Slaying Dragons #6 – Where now for Audio?

John Watkinson looks at evolutionary forces. Nothing is for ever and the only certainty is change. The endless march of evolution in the biosphere is paralleled by evolution in technology. The audio industry is only part of the world, yet the extent of the changes that have been seen in audio are such that they…

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Slaying Dragons #5 – Audio as Information

Photo John Watkinson

John Watkinson looks at audio as Information Allegedly we now live in an information society. I don’t accept that. In fact there has been information for as long as or longer than there has been society; indeed the cohesion of society depends upon information. Optical fibres descend from the use of smoke signals and semaphore;…

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Slaying Dragons #4 – Is High Fidelity a Goal?

John Watkinson wonders if accuracy in audio actually matters. I would have to begin by defining what I mean by high fidelity. What I have in mind is a system of sound reproduction that is so realistic that it is indistinguishable from being there. However, the more I think about such a system the less…

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Judi Dench berates ‘lazy young actors who ignore their artistic heritage’

Blue plaque event at Gielgud home prompts dismay over ‘actor apathy’, mumbled speech and dumbed-down Shakespeare Dame Judi Dench has accused younger actors of apathy and laziness and caring little for either their artistic heritage or whether they can even be heard speaking. She spoke at the unveiling of a blue plaque at the former…

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Slaying Dragons #3 – Where Is It All Going?

Where is it all going? John Watkinson fails to learn from history. Nothing is for ever and the upheavals we have seen over the last decade are a taste of what is to come. Those of us who work in audio often do so because it’s a bit different from the rest of the world,…

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Slaying Dragons #2 – Real Time: does it exist any more?

  Real time is one of those phrases that bounces around without it being clear when it applies and what it means. Once upon a time there was analog audio, whereby an electrical waveform was an analog of sound pressure or velocity at a microphone and could produce sound again at a loudspeaker. There was…

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Slaying Dragons No. 1 – Science v. Belief

John Watkinson

John Watkinson looks at the relationship between science and beliefs in the context of an on-line society. Audio is not a world of its own, it is part of the world, and as such displays characteristics that have parallels in the rest of the world. Like any high-tech industry, today’s IT-based audio industry depends totally…

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The Mumbling Mob

What did she say?

Happy Valley is the latest show viewers can’t hear. What to do, asks Stephen Armstrong. Why is Happy Valley 2 getting viewers so upset? Sally Wainwright is back with another cracking script, and directing it herself this time; and the nation’s sweetheart, Sarah Lancashire, is reprising the tough but troubled cop Catherine Cawood. Twisted Tommy…

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Imogen Stubbs hits out at mumbling actors

Rada boss and Imogen Stubbs say language is being mangled in bid to imitate American film stars – and audiences are being let down. Too many actors mumble their way through their lines, neither enunciating nor projecting words clearly enough for audiences to understand them, according to leading figures in theatre. Edward Kemp, artistic director…

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Great Drama – But Can You Hear What They’re Saying Now?

Louise Willcox MIBS, Executive Committee Member and volunteer to the Listener and Viewer’s TV Audibility Group, reports on her experiences in a major recent exercise to assess the difficulties of dialogue audibility across a range of programmes and broadcasters. The Voice of the Listener and Viewer’s TV Audibility Group (TVAG), formed in 2007, has been…

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