Noisy Jaws

This video (mis)uses the rather excellent RX suite of audio restoration tools created by iZotope

The following description taken from the iZotope website just about covers it;

Deconstruct lets you adjust the independent levels of tone and noise in your audio. This module will analyze your audio selection and separate the signal into its tonal and noisy audio components. The individual gains of each component can then be cut or boosted.

For the soundtrack to this video I’ve used the aptly named Deconstruct module to cut (lower) the tonal elements in the soundtrack as much as the software would allow me, whilst boosting the noisy elements by a small amount (too much boost would risk introducing digital distortion). I find the results fascinating; hearing where the software finds tonality (voices are affected, though Roy Scheider’s less than the others) and where it finds noise (opening and pouring the wine). Robert Shaw’s singing is reduced to a buzz whilst the tender moment between the Brody’s is lost in the cacophony of the dock.

To select the clips for this video I used Nicholas Rombes 10/40/70 as my parameter, taking 2 minute clips from the 10, 40, and 70 minute marks in the films running time (see Jason Mittell’s Deformin’ in the Rain for more on this). In another piece (Videographic Criticism as a Digital Humanities Method) Jason refers to the film as viewed in the video editor as an “archive of sounds and moving images”. For this video I’ve extended that archive a little by using the original mono mix of the Jaws soundtrack, sourced from one of the Laserdisc releases of the film. and synced up with a more recent Blu-Ray image track. I suppose that in itself is a deformative practice of sorts…

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