Why on earth must
we analyze every
little bit on a CD, soundfile, DAT, ADAT under the microscope and come
to the conclusion that there are differences in the sound? A 13-year
old won't know the difference anyway! -Julian
There are those of us
who do not consider the
high-resolution aspects of these components in a scientific way. We
consider it in a scientific way as well as an artistic way.
It's the love of the art that compels us to the refinements that the
average 13 year old won't discern. However, that doesn't take into
account that there may be some 13 year old genius along the way who can
discern. It also doesn't take into account that there may
be some sonic "memory" or influence that a 13 year old may carry into
the future as a result of hearing something that's breathtaking.
Perhaps that 13 year old will become the next Alexander Graham Bell, or
the next Rembrandt because of that fine recording. The only reason you
wonder why anyone will care is because your view of what's
Our jobs as engineers is to make sure that
the product sounds excellent on all possible player and speaker
portion of our "job" - and another aspect of engineering is an
engineer's passion. Take a NASA engineer's passion - getting to the
stars may require details that to the average person are
indistinguishable. However, once that photo comes in from the Xipppity
Do Dah Galaxy and the next Copernicus is born, we'll understand how the
ripples of inspiration can spread - and those details will have paid
Do we really need to go that far?
it's not my need. I happen to think it's darn fun!
Will the artist be any better if
he/she/they were recorded at 48bit rather than 24? If they sucked, it
wouldn't make a difference because nothing can save them!
completely. That's why I try to talk about practising scales
and arpeggios as well as the bits and bites. Part of my philosophy is
that overdoing the quest to have the loudest CD in town (sort of a
"more perfect"-ish concept) takes the dynamics out of the music. The
music becomes less listenable, and I've come to feel that's part of why
people don't buy as much music these days.... on top of there's a
general harshness to the material (musically speaking) that just wears
people out. I think people are tired of being hammered by anger, angst,
discord, disrespect and vicitm-based mentality in music. But then....
I'm from the '60's....
side-bar here... Ya know how some
people have a little "tag" phrase sometimes at the end of something
they post on an internet blog? One guy's tag said, "I don't have
to be nice - it's not the '60's anymore." Why are so many people
into this frown-and-brown approach to life? What does it say when
it's cool to be the biggest bully on the block? I mean, what's so
with being nice? Does more happiness come from not being nice? If people love to
be unfriendly, why not start an
unfriendly club with like-minded people, go to a boxing web site and
knock yourself out!
You can get picky with gear, but there is a
line that once you pass it, it really doesn't matter anymore.
you maintain a limited view of what's possible, and keep
holding people as being incapable of rising to a new level of
perception, of excellence, of passion that is beyond what we are
experiencing now. How about if we didn't want to get picky when black
and white TV came out?
science is blowing our minds on a daily basis.... in fact, it's
re-constructing what our "minds" are.... but most people are content
with what's comfortable... with what's acceptable... with what's
standard, and they lead lives of quiet desperation waiting for
something to come along that will revolutionize their life... but they
want someone outside of themselves to do it for them, rather than
taking responsibility for taking their own lives into the next
There are still a lot of people who would
rather download a crappy sounding mp3 than buy the beautifully-mastered
perfectly happy allowing people who are content in mediocrity (by
my standards) to remain content in their standards. That's their
business, and if if works for them, cool! I, however, believe in the
unlimited gifts of our species and imagine that there is at least one
person out there who is ready to express the unexpressed... and bring
into being that which is waiting to become.... and that one person may
make a difference in the audio field and we'll all get to enjoy that
next level. Bring on 192k!
There goes all that hard work ... because
they only care about the song!!
- the most important aspect is the song, then it's the
singer, then it's the performances, then it's the star quality, then
it's the production, the sound, the lights, etc. (The massive tape hiss
on cassettes didn't stop people from buying their music that way.)
large portion of why the music biz is hurting.... the most
important element (the song) isn't what it's been at other times... For
instance, take all those songs like "You Make Me Ill" and "Gotta Build
A Prison" and "It Doesn't Even Matter".... I mean doesn't that subject
matter just make you want to snuggle up to your honey and go procreate?
Don't make it sound perfect, because it
takes time, and a lot of Tylenol.
Jaggar's voice isn't exactly my idea of perfect and he's certainly
sold lots of records, so that supports your point. I'd take drum tracks
that weren't perfected by a digital workstation any day, so long as
they were played well from the beginning.
all this Pro Tools stuff is great for a lot of things. But it
can lose something when it's used to edit the heck out of a
performance. Music translates emotion best when it comes from within
us, and I think a lot of the Pro Tools thing puts the skill outside
of us, rather than it coming from the source, the artist's heart and
there can be a perfection that is a soulful perfection.
Perhaps you aren't seeing the soulful side of the detailed high-end
sonics inherent in the mastering approach. Sound excellence, in a way,
is just a quest for the closest reproduction of the "juice" of a live
performance, because that's when we're closest to the heart of the
all of this digital perfection and bits and bytes (spell it
how you like it) is really just a way of manifesting a closer
connection to the heart. That's what it is for me. It's not about being
better than anyone else, more right than anyone else, more discerning
than anyone else. I love the heart of music, and I want to get as close
to that as I can, without investing in Tylenol. It just depends on the
resilience of the seeker - whether it makes any sense or not.
Even the time of the day and your body
temperature affects the way you hear things...
so just get by and make it sound good...
within the context of my standards just doesn't' work for me.
No mediocrity, don't get me wrong; I'm very
passionate about my work and I strive for excellence whenever possible.
However, I still think there are way too many variables to keep track
of, and there is that "line", that once passed, the difference won't be
perceived. ...life is too short to get stuck on such a boring subject.
passed the idea onto you that "life is too short" is someone
who doesn't think you can live to be 200 years old, or older if you
look into ancient texts that describe what's possible. There's a
million things to experience in a lifetime, and for me, I want to do so
richly. It's not boring for me. Boring to some, yes. God bless them for
their interests in other areas. Auto repair bores me to no end, so
therefore I feel blessed that someone else enjoys taking that one on.
grateful when people such as yourself write to me to share their
views. I strive to share the concept of unlimitedness, because I think
we keep that which we share. I hope your fulfilment every day is
unlimited - it's a great vision that can be shared.
Date created: 05/20/03
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