Sheer Joy Of Noise

a lifetime of tape recordings

How To Listen

without comments



Here's a story: Steven Massey offers up a number of very simple but powerful plugins for audio editing software. For the layperson, a plugin is kind of like a little "add-on" that you can use to add effects, filters, and all sorts of useful tools to supplement your audio.

One of my favorites is called the "Listen" plugin, and it boasts the claim: "Will dramatically improve your mixes!!" Here is what the plugin does when you activate it: It simply blots out your entire screen with the color blue, and the word "listen!" right in the middle of it. It's quite ingenious. The joke here is that it's easy to get distracted and caught up in looking at meters and waveforms... mixing by the numbers, as it were... and forget to actually use your ears!

As an audio documentarian, it can be quite challenging trying to figure out how to present your work here in the 21st century where everyone expects to be dazzled by visual imagery. Audio... be it music, news, a book-on-tape, a podcast... has been somewhat relegated to the background, something to fill a void while you work, washing dishes, packaging plastic bottles, typing on the computer.

I suggest that you take on the role of a proactive listener while enjoying "Sheer Joy of Noise". Stop what you're doing and close your eyes while you listen. Better yet, turn off the lights and sit in total darkness. Maybe something magical will happen.
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Written by normscott

January 13th, 2011 at 12:55 pm

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