December 1, 2005

Will someone please stop this guy?

by Chris Randall

Okay, I'll readily admit that the easiest way to avoid the articles at would be to... well... avoid them. But it's like driving past a car wreck on the highway; you just have to slow down and look for blood, you know? Plus it's fun to see my tirades on Zicos right next to the latest piece of worthless drivel from David Mellor.

In his latest missive, the audio world's answer to Bill O'Reilly informs us that even though our gear sounds good, it probably isn't good, because we haven't thoroughly tested it. Apparently, the only good gear is transparent gear which introduces no distortion whatsoever. This would come as something of a surprise to the makers of the Neve 1081, the Fairchild 660, the EMT 140, the McIntosh amplifier, and the producers of pretty much every rock record ever.

Sorry, dude, but you're a fucking retard. The thing that separates a piece of good gear from a piece of bad or flat gear is the distortion it adds to the signal. You really need to stop writing and go back to Full Sail for some remedial classwork.



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Dec.02.2005 @ 11:40 AM
Wade Alin
I?m not buying that the folks at API, Rupert Neve, J. Meek, etc. were simply incapable of making a transparent signal, fucked up, leaving us as the beneficiaries. There had to be some thought or intentional design to create equipment that ?sounds good.? And I don?t buy that this method of design started in 1992 to emulate vintage equipment. I know what you?re saying, but creativity (read-imperfection) has certainly played a role in design throughout the years or else we?d have 1000 pre?s that all sound the same with different faceplates.

I realize achieving transparency is textbook but c?mon, even recording smooth jazz isn?t that plain. Nor is orchestral. I?m sure they use Avalons or something. No, really, I?m sure of it.


Dec.02.2005 @ 12:31 PM
penzoil washington
CR's just messing with you. He actually collects pristine recordings of anything done in C Major ;)

Dec.03.2005 @ 4:03 AM
I must admit I haven't read the article - the reports of the basic premise put me off. But yes, I do believe that, at least with British gear, in those far off halcyon days, the main aim was uncoloured sound, but there were some pretty strong characters around who had definite opinions on how to achieve it. For every maverick like Joe Meek, there were probably ten who had come up through the BBC/EMI/Decca type path where sound engineers wore white lab coats and carried clipboards, and who could align a tape machine with a scope and an oscillator. The BBC cast a long shadow over British audio and 'broadcast quality' something to aspire to. Even in hi-fi reviews back then it was noted that US gear had a tendency towards an upfront sound while UK stuff was more neutral. We're always so fuckin' polite! Anyway, I digress. I'm not arguing with anyone here, just saying that, if I make a painting, 9 times out of 10, it make sense to start with a white background - know what I mean?

Dec.03.2005 @ 7:47 AM
Wade Alin
>but there were some pretty strong characters around who had definite opinions on how to achieve it

now that makes perfect sense to me (not being sarcastic, you can never tell with type)



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