April 10, 2013


A feature that I believe, or hope, is present in film and television in the future, is the presentation of separate dialogue, music, and environmental audio channels, so that the end user can mix them as desired. This would have drawbacks, one of which is that the director loses the ability to control this aspect, but then arguably they don’t really have it anyway.



7 thoughts on “Mixing

  1. Alright then, putting all habitual contrariness regarding your imperious command aside, my thoughts are:

    a) from a conceptual point of view, generally I want to experience the artist’s/director’s own vision. Remix culture mostly leaves me cold. A musician who I care about very much posts stem files of her new material for fans to remix; I love watching the enthusiasm and community that this creates around her, but I have little interest in the remixes themselves.

    b) from a practical point of view, I spend so much time these days – e.g. Saturday’s episode of Doctor Who – micromanaging the TV’s volume level. Up for muffled and indistinct dialogue, down for crashingly intrusive incidental music. I’d definitely see the value in being able to set levels before I watch. Self-inflicted hearing damage? Maybe.

  2. That’s exactly my point. The unadulterated artist/director’s vision is a myth, otherwise it wouldn’t be necessary to surf the volume control. It’s already been compromised, so why not accept that and give control back to the listener.

  3. I suppose unadulterated [anything] is a myth, because ultimately it’s always filtered through individual perception – whether conceptual (life experiences, politics, etc.) or more physical (e.g. damaged hearing).

    I’m probably approaching this from the basis that ‘vision’ can be an expression of identity, a phenomenon that I generally prefer to appreciate in its purest form. But yes, there is value too in cross-pollination and evolution.

    ‘Control’ is an interesting notion to add into the mix; one that makes me a little wary. It sounds exclusive, or divisive. That’s probably the extreme end of the spectrum though. Collaborative relationships are good.

  4. It sounds like you’re coming at this from a perspective of remix culture. For me, it’s just about getting a personalised living room experience. The next step up from a graphic equaliser.

  5. Yes. When I first read your post, I immediately associated it with the ‘red button’ stuff that allows you to pick your own camera angles for football coverage. Then extrapolated that in my head to news coverage, movies, and so on.

    If we’re talking purely about sonics, total agreement. Especially having moved from a carpeted Victorian house with a (mostly) closed living room to a flat with laminated wooden floors and an open-plan kitchen-dining-living room.

    It’s amazing how disruptive the simple act of putting a teaspoon into the sink can be to TV viewing.

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