Interesting Read..

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Peter_00, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. I am with him to a point. I still have a nice turntable and a big vinyl collection. I still feel most good music can translate to mp3 and the problems they solve are worth it in the end.
    For example if you want to hear interesting non-mainstream music you are at the mercy of all kinds of undependable sources, depending on record store buyers to order it, depending on small labels/websites/ebay sellers to actually ship it, and finally for the USPS to get it to you.
    It gets even worse for OOP material.
    Downloads both for free and pay make these things available much faster and simpler.

    Also, having a lot of albums in my laptop and ipod are great because often I have more focus to listen when I travel or otherwise away from home, at that point the large library is better than the audiophile set up.

    As a musician, I am better able to get my music around worldwide and at less financial risk to the listener as well as less upfront cost for me.
    The same goes for Trevor (who is in fact, a fine player).
    I think mp3s are just one stop on the way for digital music, and for now they are adequate for most music.

    My feeling is a strong piece of music still holds up on mp3. If something really grabs me I might still get the cd.
    MP3s are not for audiophile experiences, but neither are cds, concerts and LPs are.
  2. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    I engineer at a studio. Lots of my colleges loath mp3s and have a similar position to Trevor. My position though is what percentage of your listening audience is going to listen to a certain recording on a big home stereo. For that matter what percentage owns a big home stereo. To most people the surround sound package that Best Buy sells qualifies as a high end system. Maybe for movies... not for music. Then consider the frequency response of even some of these systems. Not even close to flat. Boom and sizzle. Then consider that most peoples listening time is either on the kitchen boom box, the car stereo, or riding the subway. Point is that none of these systems are taking advantage of the thousands of dollars we spend in the studio and many are working against it.
  3. I tend to see both sides, I think that mp3s are a great invention and as Damon says it is great to able to listen to a wide range of stuff in a portable format.

    The I think is that some listeners may see mp3s as a permanent substitute for cds/vinyl, in which case you are depriving yourself form hearing the full range of sounds that was intended in the first place.

    I work in a record store and I keep hearing are about cd sales being down about 40% from this time last year (this is in australia, I don't know about the states.) That may be some percent of industry freak-out but it still worries me that lossy formats could become the new standard!
  4. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    If you are going to be really audiophile about it vinyl is superior to cds. There are also SACDs or DVD audio etc, etc, etc for digital format. CDs are really the bottom of the food chain as far as quality.

    I remember my dad (who is a musician) pitched a fit that reel to reel tape never caught on for home use.
  5. As a musician I can say that all my albums are just fine on mp3, all the musical information I am trying to impart is there.
    Just like "The Big Leboswki" is still the "Big Lebowski" on the big screen or an ipod screen. Strong work is going to hold up regardless of format.
    Recordings mostly give you the structure and basic timbre of the music. Just like a really fine art catalog can convey the important elements of an artwork, you are still going to get more of an experience in person, but you can get the basic idea from a good reproduction.

    I do a lot of "research listening" being the big music nerd that I am, the quick access and low expense of mp3s is godsend for that.
    I still shut all the windows sometimes and put on a nice LP for a full listening experience.
  6. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I've spent some time making pop records and I hear glaring and obvious musical differences between the mix as I intended it to be and as it sounds in an MP3 file. It has to do with the soundstage and space. MP3 flattens the space quite a lot, making big spaces smaller, and it smooshes sounds together, too. It's not the sort of thing you'd notice if you weren't intimately familiar with how the mix is supposed to sound. When you are intimate, though, the effect is huge. IMO. YMMV, etc, etc.

    That doesn't mean I shun MP3. It's definitely not hi-fi -- it's just good-enough-fi and convenient as all get out. But I'll bet I'm not the only guy checking his mixes on MP3 now before I'll ship 'em.
  7. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    The best-sounding jazz recording I've ever heard is McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, Ron Carter and Al Foster on Chesky Records -- New York Reunion. Amazing-sounding record. Fully and completely digital -- hyper-digital, given all the stuff Chesky does. On even a half-way decent system you can hear the spit in Joe's mouthpiece; you can hear the snare drum placed exactly where it oughta be in space. It's awesome -- no vinyl record ever sounded anywhere near that good to me, that "real", and it's conveyed in 16-bit CD format audio (dithered down from some higher resolution, can't remember what it was to start with.) I think that result, though, has a lot more to do with the care Chesky took to make an excellent recording to begin with. To me, that type of dedication to production quality makes a bigger difference than any of this vinyl vs. digital fussing.
  8. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    The only point that I was trying to make was not a vinyl vs digital one. I do have a turntable but it is not even hooked up right now (kids love to play with it). It does sound different but not better to my ears. Just different. My point rather is that a great recording is a great recording in spite of the system you are listening to it on. Both performance and production.

    Myself I listen to any recording I mix in the studio, in the car, and on my daughter's boom box. I take notes on the three and try to make a compromise.

    There are so many variables in listening spaces and systems that the recording format is less important than we think IMHO.
  9. Brent Nussey

    Brent Nussey

    Jun 27, 2001
    Tokyo, Japan
    And this is the real problem with mp3. I also have some work in the recording industry, and have a lot of friends who are right in the thick of it. Nowadays guys are mixing and mastering with the MP3 result *in mind* They know most people will listen that way, so they make the mix to sound good in that format. So you can buy the CD, or LP if available, and you can play it on a good system if you like, but it will have been mixed and mastered to sound good on the lesser format. Reverbs, delays, and even panning are treated differently to sound good in mp3. So it's not just a choice between listening to the (better) CD version or the (lesser) MP3 version. The Cd is just a higher resolution version of the mix made for MP3.

    I listen to MP3s, they do in fact sound better than the cassettes I listened to on my walkman and in my car in younger days. And I agree with most of what Damon wrote. The notes are still pretty much the notes. But I do worry about how the MP3's importance as a format is affecting the way records are being mixed and mastered these days. Time may shake it all out, but we may end up with a couple of decades of records that are not so much fun to listen to. Think of all the over-reverbed records of the 80's. Now you can't listen to them without cringing, however good the music is... Will MP3-targeted recordings sound as odd in 20-30 years.......?