In which a group of graying eternal amateurs discuss their passions, interests and obsessions, among them: movies, art, politics, evolutionary biology, taxes, writing, computers, these kids these days, and lousy educations.

E-Mail Donald
Demographer, recovering sociologist, and arts buff

E-Mail Fenster
College administrator and arts buff

E-Mail Francis
Architectural historian and arts buff

E-Mail Friedrich
Entrepreneur and arts buff
E-Mail Michael
Media flunky and arts buff

We assume it's OK to quote emailers by name.

Try Advanced Search

  1. Seattle Squeeze: New Urban Living
  2. Checking In
  3. Ben Aronson's Representational Abstractions
  4. Rock is ... Forever?
  5. We Need the Arts: A Sob Story
  6. Form Following (Commercial) Function
  7. Two Humorous Items from the Financial Crisis
  8. Ken Auster of the Kute Kaptions
  9. What Might Representational Painters Paint?
  10. In The Times ...

Sasha Castel
AC Douglas
Out of Lascaux
The Ambler
Modern Art Notes
Cranky Professor
Mike Snider on Poetry
Silliman on Poetry
Felix Salmon
Polly Frost
Polly and Ray's Forum
Stumbling Tongue
Brian's Culture Blog
Banana Oil
Scourge of Modernism
Visible Darkness
Thomas Hobbs
Blog Lodge
Leibman Theory
Goliard Dream
Third Level Digression
Here Inside
My Stupid Dog
W.J. Duquette

Politics, Education, and Economics Blogs
Andrew Sullivan
The Corner at National Review
Steve Sailer
Joanne Jacobs
Natalie Solent
A Libertarian Parent in the Countryside
Rational Parenting
Colby Cosh
View from the Right
Pejman Pundit
God of the Machine
One Good Turn
Liberty Log
Daily Pundit
Catallaxy Files
Greatest Jeneration
Glenn Frazier
Jane Galt
Jim Miller
Limbic Nutrition
Innocents Abroad
Chicago Boyz
James Lileks
Cybrarian at Large
Hello Bloggy!
Setting the World to Rights
Travelling Shoes

Redwood Dragon
The Invisible Hand
Daze Reader
Lynn Sislo
The Fat Guy
Jon Walz


Our Last 50 Referrers

« Continuing Ed: The Chaos of History | Main | Learning from Las Vegas »

October 31, 2002

Tacit Knowledge -- Sound Levels

Friedrich --

About ten years ago I spent time talking with some movie sound editors and technicians. The issue of the day was the new audio systems that were being installed in movie theaters.

One of the interesting bits of not-in-the-textbooks knowledge the sound guys (all guys, no women) passed along was that people have strong volume-level preferences, and that these preferences change predictably with age.

For most young people, loud noises are enjoyable, even exciting -- young males are even more prone than young females to be excited by loud noise. It's sometime around the age of 30 that people start losing the taste for loudness. By the time they're in their 40s and 50s, most will actively dislike loud noise, finding it annoying or even painful.

The sound guys were thrilled by their new toys, which offered possibilities for wonderful sonic detail and atmosphere. Yet what they were mostly being ordered to do was pump up the volume: to deliver shake-the-floor thunderclaps, rib-rattling explosions, thumpa-thumpa scores.

The sound guys weren't surprised by the result -- which was that movie attendance was skewing ever-more-pronouncedly towards the young. Older people simply don't want to be knocked around by sound in that way.



posted by Michael at October 31, 2002


Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember your info?