lo-fi - Good enough is now better than great... - diyAudio
Go Back   Home > Forums > General Interest > Music

Music A place to discuss the thing we are doing all this other stuff for

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11th December 2009, 02:06 PM   #1
sklimek is offline sklimek  United States
diyAudio Member
 
sklimek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Arizona badlands
Default lo-fi - Good enough is now better than great...

In February, a music professor at Stanford, Jonathan Berger, revealed that he has found evidence that younger listeners have come to prefer lo-fi versions of rock songs to hi-fi ones. For six years, Berger played different versions of the same rock songs to his students and asked them to say which ones they liked best. Each year, more students said that they liked what they heard from MP3s better than what came from CDs. To a new generation of iPod listeners, rock music is supposed to sound lo-fi. Good enough is now better than great.

Young music fans deaf to iPod’s limitations - Times Online

Many people complain that pop music was better in the good old days. Arctic Monkeys and Lily Allen are poor substitutes for the Beatles and Bob Dylan, the argument goes.
Older fans also insist that songs heard through iPods just don’t rock as they used to, compared with the clarity of CDs and the crackling charm of vinyl.
Research has shown, however, that today’s iPod generation prefers the tinnier and flatter sound of digital music, just as previous generations preferred the grainier sounds of vinyl. Computers have made music so easy to obtain that the young no longer appreciate high fidelity, it seems.
The theory has been developed by Jonathan Berger, Professor of Music at Stanford University, California. For the past eight years his students have taken part in an experiment in which they listen to songs in a variety of different forms, including MP3s, a standard format for digital music. “I found not only that MP3s were not thought of as low quality, but over time there was a rise in preference for MP3s,” Professor Berger said.
Related Links
• iPod sound takes cough out of Tchaikovsky
• Acts like the Ting Tings lure advertisers
He suggests that iPods may have changed our perception of music, and that as young people become increasingly familiar with the sound of digital tracks the more they grow to like it.
He compared the phenomenon to the continued preference of some people for music from vinyl records heard through a gramophone. “Some people prefer that needle noise — the noise of little dust particles that create noise in the grooves,” he said. “I think there’s a sense of warmth and comfort in that.”
Music producers complain that the “compression” of some digital music means that the sound quality is poorer than with CDs and other types of recording. Professor Berger says that the digitising process leaves music with a “sizzle” or a metallic sound.
Producers complain that as modern listeners hear their songs through iPods and their computers, music has to become ever-louder to hold their attention. “Now there’s a constant race to be louder than other people’s records,” said Stephen Street, who has produced records for Blur, the Cranberries and Kaiser Chiefs. “What you are hearing is that everything is being squared off and is losing that level of depth and clarity. I’d hate to think that anything I’d slaved over in the studio is only going to be listened to on a bloody iPod.”
Other musicians have said that compression robs a song of its emotional power by reducing the difference between the loudest and softest sounds. Bob Dylan told Rolling Stone magazine recently that modern albums “have sound all over them. There’s no definition of nothing, no vocal, no thing, just like — static.”
Ken Nelson, producer of Coldplay’s first two albums, said: “An example of overcompression is the last Green Day album. If you try listening to it from beginning to end it’s hard work. After three songs you need to put something on that’s been recorded in the 70s.”
Rennie Pilgrem, a dance music producer, said that he mixed his tracks while listening to them through iPod headphones to cater to the less refined tastes of today’s youth. “To my ears iPods are not even as good quality as cassette tape,” he said. “But once someone gets used to that sound then they feel comfortable with it.”
Advances in technology have often resulted in profound changes in the style of popular music. Music historians point to keyboards in the 18th century moving from the plucked string of the harpsichord to the hammered string of the piano. For the first time, composers could devise songs that got progressively louder from note to note, something that was impossible on a harpsichord.
In the early 20th century, the cylinders on Thomas Edison’s phonograph could play recorded music for only four minutes at a time, something that listeners became used to. Today tracks are still generally about four minutes long.
Digital revolution
2001 the first iPod was released
125,000 models were sold in that first year
100 million had been sold by April 2007
30,000 songs (or 150 hours of TV) can be stored on the latest 120GB model
22 grams the weight of an iPod shuffle
Sources: ipodreview.co.uk; ipodhistory.com; Apple

