DIGITAL MUSIC: QUALITY LOST

Our digital world has given us all sorts of improvements and conveniences, but in the case of digital music, we’ve all lost out, big time.

Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash

Not wishing to sound like an old geezer here, I can tell you from personal experience that we’ve been short-changed when it comes to sound and music quality. I don’t have the best set of discerning ears on the planet, but I can clearly hear the difference between music played on a vinyl record, and the same piece of music, through the same reproductive equipment, played from an MP3 file: vinyl wins hands down.

Even supposed “lossless” quality, in both MP3 and wave files, doesn’t match up to vinyl vibes. Yes, you can get a sharper sound in digital music, but the frequency range and reproduction of real instrument sounds in digital music can’t compete with good old vinyl records.

Furthermore, while band and voice amplification equipment certainly has improved (if you pay enough money for it) we have as a culture been severely dumbed down when it comes to recorded music reproduction equipment. Okay, the speakers and amplifiers are smaller now and take up less space-but that’s the only advantage of newer gear. No matter what they tell you, small cannot produce the full range of frequencies in rich quality or power. And amplification is now designed, for some reason that I can’t figure out, to reproduce the highest and lowest frequencies, but not the middle. There’s a hole-a big gap in what we’re hearing.

To top off the problem; to add insult to injury, while vinyl records were large enough to have sleeves and covers which would provide us with attractive designs and photos, and lots of info which the enthusiast would jump upon, and which we could have and hold as a physical possession, there’s almost no such thing accompanying digital files. In many, or most cases now, even the digital file is not in our possession and never will be.

Like ice cream, bacon, onions, celery and a host of other things which really are far inferior now to those enjoyed forty years ago and more, the music enthusiast has to settle for poorer quality, and the uninitiated for ignorance of what could be.

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