The Audiofile, Audio Professional WAR!

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by hartley75, May 8, 2001.

  1. hartley75

    hartley75 Guest

    Why Do Audiofiles hate recording engineers and record producers?

    I find this quote at an audiofile web site:
    "Here goes: The reason digital music sounds so digital is not because of the technological limitations of digital audio formats, but because of ...the gray
    matter between the ears of record producers, engineers and the recording artists. A "better format" will reveal all the flaws of the recording chain, make
    more audible the "grunge" that is in pro audio gear, and will make more apparent record producers and engineers lack of talent. As the Devil says...this
    like saying "Johnny can’t handle third grade courses, so let’s graduate him to the sixth grade, so he can make a bigger fool of himself"."

    What's up with that? Are they right?
  2. alphajerk

    alphajerk Active Member

    Feb 13, 2001
    i tend to agree. it does reveal all the flaws of the chain and technique. digital forces you to be better.

    and there is nothing better than listening to your stuff on some audiophiles sweet ass system, makes your hair stand on end.
  3. gtrmac

    gtrmac Guest

    I dunno, jealousy? it's an absurd prejudice at any rate. It's like fat people hating chefs or something. Where would audiophiles be without the people who make recordings? Seems to me that the two groups have more in common than I'm sure they would admit. At least audiophiles care about how music sounds. Most people would be content to listen to mp3's on the Cambridge Soundworks speakers that came with their Dell computer.
  4. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    "What we have here is a failure to communicate."

    Working in the digital domain certainly takes some getting used to, it's very often a way more difficult process as you don't have access to the resolution and depth of an analog storage medium.

    In some ways the quote is correct, there are a whole lot of incompetent fools making records these days. At the same time, the person that wrote that quote has read one too many "articles" touting digital audio as a 'perfect replica' of what was put into it.

    The theory is there, the complete execution is still a few years off. With higher sampling rates, and better sounding converters we can get closer to better audio, but we're not there yet. Digital audio production tools, in their present form, just don't have the ability to capture a waveform properly. In the vast majority of the digital audio platforms, there is not enough DSP to properly process the quantity of data that is "audio".

    It's getting better all the time, it just ain't perfect yet. Hell, they're still finding ways to improve analog, and it's had something like a 75 year head start on the digital thing.

    If you recall the early compact disc releases they had a disclaimer on them that went something like "this digital compact disc will reveal flaws in the original analog recording". It was advertising BS, and nobody includes that "disclaimer" any more...but the "audiophile" mooks still believe it.

    Why? Because one of their magazines (you know, the same ones that told them to use a green marker around the edge of the CD...or that their system will sound like $*^t if they don't buy a bunch of $200 power cables) told them that digital audio is perfect.

    I've heard some serious "audiophile" reproduction systems. I once heard an amp and speaker combination that cost (I'm not making this up) >$250,000.00 USD. I heard a CD I had done through one of these systems and was absolutely floored by the clarity and detail of the reproduced audio.

    There was one song on the CD where the best "feeling" take on the song was actually a "rehearsal" take. I was standing next to the drummer during the rehearsal, and shouting the arrangement to him as we went along "verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-solo-etc.".

    You could hear my voice if you solo'ed the track that had the mic that was placed off to the "floor tom" side of the kit, but other than that, you couldn't hear my yelling...until this CD was played on this system. Clear as a ^#$%ing bell, there I was coming out of the left speaker.

    But the take still felt best, and frankly, as "producer" I would have kept the take regardless of the yelling...however, I probably would have 'ducked' that track if I had been mixing on a system with the clarity of that reproduction system.

    For many in the audiophile community, they get off on 'second guessing' us guys in the 'production community'. Same way I 'second guess' Jimy Williams [Manager of the Boston Red Sox]. The fact of the matter is I'm a fan of the game and would often make different moves than Jimy, and often question his judgement...but he's the team's manager, and I'm just another moron in the stands watching the game.

    Could I manage a Major Leauge Baseball team? I'd like to think so, but more than likely I'd do a piss poor job. Would the 'audiophiles' of the world like to sit their ass in "the chair"...probably...but more than likely, they'd do a piss poor job. So much like the guys that call the AM "Sports talk radio" stations to complain about Jimy Williams...let the 'audiophiles' piss and moan all they want.

    The fact of the matter is that the product is what it is, and the Red Sox are currently in first place.
  5. alphajerk

    alphajerk Active Member

    Feb 13, 2001
    audiofiles are the first people i get to critique my work for the above mentioned reason "they actually LISTEN to the music" and 9/10 times, their feedback is golden. i've talked to a couple about getting into the art of mastering, they already have the monitoring setup.

    and they dont believe that digital is a perfect repreproduction either. you dont lose generation like analog which might be what they are referring to and i do agree digital reveals a LOT of design/technique flaws that analog doesnt.

    ask an audiophile if they like vinyl or cd better and most will say vinyl.
  6. gtrmac

    gtrmac Guest

    I wanted to mention that I've met a few mastering engineers who were audiophiles in disguise. The mastering studio is like a pro version of an audiophile system sometimes. It's like these guys figured out a way to make a living as an audiophile. I think we are all audiophile by definition anyway. The word means literally someone who loves audio as you all must know.

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