Super Star Member
Member # 295
I find that 2-3 seconds of 100% silence provides a near-perfect divider, a seperator if you will, between distinct compositions placed in sequence on the same media. There is pretty much no question as to when one piece ends and the next starts, which assists in conceptually compartmentalizing the parts of the whole. Also, this is a great tool for DJs, because they don't have to pay as much attention to exactly when the song ends.
Musically, silence is valid. The rests are just as important as the notes, as the saying goes.
Aurally, silence is an illusion. Except under special circumstances, there is always something. Can you hear it? Can you tell that you are (not) hearing it?
Technically, recorded silence is a possibility. Digital black. Reproduction though....
Silence is a tool which can be used for better or worse in music. As most commonly used in dance tracks (in leiu of a fill/turnaround), it sucks. Silence followed by a big kick/bass drop/crash cymbal = hackneyed and sucking. The next most common place for silence in a song is where it's least expected, which is meant to be jaring and to set you on edge. That's a cheap trick IMO and usually not the type of feeling I'm trying to evoke. Also, you can do a hell of a lot more interesting things with sounds than with silence! For these reasons, like there to be some sound. Reverb tails can be beautiful if you have a good reverb (try Altiverb, or a real space) and add more of a sense dynamics than silence alone.
Musical musings on silence:
Silence is golden: Black Renaissance - Black Renaissance (It's a new day)
Silence is an illusion: Eno/Byrne - Mountain of Needles
Who needs silence when you can have sound?: Yello - Claro Que Si LP
best in the Northwest