Error correction

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Error correction
I recently blogged about how building a better woofer in the first place resulted in a much better sound than adding a servo to correct the mistakes of a lesser woofer. It's common sense. The same can be said for analog circuits where designing a low distortion, high speed step-response amplifier without need of feedback will almost always sound more open and lifelike than the opposite that requires massive feedback to fix its problems. (as a side note, feedback itself isn't bad. In fact, it's good if applied not to fix errors but to improve an already great performing amplifier circuit). The point here is that in nearly everything one can imagine, it's better not to make errors in the first place than to add a system that fixes them when they occur. I'll give you another example. This one from the recording studio. Recordings depend on microphones to capture live sound. The better the microphone and its placement, the better the resulting sound. That seems rather obvious, right? What I so often hear that makes me cringe is the idea of good enough "and we'll fix it in post". (post equates to the mix and editing process after the recording has been made) Look at most big mixing boards (or their DAW electronic equivalent) and what you notice is an eye twisting bevy of knobs, buttons, and plugins designed to enhance that which has been captured. I am sure you see where this is going. It's the purist's thing. If you get it right in the first place, there's not only no need to fix it later but every reason on Earth not to. The best enhancement in the world is to get it right in the beginning and then honor that perfect capture. Error-free will always best error-correction.
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Paul McGowan

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