36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 282: Noise, rauschen, clicks


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 282 — Noise, rauschen, clicks
10-May-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)


Spent all day in electronic studio. Worked on another run-through “mischung” – finished it. But many aggravating problems—“immer knacks.” I found out that every time someone is
enshaltele with light in the whole building, it results in “knacks” in the recording. What a f___g pain. Excuse me, but I was really angry.

After much corrective splicing and some problems, the compositional result is pretty good. However, there is the presence of too much noise (rausche) and thus, in say making a copy-19 from this original, there is perhaps too much rauschen. So, as an original
original, it lacks. I will thus try to next make a splicing original to have better quality.

Did much work on written part of project.


Noise, noise. Today, I am performing more mixes in the electronic studio and appear to be finished with the mix of Fantasy. It appears that I am trying to make final copies of the composition on tape. I state there are problems — always “knacks.” Knacks would be “clicks”—slight clicking noises that sound like a “click” above the music or sound. You don’t want clicks on your final tapes. In the analog world, clicks can be caused by electrical switching, and indeed, I learn that, whenever anyone in the entire building where the electronic studio is located, turns a light switch on or off, it produces a click in anything being recorded in the studio. The “clicks and pops” you hear when playing old-fashioned LP vinyl records are the same type of noise. Today, in the digital realm of recording clicks are produced by the digital signal going over a certain threshold, thus producing clicks as well. Again, you don’t want clicks in your recording.

Splicing the click. In the analog world of the musique concrète studio, the clicks must be edited out of the tape by splicing the click out of the tape. Remember that I am editing actual physical 1/4” magnetic tape with a splicing block, splicing tape, and a razor blade. You locate the click on the tape by “scrubbing” the tape back and forth with your hand, marking the tape, and then physically splice (cut) it out. When you are splicing against some type of music or sound background you are going to hear the splice. That is probably why I sound a bit frustrated in today’s post. And this is the first time I truly swore in this blog. Sorry.


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