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Old 8th January 2011 | Show parent
Lives for gear
FireMoon's Avatar
There's a big difference between a nasty distorted guitar recored well and a just nasty distortion. The most unholy cacophony can be recorded in a Hi FI manner. Hi Fi remember means Hi Fideilty.. ie, true to the source.

If I record a bunch of complete nutters who are all over the place yet have that ability to communicate to an audience and I do it exactly as they played it. That is, simply by dint of the meaning of the term, a genuine Hi Fidelity recording. If that recording is consistent in it's playback from system to system it is a Hi Fidelity recording.

One the other hand, there are those who will throw their hands up and say. No, no and thrice no... Hi Fidelity means 2 mics recording a source as is to the best equipment available and that is it. Maybe a little mastering but the only true Hi Fidelity recording are the simple 2 mic ones. Truth is in classical that is often the case and to some extent likewise the jazz field.

So, to some extent the very moment you stick a separate mic in front of a singer you are veering form the path of true Hi Fidelity. In a sense, this actually should be a liberating factor for most of us. if you know it isn't actually truly Hi FI you can then progress to define what is the new Hi FI. This is what people like Ken Scott, bless his cotton sox, did. They created a new Hi Fi for anew generation who sought something more than a simple honest snapshot of a performance. Is DSOTM a true replication of a band on top form, playing live in the studio. Nah mate, not a gazillion years, is it Hi Fi? You bet your bottom dollar it is. Why/. Cos it's faiithful reproduction ofa building process towards a specific end that was about entertaining your ears and your brain on several levels.

Is mixing music specifically for the earbud market Hi Fi. No it most certainly ain't. It's making music for the lowest common denominator at a specific point in history. It's the sonic equivalent of doing a survey to ascertain how much wall space every house in the world has that is free for art and then never producing anything that is any larger than the mean amount of space available.

When Ken worked with Bowie, Bowie had the arrogance and self belief to say this. the audience doesn't know what it actually wants till someone with vision, in this case me David Bowie shows them what is possible. They didn't have a lame arsed committee of accountants counting the numbers and wholly dependent on chuffin focus groups listening to the output and ticking off a set of box's that they perceive the public actually wants.

Unless you were there, people can have no real comprehension of the enormous social event that was the release of albums like Sticky Fingers, Zeppelin Four etc etc. We are talking about millions of people worldwide on a given day, rushing home to place a piece of plastic on a turntable , often to a crowded room of expectant people. It was an event not just an album release.
That simply isn;t the case today, no matter how much the biz likes to quote figures for sales, the actual effect on people's lives is , relatively small. What's more the experience is not a shared one as the first listen is , more often than not, on some tatty lil mp3 player through a pair of earbuds that your average Dansette would put to shame, in terms of Hi Fidelity.

Whislt the big unit shifter sin the music biz are happy to go along with this model and quite happy to *dumb down* the recording process to match it, nothing will change. This i will say now as a a warning to all artists who adopt this model. When you're in your dotage and those earbuds have been developed to something that is way beyond their capabilities now. it will be DSOTM moon kids are grooving to, not the slam everything in your face and use 250ks worth of gear to push the recording till it squeaks and slam it a bit more material that so many of today's *top* producers seem to favour. Mixing is an art, not a chuffin extreme sport. It might be worth remembering that if you truly want to leave your footprints in the sands of time on any sort of permanent basis.