Michel Chion is a composer, filmmaker, teacher, researcher, and the author of several books, including
James A. Steintrager is Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and European Languages and Studies at the University of California, Irvine; he is the author, most recently, of
This chapter explores the ways that technology has changed the way sounds are made and experienced. Technological effects are broken into seven basic categories: capture, or the use of microphones to gather and convert sonic vibrations for immediate retransmission or for fixation on a medium; telephony, or any transmission of sounds at a distance; systematic acousmatization, or the generalized separation of hearing and seeing; amplification and deamplification, or the various ways that the intensity of sounds is modified; phonofixation, or the recording of existing sounds or production of sounds for fixation on various media; phonogeneration, or the technological creation of sounds; and reshaping, or the processing or manipulation of sounds. These basic effects have served in turn to decouple and to isolate elements of acoustic production and experience that were formerly inherently connected.