The important details

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Terri assures me when I dress up for an event, like yesterday's Arizona meeting, there are certain conventions I need to pay attention to. Apparently the color of my belt must match the color of my shoes, which must match the color of my socks. All these details are rather meaningless and unimportant to me, as well I suspect the attendees, but they are meaningful and important to her so I follow the conventions.

Yesterday while trying to iron out some of the firmware changes to DirectStream at Arnie Nudell's house, much of what we're focused on is the sound of instruments in space. Are they real? Do cellos sound like themselves? How about the piano in Rebecca Pidgeon's Spanish Harlem? Does it sound like a real piano? Does Rebecca sound like she's recorded in an entirely different space than the instruments? Never mind this is an ancient recording on a CD, it still needs to sound just like the real thing. That's the challenge of this product.

We work tirelessly at these details, getting them right. And all are based on recordings we only suspect are correct. In fact, we don't actually know what kind of piano we're listening to and what kind of microphones were used to record that instrument. All microphones color the sound. All pianos sound different.

And so it is incumbent on designers and those that voice equipment and judge audio products to play a large average of tracks from many different recordings and artists to arrive at a general agreement on the sound of instruments and if they are correct or not.

It's more work than trying to remember to match the color of specific clothing items, but a lot more fun and interesting.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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