Have you noticed, lately, how much music is being played while discussions are taking place on television? Is it just me, or does this bother you, too?
This year, while watching the American version of The Voice, I noticed a disturbing trend: during the previews of the contestants, music was playing in the background, constantly. The contestants would be talking, discussing different aspects of their lives, but sometimes the music got in the way of what they were saying, at least for me.
Why? Did the producers think that the only way to hold the attention of their audience was to provide them with a musical soundtrack?
Was this a new phenomenon? Or had I just woken up to the fact that it was going on?
It suddenly became even more conspicuous during the announcements of the winners. Then the sounds of the crowd were mixed with a musical background in order to build the suspense.
Being at an NFL Super Bowl game must be one of the greatest thrills of a football fan. However, when you’re at the stadium, the sounds of the crowd would be exciting.
At the five minute mark of the following clip of Super Bowl XLIX, you can hear the announcer calling the play, but the sounds of the crowd start to infringe on his words.
Could it be that the stadium experience is what they were trying to achieve by using open microphones?
No, not that IBM: Instrumental Background Music. Here is a clip that demonstrates music being used as a background for videos.
It is a common business practice to have background music in commercials, especially those ubiquitous car and truck ads. Somehow, while listening to the music, it is assumed we will absorb the words and pictures without censorship, in other words, we’ll swallow the message ‘hook, line and sinker’.
So, if that is what the point of the background noise, are we being fed subliminal messages ‘out in the open’, as it were? I think so.
I re-watched the announcement of the winner of this year’s The Voice competition in the USA. The sound coming through my computer speakers seemed a lot clearer than through my TV. That got me to thinking: were the sound settings on my TV incorrect in some way?
So I checked them and found that the equalizer was set at “Movie”. I experimented with the rest and then chose “Voice” which increased the middle range and decreased the upper and lower ends of the sound spectrum. Now I can hear the words being spoken, even with the background sounds.
In the end, The Voice was the hint I needed. The subliminal message got through…
Picture credits: all pictures are courtesy of Wikipedia.