Cleaning Negative Music

August 9, 2023

The progression of technology, computers, software, and the internet have been amazing. Because they have combined, the results often produce almost magical power. It seems the only downside to this power is that over the long term, it may have ultimately vastly reduced the number of high-paying jobs. There are also countless benefits. One benefit is letting us finally dump our records, tapes, and CDs, and to digitize and organize our songs. We can now store our music, listen to our songs, and take songs along with us. I am a judgment broker who writes a lot.

Music and songs tend to be very personal. Music storage and listening technology includes computers, music players, software, and systems. Examples include the iPod, iPhone, iTunes, Google Play, and other services, software, and devices. Music listening technology lets us bring more songs along with us, or to us, more conveniently. Often, listening to one’s favorite music, beats watching reruns or junk on TV. Finally, we can keep our music organized, and with sound programs and editors, we can clean up hiss and pops and other kinds of noise.

Because we tend to listen to our favorite songs many times, certain words in song lyrics might possibly affect us in some way. My theory is that negative lyrics in songs are probably not good for us. When we hear music we do not like, negative messages tend to bounce off. However, when we are listening to music we like, negative messages might get absorbed into our minds more easily.

In my music collection, I have taken cleaning my songs a step further than removing silent parts, noise, and equalizing sound levels. I am nearly finished with my long term project of removing negative lyrics and unsettling sounds from my song collection.

An example of a song I have cleaned is Beck’s “Loser” song. I think it sounds much better without the repeated affirmations of “I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me”. I edited that song to take out those words, and some others; and I do not miss those words at all. Carefully removing negative lyrics usually does not impact the rhythm, melody, or quality of a song.

Once your songs are in an unprotected format, such as MP3, it is easy to edit them with an inexpensive sound editing program. On the Macintosh, I use Amadeus. In addition to allowing you to easily remove disturbing lyrics, such programs are very useful to clean up noise, and convert all your songs to stereo, at 192K (encoded at a 192,000 thousand bits per second) rate or better.

While there are both newer and proprietary file formats for music files, I prefer my music files to be in (192K to 320K) MP3 format. While some may say other formats and faster encoding rates are better; for typical listening on music players and computers, 192K MP3 encoded music sounds good enough to me. Note that certain files meant for meditation use might need to be in AIFF or WAV format for best results.

Another example of an MP3 song that I have cleaned is ABBA’s “The Visitors” song. That song rocks, however I think it sounds a whole lot better after I removed the words panic, terror, and “cracking up” from it. How far you take cleaning up disturbing lyrics is up to you. I chose to spend about 15 minutes cleaning the lyrics of my copy of that ABBA song. I invite you to back up a few of your MP3 songs, and try editing them, not only for sound quality; but also to remove lyrics that do not seem to be helpful.

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