Originally Posted by henryrobinett
Music is something much different than audio quality. Music is what is important, even to me. The main thing I want is the music, in whatever form it takes. If it sounds better, that's all the more icing on the cake. But a great tune, a great arrangement, a great composition or performance is worth WAY more to me than whether it's an MP3, CD of 96 or 192k. And I would think the uneducated masses feel the same.
I agree, but it is still amazing how so many of us on this forum search for new 'hi-fi' gear, almost religiously while at the same time espousing the virtues of a great song, arrangement, composition, etc. !
We all know that a thread like this can almost be like confessing to a priest, where we all say those noble words "It's all about the music", knowing that as soon as we press "Submit Reply", we're on our way over to Vintage King, Sweetwater, Mercenary, etc. to see what they've got happening over there ! It's as if we need a thread like this to 'purge ourselves' or 'cleanse our consciences' of the fact that we, to some extent are part of the reason why the industry has taken a 'dip'.
Oh, we say "It's All About the composition, music, etc.", but often our actions belie that claim miserably, especially when we get so 'caught up' (And I do mean, caught up almost rapturously) in the differences between a ULN-8 and an Orpheus, A Vox Box and a AD2022 !
Most of us always seem to want to be on the bleeding-edge of music tech, when we know that the variance in difference between one piece of gear to the next can be so minor that even to ourselves and especially to the masses, the differences are truly negligible ! The Industry has really done a job on us, and we've seemingly have got ourselves 'caught up' in returning the favor.
The days of 'Pleasing the Majors' with a competitive mix; should not those outside the 'inner circle' of the industry realize the fleeting nature of that pursuit at this time when the Majors are just as confused as everyone else ? Shouldn't it be apparent at this point that trying to please a major distributor with a 'competitive mix' is at best a psychological tool that convinces the decision makers at that level that the song allegedly has the right stuff to be a 'hit' while in truth the mix may have very little impact on whether the public consumes it or not ? Kids today listen to You Tube songs on a regular basis, without flinching at the audio streaming quality or recorded quality of the song. Yet we still participate in the 'old school' cyclical method 'brain-washing' the Majors into believing that our gear and the consequent mixes that come out of such gear are really what the public wants. No wonder the industry is in some sense, going through a 'bad way' !
I know some will argue, "well if the sonic quality of the music was not as high as it is, then a lot of the You Tube stuff would sound worse". In this they are deferring to the old "frame of reference" argument, which is in some respects a valid one, but it get's 'shot down' when the people who love hearing records from the 50's and 60's who just like that 'old vinyl' sound get thrown into the debate, or when we think of the addictive curiosity and hunger about analog gear, tape, harmonic distortion comes into play. Just Think: Technology has advanced significantly over the last decade, yet both Hardware developers and VI/SoftSynth developers as a whole have spent the larger part of the last decade going 'backwards' so to speak in an attempt to 'recapture' that 'sound' from older, vintage, less technically polished gear !
I only say these things to remind us that from a business standpoint and otherwise, when we are overly caught up in the acquisition of gear in effect, we have shifted the financial 'center of gravity' from the 'music making industry' to the 'gear acquisition industry/VI buying industry' and contributed to the devaluation of musical compositions as a whole.
Just for the record (No pun intended), I'm not against competition. In fact, I love it and have made industry money doing it ! The question I propose to us is: What should our competition really be about and to what extent do we share responsibility for where the industry is today ? Tech is a good thing, but are we really at the point that every year we need to refresh our gear because of the latest tech ? I don't know, but it's something to consider.
It is in these respects that sometimes I wonder what makes us (And I do include myself in this) in this forum any different than politicians who play the 'I know what the people want' game only to be so often wrong because we are so blinded by the "sonic politics" of the game.