Unit 20: Assignment 1 – Analysis of Music and Sound in Visual Media

The overall piece is an arrangement of short clips consisting of everyday sounds and actions. This itself dominates and forms the musical composition. It is a minimal piece that exaggerates the pure sound samples used. The video is trying to capture the speed at which we perceive things when shown in short bursts (for example changing channel on a television) and in order to do so, the sound effects have been backed up against each other and in some cases briefly overlapped. This gives the movie a more intense and fast moving effect but unfortunately can sound too cluttered (@0:15s).

The sound effects vary in loudness creating a greater dynamic range. This technique can be used to keep the viewers attention, but too much can make the piece sound inconsistent and unbalanced. They were captured using a Zoom H4N portable condenser microphone, a Fostex FR2LE field recorder and two Schoeps microphones. The field recorder has an omnidirectional polar pattern which enables it to detect sound from 360 degrees. This makes it perfect for capturing the atmosphere and sounds of the environment.

The slow motion visuals work well with slowed down audio clips to create a deep, eerie atmosphere. Stretching the waveforms results in a lower pitch and I think this has been balanced well with higher frequencies such as the tapping of the keyboard and raindrops (@0:27s). Also, the effect of cutting between these contrasting frequencies keeps the attention of the viewer. For a film or clip with dialogue this can distract the viewer from the speech and therefore make for an unsuccessful scene, but as this clip features no recorded voice, it works well and adds to the drama of the video.

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