Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Throw away the oar?

In a review of Sunday night’s grandstand show at the fair, the SJ-R’s Nick Rogers notes that the performances were marred by bad sound that made lyrics and between song banter unintelligible. Now I’m of the opinion that a crappy sound system could only enhance the listening experience at an REO Speedwagon concert, but I do understand that it can be frustrating. On Friday night, an otherwise fine performance at the Muni was somewhat spoiled by inconsistent sound levels and occasional feedback.

It would seem that with all of the advances in digital audio technology, when hearing aids and cochlear implants are restoring people's hearing, that they could come up with something better than a stack of speakers pointed at the crowd and turned to 11.

A while back I read an article about a new technology that delivered sound in a manner similar to a laser. If two people were standing side by side, the sound laser could be pointed at one and she would be able to hear it, but the other wouldn't. It was similar to the HyperSonic Sound described in this article.

I envision (for lack of a word to describe a foretold audio sensation) a time when concert sound will be delivered directly into the audiences ears. Every note and utterance will be crystal clear with perfect tonal quality. And the sound will be completely contained within the concert venue. This would certainly solve some problems at the Warehouse. Although it would make the vocal stylings of Kevin Cronin even more intolerable.

5 comments:

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JeromeProphet said...

That certainly would be an advancement.

I recall when I read of the audio technology of which you refer that I found myself amazed with the possibilities.

Imagine messing with someone's mind, by pointing one of those directed audio speakers at just one person in a crowd, and the person wouldn't know.

Remember the scene in the movie True Genius, where the main characters in the movie implant a speaker into some hacks fillings, and then convince him that he's speaking with God?

I'll say no more.

BlogFreeSpringfield said...
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BlogFreeSpringfield said...

I had forgotten about that early Val Kilmer vehicle, Real Genius. I suppose that voice of God thing would work well at a U2 concert since Bono seems to feel that he is but one step removed from that exalted position.

Actually, I admire Bono's bipartisan approach towards winning support for the causes he champions. It's much better to work with a party than to despise them when hungry children's well-being is at stake.