[78-L] Recording Quality - a relative term

Mike Harkin xxm.harkin at yahoo.com.invalid
Thu Jul 3 08:48:32 PDT 2014

Is it a case of, Give the suckers what they want, or is  it rather, Make the suckers want what you give 'em?

Mike in Plovdiv

 From: Julian Vein <julianvein at blueyonder.co.uk.invalid>
To: 78-L Mail List <78-l at klickitat.78online.com> 
Sent: Thursday, July 3, 2014 4:10 PM
Subject: Re: [78-L] Recording Quality - a relative term

On 03/07/14 09:42, Don Cox wrote:
> But now things have fallen apart. We have experienced perfection in
> sound reproduction but it has largely been taken away from us.
> Consumers are largely no longer concerned with quality of audio
> reproduction, the priority instead has become how to store 18 hours of
> music on something the size of a dime or smaller. Record stores are
> closing all around us and the persuer of pristine audio quality has
> little or no product to feed their priority.
And listeners are not only not interested in sound quality, they aren't 
interested in any sort of quality or integrity of the music. They are no 
longer interested in the sounds of real instruments, just 
computer-generated sounds--drum machines, sampling etc. They have 
probably never heard the sound of a musical instrument in natural 
ambiance, even at concerts where "artists" often mime to their own 
records, and they are probably only guitars anyway!

My stepson is a recording engineer and musician (he plays electric bass, 
but has stated that he would like to play an acoustic one), and he uses 
these modern methods of producing a performance with computer equipment, 
although he is aware that old microphones such Neumann are superior to 
what is available today. He's also a Rudy van Gelder fan but, to be 
honest, has probably never heard any of his contemporaries. I am 
constantly telling him that I'm not impressed by his work. Perhaps if he 
was a free agent, he would adopt more old-fashioned methods of 
recording, but he has to give the customers what they demand.

My stepdaughter is a singer, and she can spend months with her producer 
on a single track getting it "right". I can't believe that this is a 
cheaper option than going into a studio, recording a few takes, and 
choosing the best one. The inevitable result is that the finished 
product contains much that is indecipherable (something that she admits 
to). I have played her 100-year-old recordings of John McCormack, where 
you can hear every word. She did make an EP over thirty years ago, using 
much simpler techniques, and you can hear every word!

      Julian Vein

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