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On The Absence of Something

The absence of something can be greater than the presence of it. This is seen most notably with music. Notice how the gaps in notes produce the entire effect. However, the former example is not the best to go by in the modern year of 2021 and beyond: it seems sort of obsolete. Sound engineering is a very tricky thing, even more so with electronic music, which is sometimes regarded as inferior to classic works, but I digress.

Have you ever played a song and it seems like the different instruments are clashing together, making your speakers crackle? Maybe the gain is a bit too high or the cymbal wasn’t tweaked to keep the mid ranges from clashing with the vocals and guitar. This is an opposite example of what I am about to talk about.

This morning, I listened to a song called Beast Mode by Figure featuring Del The Funky Homosapien ( known for work in Gorillaz ). While the song is rather hard hitting and may or may not raise your blood pressure, the appreciation for the song isn’t what I’m referencing here. Some of Del’s lyrics include something like “We’re gonna wil’ out ’til the speakers blow”, is the opposite of what the sound engineering qualities present.

WARNING: If your speakers are already weakened, I would advise presenting a different set to play this through, because I won’t be held responsible for busting them.

WARNING: Extremely heavy dubstep, but no profaneness that I remember. Figure can be classified as scary or monster dubstep. A full frequency response range is recommended for listening, a.k.a ear buds are not recommended.

I won’t go into any more details about what a marvel this song is in modern sound engineering techniques, except for the fact that this level of sound wouldn’t be possible without cutting very small sections of the individual instrument tracks where the frequency ranges might clash than if the absence of very small ( way > one second ) sections in each individual instrumental track: bass lines, drums, etc. were all completely there. It’s meta-sound engineering.

In turn, we have an even more excellent example of how the absence of something can have great strength than the constant, immediate presence of it. Class dismissed.

Guys, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.