Did Hillary Lose Thanks to a Bad Microphone? (It Didn’t Help) – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Did Hillary Lose Thanks to a Bad Microphone? (It Didn’t Help)

Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

As an actor, singer, and speaker I’ve done hundreds of sound checks. Sometimes I’m on a stage, basking in the warm glow of really good lighting with perfectly contoured cheekbones; my microphone safely nestled beneath my wig and neatly taped to the middle of my forehead. Sometimes I’m in a hotel ballroom, hiding behind the projection screen, attempting to wedge a mic pack under the band of my bra and run the cord up my back without giving the audience a show they did not pay to see. Either way, the directive is usually the same, “Be sure to check in with the sound guy.”

The “sound guy”—and yes, it’s almost always a man as women make up only 5 percent of audio engineers—is the live version of a recording engineer, tasked with equipment upkeep, balancing volume levels, and eliminating unwanted noise Both live and on a recording, the audio engineer or producer ultimately makes the decision about what the audience hears. I might be in charge of the words I say, but once I’m on stage the way my voice sounds, and whether or not my audience can hear me clearly, is largely in the hands of the “sound guy.”

Pretty powerful stuff. So powerful, that in a 2018 article for the journal of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM), Dr. Helen Reddington uses the term “gender ventriloquism.” According to Reddington, “gender ventriloquism” is when male producers (audio engineers) speak through the music of the female artists they produce. In this way, even the most fiercely female voices (Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne, Pink…) are delivered to their audiences via what composer Pia Palme calls, “the male ear.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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