Real vs. Hyperreal vs. Surreal

  1. Choose a “realistic” recording, one that accurately represents the sound of people performing live. It could be an actual live recording or a studio recording with a live sound. What makes it sound realistic?

This recording is realistic because all sound from the environment such as the crowd singing along is all recorded with the performance. The singing of the artist also sounds very distant as it is a recording of the sound that came out into the air from speakers.

  1.  Choose a “hyperrealistic” recording, one that sounds like a perfected or enhanced live recording. What makes it sound realistic? What makes it sound artificial or manipulated?

The sound of the crowd screaming first tells me that it is a live recording. There are sometimes pitches that are not perfectly accurate. The sound of the instrumentation and the vocalists are not well balanced, as it would have been done by compression. However, the vocals could be clearly heard over the instrumentation and the background sounds of the crowd and from the environment is cleaned up during the performance that makes this recording hyperrealistic.

3. Choose a “surrealist” recording, one that could not possibly have been recorded live using instruments. What elements make it sound unreal? How would it affect you differently if it were somehow created “live” with acoustic instruments?

This song is surreal as the vocalist’s voice is altered by an electronic effect during the majority of the song. The characteristic of this song would be the edm feel that would bring an excitement to the listeners but changing it to being totally acoustic would alter the initial exciting mood of the song.


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