Spectrogram of 52 Hz “whale-like” signals. From NOAA.
Some solutions to audio problems are easy.
Got hum from a refrigerator in your tape? Piece of cake. Run a notch filter at 60hz.
If your tape is hissy, throw a high-cut filter on the file.
Someone pops a “p”, cut it close and, maybe, roll off the low end. The p-pop is likely to disappear.
But, what if you have a recording that is well-recorded but you can’t hear it. I know. Sounds like an oxymoron right? But that was Lilly Sullivan’s problem.
Lilly was a student at the Spring 2013 Transom Story Workshop and she produced a story about a whale that sings at an unusual frequency — 52 Hertz. In fact, that’s the whale’s nickname.
Lilly obtained a recording of “52 Hertz” from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and it’s a perfectly fine recording. But, the frequency the whale sings at is too low for most audio speakers. (It’s about as low as the keys on the far left of a piano.) In other words, if you listen to the recording on, say, your built-in computer speakers, you may not be able to hear it. The speakers, to put it briefly, don’t go that low.
Well, how do you fix that? How do you produce a radio story about a sound that most radio’s can’t reproduce? Well, you’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out.
And, I should mention, aside from this arcane audio problem, the story of the whale is a humdinger. I’m certain you’ll love it. Lilly did a great job.
Now, go hook up your best speakers and have a listen.