Drabblecast 383 - recording quality?

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Drabblecast 383 - recording quality?

Post by paul.neem » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:59 am

Hi there. I'm pleased to receive my latest download from Drabblecast. Unfortunately, I'm noticing a distinct level of white-noise in the background of the recording (Sun Moon Cat Man [Episode 383]). Was that intentional? Is there a way for it to be remixed (and re-uploaded) so that it's easier to listen to? :oops:

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Re: Drabblecast 383 - recording quality?

Post by acpracht » Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:01 pm


I'll speak to this, as the one who produced "Sun, Moon, Cat, Man." I felt, admittedly, a little guilty about ruining a significant portion of the perfect-quality audio that Veronica sent to me.

I made an artistic choice, and my apologies if it was more than you or others were willing to accept. There was a reason I made the choice, however. I think it was a good reason, but feel free to disagree.

If you would indulge me, I'd like to explain what my reasoning was for such an atrocity. :)

In this story, the aliens species of the "Masters" has infected humanity with a virus that has completely overwhelmed the language centers of the human brain (with the exception of a few who are immune to the virus - such as our English professor, who is putting up the graffiti). This infection has overwhelmed the human brain's centers of language so completely that almost all of humanity has completely forgotten their original languages. In addition, this has also meant almost complete mental control of the Masters over humanity.

At this point, I should explain that I see my role as producer on the Drabblecast the same as a producer would be for a high-quality independent movie studio: I am here to provide artistic direction and creativity. And, as the producer for an "independent studio," as it were, I feel that it is part of my job to occasionally push the artistic envelope - to make audio fiction that might be challenging or difficult for listeners on the first time through, but that adds compelling and interesting layers to the story with how the story is told that goes beyond the words themselves.

Now, here are my interesting challenges as audio producer with this story.

1) As we start into the story, we might think our characters are speaking the same language we do today.
They are not. They are "speaking" the Masters' "#Language#." How, then do I convey this in an audio form?
My decision was to begin the story laying a fairly strong "vinyl" effect filter layered over it. My thought was that just as the #Language of the aliens obscured the thought process of humanity, the actual audio would be "fuzzy" and obscured by the vinyl effect.

My intention was that when "normal" speech and language suddenly arrives into the story, that vinyl filter would drop out and would therefore feel shocking by its clarity and familiarity. If you listen carefully at timecode appox. 9:52 and then at timecode appox. 12:43 until the end, the filter drops out entirely and you have the full quality of what Veronica sent originally. This indicates how our protagonist has thrown off the influence of #Language# entirely and is now acting again as an independent human.

(The music parallels this triumphant transformation. I wanted it to feel a little like the high-powered drive of the end of "The Matrix" ... the good one).

2) I wanted to convey the idea that "#Language#" produces visually without the clunkiness of having Veronica say, "HashtagLanguageHashtag" every time it came in. My solution was to make #Language# sound even more unnatural than it does with the vinyl effect. Veronica did part of this by using a formal, monotone voice when it came in, and I went even farther by layering a vocoder effect.
I feel like it conveys the effect in an interesting, artistic and efficient way.

All this said... I get it that I've created a finished production that's challenging and might not be everyone's "Cup of Tea."

To that end, I'm putting the "clean" original version that Veronica sent to me at the link here.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/18cvt55a0or1k ... n.wav?dl=0

Some corollaries:

1) This is on my personal dropbox, so I cannot guarantee it will be there forever. If I need to make room for something else, I will delete it with little hesitation.
2) If Norm asks me to take it down, I will. It's his podcast and if he wants my final production to be the definitive version, I'm going to respect that.
3) I release this under a Creative Commons, Attribution, non-commercial, no derivatives license, just like the Drabblecast is made available.
4) In my opinion, this "clean" version feels a little like meeting the requests of those moviegoers who demand a colorized, English-dubbed version of Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai."
I get it, but it makes me sad.
(Did I just compare myself to Kurosawa? My, da cajones... :P )

Thanks for the feedback, and hope this long post is a helpful one.


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