Audio Asylum Thread Printer
Get a view of an entire thread on one page
|For Sale Ads|
I had a chance to ask several musicians (including a teacher at SC Thorton School) --- and I think the brains are just wired differently. Not that one is "better" than the other. Just different expectations.
Musicians wants a tone or emotion out of the instrument (much like making the thing "sing" or come alive). So technique is most important. They can hear that, even in lousy recordings & hi-fi setups.
Hi-fi listening seems a bit more passive. So they may hear the great tones, but maybe not realize the techniques involved in getting that tone.
Best, to be in both worlds. I think appreciation for great artists is better.
Teresa, stay with that guitar!
Edits: 07/16/12Follow Ups:
Teachers are not known for making a lot of money, they just cannot to play in this game. Performers as a group, are primarily drifters, troubadours, trobairitz. Musicians by definition are more likely to own instruments that they can use, to passive play back systems which are always a liability, and going obsolete. They play and listen in analog, what makes you think they know anything about digital equipment?
The Driver smiled when he lost the car in pursuit...
First, though, I'll ask "why do most people have lousy stereos?".
My experience is that in both cases the reason is "it's good enough for me." In other words, "it would be great to have a better one I suppose, but I enjoy it the way it is." And there are other very logical reasons: ignorance, opportunity, cost, size, space issues, significant-other issues, etc.
When I was making my living playing and teaching music, I didn't listen to music very much as I played and heard so much during the work day.
When I retired I craved hearing music, and wanted to hear it reproduced as beautifully as possible.
Everyone is saying things like "If you work at Dunkin Donuts and make donuts all day, you don't go home and make donuts".
In other words, they play music all day, it's time for something else at home and even if they want music at home they can pick up an instrument and play. That's easier, better sounding and more relaxing.
That may be true in some cases however that is missing the entire point, which is that these people DO own stereos at home and generally they really suck. It's also not that they don't have money because it's always someone famous getting interviewed and you see their rig in the article or it's mentioned etc... They HAVE money and they HAVE a stereo and the stereo sucks, period, and the question is why.
So this post is not being answered, and IMHO it never has been because I am not aware that any reporter ever asked a famous musician why his stereo sucks, but it would be a great question and I'd be on the edge of my seat waiting for the reply. (It probably hasn't because the reporter doesn't know any better either)
I know the "nothing else can be as good, so why bother" line is 100% wrong. Mario Andretti lives not far from me, I've passed him and Michael on the street. When they are not driving formula 1 cars, they don't drive AMC Pacers. When it's your passion and life, it's your passion and life which is why we keep asking this question about these people and why they seemingly don't care about sound at home. It is an anomoly.
My guess? Musicians don't like to be told how they sound, how they play, or how they should play. They don't take negative commentary well at all. (even if it's purpose was to help) Obviously nobody does, but they really don't. I know this because I review albums and I've had them come back at me when they didn't get the review they wanted. They are all very touchy, and it swings both ways. Gush over them and they simply adore you, critique them, and be ready for hell to freeze over.
Audio applies to them like anyone and we know the mass of people out there don't own a tube amp because they don't even know they could. The musician is no different. So they either buy what everyone else buys, or they buy what they recall from their youth.
If you were to tell them their stereo sucks I believe they would interpret that as you telling them their hearing sucks. That's the last thing they want to hear, especially from a non-musician peon. Admitting that would be like admitting you hear better than they do, which is something that is certain to get their hackels up, true or not.
It's all about the music...
They don't need it (if they are good musicians).
They read the notes and can hear the tunes, harmonies, etc etc without the need of the 'crutch' that is hIfi. To draw a parallel, recall the child who when asked why he/she preferred reading the book rather than watching the film, said "Because the pictures are better."
More related topic matter:
My musician wife said she didn't concentrate on the sound. She was interested in what the musicians were thinking while they were playing.
