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Author Topic: Critic At Large, Vo. I to IV  (Read 14212 times)

Tomas Danko

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. II
« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2008, 07:26:02 am »

Indeed! Smile

I often discover my wireless "land line number" phone somewhere at home and realise it's been off for over a week.

No idea why I still have the service, I never pick up the phone when people call anyway.
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Frankenheimer

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. II
« Reply #31 on: July 14, 2008, 07:58:09 am »

As i am talking over the phone for several hours a day, it made sense to change the way of conferencing. Why not use IP Telephony, i thought.

As I am located in Austria, the cell phone providers are on the way of digitalizing all the traffic through IP gateways. So, I joined the train and my company bought an add on to the cellphone, called IP Telephony services.

Now I am very happy because I use my audio environment to make calls. So only the Sound Card on my Mac, the mixer and the mic are involved. So my cellphone is turned off and all calls are routed though the provider's IP Infrastructure.Think about it.


Kind regards

Franz
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Franz Skale
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Barry Hufker

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. II
« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2008, 12:13:06 am »

Your description sounds a bit like Vonage or Skype.  Am I missing something or is that it in essence?
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aamicrophones

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. II
« Reply #33 on: July 15, 2008, 03:34:12 am »

I was in New York a couple of years ago and there were three young ladies in front of walking down 5th Avenue together but each talking into cell phones at the same time.  Who were they talking to?  Maybe each other just because it looked cool?  It was very surreal but probably more common than I had imagined.  

Later that day I stopped into a STARBUCK's to feed my caffeine addiction and have a quick look through the New York Times.  Sitting across from me was a women of amazing pulchritude who looked directly at me and starting speaking... for a moment I thought she found me attractive, interesting or just a friendly face, which surprised me in New York.  Then I realized she had a bluetooth device in here ear and was speaking with someone on her cell phone and not addressing me even though she was looking directly at me and speaking.  At that point it struck me as just rude behaviour.

Now folks have iPods with 1000's of  songs and they walk around with earbuds attached to their heads for hours on end.  Listening to low resolution MP3 files and ignoring the sounds of the world around them.  It makes me wonder why we spend all that time in the studio tuning the monitors, the acoustics and perfecting the microphone selection positioning.  

I suppose the iPod MP3 format sounds impressive, compared to the cell phone audio quality.  The latest cell phone audio quality in my experience is not better than the old toy wire recorders we used to play with as kids in the 60's.   However, you can select from 1000's of ring tones to annoy the other folks in the restaurant trying to have a quiet meal.

The best use of a cell phone I ever saw was a fellow trying to cross a busy street with one of those massive old Ericson analogue phones the size of a shoe.   A driver turned the corner without looking and almost run him over but he jumped back in time and hurled the phone at the vehicle putting a huge dent in the hood.

The other annoying thing is folks who put posts on youtube of live performances taken with their cell phone.  This does not put the performer in a good light when you see a shaky hand held performance with god-awful audio.  (...)

My wife has the news on and someone was just killed in a car today because they were busy texting while trying to drive!

I like to go for walks out on the local trails here in the Okanagan for the solace and to listen to the sounds of nature.  However, I see folks with their iPods and earbuds on these trails.  We have rattlesnakes here and it is nice to be able to hear their warning sound or the sound of a black bear and her cubs crunching through the trail instead of the pitch corrected sounds of the latest IDOL winner.

Dave Thomas
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Barry Hufker

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. II
« Reply #34 on: July 15, 2008, 07:13:04 pm »

Given what you say, Natural Selection will eventually weed out the cell phone and the iPod distracted.  Nature is wonderful.
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Ryan Slowey

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. II
« Reply #35 on: July 16, 2008, 03:10:34 pm »

I find the overuse of cell phones frustrating and sometimes awkward. It's a distraction and a symptom of overstimulation. It's strange to me, to see people taking a walk through the park near my building on a beautiful day, all the while on their cell phone. Missing the wildlife and gardens and pretty girls or what-have-you. Exchanging a moment of thought and/or relaxation for pointless conversation.

As a college student (graduate now), I was always confused when during breaks between classes, EVERYONE would immediately pull out their phones and dial, and gab through the whole break. This during a time when I would sit down and chill out... maybe have a smoke, grab a coffee, or chat with a friend (in person)...you know, actually take a break and clear my head.

At my weekly FOH gig, I constantly see people answering calls while a band is playing and trying to talk over the music, or leaving to talk outside.

I own a cell phone now, after years of avoiding it. I got it for the convenience of it, but I treat it pretty much the same way as a lan line. It's always on vibrate, and I only answer if I it's not rude to those around me and I want to talk to the person calling. Very often I just let it go to voicemail.

