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Old 25th April 2008, 07:48 PM   #1
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Default Death of High Fidelity

Victor Campos just sent me a link to this article "The Death of High Fidelity. Unfortunately, it is all too true. But keep the faith, keep working for excellence in music reproduction.

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/sto..._high_fidelity

Best, Chuck Hansen
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Old 25th April 2008, 08:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: Death of High Fidelity

Quote:
Originally posted by chascode
Victor Campos just sent me a link to this article "The Death of High Fidelity. Unfortunately, it is all too true. But keep the faith, keep working for excellence in music reproduction.

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/sto..._high_fidelity

Best, Chuck Hansen
How is Victor, I haven't talked to him in years. Dick Sequerra and I talked about how Victor used to get FM air time to play his BSO master tapes with the limiters and opti-mods turned off. I never heard an LP sound as good as those FM over the air broadcasts.

One tough customer though.
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Old 25th April 2008, 11:09 PM   #3
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Charles, this may have been posted before, as I read it a while back, but may have got that from another audio or music site.

Sadly, it's too true, but a lot of what I like to listen to most is older anyway.
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Old 26th April 2008, 04:04 AM   #4
rdf is offline rdf  Canada
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Not dead, just resting. MP3s are a temporary infestation designed to deal with 30 meg drives and 14.4 modems. Storage capacity and network speed are advancing at explosive rates, it won't be long before the balance of convenience rests with not compressing. $100 worth of drive already hold ~$50K worth of iTunes, what's the point? Once Internet speeds make uncompressed downloads quick the average consumer will figure this out. No matter what the usual audio authoritarians insist, sampling rates and bit depths will increase for the simple reason that they can trivially at minimal to no expense.
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Old 26th April 2008, 04:14 AM   #5
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The argument that storage requirements will drive fidelity sounds kinda iffy to me. After all, look at what happened with CD. They could have gone for better sampling rates, etc. from the beginning, but no...they went for more content, not more quality.
And your underlying assumption that the hoi polloi will give a flip about sound quality has been proven wrong over the last twenty-odd years. Things will still be sold "radio ready" and the people dispensing the recordings will not go to the expense and trouble to have two versions of every album--one for the lowest common denominator, another for the ever-shrinking minority who care about sound quality.

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Old 26th April 2008, 05:26 AM   #6
rdf is offline rdf  Canada
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I said nothing about demands for fidelity, I'm arguing convenience coupled with near-free/Gb storage. CD was a compromise of a time thirty years past and as relevant as cassette to today's situation. A brilliant compromise but I carry 10x more storage (R/W) than a CD holds on my keychain. Why would anyone choose to data compress ten years from now when a $50 drive holds 50000+ 16/44 songs? No digital recording studios operate in 16/44 native, why bother with the extra steps and expense of downconverting?

Holding that acclimation with MP3s drove sound quality down but acclimation with coming formats (direct to 24/96 live recordings are already easy to find online) won't be a force in the opposite direction is self-condradictory to my eye. Buying music on physical media is on the way out anyway, mechanical storage readers can't compete with commodity memory formats forever. So are set audio formats, CPU power is nearly free. Where will we be in another 10 years? Could be anywhere but no matter which way I spin it around extra work for the sake of 10meg songs isn't here to stay.
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Old 26th April 2008, 06:14 AM   #7
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The article is really high lighting problems with the recording/mastering process which I think is a different but just as important issue as the distribution format.
THEY ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT COMPRESSION MEANING COMPRESSING CD QUALITY DOWN TO MP3s.
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Old 26th April 2008, 06:23 AM   #8
Dave is offline Dave  New Zealand
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A track with high dynamic range compression will most probably still sound poor even if you have 96kS/s 24 bit studio masters to listen to. Nevermind then taking that and then passing it through MP3 compression.

I think that the CD sampling rate was set based on some video standard as video tapes of some kind were used a storage medium for digital data. Also they had to get over an hour of music into 650MB.

Maybe some vendors will provide customers the option of downloading files in varying quality formats like on the Linn records site. I don't think this would be a great deal of expense or trouble when selling as downloads over the net.

Still doesn't solve the dynamic range compression issue during the mastering process though.
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Old 26th April 2008, 06:39 AM   #9
PMA is offline PMA  Europe
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I made A/D conversion of some of my best and most valuable LPs and stored it on CDs. Yesterday, when I was listening to these CDs made from LPs, my son came with a request to show him where were these CDs located. He was interested to play them on his PC system

Sadly, commercial mp3 sound sells, but, as shown, does not kill hearing abilities

Dynamic range compression is one of the worst enemies of good sound.

Fortunately, it is still posible to find very good recordings. They are just a niche, same as our hobby.
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Old 26th April 2008, 06:49 AM   #10
rdf is offline rdf  Canada
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Quote:
From the article:
And today's listeners consume an increasing amount of music on MP3, which eliminates much of the data from the original CD file and can leave music sounding tinny or hollow. "With all the technical innovation, music sounds worse," says Steely Dan's Donald Fagen, who has made what are considered some of the best-sounding records of all time. "God is in the details. But there are no details anymore."
Crappy audio reproduction is blamed as a root cause of crappy audio production. Repeatedly.
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