"Diversity is the law of nature; no two entities in this universe are uniform." - P.R. Sarkar
Interesting article that relates to this post:
The most important thign is this:
"And apparently jazz musicians, too. Keith Jarrett, as he expounded at great length in this column last year (Oct. 2005), has benefited greatly, both personally and professionally, from his awareness and appreciation of superior audio gear. He says the sound of his commercial recordings has steadily improved as he’s evolved his home-stereo rig, since he can now better evaluate the sonics of the test pressings of his discs prior to release."
He thinks of home audio as practicing/training---not for making music, but for making recordings.
And actually it may benefit musicians at this level to be able to *stop* hearing music and start hearing audio, the "texture" of the substance, just as late 19th and 20th century visual artists started to think less about the "story conveyed by the image" but the specific physicality of the atoms and light interacting with the physical artifact they produce.
Something interesting from that article too. A jazz drummer by the rather HarryPotterish name of Billy Drummond, uses Magnepans with a sub. Usually the knock with planar speakers are that they don't do drums or percussion well and don't have the "kick".
If they have a "day job", their excess income goes into their musical hobby.
If they're very successful, their excess income goes into hedonistic hobbies. Listening to music is a job. They'd be listening to what the musicians are doing and why and wondering if they can do better or learn something.
What do good recording and mastering engineers do at home? Probably actually nothing, or a home-office with a computer audio workstation to get stuff done.
OK, so what does the top "tonmeister" for DG or Decca have at home after he retires? :)
So whats the point?
Musicians don't spend their time sitting around and wondering why so many audiophiles don't know much about music.
As for my opinion on this subject, see my reply to the earlier post.
Why is it that some musicians won't (or can't) hear what a hi-fi is doing wrong, yet artists like Neil Young, Shelby Lynne, and the group Pearl Jam, to name a few, are keenly aware of what digital does to help destroy the emotion of the music?
Sins of omission, vs commission, would be my guess.
The artist you mention and others like them are at a career point were they can afford some of the trappings of success. One of those is often a home or near home recording studio which usually has some high quality recording gear and a modest method of playback, which is all thats usually needed during recording. The playback in a post production studio is actually very much like the live studio sound. The difference that seems to go unspoken here is that the quality of a raw sound track is far greater than what finally gets washed down after post production all the way to your system. It's horrible.
On the other hand there are many amateur and professional musicians alike that enjoy the historical aspect of recorded music and their systems often reflect that.
The Bridge School Benefit Concerts put on by Pattie and Neil Young has given many artist a chance to experience Neil Young's avid concern for fidelity and more importantly how the industry is choking fidelity with the economy that the early digital aspects have brought to the industry. While he has done a great deal for vinyl production I've been told he's fighting the degradation that occurs in manufacturing of the media as well as understanding the potential of high resolution formats that are being marketed poorly if at all such as Blueray audio and direct file sales.
As a Musician the notion that most Musicians don't care about quality playback should read -some- don't care. There are many musicians who are deeply involved in this industry. Unfortunately, the majority of them didn't rise to stardom for many individual reasons. Imagine if the audio press would simply ask the question to all the designers, manufactures, marketing, and the reviewers themselves, do you play an instrument?
Hey I got news for ya not everyone is into hi-end audio and audiophiles. Just sayin...Last I checked its a fairly exclusive hobby that can also be quite costly.
Good to know I'm not alone. My current musical instrument is a Samick LW020G Dreadnought acoustic guitar I bought used for $100. If I was actually playing in front of audiences, I would try very hard to get a Martin D-28 from the 1950's-1960's.
I'm a musician, I dont have a lousy stereo though....
I only know one or two chords on my guitar, I play the fiddle fine. I think I'll sell the guitar and get a bass instead. And some fancy pants standmounts, to please people like sudz and his obsession with why nobody has a stereo thats as good as his. I bet he secretly owns a bose wave radio.
$7000 and up for winds. Bassoon $30, 000. Strings, Fugedaboudit.
See link ...
reelsmith's axiom: Its going to be used equipment when I sell it, so it may as well be used equipment when I buy it.
Post a Followup:
Post a Message!
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors: