Side Voices


My earbuds died. To be more specific, the left ear bud died- the right one still worked just fine except that listening to music in only one ear was causing me to have trouble with my balance. So I went to the convenience store and bought the cheapest earbuds I could find. 

The good news is that the new earbuds worked great for getting teh musics into my ears. The bad news was that there didn’t seem to be a lot of range: if I listened to something too loudly or the mix included too many elements, then the sound would just turn to mud. Loud, peaky mud that felt like it was stabbing into my eardrum and rattling my teeth. Turning down the volume helped a little bit, but didn’t solve the distortion, and just made it difficult to hear any music at all over the background noise of riding a bus through a major metropolitan area. 

So I went looking for alternative settings that might help. I tried all the settings available in the EQ. I tried a volume limiter. Then I discovered an option called ‘Audio Mono’. It was turned on. I turned it off. Suddenly, the sound of the song that I was listening to spread out in three dimensions. Suddenly, it was possible to hear the positions of each instrument in relationship to the others. Suddenly it was possible to hear more instruments! Where has this been all my life?! 

So for the past day, or so, I’ve been re-listening to all my old favorites (not least including a lot of Linkin Park due to the news about Chester) and hearing new things. The ability to listen to something you love and to discover something new about it is like getting to fall in love with it all over again. 

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on July 21, 2017.

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