Never heard anything like that!

Prev Next

Never heard anything like that!

Following yesterday's post about sample rates and how they wound up being different for pro and consumer, one of our HiFi Family members, Elektor asked a really interesting question. 

"I have to say that the octave recordings I have are superior in pretty much every way, and anyone can hear it even on redbook cd’s. (Apart from the import duty to be paid on them to get to the uk.)

For me the issue is why aren’t all recording that good. Don’t recording engineers ever listen on good quality home hifi?"

Thanks for the kind words about Octave recordings, but it is to the last part of his question that I want to focus on today.

I think he's asking the wrong question. Let me share with you a story that perhaps illustrates why.

A few years back when we were hunting for studio space we got invited to a rather well known local recording facility. The owner was considering selling the studio and it looked to have nice acoustics. When we arrived he was in the middle of a mix and Terri and I stood behind him as he worked.

I don't remember what the music was but it doesn't matter for the purose of this story. Let's say it was a simple acoustic recording with a female singer at the front. As he worked Terri and I looked at each other with horror. The sound coming out of his system was bad. I mean, really, really bad. Bright, harsh, two dimensional—like something you might hear at the local Best Buy when a salesman's demoing a HiFi system for you. The antithesis of everything we work hard to achieve in our systems.

After a few minutes he turned to us with a big grin on his face and asked what we thought. He was clearly proud of his work. (We did our best to be polite)

His playback equipment was great. High quality speakers and amplification. So, it wasn't that his system couldn't reproduce quality audio, it was all in his idea of what good sound sounded like.

While this example might seem out of the blue, I have come to learn it is more common than extraordinary. That in fact, most people have a very different idea of what good sound sounds like.

Which may shed some light on the reaction we so often get when a newbie hears a high-end system for the first time.

"Wow! I've never heard anything like that!"


Back to blog
Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

Never miss a post


Related Posts

1 of 2