Friday, June 27, 2008


Boston's Tom Scholz on why Digital music sucks:

In general, you've never been a fan of digital.
I work only in an analog studio, so I hear music at its very best. I mean, there's nothing like the sound of an analog multitrack recording playing back. You'll never hear it sound so good again because it actually is the real thing. It's the real music by the real musicians, the phase hasn't been all screwed up by the A/D conversion, and the high end isn't all messed up trying to fit a 16-kHz tone into three pieces of a 44-Hz sampling rate. In an analog studio, you're hearing pristine, real-world sound — the way it would sound if it was coming through the mikes, and you were listening to them in headphones right there in your room.

24-bit digital sounds pretty good to me. But as soon as you make the conversion to 16-bit, it sounds like crap. [laughs] I have a hard time listening to CDs after working on an analog original because of what they do to the depth perception. The phase-angle errors caused by the A/D conversion really bother me. They bothered me the very first time I heard digital next to an analog original. I was always amazed that people didn't perceive that something that once sounded like it was located way beyond their speakers now sounded like it was on a flat plane...

All collapsed, basically...
Yeah. That's what digital does. It changes the audio waveform. People think digital is an accurate representation of music, and it's not. And because of the phase-angle error, all the things that your ear and your brain do normally to figure out where sounds are coming from to form a mental aural map, if you will, of your audio surroundings — it takes that and completely fools it. It turns something that had enormous depth and was recorded in a natural, beautiful hall and puts it into a little flat thing in front of you. So, as you can see, I've hated digital from the beginning. But it's cheap, and it's got a lot of features, and that's what sells. (MORE)


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