You can be forgiven for assuming Jack picked this picture, but it was all me…I knew he would approve though ;)
We have two words that are most commonly used to discuss how we interact with sound: hearing, and listening.
Hearing is a passive act. Pressure waves move our eardrums, the motion is converted to an electrical signal, and our brain tells us that there is a sonic phenomenon in the space around us…perhaps it even provides us with identifying information. It’s what comes after that is fascinating, when we stop to LISTEN to the source. The act of directing attention allows us to focus in on the sound, to the (albeit sometimes limited) exclusion of others. Sometimes the steering of that attention is a subconscious mechanism, but the act of listening is always a conscious one.
That’s our focus this month; “Listening.”
We here at Designing Sound always appreciate the community’s enthusiasm and contributions to the discussion, and we know the community also appreciates anytime a member does. If you’d like to contribute to this month’s topic, drop us a line; either through the contact form, or to ‘shaun [at] this website’. If you prefer to plan ahead a little, next month’s topic will be “Space/Spatial.”
I held off on the announce post for a few days, because we had a few articles that spilled over from last month’s theme. Now that we’re caught up, it’s time to dive into this month’s theme…Vehicles!
Do we really need more of an introduction than that? My guess is no. And sure, there’s a rail car at a drag race in the image above, but we’re not single-minded. There are boats, planes, jets, motorcycles, bicycles, and more that all fall into this category. We’re lining up some fun articles, but don’t hesitate to bring your experience to the table as well.
Guest contributions are always welcomed and encouraged here on Designing Sound. If you’d like to contribute to this month’s theme, or have an off-topic post you’d like to put in front of the community, make sure you contact us through site’s contact form or e-mail shaun at [this site]. If you’re the kind of person who likes to plan ahead, next month’s theme will be Listening.
Photo by flickr user Jonathan Haeber. Click image to view source.
Anechoic chambers aren’t necessarily “silent,” but what other image can you actually use to represent the subject. The nature of silence, like nearly every other aspect of sound, is truly a subjective idea, because true Silence…the complete absence of sound…is impossible to experience unless one has a medical condition which induces it. [If you want to get solipsistic, we don't even really have a way to confirm that THAT is an experience of Silence.] So, how do we then talk about Silence if it doesn’t exist? We focus on the the relationship between sounds that tells us something is quiet, the idea that a given source can be silent within an environment, and…of course…the subjective identification…the acknowledgement that we can experience silence, even if the world isn’t Silent.
Join us, as we take a moment of silence.
Next month’s featured theme will be “Vehicles.” Designing Sound is made special by the many volunteer contributors who come to us share their opinions and thoughts. If you’re inspired by this month’s theme or the next, or have something off-topic you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to contact: “shaun @ [this website]” …We look forward to hearing from you!
The Tonebenders Podcast has just released another “Soundbytes” mini-podcast that ties into our “Surround” theme for this month. Give it a listen, and don’t forget to subscribe to them on iTunes!
There was a time when people argued that theatrical (even home) sound has long been three dimensional. Maybe there are still some that make that claim. With the rise of binaural audio, Dolby Atmos and Auro 3D, sound actually is entering the third dimension. This is just a small semantic argument. Surround sound, in its traditional 5.1 and 7.1 formats, wasn’t technically three dimensional. It was still a two dimensional plane, but that plane was perpendicular to the screen. In a way, it made the viewing experience three dimensional. Here we had the 2D screen on the vertical plane, and the 2D sound on the horizontal. The world of the film could extend away from the screen to envelop the viewer. As the presence of three dimensional image grows in our media consumption experiences, it’s become even more important to make good use of the surround technology at our disposal. The visual experience is now as immersive as the aural.
With that fact in mind, we turn our focus this month to the topic of “Surround.”
Next month’s featured topic will be “Silence.” As always, we want your guest contributions. If you have an idea you’d like to explore, or something you want to put in front of the community, whether it be as part of our monthly topic or something further afield, please contact us. Email Shaun, or use our contact form to get the ball rolling.