Don't even get me started on the Nextel walky-talky type phones.... ugh.  Rolling Eyes
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Ryan Slowey
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Stephen Andrew Bright

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. II
« Reply #36 on: July 17, 2008, 10:57:52 pm »

Here's the thing about cell phones: it is driven by demand. The reason there is not a decent sounding phone on the market might be because either nobody wants one, or nobody has tried to make one.

I'd bet there are several people here who could cobble together a pro audio cell phone -- or at least a pro audio land line -- but would anybody pay $1500 for a world class audio phone???
Stephen
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Tomas Danko

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. II
« Reply #37 on: July 18, 2008, 06:46:34 am »

Siemens once used to make cell phones that had transducers from Bang & Olufsen in them. They sounded better than average. Some early Ericsson models also had these transducers. I figure the Bang & Olufsen cell phone to have updated ones inside, although the rest of that phone sucks.

So it seems as if it's something the industry already tried out but people didn't dig it well enough to consider the increased cost.
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Klaus Heyne

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Critic At Large, Vol. III: Music In Every Room
« Reply #38 on: October 07, 2008, 02:46:43 am »

Funny flashes came to appear,  
quite randomly first, then here, then there.

These were the kinds of thought flashes I have not yet been quite comfortable to share with others, at least up to now:  was what I was experiencing part of getting older or, worse, getting old?

I used to excitedly step into any warehouse- or closet-sized used CD and LP store and roam those sacred isles, time suspended, for hours, discovering the odd treasure almost every time I go, then taking my finds home, eager to put headphones on and get lost in the music... I shudder to admit it- it has been years!

For a while I was unclear and quite confused: Was not my whole life built on the promise and premise of good music, good sounds? Leaving my entire existence in Germany to start anew, to be closer to the music? Spending countless nights on sticky, smokey bar room floors, playing the last set to empty chairs till 1:30?  What happened to the unexplainable excitement of hearing a new band, a new production, an exquisitely recorded song?

When I first heard my middle aged friends mumble to me about the annoyance of “music in every room”, about the disquieting accompaniment of the same 180 songs in every dentist’s chair in America, I literally tuned them out. Fuddy Duddies, just like my parents! I remember, I could barely sell them the Beatles’ “Here There and Everywhere” at the time- too much beat! Too much change of habit required!
So here we go, buddy- getting crusty, artistic arteries hardening.  Not me, of course!

Then, about five years ago, I started getting annoyed with myself about my dismissive reaction to music. Lost most of my interest in experiencing new sounds- self- and foreign-made, seemed all the same gray to me.

What the hell? Me too? I noticed how I got increasingly irritated every time I would enter any type of store, office, elevator, plaza, garage... indeed! music in every room! Shit music scratching at my auditory nerves from every room! Music I did not choose, did not want to adjust my mood to, music out of any context, music that made no sense to me, music as utter, complete background, music that had no purpose, it seemed, other than to animate me to spend my money more willingly on items I otherwise might not spend it on.

Finally, two days ago, on a beautifully mild, fall afternoon, a funny thing happened on my way from the parking lot of a giant mall to the frontage of the name-brand stores: I hear music from everywhere in the sky! Cream’s ‘Crossroads’ of all songs imaginable, squawking from tiny waterproof loudspeakers mounted high on the mall’s lamp posts! Every lamp post! As far as my eyes could see!

It was so decreed, I imagined, that gross sales for the mall would be going up by .8% if shoppers are .8% happier. This is achievable, it was decreed, by means of force-feeding dear shoppers memories of better musical times past.  
Whether it’s Whole Foods’ playlist (Monkeys to Lovin’ Spoonful), Trader Joe’s playlist (Four Tops to Natalie Merchant; speaking of Natalie Merchant: there is not a day or place at any store or mall where she ever takes a break!), or Sears’ playlist (urban contemporary- the light touch), there is no more quiet time for my ears, no more place to just hear or coax out of its cob webbed corners the music in my head, no more restaurant where I can enjoy random sounds created on the spot by the people around me.  No letup.

It’s not even optional any longer, but, from my sense of wandering around places of business or congregation, clearly compulsory practice now for every merchant: If your business does NOT participate in this Chinese water torture from opening day one, we promise, your doors will be closed for good on day ten!

Maybe my artistic arteries are not clogged after all, maybe I am just chronically overstimulated by the ceaseless, uncaring bombardment of background music which is done for the basest, unkindest, uncaringest motives imaginable; overstimulated to the point that music has lost its specialness, for now... until the Luddites develop what’s already in my arsenal as antidote for visual bombardments by public TVs: the zapper.

