Return to High Fidelity

No Comments 5 February 2012

Return to High Fidelity

Today’s listeners of MP3s and Internet radio are missing many of the nuances of original recordings. But some music lovers are determined to bring them back.

Recording engineer Pat McMakin approaches his work with an almost obsessive pursuit of the perfect sound.

Even a millimeter misdirection of a microphone or a minor adjustment in bass can mean the difference between a good recording and an inferior one to his ears.

By the time a recording makes its way to fans via iTunes or over Internet radio, it possesses a fraction of the total sound information captured in the studio — as little as 3 percent of the original, live sound waves. Even CD formats are stripped of up to 90 percent of the live recording to fit onto a 4¾-inch disc.

Often gone are the last lingering notes of a bass guitar, the echo of a drumbeat, the very high and very low notes.

But now, in Nashville, a handful of Music Row businesses are beginning to invest in new products and technologies to increase the fidelity of music at every stage of the recording and listening process, from new in-studio recording technologies to new music formats to home stereo equipment.

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