Young music fans deaf to iPod’s limitations - Times Online

jJonathan Berger - http://humanexperience.stanford.edu/berger

Last edited by sklimek; 11th December 2009 at 02:23 PM. Reason: link added.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11th December 2009, 02:20 PM   #2
Glowbug is offline Glowbug  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Glowbug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hillsborough, NC/McLean, VA
Many, many flaws in that.

I don't think it's that people actively prefer lower-quality versions, it's just that they either haven't been exposed to anything better, or don't place a priority on it. Many people I know do most of their music listening in a moving car, so downloading FLAC isn't as important to them - with the high ambient noise level, high-bitrate MP3s are good enough for them.

Quote:
“To my ears iPods are not even as good quality as cassette tape,” he said. “But once someone gets used to that sound then they feel comfortable with it.”
Wonder how their perception would change if they listened to an Ipod with Rockbox playing a lossless file...

Quote:
to cater to the less refined tastes of today’s youth.
Frankly, WTF?

Quote:
Music producers complain that the “compression” of some digital music means that the sound quality is poorer than with CDs and other types of recording.
And CDs aren't vunerable to bad compression? Anyone who bought Death Magnetic would have something to say about that
__________________
Jim J.

Last edited by Glowbug; 11th December 2009 at 02:23 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11th December 2009, 04:02 PM   #3
sklimek is offline sklimek  United States
diyAudio Member
 
sklimek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Arizona badlands
I found the link interesting being that I make a living in the photo industry and witnessing the transformation from film image capture and hand printing to digital capture and desktop printing and see similarities of both audio/photography during this paradigm shift.

I believe or want to believe that the hand crafted print or professionally captured music in the recording studio will always be appreciated by those who seek it but the availability of tools/commercial offerings and desire will become more and more obsolete as time goes by.

There is always a way though...
  Reply With Quote
Old 11th December 2009, 07:41 PM   #4
Glowbug is offline Glowbug  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Glowbug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hillsborough, NC/McLean, VA
Quote:
I believe or want to believe that the hand crafted print or professionally captured music in the recording studio will always be appreciated by those who seek it but the availability of tools/commercial offerings and desire will become more and more obsolete as time goes by.
I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "professionally captured". Some of the worst offenders of the loudness wars have been established acts on CDs.
__________________
Jim J.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11th December 2009, 08:26 PM   #5
sklimek is offline sklimek  United States
diyAudio Member
 
sklimek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Arizona badlands
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glowbug View Post
I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "professionally captured". Some of the worst offenders of the loudness wars have been established acts on CDs.
I can’t really speak for the professional recording practice, it’s not my world and I’m not sure who controls the copyright.

In the photographic world whenever an important piece of work needs to be created the printmaker works with the artist until the artist is completely satisfied with the translation. At that point every piece that is created must follow this signed reference print or it is rejected by the artist. In the case of a dead photographer if he/she sets up an estate, the estate owns the copyright and the same procedure follows.

I would think in the music industry if the group or individual artist has any power he would be able to protect his work as well.

But then I suppose therein lies the rub, if the artist lost his control by a contract - the publisher could call the shots and those shots may be loud, edited or whatever he felt his own personal taste should be inserted???