P.S.: Has anybody yet connected the aerial Musak bombardment to the lagging music sales?
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Klaus Heyne
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compasspnt

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. III: Music In Every Room
« Reply #39 on: October 07, 2008, 03:00:42 am »

Too much music.

Everywhere.

Watching TV, a constant bombardment of pieces, changing genre every 30 seconds.

Everystore, every hallway.

Via satellite.

By way of Internets.

Hipping, hopping along.

Gone are the days of choice.

It is too much.
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megaphone

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. III: Music In Every Room
« Reply #40 on: October 07, 2008, 03:51:42 am »

Klaus Heyne wrote on Tue, 07 October 2008 07:46



Maybe my artistic arteries are not clogged after all, maybe I am just chronically overstimulated by the ceaseless, uncaring bombardment of background music which is done for the basest, unkindest, uncaringest motives imaginable; overstimulated to the point that music has lost its specialness, for now... until the Luddites develop what’s already in my arsenal as antidote for visual bombardments by public TVs: the zapper.



Maybe... but my experience for now is that one consequence of this over-stimulation is that when I'm at home, where I could at last choose the music I want to listen to, I'll choose... silence. Too much bad music kills the good one...
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Tomas Danko

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. III: Music In Every Room
« Reply #41 on: October 07, 2008, 08:09:03 am »

Due to the constant over saturated exposure of music today, it has lost a lot of value.

It's become a background commodity of little importance, to a lot of people. It's very easy to get, and collect, a lot of it is not very good these days anyway, and kids are bombarding themselves into hyperinfonautism running YouTube clips on their computer screens along with a stolen DVD on their flat panel TV while playing World Of Warcraft surrounded by a plethora of chat windows. Oh, and iTunes or Winamp is streaming them senseless with lots of music. Somewhere there in the background.

It's the equivalent of OD'ing on sugar.

No wonder people do not value music these days. Unless they go see their favorite artist or band live, even if it's just the latest band they are supposed to have seen live so that they can state this in all their chat windows.
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Barry Hufker

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. III: Music In Every Room
« Reply #42 on: October 09, 2008, 01:10:20 am »

We've all said this before.  Music is a commodity and no longer an art.  You'll think I'm old.  You'll think I'm boring.  You'll think I'm crazy(ier).  I tell you truly - a good set of earplugs are worth everything.  The world is a much better place when it's not so noisy.  I can think.  I can concentrate.  I preserve my hearing from traffic noise and just general noise exposure - as one would rest their eyes after staring at a bright light.

Earplugs are a cheap investment in peace of mind and a better day.  I don't listen to music in the car.  I wear earplugs.  I think about the day or hum a song to myself.  There is no cell phone, there is no distraction.  And I can still hear what I want and need to -- it all just happens a lot more quietly.

Go to Walgreens and purchase some plugs.  Wear them for a week.  It doesn't matter that you may look eccentric or like an idiot.  I'll think you to be a trendsetter.  And you'll see (hear).  After a week the world will be a nicer place.  You'll be more relaxed, rested and will enjoy more of what you choose to hear.

Barry
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Ryan Slowey

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. III: Music In Every Room
« Reply #43 on: October 09, 2008, 10:02:17 am »

One place that wasn't mentioned in your essay, is musical instrument stores. I get infuriated when I'm at a shop, trying out a guitar or amp, and I'm struggling to concentrate on what's important, because there's some sort of [very loud] "rock" music blasting over the house system. Very frustrating.

Bothers me at record stores that have listening stations too. You can't hear what you're sampling, because you can't get the headphones above the in-store music. That, to me, seems like a major marketing blunder.

I very much appreciate and mirror your sentiment, Klaus.

Very well stated.


P.S. It's funny that you mention dentist offices, because I often describe songs or genres of music as "dentist office music" in my critiques of some of the easy listening crap that I hear (everywhere).

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Ryan Slowey
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Fletcher

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. III: Music In Every Room
« Reply #44 on: December 31, 2008, 07:54:34 am »

Yet there are many times when I'm at the grocery store and will hear the music from a client, or something I've worked on and will smile.

Unfortunately, it is a very small segment of the population that views music as anything more than a commodity.  It is a very small segment of the population that would like to have the "soundtrack of their day" be silence.

We have been trained by the movies we watch that music should accompany all of the actions of our day... in some small way we feel more important because there is a "soundtrack" for our day... one we probably would not have chosen, but a soundtrack none the less.

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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch.  
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

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