The story, like a good movie, presents that willing suspension of disbelief that sweeps the listeners away- sometimes to entirely different worlds. While Wiretap, Night Vale, and Serial draw us into the story, we’re keenly aware that we are listening to stories, fashioned and written, not drama while involves us in the deepest of levels. It is the difference between listening to a novel about your parents arguing, and listening to a cassette tape of an incident of your parents arguing. The former will deepen your understanding, the latter will involve you. Make you laugh, cry, and cringe in the real-time unveiling of the narrative.

I enjoyed the serious true crime nature of Serial and the comedic everyman Wiretap, and I love the compelling nature of the podcast medium, but when it comes to investing myself, its audio drama that captivates me.

Sonic Echo- 0123- The Golden Tomorrows

Posted By on February 6, 2015

Jack gets his Eon Sparrow out for a slip through the universe as we explore Science Fiction month on Sonic Echo. This month it is Exploring Tomorrow with “The Convict”, “The Genius” and “The Stowaway”.

Episode 414- Radio Crystal Cleansed

Posted By on February 3, 2015

Frederick Greenhalgh brings us the exciting continuation ofFinalrune Productions masterpiece The Cleansed with the first episode of the second season! Can somehow get the Audie to fuse with the TARDIS engine and send both he and David where they belong?!

And They’re Off!

Posted By on February 2, 2015

scriptwritingDay two of NADSWRIM 2015. How are you doing?! Best of luck to all!

Jack’s on page 20!

Sonic Speaks- 0122- Hounded with Heavenly Guests (Sonic Workshop)

Posted By on February 1, 2015

Jack Ward sits down with the trio from Hounds of Heaven,John Carl Toth, JR Murdock, Russell Gold to chat writing, adaptations, audio acting, music, and collaboration on audio drama!

Sonic Echo- 0122- Fat and Thin

Posted By on January 30, 2015

We end off our romp through Gumshoe Month with a little contrast with “The Fat Man” and “The Thin Man”!

4 More Sleeps….

Posted By on January 28, 2015

4_Balloon_largeJust four more sleeps until NADSWRIM 2015!

Have you picked your project yet? Are you up for the Feature Challenge? Or are you thinking of a series and want to take on the Quarter, Half, or Full Challenge? Whatever your goal, make sure you add your submission here. It’s totally free, and just an opportunity to put down your tent pegs and raise up your “Writer at Work” sign.

Keep Calm and make Awesome AD!

And a special happy birthday to our Ginny Ward webmistress extraordinaire who turns a tender 32!