Drawing lines

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Many of my contemporaries as well as readers have pushed me towards digital signal processing (DSP). They've suggested that through the miracle of DSP, sonic wonders like room correction and flattening the speaker's response can be achieved without negative consequences—a claim I do not agree with. But there's no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Where does one draw the line between maintaining the purity of unprocessed sound and pasteurizing it?

My goal has always been to do what it takes to get as close to the illusion of live music as possible, while still maintaining sanctity for the original signal. I am not ready to capitulate to the notion that digitizing it all, then running that through the wash to cleanup the problems, is ready for prime time.

But my arms aren't completely folded. I am willing to consider DSP for bass.

I am confident that none among us can tell the difference between analog or digital—if properly converted—from 100Hz down. Minor differences in jitter, bit timing, phase issues are so minute in this low frequency range that the ear could not detect them even if it wanted to.

And 100Hz and below could stand a good dose of correction. This is the frequency range that so enrages rooms with howls and vacuums that look like a roller coaster's ups and downs when measured at the ear.

In this area, I believe DSP has a future.

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Paul McGowan

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