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Audio for Social Justice

‐ May 28, 2021 5:30pm

In light of recent events in America, we have learned that audio is a powerful catalyst of social justice. As the world heard the last words of George Floyd and the shock spanned the globe, the tragedy of his death in the larger scope of police brutality in America was recognized. Today, high quality audio recording is available to anyone with a cellular telephone - we need to talk about how that is changing the world today and what our role as audio professionals could be.

We are living in a social media driven age where substance is often hidden by external appearances. As a songwriter who learned the craft in order to share my own message through music, I soon learned others had crucial information to share and started helping them to tell their stories through the use of professional audio techniques. Marches, conferences and direct action are taking place every day across the world, but may not be properly documented without quality audio. I worked on the wrongful conviction case of a woman named Kirstin Blaise Lobato where a single piece of audio was a crucial piece of evidence.

When setting out to help with audio for social justice, there are a number of challenges any audio professional may face:
Audio recorded improperly
Single channel audio
Static and mic noise
Audio overloaded by improper mic placement
Limited audio knowledge

Though editing tasks may be cumbersome and the availability of equipment onsite for events may be unpredictable, there are many gifts our community has to offer that could make the difference between a successful social media event and a failure for the visionaries who need it most. I will explore these topics in depth and will be happy to do a follow up presentation to expand on this.