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Over-produced?

Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:32 pm
by Liminal
I love the stories and narration on the Drabblecast, which is why lately I've been finding a lot of the stories over-produced. I'm thinking, in particular, of "Gerri's Sounds" but I've been noticing it more and more over the past several months. One of the reasons I don't like the sound effects is that they are rarely as powerful as what I can imagine and tend to, imho, cheapen the story's emotional impact. I feel like lately there has been an attempt to use music and sound effects in a filmic way, but I want to concentrate on the words, the story itself and don't think that good stories or good readings need all the extra folderal.

Just my 2 cents.

Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:19 am
by strawman
Really?
My imagination had no clue what to make of the cat splat. That audio aid was essential to fill in my mental gap. I can still hear it, sometimes, in the middle of the night.

Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:50 am
by tbaker2500
Can't say it better than strawman.

For me, when I want the words to stand on their own, I read. My two cents are that audio is more than words.

But I'm glad you brought your opinion to the forums. Nice to see you here!

Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:28 am
by Mr. Tweedy
I'd say I'm about 80/20. About 80% of the time I think the production enhances the story, but once in while it can be too much. I do remember thinking Gerri's Sounds was just a little over-the-top, as was the most recent story, Bemused. But the times when the production is good are so much more numerous than the times when it's bad that I tend to forget the latter. In a month I won't even remember that I didn't like the music in Bemused, but I'll always remember the awesome production for Sarah's Window. It's well worth putting up with a few duds so Norm can perfect his craft and deliver the awesome ones.

Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:51 am
by tbaker2500
Duds?? DUDS?? We need some reprogramming over here - Tweedy's becoming too objective.

Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:54 am
by Richmazzer
I think this is pretty subjective and I'm definitely in the pro-production camp. I actually loved the music in Bemused, it gave the story so much character. Norm usually doesn't add that many sound effects, just an occasional belch or gun shot, and they never bother me (as long as they arnt too loud) and the music always divides scenes really well and shapes the mood.
Gerri's Sounds wasn't a particularly strong story, there were more sound effects, but that seemed pretty intentional seeing as how it was a blind guy narrating.
Love DC's stories, but the Sherman touch is what makes this cast rock.

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:56 pm
by zZzacha
tbaker2500 wrote:Duds?? DUDS?? We need some reprogramming over here - Tweedy's becoming too objective.
I think 'dud' is a funny word.

On the over-production: 'over' is my middle name, I excessively love excesses, so give me more. I just got back from the mothaship, so I can say that the sky is NOT the limit.

Posted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:19 am
by tbaker2500
zZzacha wrote:I just got back from the mothaship, so I can say that the sky is NOT the limit.
This is the ship from South-central?

Posted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 5:27 am
by planish
I think generally you either have to put SFX everywhere, as in a radio drama, or nowhere. When it's only heard occasionally, I find that it causes me to disengage from the story. If you're going to have all of the sounds though, maybe that means you also have to have a full cast. I dunno.

As far as music in the middle of a story goes, sometimes it's necessary, as for a setting change, especially if there is no clue in the text, such as "The next morning, we went scoured the pawn shops for self-sealing stembolts".

On the printed page, this discontinuity might be indicated by a new chapter or simply an extra couple of blank lines between paragraphs, but you can't read that out loud. I suppose the trick is to write it with the intention that it will be read aloud.
Richmazzer wrote:... and the music always divides scenes really well and shapes the mood.
Yeah. The 8 note riff on acoustic bass that Well Told Tales uses does the job nicely.

Posted: Sat May 09, 2009 11:55 pm
by ROU Killing Time
planish wrote: Yeah. The 8 note riff on acoustic bass that Well Told Tales uses does the job nicely.
I'm not speaking with WTT anymore until they give me more Awesome Man!!!

Posted: Sun May 17, 2009 3:49 pm
by devora
I'm gonna have to go w/ WAY over-produced lately. My Mac crashed and I lost all my downloads, beginning w/ the Ring Wasp one, so I only could listen on my iPod. Thinking I'd lose those older ones when I re-entered the download world of Drabblecast, I listened to several of those older ones. The music is used for effect, not continual. Compare the latest Trifecta where the music is constant for no reason.

Norm is a fantastic reader and altho for some 'casts the sound effects and music can be great, I strongly prefer to hear a great reader reading a great story.

Listen to Squidges. It has music and sound effects....for a reason. I find it amazing that the long Ring Wasp story has, if I remember, nothing!

How times have changed.

Posted: Sun May 17, 2009 5:16 pm
by tbaker2500
Interesting. I'm not sure I agree with you, but I want to go back and listen to old ones to replicate your experience, and then I'll form an opinion.

Darn, I have to go and listen to old episodes. :D

Posted: Sun May 17, 2009 10:02 pm
by Beth Peters
I actually just listened to that one. Awesome! And yes there was music, but maybe less than usual.
I for one really appreciate the extent to which Norm brings stories to life with music and occasional effects. I'd notice and miss them if they were gone... No cartoon music or boings for charlie, no scary babylonian demon voices, no moaning golems behind blue jazz chords.

Posted: Sun May 17, 2009 11:27 pm
by strawman
I agree with Beth. I've listened to the other podcasts, which just read the stories, and they're just short books-on-tape. Drabblecast is more like the old radio-play, as interpreted by Robin Williams.

Posted: Mon May 18, 2009 12:30 am
by tbaker2500
Well, I think Beekeepers is a special case. It's told as a historical narrative, not as events which are happening, therefore sound FX have no real place.

On the other side, I've been listening to a lot of radio drama recently, and old radio play or modern radio drama is much, much more "busy" than the DC can ever be.

On a whole, only certain professionally produced hollywood voice talent audiobooks top Norm on production quality.

Which brings us to the real point - Why isn't Norm doing commercial audiobooks?

Posted: Mon May 18, 2009 1:26 am
by strawman
:shock:

Posted: Mon May 18, 2009 1:28 am
by strawman
tbaker2500 wrote:
On the whole, only certain professionally produced hollywood voice talent audiobooks top Norm on production quality.

Which brings us to the real point - Why isn't Norm doing commercial audiobooks?
Well, it's either that he's holding on to his amateur status until the olympics are over, or maybe the idea is that one day DC will be commercial. But then we'd have to pay for what he now gives us free. So... tell me again why this would be a good thing?

Posted: Mon May 18, 2009 4:34 am
by tbaker2500
It'd suck for us, but be good for Norm.

You're right, I wasn't being selfish enough. Scratch what I said, it was a terrible idea! :wink:

Posted: Mon May 18, 2009 9:50 am
by strawman
Surely in a 3 trillion dollar stimulus package, Norm could get some support. NPR gets millions, and as much as I like Car Talk, Norm is right up there with it.
I have nothing against altruism. It's just a better deal when financed by OPM. :D