To all the people who listened to my music over the last few months and years… I’m sorry everyone. I’m really very very very sorry. You see – I just had no idea.
Today I bought some studio monitors, and I listened to my music. And it isn’t pretty. Oh, the mixes are fine – the problem lies in how I distribute them. I used to think (WAY back in the day) 128 kbps mp3 was fine. It was what all the cool kids were using. I eventually upped my recordings to 160, then 192 and 256. I switched to 256 AAC encoding a few months ago beliving it was “indistinguishable” from the raw form.
Holy cow was I wrong.
While listening to some of my pieces now, I occationally say “What the heck happened to the high end in this piece??”. Without fail – I’m listening to a compressed version that was destined for the web site.
Oh – the high end is still there… it is just… bad?
In any event – I’m going to have to change my format again. Possibly to 48kHz Apple Lossless (inside mp4). It is noticably better then CD quallity. Well – you can notice it if you have good speakers.
Please note! This is NOT audiophile mumbo jumbo. I have had the equivalent of a religious experience.
There’s no need to a double-blind… you can hear the difference three rooms away.
Well, I bought a pair of Mackie HR824s. This was not my first monitor purchase, though. Yesterday I got some KRK V6’s. They sounded great in the store. I brought them home – and fired up the tone generator. There were gaping holes the frequency response. Not knowing if it was my ears, or my room, or the speakers, I put together a test disc to bring to the store.
It wasn’t me – it wasn’t my room. It was the speakers. “Why”, I wondered “do they not publish a frequency response curve in the manual?” A-ha. “Because it would look like a vomit-inducing roller-coaster.” that’s why.
There were a lot of WORDS in the KRK manual. They spoke of how a good studio monitor doesn’t mean “flat response”, but also includes things like “smoothness across octaves”.
Gobbledy gobbledy mumbo jumbo. Terms like “articulation” and “sound quickness” do indeed mean nothing.
Don’t believe me – do it for yourself – it isn’t difficult.
I put the same rolling sine through the Mackie HR824s – and it was as though the clouds parted and God had shown down upon the scene.
Music is an emotional and intangible thing. SOUND, however, obeys the laws of physics.