As the year continues, many of these posts will be philosophical in nature. Some will be in contradiction to previous postings. These are not intended as truths or assertions, they’re merely thoughts…ideas. Think of this as stream of consciousness over a wide span…
There used to be a time when I could turn off the sound editor/mixer side of my brain while consuming media…at least on first experience or watch. I’m slowly realizing that that ability is completely gone.
I’ve been giving myself time to play a recently released video game for a change, and it’s been bringing this fact to light all too effectively. I don’t get to sit down and get into the flow of it as I’d like to, because I just don’t have that kind of time lately. That would be fine if I didn’t find myself jumping into the options menu every hour or so to adjust the mix of sonic elements. Most frequently, it’s been to adjust the music which consistently drowns out any story related dialog. Thankfully, this particular game gives control over a slightly wider array of those elements than usual. I think I’ve gotten it to the point where I won’t have to be doing that too much anymore. [fingers crossed]
I’ve noticed this trend in myself in other places too, and I usually try to offset it by making conscious note of where things sound interesting or unique. It’s far easier to pick out and remember things you don’t like, and I’m loathe to let myself come away from a piece of media with an overly critical view of the sound in it. After all, without the context of the conditions and schedule in which the work was done, I feel there’s little justification in stamping “fail” on someone else’s work.
It’s odd confronting how critical I’ve become. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, but I do want it to be a “balanced” critical. That seems to take conscious effort.