AES Budapest 2012
Saturday, April 28, 15:00 — 16:30 (Room: Bartók)
T7 - How Does It Sound Now? The Evolution of Audio
One day Chet Atkins was playing guitar when a woman approached him. She said, “That guitar sounds beautiful.” Chet immediately quit playing. He asked, “How does it sound now?” The quality of sound in Chet’s case clearly rested with the player, not the instrument, and the technical and aesthetic quality of our product lies with our engineers and producers, not solely the equipment. The dual significance of this question, “How does it sound now,” informed my research for the last three years and will inform our discussion, since it addresses both the engineer as the driver and the changes we have seen and heard as our methodology evolved through the decades. The book that resulted from this research, How Does It Sound Now? received the 2010 ARSC Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research for the Best Research in General History of Recorded Sound. One of the most interesting facets of the research, comprised of interviews with top engineers and producers, was the way the conversation kept returning to the thread of quality. They loved to talk about how they strived for quality then, and still do. Let’s talk about how engineers and producers retain quality and create a product that conforms to their own high standards. This may lead to other conversations about musicians, consumers, and the differences and similarities between their standards and our own. How high should our standards be? How did it sound then? How does it sound now? How should it sound tomorrow?
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