1. 13:22 11th Oct 2012

    Notes: 3

    One of the things that’s so fascinating about this technology is precisely that it presupposes the limitations of the human senses. Although as it turns out — and this is sort of what I discovered in writing the book — many of the major communications developments over the past century have been built specifically, like explicitly on this assumption and operation wise in order to produce channel efficiency. Every format balances this and makes decisions and a lot of that is situational as well in terms of how it’s going to be used and how it’s going to be engaged with. But over time, those decisions come to matter less and less, and the look and sound and feel of the format actually becomes culturally iconic in and of itself. So there’s a whole generation of, not only music fans, but musicians who believe — well they don’t believe, they feel — if you listen to drums recorded to tape, they sound right; if you listen to drums recorded to digital they sound wrong. So there are all these adaptations for digital recording systems to make drums sound more like they were recorded to tape for that reason. So we come to things that would’ve been, in the time, considered imperfections. We think about the use of vinyl noise in hip hop music even today as a sort of aesthetic thing. So these imperfections or compromises actually become part of the sound and something people expect to hear
     
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