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ARSCLIST  July 2007

ARSCLIST July 2007

Subject:

Re: Why new CDs sound worse

From:

"Steven C. Barr(x)" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 13 Jul 2007 00:31:59 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (53 lines)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Roger and Allison Kulp" <[log in to unmask]>
> All X (one of my favorite bands) is better on vinyl.The only exception being
the CD tracks I have heard of the demos of  the "Fourth of July" stuff,an album
ruined by typically bad post-MTV production values of the late 80s.They
eventually redeemed themselves with the all-analog,privately pressed
"Unclogged",which I snapped up new on vinyl.
>
> As for "Los Angeles",this is best heard on the pre-Warner Slash original
pressings.(Although "Wild Gift" was done with a better,deep groove,pressing,by
Slash.)To go back to an older thread topic, all the original Elektra Lps,except
the aforementioned "Fourth",were issued on superior white label promo
copies.None of these can be called common,and I have four of them.
>
Well, from the above it would seem that the band probably had MORE interest...
and quite possibly MORE control over the production...of their "vinyl"
product!

The reality is that most sonic differences heard in reasonably recent
recordings are based on decisions made by the producer(s) and by the
involved engineer(s), as opposed to the capabilities of the medium used!

With the possibile exception of VERY cheap cassette tapes, there should be
only minor differences in the recorded sound (bandwidth-related) heard on
any currently-extant format...and such differences as DO occur can be better
identified through comparisons of waveforms rather than pure aural comparisons!

While our brains are ideal listening devices, keep in mind that they are also,
by definition, subject to non-technical judgments based on things like
"personal nostalgia," et al.

So, we can tell (or THINK we can) that a given recording sounds "just like
the band as we remember them...!" The reality is, though, that this opinion
rests more on whether the particular recording...INCLUDING the portions we
mentally fill in where missing...happens to be a/the version we recall from
our live-performance experiences...!

Further, having been in the audience (or in the band...!) for about a
gazillion, giver or take, live music performances...I can only conclude from
half-vast experience that live performances are FAR from the best way to
actually hear what a band is playing! Aside from the less-than-perfect
acoustics of most pop-music venues (ranging from local beer joints, through
larger indoor venues, all the way up to arenas...!) there is also the
inevitable NON-silence heard from audiences (unless nobady came to the show,
eh?!).

In fact, I have a large archive of cassette recordings of my own blues band
"in action"...and while they are very interesting, both nostalgically and
musically, I often find that the audience was better recorded than was the
band...!

Steven C. Barr

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