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VISUAL REPRESENTATIONS OF IMAGING
(Placement of Sounds Between the Speakers)

The structure of theMix of a Sound Healing piece of music affects your Body, Psyche, and Spirit almost as much as the music itself. Therefore, if you are going to record any sound or music at all, it is important to understand the dynamics within the mix.

The mix is the balance of sounds - Volume, Panning (left to right placement), Equalization (tone controls), and Effects like Delay (Echo) and Reverb (the sound of a room).

First, when using Equalization there must be an awareness of how Frequencies and Timbres (the particular quality of a sound) affect you physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. Normally a good mix resonates equally throughout all the Chakras. However, sometimes your intention might be to resonate one area more than another. For example, a song designed to open the heart, just might have more frequencies to resonate the heart.


Second, the placement of the sounds that create the overall structure of a mix can affect you just as a Tibetan mandala affects you (although, of course, not to the level that a mandala might). When you start thinking of a mix as a Sacred Geometry form, it gives it a whole new meaning.

Finally, it has been shown that sounds in different places from left to right between the speakers will have different effects on you. For example, it is well known that when someone is lying they look up to the left. When someone is trying to remember something they often look up to the right. Therefore, different placements of sounds in a mix, will affect different parts of the brain. The effects of placement between the speakers is only now becoming known. Even more important, is the placement of sounds in a room when mixing in Surround Sound. For example, a sound behind you is going to have a completely different effect than a sound right in front of you.

Understanding all of the dynamics that can be created by the mix can help you to refine the effect that your music is having on someone.

The more cohesive all of the components are in the sound, musical intervals, music, intention and mix --
the more powerful will be the intended effect.


What is most important is the way that all the equipment works together to make things sound good. Once you know what the knobs do, which way do you turn them to make it sound good?

Visual representations of “imaging” (the apparent placement of sounds between the speakers) provide a tool to show all the different possibilities available to the recording engineer in a mix. Just as music theory was developed as a tool to help explain the dynamics found in music, the visuals are used as a framework for describing the dynamics that occur in a mix.

 

MAPPING OF AUDIO PARAMETERS TO VISUALS

There are two ways that we relate to sound:
1) We feel (and hear) the soundwaves that come out of the speakers and travel throughout the room, and 2) We imagine sounds to be floating between the speakers. The visuals represent the imagined sound image. Sounds are represented as spheres because they best mimic the reality of how much space sounds take up in a mix. Also, the images are transparent because when two sounds are in the same place in a mix, we can normally still hear both of them.

Panning is naturally represented as left to right. Volume is represented as a function of front to back -- because things that are closer to you are normally louder! Pitch is represented as up and down -- because high frequency sounds appear higher between the speakers and low frequencies appear lower (Check it out on your own speakers). This is probably why high frequencies are called highs... and low frequencies are called lows.


Using this precise mapping of Pitch, Panningand Volume as X, Y, and Z axes, we can now map out a mix visually. Various styles and types of mixes (particularly those associated with a particular type of music) become clearly apparent. Different mixing "signatures" can now be dissected as to what the engineer did to create the mix. But most importantly, the problem of "masking," where one sound seems to hide another sound in a mix, becomes visually apparent.

Adding the parameter of time we can also watch a mix in real time as the song plays!


 

 

The Virtual Mixer

These visuals are now being programmed into a computer so that they can be used as an interface for a mixing board! You can use a mouse, but with a touch sensitive screen you can simply put your finger on the sounds and drag them around on the computer screen controlling Volume, Panning, Equalization, and all Effects (and Effects parameters). With 3-D glasses the visuals of the sounds float between the speakers right where the sounds are.You can then reach up with a Dataglove (like a Nintendo glove) and grab a sound and physically move it around. If you want a sound in the left speaker, grab it and put it there! The computer tells the mixer to make the change so you hear it in real time as you move it. The next step is to place sounds inside the body in Virtual Reality. MORE ON SOUNDS INSIDE THE BODY