Which alters the sound of a recording more?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by kmetal, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    Average internet radio/streaming mp3s, or terrestrial radio and it's processing/transmission?

    I bring this up cuz I keep thinking about one of my co workers always saying " ah it'll cut right thru on the radio" , which really reinforced the fact that playback medium is something engineers have always had to consider, and work around. I wonder if it will ever get to a point where people work at the same resolution as the final product. It really would be fun to be able to hear some classic mixes thru the systems the engineers were using, to hear it the exact way they did.

    Also, I've been thinking, why don't more speaker manufacturers put D/A converters in the speakers as part of their design and and have digital inputs. That way even regardless of what interface, as long as you had digital outs, which most do, the speakers themselves could help maintain a certain level of consistency. If conversion quality is so integral and varies so greatly wouldn't they want to minimize the variables as much as possible, to insure quality and consistency? Between shoddy cables, and bad interfaces, there is a lot of different quality levels that a speaker could see. I've been up too long lol.
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    I remember my instructor telling me years ago that no one ever heard how the songs originally sounded unless they heard them in the studio.... the songs we heard on the radio or on vinyl and cassette were not the same fidelity and clarity that was heard while mixing, and Radio almost always added limiting, along with a host of other equipment that decreased the fidelity. Even the broadcast transmission equipment lessened the fidelity to some degree.

    I don't think that there's any argument from anyone anymore regarding MP3's and other streaming media formats being far less fidelity than the original mixes. I think that, at least for right now anyway - until someone comes up with something better- it's the lesser of two evils.

    I wouldn't rule it out, if it hasn't even maybe been done already - I'm thinking that it's even possible that it's already been used - movie theater sound would be the most likely candidate.

    I understand the convenience of the mp3, in that it allows the user to store a multitude of songs; and, I'm not sure that "John Q Public" can really hear the differences in fidelity anyway.
    As engineers - which also makes us audiophiles - we hear the difference because our ears have been trained and conditioned to listen for those nuances and tones that your average listener can't hear.
    So, to us, MP3's are substandard.

    But...considering that when I was growing up, the most common form of listening equipment was the transistor radio - and almost always AM as well, LOL - MP3's sound infinitely better. People who grew up in the 80's had their Walkmans, which were cassettes, so there was an inherent noise to them as well. Now we have MP3 players, and while the fidelity isn't what we would consider to be "true", it's still better than portable playback mediums of the past

    It's only been since the advent of high resolution audio that consumer listening methods have been questioned - and have really only been questioned by us audio production people - We want them to hear the music as we hear it in the studio. But, in most cases, your average listener can't hear it that way, and in most cases, they won't care.

    They'd rather have 1000 mp3's on their devices than have 50 hi res files. And, most can't hear the difference anyway. It's us, and our ears, that are striving for the best fidelity possible. But that doesn't mean that the consumer can hear it - or for that matter, even cares about it.


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