A “How To” on Elapsed Isolationism in the Medium of Sound

December 30, 2005 at 06:13 | Posted in Process oriented explanations | Leave a comment

A “How To” on Elapsed Isolationism

Elapsed Isolationism is a technique that can be employed through any medium, but for the purposes in this essay I will be describing its functions in the medium of sound.
EI is a static function that mimics the passing of time and/or the simultaneous transposition of alternate manifestations of a single event that allows for the exposition of specifics. Through EI the minute, benign, subtle, et cetera, of any event or object can be multiplied, magnified, and enhanced.
The implementation of EI is simple and requires nothing more than a sound source, a multi-track recording program, and a parametirc equalizer plug-in.

1.) Start with the Sound Source:

First acquire a sound source that has elements that you wish to isolate and enhance. I move to declare that the sound source should be one that is pleasing, but I only do so because I have personally used EI to create sounds that serve to quiet the mind through a sublime overwhelming. Obviously, if one wishes to use EI in order to create sounds that are of a different nature then it is only a matter of the sourcing of sound, and that, which is enhanced.

2.) Setting the Parametric Equalizer

I prefer to use a parametric equalizer with ten or twelve bands. Each band represents a point from which the sound envelope can be altered. With a ten-band equalizer ten points of envelope shift can be set so that the sound is either enhanced or diminished. The graphic equalizer operates off of a y-axis parameter wherein any band above or below zero on the y-axis causes a shift in the enhancement/diminishment of specific frequency ranges (the frequency ranges are displayed on the x-axis). The bands are not static and can be positioned at any point within the displayed frequency range; the more bands you have the more acutely you can manipulate sound.
Each band within the equalizer should have a toggle switch that moves between five different settings: Low Band Pass will implement a steep drop to the right of the band, High Band Pass will implement a steep drop to the left of the band, Low Shelf will make the equalizer flatten out to the right of the band, High Shelf will make the equalizer flatten out to the left of the band, and Neutral simply raises or lowers the equalizer depending on the bands position in accordance with the y-axis.
You will first create and save a set of envelopes that allow you to focus in on certain sounds within your sound source.
One of the envelopes should enhance a minute range of sound—you can do this by setting your leftmost bands to High Shelf, your inner left bands to High Pass, your central bands to Neutral, your inner right bands to Low Pass, and your outer right bands to Low Shelf. Bring all of the bands except for the central ones down as low as they will go on the y-axis, and as close to your central bands as possible on the x-axis. Raise your Neutral central bands up so that a minute frequency range is being amplified.
Additional envelopes are up to the user, just keep in mind that you are looking to isolate certain frequencies through enhancement/diminishment.
With the sound source running (if it is short set it to loop) open up your saved envelopes in the plug-in and begin moving them around until you find the sounds that you are looking for. When you have discovered a suitable frequency range mix the track down as a new track. Your newly mixed-down track will consist of the sound source with the equalization embedded. Mute the new track. You will now return to the sound source and utilize a saved envelope again. In the first step I do not recommend more than tracks of each envelope.
Once you have created a suitable amount of equalizer embedded tracks you should shift them so that they are slightly out of phase from one another; this ensures that any of the original linear aspects of the sound are diminished and allows for the sonic properties to become foremost.
With all of the tracks playing begin adjusting the panning so that the tracks are spread out in the stereo mix; by spacing the tracks out in stereo space you keep them from “mudding” each other and allow for a diverse clarity.
After the pans have been adjusted begin adjusting the volume of each track. You want the total mix to be as loud as possible without clipping, but each individual track should be as quiet as possible while maintaining clear sonic property. By keeping the individual tracks as low as possible you ensure the fidelity of the stereo panning, and keep sonic frequency separation at a higher rate than if each individual track were being played at a louder level.
Once you have all of your tracks set properly you will need to mix-down to a single track. This single track then becomes your initial sound source from which the alteration process departs again.
Continue the process, creating as many tracks as you find suitable, but keep in mind the smaller the increments you work in the better your results will be in the end. Don’t try to make everything happen in one pass, make each mix-down move closer to the projected intention incrementally. I suggest no less than seven mix-downs in order to produce quality results.

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