Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Blind leading the Blind

If I were to lose my sense of smell, my other four senses: vision, touch, sight, and sound would kick in to help my body adapt to the need of my environment. This happens with any of the senses. You lose one; and the team is there to back you up. Since I am not the sound afficianado that I might like to be, I will be giving up my sense of sight in order to listen better. (Don't worry- nothing permanent, it's only for a bit.) With all of the homemade rigs and mics that we made for the Pieper Warehouse testing, I've decided to compare 3 rigs within the same test, and the same ding; without my sight. Of course, it's a given that I will hear that awful nail strike many times, but my actual goal is to be able to distinguish between each rig with the background sounds.

I have chosen Test #8, ding station 2. I have chosen this ding mostly because of the background sounds that happen. After the strike, there is some shuffling around. I want to explore this sound more.

Now, I have admitted to the world that I am not the sound expert I might one day be, and for that- I am using my own rig, a Triple Boundry Dish made out of cardboard with an EM158 attached to it. If I can't figure out my own rig, I might be in trouble.

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

My next rig of distinction choice is Josh's. In my previous post, I indicated that I enjoyed how clear his sounds compared to some of the other rigs made.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And lastly, Holly's Triple Boundy Rig. I might be committing sound suicide by comparing two triple boundry rigs!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

So you know what I'm listening to, here is the quicktime movie I made. Grab a cup of tea, and sit back and listen to some dings. I've looped it quite a few times so maybe you can get lost and do some blind testing yourself.

In order to blindly listen, I've put down the headphones, covered the quicktime window with another window and let it play through a few times- sort of like scrambling all the cards in Go Fish. I want to describe the quality of the noises with each ding and after I've made my coments I'm going to put a rig to each noise. I'm crossing my fingers!!!

Right away, I can tell which rig is mine without much trouble. Station 9 sounds muffled and underwater compared to the other two dings. The noises that happen right after the ding are barely audible compared to the other two noises. I would account this to maybe the triple boundy, however Holly has a triple boundry. Next I would try to account this to it being on the floor, but once again, so is Holly's. I might chalk up the muffled drone to the factory noises that surround the warehouse.

I thought my biggest problem would be distinguishing between my rig and Holly's rig because they are similar in make if nothing else. However- since I've already chosen mine as being the muffled one, I'm left to contend with Holly and Josh's. As with the background noise in my rig, one of them is muffled, but the other has a very distinct noise (like that of wood creaking). This rig also has the loudest ding, probably because of it's position to the nails. I know that Josh's position was a little closer to me than Holly, and I vaguely remember Holly's rig being closer to the two mark than either of our rigs. After looking at the spread sheet, I notice that Holly's rig is also on the back wall of a wood warehouse. So, the loudest ding, and the wood must be a result of Holly's rig.

The vast sound difference of the two triple boundry rigs probably have something to do with the idea that Holly's microphones were always a constant distance from eachother. My two triple boundry dishes were spread apart about 25 inches from eachother. This most likely leads to some serious distortion of the stereo sound and image.

After listening to the same three dings for the past half an hour, the background noise in all of them must be the wood creaking (if that's what it is). Although, given mine and Josh's rig alone I would have had no clue as to what the sound could be.

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