Archive for October, 2019|Monthly archive page

Another day, another voice over music

I think I’m becoming sensitised to background music. One of my favourite YouTubers, the Gosforth Handyman, has suddenly started using music in the background while he’s talking! Since he’s from Gosforth I usually need to be listening carefully to make sure I understand what he’s saying (yes, I’m a sissy Southerner), and the music just adds another challenge. Grrrr.

And oh, I discover that there are companies who deliberately SELL background music for voice overs. Needless to say I won’t give links to them here, but a simple Google search (I used “voice over background music”) will find them. Double GRRRR!

Cider Time

It’s a time of year when some-time beer brewers think about turning other things into alcohol. Personally I’m not a great fan of putting fruits into beer, for me it’s all about the malt and hops. I am, however, partial to the occasional cider, and I particularly like my cider to taste of apples (I know, how strange, Kopparberg are definitely not aiming at me). Mass-produced cider tends to be homogenised beyond taste to produce the cheapest possible alcohol content, although the recent “cloudy” versions have added some more interesting flavours.

So, producing home-made cider is definitely on the agenda, and this year we’ve been lucky enough to procure enough apples* and have invested in a scratter and a press, and roughly 30 litres of cider has been the result. The first effort was a mix of some Ben’s Reds and other local (unknown) apples, which seems to have produced a pleasant apply dry cider which we’re trying to leave for a few months to mature. Since we know the taste you can guess that we’ve tried a bottle of the dozen or so we made – and of course shared a few with the apple donators! Our second, larger effort was again from Ben’s Reds, all the way from Cornwall, plus a decent quantity of Bramleys from a tree across the road. It’s in the second racking stage waiting for me to get around to bottling it, so I can’t report a taste test yet.

Yes, you’re supposed to use mixtures of sweet and sharp apples and specific varieties are grown for cider, but when the raw material is effectively free apart from the time to pick it, it’s hard not to. It’s certainly simpler than beer brewing, at least at the basic level, although a little more physical effort if you’re scratting and pressing by hand!

* Thanks to the tree owners who generously offered their trees for picking

Not So Background Music

It may be something to do with my age, but one thing guaranteed to have me wound up is spoken content with background music.

Just WHY?

If you really want someone to listen to what you’re saying, why distract them with music? As a part-time musician it’s particularly annoying because I can’t concentrate on the music either, because some is speaking over it. (And do you remember those radio DJ’s who used to talk over the interesting instrumental introductions…?)

If you are trying to get your message across in a podcast, for example, PLEASE don’t put background music through the whole piece – I’m talking to you Freakonomics.com, I had to unsubscribe since I couldn’t get the message with the incessant BACKGROUND MUSIC.

I know we have to give musicians and composers living, but put the music in the section breaks or the introduction and play-out NOT during the actual talking. Sheesh