Friday, July 07, 2006

Music sounds better in winter!

I remember how as a kid I used to be a very intent and serious listener to music. If I ever put on a cassette, the only thing I would do for as long as the music flowed was just carefully listen to it- no room for anything else.

Extraneous noise distracted and irritated me immensely and that’s why I would shut the window, not wanting outside sound gaining entry. Also, the fan was switched off since it was a major source of annoyance for me. All this was okay during winter, but sweltering summers made me pay the price dearly! I would sweat; something that didn’t bother me much-though it was a matter of great concern to my folks.

The other thing that bothered me was the inherent ‘hissing’ property of all audiocassettes. No matter how great the recording, turn up the volume and you’ll surely be introduced to that supremely omnipresent hissing. I so wished we could have recordings that could completely do away with this anomaly. Dolby-B Noise Reduction was a vestigial solution to the malady. Cassettes so proudly flaunted being DBNR enabled!

CD’s answers my prayers, though I had to wait for many years. The audio quality now is so much superior to what cassettes could afford. Ironically, though, I’ve now begun to sometimes miss all that background hissing. So when the I buy CD’s that bear recordings originally made in the pre-80’s era (AAD or ADD format), I do manage to catch a hint of all that hissing I’ve inadvertently grown fond of.

Hissing is nostalgic. Sort of brings authenticity to vintage audio.


Prateek said...

Magnetic cassette was analog.Along with the hissing it possessed the warmth of the voice and the instruments.Unlike digital music; which has all the clarity in the world but lacks the natural feel.

We always here everything along with some background sounds.Hissing is a good thing and pops and clicks of an Electrophone are incomparable to the flat soundstage of a compact disc.

deepanjan said...

Agreed, although the 'warmth' is more of a psychological thing rather than an aural phenomenon. Still, we can't discount the beauty of analog sound, something that's fast eroding under digital reproduction.

Vivek said...

LPs were the best. Kyon Prateek?

deepanjan said...

Vinyl records are unbeatable.

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I generally dislike Wagner. However, I heard a piece by him today and it was sublime and breathtakingly beautiful.