Thursday, February 28, 2008

All Records Sound the Same? reference to this good piece by Music Thing wordsmith Tom.
Noteworthy and quite a well rounded bit of writing - but it misses a few things:

I will try to address a few of them:
When you record sound, the sound you record is not the sound that happened. There is a chain of hardware, cables, electronics, ears. Whether a sound is authentically 'captured' or not is a matter of taste and debate. Ears, perception (or should it be peraurtion - it'll cost you $50 to use it!) It doesn't matter how fancy the microphones or anything else in the chain. Does it sound good?

Tape by its nature compresses sound. So the 'great' sounds of yesteryear were compressed before they even got near the ears of an 'expert' mastering engineer. Heaps of arbitrariness in this equation.

Don't turn on the radio!

Ignore big record labels.

Do not look to the good ol' U. Arse of A to hear good new music...

White coats? Sounds like Stalinist life control to me. Coming to the USA soon. Why should meticulous placing of mics be even noted in this way? Yes, place the mics for the best sound, but white coats...? (hairnets and latex gloves just to be sure that the proletariat does not besmirch the expensive machinery with grime and dust and dandruff. The machines were built to last a thousand years - the 'technicians' are expendable). People still do lots of mic placement, even for jams and rehearsals.

There must be more. But Tom did a good job for the lay man and frustrated this music head a bit more than I would have liked.
Sounded like it was written to appease a certain readership rather than challenge current practice and norms.
A thumb and a half...

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