Economy rule (research)

Continuing through the site: writing up your student project work (critique)

 In radio play production, 'more is less'. Sounds mask each other. An individual FX can be masked by the scene atmos.

For full theoretical discussion see No.13 in Section 6 - 'The Death of Radio' (Beck)

See - 11.1 Cognitive mapping in the radio studio - Cognitive Mapping and Radio Drama by Alan Beck - SECTION 11

The radio frame is not defined clearly, for example, by the equivalent of the borders of the film visual track frame. The borders of the radio frame are the limits of what can be heard and what signifies. In the perspective of the sound picture, this can be from the foreground voices to the background acoustic, as passing traffic in a street, for example.

All sounds read by the listener, have, by definition, to be "in" the radio frame. They are then to be graded in their spatial relationships to the sound centre and to the POL. So the radio frame cannot be described as having the strict limits of the film frame.
Ears however, receive sounds coming from all around us, irrespective of the direction of our field of vision. The ears focus differently from the eyes.

Here there can be established another sound rule, to be called the "economy rule". No unexplained sound can be permitted within the sound frame for this would cause confusion to the listener. Each sound registered must have cause and effect, and its source.

The economy rule applies along a wide spectrum of production. At one end is the sparer production as practised within standard production, especially of the "talking heads" variety. This has often a neutral acoustic. At the other end is a genre thriller, say for Radio 5 or R4 Classic Serial. Here, even an exciting shipwreck scene must define its perspective clearly.

Every explanation of sound perspective includes an account of the "cocktail party effect". See Crisell 48 for a description and discussion, then continue here. See also "hearing".

The human auditory system operates as a mixing desk. It isolates and increases the level of the signal we select from our environment. It subjectively reduces the level of the other sounds we downgrade.

Discussing this "economy principle" under the heading of the "cocktail party effect" merely, narrows the production principle. Economy is best considered in contrast to film, where there is an opposite principle at work. In film, sound must "fill", and overflow, in parallel to the visual track.

The economy rule applies because of the requirements of sound created in the fictional space. There are other principles of economic shaping due to the diegesis.



Continuing through the site: writing up your student project work (critique)

Theoretical issues & writing-up your project

writing up your student project work (critique)


 symbol system 
  language based =  logocentric  

 What is radio theory for?

 Theory - what is it?







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