* * DREAMING * *

A 'Best of' Love-Hounds Collection


E4 - MiskMisk


The Dreaming Plug


Back to Dreaming E. MisK


Date: Fri, 23 Sep 94 4:06:09 EDT
From: WretchAwry <vickie@pilot.njin.net>
Subject: Trivial, but cool

(for me anyway)

I broke my headphones and it's been wonderful! :) I got the cord caught under the chair and something went very weird. The lead vocals of whatever I'm listening to almost completely disappear, and so everything is practically an instrumental, except that some of the way background and hidden sounds, and some vocal overdubs are right *there*. At first I cursed the chair and the cord (and myself, for not watching what I was doing) but then I heard some vocals and instruments that I'd never heard before! I was listening to _Building The Colossus_ (Happy's new album, for you gaffians) and suddenly heard Happy singing things, and playing guitar lines that I'd never heard, and I've listened to this album at least 50 times.

That got me to go get The Dreaming and Hounds of Love, and I have been having a *GREAT* time!! Listening like this, to albums that I know so very well, is amazing. I'm hearing voices, and instruments and sound effects that I never knew existed. I can't even express how fantastic this is!!

The Dreaming is *already* full of voices and sound effects, and listening to it normally, I still hear new things every time I listen to it, which is one reason it's my all-time favorite album of all-time, by anybody. Yet, tonight, each song revealed *dozens* of new things! Details just *poured* forth....especially in songs like TD and Get Out Of My House (I mean, footsteps, and locks clicking and separate doors slamming and grunts and screams and all kinds of things).

This really confirms my understanding of why Kate considers TD to be her favorite album. She put so many details in there that no one could ever possibly hear everything. People who like it will never get tired of it. It also confirms my (long-held anyway) conviction that if I had to live with only one album, TD would be it.

While I was overwhelmed with details while listening to TD, there are less details on Hounds. It's still cool to hear most of the songs as "instrumentals" with occasional voices popping out (especially on "Waking The Witch") but it's just not as full of suprises as TD. The one song that did suprised me with hidden interesting things was "Mother Stands For Comfort" strangely enough. The piano lines and broken glass are prominent, and a lot more is done with those two things than you would imagine. "The Ninth Wave" (which is my second favorite thing after the whole of TD) didn't yield the bounty that I expected. I know there are lots of things there, but I didn't really hear anything that I hadn't already heard. Maybe it's the way it was recorded, I don't know.

So, I said it was trivial (definitely more trivial than someone mentioning Kate Bush on Oprah Winfrey a few weeks ago, which I kept forgetting to post about...a guest told someone to "listen to 'Don't Give Up' by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush" to help ease emotional pain...which was cool) but I'm having fun. I think I'll check out Never For Ever next :-).

Vickie (who has to decide between getting new headphones and keeping these so I can hear all the details again, or letting Chris fix 'em)


Date: Fri, 23 Sep 94 5:03:06 EDT
From: WretchAwry <vickie@pilot.njin.net>
Subject: Re: Trivial, but cool

I just decided...I have to keep them. I put on "Rocket's Tail" and that whole beginning section is just the Trio Bulgarka. I love the song anyway, and I love Kate's part, but when her part is taken out you can concentrate on what the Trio are doing, and it's wonderful! It sounds completely different, and, except for that distinctive opening bit (the first 10-15 seconds), if someone played this for me I'd never recognize it as coming from RT. Very very very strange! That's reason enough to keep them :)


From: nrc@cbemx.cb.att.com (Richard Caldwell x2206)
Subject: Re: Trivial, but cool
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 1994 20:26:21 GMT

It sounds like you've pulled your ground connection loose from the jack but with the ground connections to the left and right phones still connected to each other. The result is basically the same configuration as is used for simple matrix surround sound systems. It would take a scientist to explain it (but I'll give it a shot anyway :)).

What you're hearing is the difference between the left and right channels. Sounds that are in phase and perfectly balanced between the left and right channels will pretty much dissappear, lead vocals are usually a perfect example. The more a sound is on one side or the other the more audible it will be. Even more audible will be sounds that are out of phase across the left and right channels. Putting in something out of phase is usually done to add depth to a sound, although it's sometimes completely accidental.

If you have a simple matrix surround system on your stereo you can achieve the same affect by turning on matrix surround and turning off the front speakers. You won't get the "in your head" affect with speakers, of course.


