If it sounds good, it might actually be good

Have you ever remarked upon processing audio (hearing), saying something similar to, “Oh that sounds good/bad/ignorant/hateful…etc.?”

Recently, I wondered whether my latest thing would be worth the time and effort I would need to put into it, for it to become a successful endeavor. Then I said to myself, “Pffft, I’m going to do it anyway!”

The thing of which I speak is audio.

I have begun the arduous process of using audio sources I have right in front of me to augment online articles and content printed in Hydro Review and HRW-Hydro Review Worldwide. Please understand that I am not blogging about an upcoming promo.

It takes needed time and resources to learn how to incorporate audio that might likely augment content on our website, but is it worth the effort?

Time — and audience — will tell.

Before I begin any recording, I have to address practical considerations.

Rode cardioid microphone

In order to generate product, I have to physically harness existing audio resources and produce content at the degree to which hydro industry professionals who listen would find it worth their while. This means the actual sound has to be pristine, multifaceted, thick and rich (e.g. sound from a cardioid device as opposed to the cone of a unidirectional microphone).

I agree with many in the audio/video industry who think good audio trumps video when it comes to conveying certain types of information.

What is good audio? It depends. For this piece, good audio encompasses a couple of things: good audio is pleasing to the ear as it relates to direct and ambient sound, and I think a second component is solid, concise content.

Think about it. The synaptic responses, which take place upon audio entering your ears, sets in motion an enormous amount of data processing for your brain. Upon registering audio, in most cases, audio becomes hearing. All who have the ability to internally register audio must assign the sound meaning, thus changing audio to hearing.

My point?

Adding audio from knowledgeable people might clarify or expand the printed version of an article, thus providing you the reader, an opportunity to assign greater meaning from our content.

What I have come to learn in the past five months is that people with whom I work are experts within certain aspects of the hydroelectric industry.

No, my co-workers and supervisors are not engineers. They are not policy makers and they do not make the news. They are, however, very knowledgeable editors who by virtue of conducting daily research and operating within industry relationships, have yet to tap their ability to provide analysis of certain content. And the cool thing is, they are within feet of my workspace.

Why not use their hard-earned hydroelectric expertise to better help make your visit to our website a worthwhile time expenditure?

We have physical and social restraints placed on the amount we can print — online and in our magazines. Physical restraints refer to the amount of pages in each printed magazine and social restraint relates to the length of an online article.

Going back to, “…audio sources I have right in front of me,” it is my opinion that when possible, adding a short-duration audio file to an article would help readers’ better grasp information.

In instances that I am able to record an interview with an author we publish, conduct an impromptu interview at a conference or speak with one of my co-workers, what results may likely provide an added benefit to people who are patrons of HydroWorld.com, Hydro Review and HRW-Hydro Review Worldwide.

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for HydroWorld.com.

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