What Was That You Said?

“Has anyone got any comments on this piece of work that are actually audible?” said my sharp-eared colleague to the assembled group of students who were fading fast. Friday afternoon’s critique, and my listening capacity, were reaching their weary end.

My request for people to raise their hands before speaking, and speak up a bit, had worn off five mins after it was made, and now only those with naturally loud voices and visible mouth movements were audible. Everyone else seemed to be involved in some sort of silent lipspeaking conspiracy.

“You’re going to put a big what on the wall?” I asked a student who had at least managed to project 50% of the words in a sentence into range of the hearing aid circuitry. After a swift repetition, the reply from the group who had been tasked with coming up with a noise control solution for the studio was still elusive.

“Sorry?” I said, leaning forward and craning my neck uncomfortably to narrow the gap between me and the speaker to 30 feet.

“AN EAR! We’re going to put a big ear on the wall!” came the reply, this time from five people in unison.

As I groaned inwardly, my mind wandered to an abandoned Kookybite Innovation. The Mumble Eliminator is designed to flash a visible warning to the speaker, when the level of speech reaching my ears falls below 60 decibels.

Must get one made for the studio as a matter of urgency…

 

Speed Mumbleliminator

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11 Responses to “What Was That You Said?”


  1. 1 Carl September 29, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Ugh I hate that! I have managed to recruit my darling girlfriend in the SPEAK UP department. You might want to get some allies to lobby on your behalf or to translate mumbling young people 😉

  2. 3 not quite like beethovenot September 30, 2012 at 8:00 am

    So well put. Also I really love the Kookybite Innovations. It’s been a while that I said that, but that doesn’t mean I did not think it.

  3. 6 Rose October 13, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    I want one! Shouldn’t be too difficult to manufacture either, one road sign, one dB meter*… Hmmmmm

    *I use a dB meter to set the volume on the TV when my daughter is watching alone, otherwise the result ranges from overcautiously inaudible to drowning out the local jets on the flight path to the local international airport.

    • 7 moiradancer October 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      Heehee, I might get a decibel meter myself to find out whether the volume level on different tv programmes fluctuates constantly, or if the spouse is secretly turning the tv up and down in a plot to drive me mad.

  4. 8 Rose October 25, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Interestingly, they are going to be fitting large decibel displays in our new music practise rooms to indicate who should be wearing ear protection. These kinds of large wall display dB meters are already a commercial product, we just need to get one which has a red light when sound volume is too low, rather than when it’s too high.

    • 9 moiradancer October 27, 2012 at 11:22 am

      Hmmm, maybe I could use one of those. After some of the discussions I’ve been hosting recently, it seems I might require two separate displays for the studio. One to remind the 6 people in the discussion group to speak up, and another to remind the other 44 who’re not in the discussion group to pipe down…

      • 10 BadBunnyEars May 2, 2015 at 7:15 pm

        I want one!
        I’m on a committee with one man who talks so softly that even those lucy enough to normal hearing end up smiling and nodding, but not necessarily being any the wiser.

        Given I’m still waiting for the NHS to provide me with hearing aids rather than depressing graphs….

      • 11 moiradancer May 3, 2015 at 3:02 pm

        The original version of the Mumble Eliminator was inspired by the film Speed with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, and was wired up to a stick of dynamite. I decided to remove the stick of dynamite because I thought it might appear too violent, but five years of pained listening later on, I think it’s perfectly justified…


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