Film/TV 2 Analysis & Reflection 1, Question 5

My recordings are so, so bad. I mean, it’s hard to do bad recordings with the H4N, it’s a beautiful device that provides audio where all the sounds manage to be distinct and crisp, I love it. Yet, mine are quite awful. In an attempt to push the blame off myself (perhaps in vain), I was in a ‘group’ by myself, and being a horrifically awkward and shy person, I opted not to ask anybody for help and ended up not asking for any help making any sounds.

Most of mine have issues with background noise, there isn’t one that manages to be simply one, solo sound with no (or easily removable) noise. It’s all low signal-to-noise ratio stuff, which is most annoying but entirely my fault.

I am happy with a few, including the recording of the hydraulics, the sound of the door creaking loudly open and the sound of the Walk/Do Not Walk beeps (both the Walk and Do Not Walk sounds). It’s interesting that these are also the loudest of the sounds I captured, providing the obvious explanation for the swing in signal-to-noise. Audio is clearly not my thing, unfortunately.

For me, I love isolated, decontextualised sounds. This probably leads to my preference for the louder of the recordings, which all manage to clearly present themselves as what they are: pedestrian crossings, machinery in action and doors. It’s hard to tear them from their sources, they’re so distinctive, especially the sounds of the pedestrian crossing. For the door, yes, the natural assumption would be a door but there could be other sources of such loud creaking. The hydraulics are different, as they could belong to anything hydraulic, really. I guess I like that sound a lot because of that, as the image evoked isn’t just one of the truck that it was recorded from, but from anything hydraulic. The EWP in the studio. Disabled taxis. Heavy, lifting machinery, things that weigh a couple of tonnes and are designed to lift other things that weigh a couple of tonnes. Strength, technology. Maybe I’m thinking too hard about it?

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