How to Listen to a Brad Lansky Audio Drama
For those who haven‘t listened to a Brad Lansky audio - and for those trying to explain to others who don‘t ‘get it‘ - it‘s all about the sound! These productions are carefully designed to provide seamless integration between sound effects, music and story. The fully-acted format allows the listener to ‘be there‘ with Brad and Alex. Though our roots are in Old Time Radio, we produce high-quality stereo (and sometimes binaural) soundscapes with a modern plot.
Headphones are Best!
At protophonic, most of the mixing is done using phones, so the best is for you to buy or borrow a good set of headphones or earbuds. Good headphones have the biggest effective dynamic range, depth and image detail. They also help to attain the closest thing to ‘total immersion‘ by shutting out external noise. Having said that, the final-stage mixing and professional mastering are done on speakers (Genelec monitors & sub) to ensure they also sound good on stereo speakers. (In fact, one of the mastering engineer‘s jobs is to ensure it sounds good on just about any system.)
Stereo or Home Entertainment System
Sometimes it‘s fun to listen on a decent stereo system, for example if you‘re entertaining your friends. Make an equilateral triangle with the two speakers at the corners and your head/s at the apex. If you have a sub-woofer, all the better - it‘s gonna get a good workout! If you have a surround sound system, you can play around with your receiver‘s different DSP sound fields. Though largely a matter of personal preference, you‘ll probably get the best results using one of the receiver‘s stereo settings, e.g. 5 or 7-channel stereo. This setting spreads some of the stereo ambience to the surround speakers. Some receivers even have algorithms/soundfields that turn a stereo source into fairly decent surround. One day the Brad Lansky adventures will be remixed into proper surround sound format, taking them to the next level.
A Word about Dynamic Range
Protophonic productions are firmly grounded in the ‘audiophile‘ school of thinking, so we work hard in our pursuit of excellent sound quality. In the Brad Lansky productions we want you to ‘be there‘. In order to achieve total immersion, the soundscape needs to be as realistic as possible - there is no way to achieve this using the heavy-handed compression techniques that are so prevalent today. We are not interested in competing on the loudness front and believe that the listener, as an active participant, will turn up the volume if they like what they hear! There is a world to explore between the soft and the loud, and even in the realm between the very small sounds and silence, well - to quote a famous physicist - “there is plenty of room at the bottom“.
Listening while Driving
The nature of Brad Lansky audio‘s is such that it is easy to ‘get carried away‘. For this reason it is not advisable to listen to a Brad Lansky adventure while driving. Besides, you'll miss much of the detail we worked so hard to produce, so save the car trips for your audiobooks and podcasts.
Why in audio and not on TV?
There are several reasons:
- This visual age of film and TV has left a huge part of our brains
(the areas for processing sound) underutilized.
- Listening to a story is a more participative, imaginative,
and therefore personal experience than watching one. It makes the experience your own.
- Sound has the power to engage us from the deepest to the highest levels,
both emotionally and intellectually.
- It fits in well with our modern multitasking lifestyles. (Never walk around town and watch a movie at the same time, but listen to an ‘audio movie‘? Absolutely.)
- A ‘movie in sound‘ allows the music to take center stage in telling the story.
Note to TV Addicts: You may find that listening to SF (Science Fiction) audio gives your higher brain functions a bit of a workout. THIS IS NORMAL. If you feel dizzy or too disoriented, just open your eyes for a while and it will pass.
The pictures are better in sound