I’m often asked the same question: If the ultimate goal is to perfectly recreate what was on the recording, then why wouldn’t we be duplicating the monitoring systems in recording studios?
It’s a great logic puzzle because it seems so obvious. If we had what the recording engineer had then we’d hear what they hear.
Like so many puzzles were stumped because the question has a not so obvious flaw. As proposed there’s only one answer. Yes. If we stood in the same room with the same equipment then we would hear exactly the same thing. But here’s the rub. Unless we’re thinking about duplicating in its entirety a recording studio control room, and only listen to the very same track mastered in that very room, the argument begins to fall apart.
Our systems have to accommodate all sorts of recordings and do so evenly without favor to one type or another. This is one of the reasons I have my list of tracks that vary in quality and content across a broad spectrum of music.
It’s a great question, but the answer reveals more than one might expect.
We are not trying to duplicate anything other than the sound of music.