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barriers to music
:: Posted by bloggulator on June 05, 2015

Regardless of quality of audio reproduction, one of the limiting factors is the environment in which the listener is absorbing the music - or attempting such. Much listening is done in vehicles, where a (usually) garbage sound system is competing with the noise of the engine, traffic, street sounds, tires on the road, wind noise, conversation and the like - and, of course, driving demands concentrating more on an ever changing traffic situation, rather than whatís coming out of the speakers. In this, or other similar and common situations, the experience of "listening" is relegated to "partly hearing". Even in fine car audio systems, many of the subtleties of the music are rendered inaudible or go unnoticed because of the inevitable background noise. One of the other common music-absorbing situations - via ísmartphonesí isnít much of an improvement - where often cheap íní nasty headsets and mp3 audio compromise the music - even in more ífriendly" listening situations. And as for laptop speakers.....

How is it possible to listen to *all* the music, as intended by the composer/songwriter, when so many barriers get between the source - and the destination - the ears? The ongoing change of listening habits - prompted by mobile devices etc. have also resulted one of the most anti-musical practices in recording history - the dreaded "volume wars". Mastering engineers (often against their better judgement) are often obligated by the industry to squash the dynamics using brick-wall limiters, multi-band compressors and the like and then pump the overall level into clipping and overload - just so Artist Aís record sounds louder or "more impressive" and "attention getting" than Artist B. "Quiet passages" cease to be.

Even though I am an admitted audio snob (!), and have been since I was in my teens, how did one of the greatest pleasures that humanity can experience - listening to music - devolve into such a puerile situation of "mineís louder than yours"?

Audio Quality & Bitrates....Gunn
:: Posted by emory0 on June 04, 2015

As for audio quality, I would say that the difference between an excellently mastered CD and a higher bitrate audio format (like DVD-A or, my favorite, SACD),are subtle. Certainly, it will be difficult if not impossible to detect the difference on laptop speakers. On a decent high(er) end audio rig, you do hear a difference I would call significant, but the difference isnít so much in terms of hearing a lot of specific details you canít hear on the well-mastered CD, itís more in things like dynamics (which are far less hurt-y on the hig rez formats) and "space", particularly the space in which the recording was made. I find them a lot more music-friendly than even good CDs.

I think people who call the higher resolution formats "snakeoil" and those that also believe, because they canít hear a difference, no one else could either.

As for Trey Gunnís new CD, which heís charging $20 for, Iíve decided to buy it because a) Yes, Iím sure itíll be great, but b) Iíve decided to buy the CD just because I find the ornery-ness of Trey Gunnís pricing hilarious.

Tony Levin in Downbeat
:: Posted by Chris_DeVito on June 03, 2015

The July issue of Downbeat includes a transcription of TLevís solo (on electric cello) on "Havana" from his album Levin Brothers.

Audio quality and bit rates
:: Posted by Rhymes_With_Eloquent on June 03, 2015

Interesting recent article on the subject with test subjects. Itís too bad no KC was used to illustrate.


all seeing, all hearing?
:: Posted by bloggulator on June 03, 2015

I donít understand why some people regard high definition audio as "snake oil". Surely they donít hold the same opinion about HD video as well? For these ears, the comparison between, say MP3 audio and 192Khz/24 bit audio is like comparing 1980s home video to what can be achieved using the current generation of HD cameras. Do we believe our eyes more than our ears, and if so, why?

:: Posted by GonzalezPaulo on June 03, 2015

Is EARTHBOUND scheduled to have the 40th Aniversary Series  treatment  as the other albums on the KC catalogue ?

I Love Earthbound

The answer is yes though no date has been allocated yet.


Re; Cat Food download
:: Posted by Valhalla on June 03, 2015

Certainly a ídifferentí version indeed! Strange hearing it without Tippettís ícrazyí piano playing. Interesting drumming at times also!

sonic snake oil
:: Posted by AdrianReynolds on June 02, 2015

"Whilst many naysayers believe HiDef audio is ísnake oilí, with the right technology, the subtle, yet profound differences in the format are quite pleasurable for the discerning, deep listener of music."

So: those who hear such distinctions are discerning and deep. And the rest of us..?

I donít have a horse to back in this race - just interested in the ways that people defend/argue/spin their choices.

'let the power fall' reissue and HiDef flac
:: Posted by SonicReducer on May 31, 2015

Hi fellow Fripp-o-philes,

Having recently become enamoured with the sonics of Robert Fripp, especially the íFrippertronicsí, I am curious to know whether the ílet the power fallí album will be reissued, or is it being suppressed due to legal reasons?

Furthermore, is it possible to have the download FLACs on this site available in HIDef FLAC or DSD? At present the uncompressed FLACís are only in the standard íredbookí format of 16bit-44.1Hz, while HiDef formats of King Crimson and more recnt Fripp collaborations are avaialbe in the better reolution 192/94-24bit formats..

Whilst many naysayers believe HiDef audio is ísnake oilí, with the right technology, the subtle, yet profound differences in the format are quite pleasurable for the discerning, deep listener of music.

Let The Power Fall is one of the titles that will be reissued but no date has been set for this yet. There are currently no HiDef download plans

Richard Pinhas
:: Posted by revroth on May 31, 2015

Robert has referred to Richard as a personal friend in his diaries on at least one occasion.

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