Shared Sound or Headphones…

Posted by on September 11, 2012 9:28 pm
Tags: , , ,
Categories: Column 2

In my first Computer Lab, we used Macintosh LC’s, pretty simple computers by today’s standards. Back then, we never had headphones. I would tell students to keep their sound pretty low, and later I could control the sound over the local area network. I do remember the fun sounds of elementary students working on many different projects and sharing those sounds with those nearby. Speech synthesis was also something students wanted others to hear. One typing project culminated in every Lab workstation “speaking” the Pledge of Allegiance in (almost) unison at the nearly simultaneous clicks of everyone’s Apple one-button mice. (A robotic echo caused by variations in clicking, memory, and processor speeds. 🙂

In my Windows Lab, we have had headphones for a number of years. The sound quality is much better, I am sure. The processors are far superior to those old 68030 chipsets in the Mac LC. (I think my wristwatch is more powerful today. 🙂 Everyone has their own workstation, and the software is much more powerful these days as well. Some of that old software was very well designed, even if it seems archaic by today’s standards. Lots of creativity by students using the software. too.

But what do you think? Do you like sound that you can share with others, or are you happier with sonic solitude? Speakers or headphones? I am hoping some musicians will chime in with their thoughts on this topic. Looking forward to HEARING what you think. (I’ll be listening without headphones on my iMac at home. 🙂

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