AIRblast | November 2014
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Listen Like an Engineer:

'We're Not that Different From You ... Mostly'

by Rob Byers

The story is done. You've been over every word in the script, trimmed flabby copy, tightened clumsy pivots, and the tracking is complete. There's just one thing left to do.
So you walk into the studio or send your session off into the interwebs for a final polish from an engineer.
She listens so intently, always does “that thing with the plug-in” first, maybe even frowns a little bit before claiming the mix is ready for air. You ask what she thinks about a certain actuality or a specific bit of narration, and the response is, “Oh, I’m not paying attention to the words right now.” Not listening to the words! What?
The piece comes out sounding better when she’s done — but what is she listening for? What magic is between her ears?
Good questions. Here's what engineers hear:

Take Note:
APM Technical Coordinator Rob Byers, author of our new "Ask the Engineer" feature, will offer private, 30-minute consultations about gear or software at the AIR booth at the Third Coast Conference.
On-site sign-up is first come, first served.


Bicentennial Swedish-American Exchange Fund 
Deadline: Nov. 15
Details: A grant of 30,000 krona (about $4,100) for a two- to four-week study visit to Sweden for non-academic research or professional enrichment.

John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford
Deadline: Dec. 1
Details: Twenty $65,000 fellowships to complete a journalism project at Stanford University (plus stipends for materials, child care, moving expenses, etc.).

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