Wednesday, January 16, 2008

the frustrating art of sampling

OK. So you're not likely to have to read much at all about somebody like Tom Cruise on this blog. And rest assured, this post isn't really about Tom.

I came across this earlier and it's driving me crazy. No, it's not the rambling pseudo-religious cant, the insane jargon, the zeal, the free-association, or the general nuttiness of the whole thing. Nope. That's what makes it perfect for recasting it in a new context to make a point about how dopey Scientology is.

No, the thing that's bugging the shit out of me is that there's music running throughout the whole thing, and TC speaks slowly and just above a whisper for most of it. Aargh. Cutting out the music isn't impossible but it would damage the intelligibility er, audibility of the speech. The side effects would be too severe to make it useful.

At first I thought the video was just a standard-issue ET interview or something, but at the end it becomes obvious that it's some kind of propaganda flick put together by the Scientologists themselves. (The end of the video is one of those things that has to be experienced rather than described FWIW. If you can't sit through the whole thing skip to the last 30 seconds or so.)

The electronic stuff that I've been working on recently is going to have some of these kinds of speakers (gibberish from people who really convinced by it) and this would have been perfect, except for what sounds suspiciously like the Mission Impossible theme going in the background for all eight minutes.

Anyway, this is typical....a lot of times something that is perfect for sampling (whether it's a beat or a bassline or anything else) has some other additional component that's too difficult to pare away from the original while still keeping the sound of the original intact. Very aggravating sometimes. Nearly anything is technically possible in digital audio, but that doesn't mean that everything is actually doable.

P.S. There's a building being rented by the Scientologists just down the street from me, @ 39th & Main, above an H&R Block storefront. One time there were protesters holding signs outside on the sidewalk. I honked. =D

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