Skimming for Jewels..

I seem to be collecting up more PDF ebooks than I can read & while I’m sure the trees are happy about that I’m not so sure my attention span is! Slowly I am becoming a chronic skim-reader, skipping through the content looking for the jewels & ignoring the rest. Its only when I stop & savour beautifully written fiction that I fully appreciate reading for its own sake… The same is true of auditioning music. If you buy vinyl you well know the process of selecting half a dozen records instore, waiting for your turn on one of the decks & then skipping the stylus through a few crucial parts of each tune to decide if its worth buying. So how much music do you need to hear to know whether you like it? Not very much; just a sonic glimpse of the intro, main melody or the beat…

But the same is even more true auditioning sound effects for a scene. Fast listening doesn’t mean playing it at double speed, but it does mean rapid auditioning. Having waveforms to guide you to the content definitely helps, but as time passes so does history, context & metadata. Finding the ‘right’ sound often involves all four… These are skills created by necessity; if I search in SoundMiner for ‘dog’ for example, I get 740 hits & if I actually listen to them all then I wont get any work done today!

Anyway, an ebook I was skimming through yesterday struck a few resonant chords with me & although it is written primarily focused on graphic design much of its wisdom relates to any creative endeavour. I think its worth having a read of Time Management for Creative People (PDF) by Mark McGuinness

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