Un-distorting a "jewish" sound clip.
February 24, 2011 9:05 PM   Subscribe

I need help un-disorted a sound clip. There is a sound in Civilization 4 that plays whenever you discover Judaism. I could not place it--and I know my Jewish prayers--so I dug in the install folder and found the full file. It is heavily distorted in a way I cannot quite figure out. Could someone help me see if this was ever a prayer to begin with, or was just random vocalizations approved as being "Jewish enough" in order to avoid offending people with actual prayers?

The file is http://www.megaupload.com/?d=ZFFZ1Z3Y

It feels like they ripped out an entire channel of sound or something. I tried obvious stuff in audacity--reversing it, changing the tempo, reversing it then changing the tempo--and it didn't work.

For those who own Civ4: all of the full tracks have this weird modified feeling, although Judaism is the only one with "voices." They can be found in assets/sounds/buildings. The full versions are the names of the religions; the short versions have the work "dink" in them. So the version that plays in-game is a clip of the above mp3 (jewish.mp3) called jewishdink.wav. Because the dink clips are so short, the weirdness of the full versions cannot be appreciated in-game.
posted by flibbertigibbet to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Can you upload it somewhere where we don't have to jump through hoops to listen to it? (not trying to be snarky, just trying to increase possibility that people will help you out here.)
posted by threeants at 11:34 PM on February 24, 2011 [3 favorites]

It sounds like voice to me, made to sound distant from the listener by means of heavy reverb and EQ and maybe a little delay or chorus... nothing exotic, or easily reversible.

Put yourself in the shoes of a sound designer, on a tight deadline, who has hundreds of other sounds to crank out that day. For a one-shot sound effect like this, it would be far easier to make up some appropriately mumbly sounding fake vocalizations than to find a good excerpt of a real Jewish chant and then invent a way to scramble it.
posted by xil at 12:15 AM on February 25, 2011

Best answer: You didn't have to go through the effort, it's already on Youtube.

According to a commentor:


"(adon 'olam 'asher´╗┐ malakh, beterem kol yetzir niv(ra"


"the lord of the world, who reigned before´╗┐ everything was created"

I don't know Hebrew, so I comment, but the transliteration does look spot on to me. Still can't figure out the ones for Hinduism or Christianity though. The Taoism one has always piqued my interest - I remember hearing the exact same chant in the "Mongols" section of the History pages in Age of Empires II.
posted by Senza Volto at 4:17 AM on February 25, 2011

Well, how silly of me to not Google that. Here you go, the full text.
posted by Senza Volto at 4:19 AM on February 25, 2011

Response by poster: It's Adon Olam?!? I know all of Adon Olam and I never thought... wow. OK.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 4:26 AM on February 25, 2011

Response by poster: I think, on reflection, I was being thrown by how DIFFERENT it is musically from the normal Adon Olam. The normal tune for Adon Olam these days is quiet jaunty, as Adon Olam usually ends a service and the tune is trying to rouse people from the stupor (if you don't care) or exhaustion (if you do) that a three to four hour prayer service can cause. This is the Adon Olam I know.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 4:32 AM on February 25, 2011

Wow, neat. I'm not sure I'd call that quiet, though!
posted by canine epigram at 8:48 AM on February 25, 2011

I think flibbertigibbet meant "quite jaunty"?
posted by limeonaire at 3:56 PM on February 25, 2011

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