Spending a weekend learning about camera and sound recording doesn’t leave much room to ponder about life. The session though was informative and creative… lots of fun.
In video recording terms, sounds are either signal or noise. There is a measurement – a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) that works for any recording. SNR is used to describe how much desired sound is present in an audio recording (signal), as opposed to unwanted sound (noise). A high SNR is ideal.
And the case is such that a strong signal is best achieved by recording closer to the source of the desired sound. The noise then fades in comparison. Sound recordists advise that we should try and and capture a strong signal at the source, so we won’t have to compensate later on with adjustments.
And thus I learned about living life.
What is signal? What is “desired sound”? It’s not about the sound, rather it’s about you and the context you’re in. A bird chirping merrily in the tree may be noise if you are recording a news item on a homicide outside a courthouse, or it could be signal if you are recording a documentary about bird life.
Signal is what you desire; and noise distracts.
Signal is what brings you into focus, to the life you wish to live; and noise distracts.
What is your signal? Have you been distracted by noise?
To capture good signal, we need to move closer to the source… of our desire, whatever that may be. Stepping into the space, instead of recording from afar. Because when you stand at a distance from the source, you record more noise. Noise distracts. And a sub-standard recording may not be capable of being repaired. Even if it can, the compensation we make is rarely ever as good or as true.
If life is a recording, then identify your signal and head closer towards its source. That is the best way, the authentic way, to get a good recording.
Yes, everything is life, including a camera and sound recording session.
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