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Re: silencing cicadas

Subject: Re: silencing cicadas
From: "Marc Myers" primatemarc
Date: Thu Jun 9, 2011 7:31 am ((PDT))
If I'm sitting at the top of the hill behind my house and hear a noise in t=
he woods, I'm able to focus on it pretty selectively. I triangulate the sou=
nd multiple times with subtle movements of my head and then doing some post=
-processing between my ears based on prior experience and some hard-wired m=
odeling. Thus in the real world I'm hearing a weighted version of reality a=
nd this, in part, is what the recordist attempts to emulate. When I'm liste=
ning to a live bird call I can convincingly eliminate the cicadas. Not so i=
f I'm listening to a recording.

No matter how well crafted our recording we are still stuck with the inhere=
nt limitations. The best surround recording is still only a little like bei=
ng there; the equivalent to using a stereopticon to give a sense of distanc=

And nature recording still involves choice and intention. Choice is the ess=
ential ingredient in art and artifice. I choose not to include the part of =
my recording that includes a plane flying over. Great, but the real world i=
ncludes airplanes so I'm making conscious choices, creating a representatio=
n of the world rather than accurately reporting it. Alternately, if I'm rec=
ording airplanes in the woods to document noise pollution, you know I'm goi=
ng the sit there until I have a recording where the plane is very unpleasan=
t and  really loud.

My two cents


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