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Old 9th January 2004, 12:34 AM   #21
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Default That is one wild prediction.

Quote:
Originally posted by sam9
My prediction is that in 2024 we will look back and realize that no one came close to predicting what was going to happen.
Jeepers, I can't even predict what's going to happen that day when I get up in the morning...


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Old 9th January 2004, 12:46 AM   #22
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I don't fear that classical will be lost due to lack of musicianship or the creation of new compositions. The rise of "world" music and various fusions of it have shown that consumers are always looking for different ways to enjoy sound.

What really concerns me is that the rise of MP3 will cause consumers to overlook a lot of alternative material since many of the important details are lost in the conversion process. When only the highly distinct rhythm and non-dynamic melodies of popular music are translated well by the medium, other types will lose their shot at growing their own audience.

It would be a tragedy if non-pop becomes an option only for the 'philes because they are the only ones with the equipment to decode the nuances.

Still, all is not lost and I can proudly claim to have one victory in this regard. I introduced a younger cousin who plays drums to Brubeck's classic. He can't play along yet, but at least he knows what rhythmic excellence really means. And, more importantly, he's hungry for more.

:)ensen.
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Old 9th January 2004, 01:41 AM   #23
sam9 is offline sam9  United States
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"What really concerns me is that the rise of MP3 will cause consumers to overlook a lot of alternative material since many of the important details are lost in the conversion process."

I've been downloading some classical MP3s @ 128k. There may be a slight difference between this and the same piece in Redbook format, but it is very, very hard to hear. Secondly, we should beware of the "audiophile falacy". At least that's what I call it. First the average non-audiophile doesn't miss what he doesn't hear and even if he can percieve the difference between MP3 and SACD it doesn't bother him/her because he/she is responding to the content. I'm married to a musician who thinks such differences are nice but don't make much difference to her because she knows what the music is supossed to sound like and neither MP3, DVD-A or SACD are "real" and this is not a problem because her brain just fills in the missing parts.

Finally, I don't think MP3 at it's current data rate is permanent. As speeds of communication and memory capacity increase and fall in cost, higher data rates (24/96 or whatever) will be more common. I'll bet that in ten years it's a non-issue.
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Old 9th January 2004, 09:29 AM   #24
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My guess is that classical listeners are more inclined to buy
their music on disc than pop listeners are. So if classical
listeners want to download the music from the net and burn
their own CDs I would guess that has more to do with the
discs not being easily available in shops. Something I had
expected to happen but we still haven't seen is burn-on-demand
services in record shops, similar to print-on-demand books that
has been tried or at least suggested. If the record companies
provided the shops with a fast internet connection and a
fast good CD burner, you could basically buy any disc in the
catalogues in you local shop. The companies would probably
have to go toghether and cooperate on the technology, though,
and the equipment should probably have some built in encryption
so the shops cannot burn multiple copies without paying for
them.

For those of us enjoying the luxury of high-speed internet
connection it would be an interesting alternative to be able
to download non-compressed CDs directly from the record
companies, of course. If they can provide a sufficiently fast
server, ideally mirrored at least locally in each country, this
could work well. However, I suppose we are still too few
customers having this option. On the other hand, this seems
not to bother software companies. Although most people
don't have very fast internet connections, demo versions of
software, especially computer games, are becoming
increasingly larger, nowaday often on the order of 50 to 100MB,
and people download them even if they only have a 56k modem.
Downloading a full linux distribution usually ends up around
some five full CDs, and even many modem users do this.
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Old 9th January 2004, 07:20 PM   #25
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Two very good points about data rates and file sizes. I will admit to being convinced.

As to the argument that musicians don't care or fill in the gaps - I disagree. I certainly hope musicians care that recordings be as good as possible, especially their own. And as for the gap filling, as a former musician (and one who still knows how instruments should sound) it really bothers me when details get lost. Those details are critical, especially when the nuances determine if the performance was good, passable, mediocre or virtuoso.

:)ensen
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Old 9th January 2004, 10:40 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by purplepeople
Two very good points about data rates and file sizes. I will admit to being convinced.
Which points got you convinced about what? Just curious
since it wasn't obvious what you were referring to.

