In yesterday’s post Why it’s good to be wrong we talked about being more open minded about what’s right and wrong as it applies to the reproduced music. It turns out that part of the problem with our beliefs is they are based on our view of the world around us, a view that is accurate on one level and wrong on another.
When we listen to music we hear musicians playing either live or recorded and can close our eyes and believe the illusion. That’s the big macro view of what’s going on.
But on an entirely different level, the micro view, what we’re hearing is nothing more than differences in sound pressure of the air around us. We can’t see this happening but our ears are sensitive to these changes and our brains interpret those sound pressure changes into music.
In the same macro view we can appear to amplify sounds and pictures with our electronics. But on a micro view what’s happening inside a DAC or an amplifier is completely weird and not comprehensible to us.
So when someone tells me it seems ludicrous the level of attention we pay to the tiniest jitter measurements in a DAC, because in their interpretation of the micro view it cannot matter, yet our macro senses record those differences in the quality of music, I always smile. To believe we understand enough of the weird micro views to pass judgement on the macro world results they cause, is just another way for us to feel comfortable with our world view. But it is wrong.
We cannot be accurate in our attempts to relate what happens at one level based on the goings on of another. We can get close, but no cigar.