From: jon@opcode.com (Jon Drukman)
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 1994 15:08:40 PDT
Subject: Trivial, but cool

Trivial, but cool

vickie has just discovered the magic of phase cancellation, a technique suggested on the back of brian eno's landmark "ambient 4: on land" album as a way of increasing the "spaciousness" of a recording without any magic encoding processes.

basically, you take the common information from a stereo recording and throw it away, leaving the stuff "on the edges". usually in pop music the stuff in the center is the lead vocals and bass content. so, bingo, instant kate instrumentals.

that's also how those "vocal remover" boxes work. i bet if vickie got one of those and listened to kate through it, it would sound the same as her "broken headphones".

here endeth the lesson.


From: allen_watson@quickmail.apple.com (Allen Watson III)
Subject: Re: Trivial, but cool
Date: Sat, 24 Sep 1994 00:24:08 GMT

What you have here, folks, is an accidental hookup that connects the left and right channels together out of phase so that the center drops out. Kate and the drum kit are usually in the center, so they go away, leaving just the stuff that's on the sides.

Surround sound, BTW, just takes the "sides-only" signal, delays it a bit (equivalent to 10 or 20 feet of distance), and sends it to the back speakers. Anyone who has a surround sound setup (AKA "home theater") can hear what Vickie is talking about by turning down the main channels and just listening to the surround speakers.

The "broken" headphones may be putting a heavy load on the headphone amp in your CD player or receiver. Listening to the surrounds (if you have 'em) is probably safer.

There's an electronic gizmo on the market that lets you turn down the center and boost the sides. I can't remember what it's called. When I find the ad for it, I'll post to r.m.g.

Keep letting the weirdness in!


Date: Sat, 24 Sep 94 17:46 CDT
From: chrisw@fciad2.bsd.uchicago.edu (chris williams)
Subject: Re: Trivial, but cool

Thanks to Richard and Jon for the explainations. We have a main system amp with a simple Dolby surround decoder, and have ocasionally listened to music through it with the front amp off. But the serendiptious experience of her broken headphones had much more impact.

We have a rear amp output, and I could make a sound sample if anyone is interested. (Apologies to those who downloaded the broken MPEG audio file. I'm currently looking for a better WAV to MPEG encoder.)

Oddly enough, the main brand of vocal remover boxes is known as the "Thompson Vocal Eliminator." It's odd, because Thompson was Vickie's maiden name (she was married to a man named Mapes and never bothered to change it back.)


Date: Sun, 25 Sep 1994 22:25:03
Subject: Re: Trivial, but cool
From: Raymond Pugh <rpugh@arcadia.win-uk.net>

I suspect all that has happened is the earth wire (that's ground for you US guys :-) ), has broken so the two speakers in the headphones are series connected across the output amps. As you point out, any in-phase sounds will be cancelled out thus leaving only the bits that normally appear off-centre. When I was a lad (long, long time ago), this was a standard practice for getting cheapo quadrophonic (merely connect another set of speakers *across* the amps.) It should *not* cause any harm to the amps.

Of course, I could be wrong and your CD player might be about to embed itself in your ceiling. :-)


From: endwar@phys.psu.edu (Andrew Russ)
Subject: Re: Trivial, but cool
Date: 25 Sep 1994 18:36:39 -0400

If what Vickie's headphones have done is amplify out-of-phase sounds, then you can also get the same results even without a full-blown, surround-sound system. What you do is hook up a speaker to the positive terminals of boththe left and right channels (no ground connection). Then you'll get the difference in the two channels out the one speaker. Having the effect in headphones may make it easier to concentrate on what you're hearing, though.


From: clive@uk.mdis.com (Clive Backham)
Subject: Re: Trivial, but cool
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 1994 17:55:09 GMT

I still consider it pretty amazing that an accidental tug on the 'phones cord would have resulted in this effect. Not only must the ground connections be broken, but the two ground connections to the two earpieces must be shorted..... oh dear, I've just realised that it is quite likely, since most 'phones will have a single common ground wire, and therefore will already have the two grounds connected together, and so..... my apologies, I shouldn't have doubted you (even after the Rocket Man video episode :-)


From: Silo@aol.com
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 1994 03:45:10 -0500
Subject: Re: Advanced music processing (NOT)

(Mikael Jakonen) wrote:

> A while ago, something happened to Vickies head-phones. And there was
> a clever suggestion about the cause: The ground-wire was probably cut.
> I know Karen talked about trying it for herself. Did you do it, Karen?
> Did anyone else do it?


You can probably get the same effect by wrapping scotch (tm) tape around the barrel connector of your headphone plug:


                   I          H   H       > 



                         ---- wrap this section with tape. 

Please excuse the crude ascii graphics. And good luck getting the tape off later.

---Michael Knight

On to Humour Pt. 1

written by Love-Hounds
compiled and edited
Wieland Willker
Sept 1995 June 1996