Quote:

As to the argument that musicians don't care or fill in the gaps - I disagree. I certainly hope musicians care that recordings be as good as possible, especially their own. And as for the gap filling, as a former musician (and one who still knows how instruments should sound) it really bothers me when details get lost. Those details are critical, especially when the nuances determine if the performance was good, passable, mediocre or virtuoso.
I would suppose most musicians today care about their
recordings being good, or at least done in such a way that
listeners appreciate them. In the old days most muscians
wouldn't care much and often weren't even interested in
the recordings, expcept for the money they might occasionally
get from the recordings. There are several cases where
the engineers were not satisfied with the technical quality
of some parts of a recording and wanted a retake of those,
but couldn't do it because of the extra fees the musicians
requested. I suppose musicians used to be paid only for the time
of the recoding sessions and not through roylaties in those days.
There were exceptions though. I read that George Szell came
back from a tour to Europe in the late 1950s and brought
with him a couple of brand new AKG microphones he had
bought in Austria because he had heard they were supposed
to be very good.

I do on the other hand suspect that many musicians do not
care so much about sound quality when listening to recorded
music. Very many musicians have very crappy gear at home
and I suspect many listen rather to the interpretation than
the actual sound. I am not a musician, but I tend to listen in
that way too, although I certainly appreciate when the sound
is good too.
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Old 9th January 2004, 11:10 PM   #27
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Hi,

Quote:
I read that George Szell came back from a tour to Europe in the late 1950s and brought with him a couple of brand new AKG microphones he had bought in Austria because he had heard they were supposed to be very good.
They're certainly fine mikes.
A good sound engineer will have several mikes and capsules and use the ones that suit the occasion best.

Microphones, like everything else, have a set of characteristics that you have to be aware of.
They also have a sonic fingerprint that shows their character...

Dave Wilson of Wilson Audio once made a recording of some organ music with on one side of the vinyl disc a take with a Neumann mike and the other an AKG.
You could tell the mikes apart quite easily on high resolution gear.

Cheers,
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Old 10th January 2004, 12:21 AM   #28
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I was a bit vague...

Quote:
Originally posted by sam9
Finally, I don't think MP3 at it's current data rate is permanent. As speeds of communication and memory capacity increase and fall in cost, higher data rates (24/96 or whatever) will be more common. I'll bet that in ten years it's a non-issue.

Quote:
Originally posted by Christer
For those of us enjoying the luxury of high-speed internet
connection it would be an interesting alternative to be able
to download non-compressed CDs directly from the record
companies, of course. If they can provide a sufficiently fast
server, ideally mirrored at least locally in each country, this
could work well. However, I suppose we are still too few
customers having this option. On the other hand, this seems
not to bother software companies. Although most people
don't have very fast internet connections, demo versions of
software, especially computer games, are becoming
increasingly larger, nowaday often on the order of 50 to 100MB,
and people download them even if they only have a 56k modem.
Downloading a full linux distribution usually ends up around
some five full CDs, and even many modem users do this.

sam9: Your spouse seems similar to the wife of a friend of mine. As the story goes, she made a demo tape of her quartet as a sales tool for getting wedding gigs. The MD was recorded in their living room using a single karaoke mike on the fireplace mantle. That room has hardwood floors and two opposing walls are fully glassed in both length and height. Describing the session as "live" would have been an understatement. Needless to say, nobody could understand why the MD sounded so bad. Even after some technical explanation by my friend, the members of the quartet (including his wife) would still not wholly believe that the recording technique and not their performance was the cause. And I quote: "But it's digital, it should be perfect."
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Old 10th January 2004, 10:02 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by purplepeople
Even after some technical explanation by my friend, the members of the quartet (including his wife) would still not wholly believe that the recording technique and not their performance was the cause. And I quote: "But it's digital, it should be perfect."
Could you please tell this to the record companies too, since
most of them seem to hold the same beliefs and use the
same techniques nowadays.
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Old 29th January 2004, 11:40 PM   #30
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My wife didn't show much interest in accurate musical reproduction until I took her to Vegas and she heard a "good" stereo. Now she nows the difference which helps me to design better stuff. Could it be that the disinterest is caused by ignorance? As was said, you don't miss what you don't know. Classical recordings may diminish but I doubt it will die. So many things are cyclical. Tubes were a thing of the past until recently, now it seems to be making a comeback. As for MP3s: I just can't accept that any form of compression is a good thing and look forward to widespread distribution of direct from master recordings of all types of music.
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