Last edited by sklimek; 11th December 2009 at 08:48 PM. Reason: sp.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11th December 2009, 08:52 PM   #6
Xoc1 is offline Xoc1  United Kingdom
diyAudio Member
 
Xoc1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Devon UK
When I buy a new recording on CD, often as not I find that it is completely ruined by being digitally clipped. This sounds impressive for a few minutes, only to become oppressively relentless. The disc goes back into the box, and is left on the shelf to gather dust.
Funny thing is even though the youth of today are supposed to be impervious to this. I would say that the careers of music artists who allow their music to be processed in this way seem to follow the same pattern. After the initial buzz of the latest new tune, the majority of this type of recordings are soon taken off the play list and disappear.
The Artic Monkeys are a typical example. If you are given an opportunity to listen to them live they are good musicians. Their first album was a best seller in the UK. Their second album is just disgusting clipped noise. Whoever mastered this recording should be taken outside and shot!
Their latest 3rd album has not really sold well. From what I have heard on the radio it is not as compressed as the last. But the damage has been done, I wonít be buying it!
The supposed dynamic range of digital recordings is a joke, as everything is referenced to 0 Db.
I donít think this situation will change unless someone is brave enough to specify a digital recording standard where the average signal level is specified at say -20db to allow enough dynamic headroom for unclipped peaks.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11th December 2009, 09:04 PM   #7
diyAudio Member
 
tomtt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: kansas city mo, and on occasion, around the world ...
Blog Entries: 15
less is more?




Quote:
Originally Posted by Glowbug View Post

I don't think it's that people actively prefer lower-quality versions, it's just that they either haven't been exposed to anything better, or don't place a priority on it.
agreed ...

`````````````````````````````````````````````````` ``````````

also -

for whatever reason, i prefer lily allen,

to the beatles, or dylan .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


OK.
the real reason -




Lily is Much more exciting -

Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by tomtt; 11th December 2009 at 09:18 PM. Reason: '73'
  Reply With Quote
Old 11th December 2009, 09:26 PM   #8
boris81 is offline boris81  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: white plains, ny
there is definitely a demographic out there that has a taste for heavily distorted bass. legend has it that the bassist of korn poked holes in the guitar amplifier which gave their signature sound. most rap and club techno sounds very washed out unless it's played at levels which much exceed the speakers' capabilities. whether that is enjoyable or not is a matter of aesthetics but it certainly sells well right now.

there's obviously going to be winners and losers if the record industry went one way or the other regarding the quality of recorded music. i think the recording process should be decided by the artist and the type of audience they are hoping to capture.

i agree with the article. the ipod is creating a new taste in music and there's recording studios that address that. i believe each recording media has created it's own aesthetic and each advance in technology will add even more.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11th December 2009, 09:56 PM   #9
Vix is offline Vix  Yugoslavia
diyAudio Member
 
Vix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Somewhere on Planet Earth
One day someone will discover that youth prefer processed food to natural one, simply because they never tasted natural food..just think about fast food...why take so much time to prepare something natural and tasty when you can make it fast and cheap-just add artificial flavors and serve it hot. What happens later-doesn't matter. Human beings always wanted more, but it seems that we are only fooling ourselves by substituting quantity for quality...

Music compression and Mp3 are only artifacts of modern times...create compressed music because folks like it-they like it because they can get it easily..and so on...and on...
I wish Mp3 has never been discovered.. (as well as atomic energy...), but it's too late...
  Reply With Quote
Old 11th December 2009, 10:16 PM   #10
Glowbug is offline Glowbug  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Glowbug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hillsborough, NC/McLean, VA
Quote:
I wish Mp3 has never been discovered.. (as well as atomic energy...), but it's too late...
It depends on the application, in some MP3s can be useful. For someone who wants to listen to music while running, trading hard drive space for quality would be an acceptable tradeoff. For critical listening at home, of course not.

My issue with the article is that it seems to blur a lot of different issues - overcompression in music is a very different topic than lossy compression of files.
__________________
Jim J.
  Reply With Quote

Reply


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Gates CB-77 Good, Great, Junk ? fortytwo Analogue Source 10 7th September 2006 12:06 AM
FS Gainclone Great Chassis, Potted toroidal, great sound PHilgeman Swap Meet 4 2nd May 2006 01:20 PM
Let's build a great and proper (okay I will settle for good), OS DAC alvaius Digital Source 48 8th November 2002 10:13 AM
ne5534 single opamp any good replacesments would be great thanks NAP 160 Parts 4 1st August 2002 07:23 AM


New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 03:49 AM.


vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©1999-2014 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2