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This is your brain on… what? – May Contain Traces of Bolts

This is your brain on… what?

According to this Seattle PI article (which is unsurprisingly full of factual errors) music producers are up in arms over lossy audio compression. Listening to an MP3 (regardless of bit rate, apparently) is “like hearing through a screen door” and even CDs “contain less than half the information stored to studio hard drives during recording” (no mention is made of the fact that the half that is removed is below your stereo equipment’s noise threshold). But what really pisses me off is that these are the same producers who keep reducing the dynamic range of their recordings to make them sound louder. Some modern pop / rock recordings have a dynamic range as low as 4 dB!

2 thoughts on “This is your brain on… what?”

  1. No doubt the Stereophile guy is right about the dynamic range of the Santana CD. But when he opens his article with this:

    “Like La Nouvelle Revue du Son in France, for example, edited by the legendary Jean Hiraga, who turned me on to the sonic importance of wires…”

    I have to wonder if he knows what he’s doing. Ultra-expensive wires are probably the single biggest scam in the audiophile world (which has no shortage of scams to offer the gullible).

    Meanwhile, the music producers quoted in that article are a pretty respectable crowd, and when people say “MP3” they normally mean the low-bitrate variety (128kbps or lower), which indeed sounds pretty bad when played on decent equipment. So I don’t see much to disagree there.

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