Jump to content

HiFi and what it should reflect


NMcGann
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello folks,

I'm a student writing my dissertation and I'd like the opinion of some avid HiFi fans.

My question to you guys is, 'should the purpose of Hifi be to reflect the quality of studio production, or to try and present the performance of the musician as accurately as possible?'

I understand this may be a very open and vague question, but that's why I'm asking you folks. I'm not too knowledgeable in this area so the opinions and views of people who actually know what they're on about would be REALLY helpful!

Thanks in advance,

NM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

Monster question!

Studio production aims generally at a wide range of listening situations, especially in view of the fact that probably the majority of people listen via equipment that is not really 'high fidelity'.

It is frankly impossible to reproduce accurately the actual sound of a live performance. However, probably (possibly) most of us aim to achieve reproduction that at least aims in that direction. Well, I do. Others will doubtless come up with the opposite.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My personal view and others will of course disagree: the purpose of HiFi is neither of the options you suggest. The purpose is to provide enjoyment of music.

This may or may not accurately reflect the original recording. It may be colored, "softened", exaggerated in some areas (such as bass). This is all personal preference and is one of the reasons why so many different types of equipment exist.

There is another purpose, which is to effectively serve as "big boys toys" (I don't mean that as flippantly as it sounds) - it's a hobby. Box swapping, comparisons, DIY projects etc are all part of this.

Hopefully that's a helpful start.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMO the best hifi, is "invisible".

It adds/takes away as little as possible.

But every layer of technology between the musician & the listener is going to change the sound.

For starters, just ask any singer about their favourite microphone and you'll open a can of worms.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Richard above that HiFi can't reproduce a live performance, especially not an unamplified acoustic performance.

One should also distinguish between recordings which are supposed to simulate a live performance, typically 'classical' music, and those recordings which are completely synthetic, such as most pop/rock recordings which are assembled in the studio, and at which the musicians never played the piece together.

These, now far more common recordings, are works in their own right, so not trying to recreate a live performance as no such performance exists. What you get on the CD is assembled from many takes, on many tracks, with the musicians seldom playing together, sometimes even never being present in the same room at the same time.

With these types of recordings, what you hear at home IS the performance, and different hifi systems working in different rooms will all sound different, and questions of high fidelity become meaningless, as in fidelity to what?

I have chosen my system based on technical measurements, others here have done so on the basis of what sounds good to them, regardless of any technical merit or specification. Others I suspect, (but they'll never admit it;-)) have chosen their system on the basis of looks, or indeed on price, being the most expensive they can afford. We're all different, as are the sounds we find pleasing, but High Fidelity to any notion of reproducing a live performance it won't be.

S

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would agree with Mark above. My hifi was assembled in order to make my music collection the most enjoyable, entertaining experience I can.

I know I will never reproduce anything like a live performance experience in my small flat, but working within limitations of cost and room I have a hifi that is most enjoyable, that makes my cds sound good and my computer downloads too. Tapping my feet as I write, listening to Alan Parsons Project.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two people agreed with me!

Mods - you can close the thread now*

*Joke - OP I hope you get lots of useful input

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello folks,

I'm a student writing my dissertation and I'd like the opinion of some avid HiFi fans.

My question to you guys is, 'should the purpose of Hifi be to reflect the quality of studio production, or to try and present the performance of the musician as accurately as possible?'

Thanks in advance,

NM

If the studio production is sufficiently high, it will reflect the performance of the musician highly accurately. Seems a confused question you're asking TBH.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dissertation is on emotional responses to music, it's music psychology. I'm doing a section on cognitive appraisal of music and what effects how we perceive the sound and in turn, our emotional responses to it. I've spoken about environmental factors such as acoustics in a church and things to that effect us for live music performance. Now I'm onto recording equipment (which I'm not too academically savvy on). One of the variables we get to choose is what device(s) we use to listen to music on at home which we obviously don't get to do at live concerts. There's not much scholarly or academic studies on this so I'm going to base a large amount of my hypothesis on this section with what fans and connoisseurs of HiFi think and tell me. Hope this helps!

By the way guys and girls, this is a MASSIVE help. I can't begin to express my gratitude, this stuff is exactly what I want!

Please do continue if you have more to say, or any angles/opinions I may not have thought of!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the studio production is sufficiently high, it will reflect the performance of the musician highly accurately. Seems a confused question you're asking TBH.

Not entirely, any slight modification to a piece of music can alter our perception of it. Due to the biological architecture of our ears and the damage they've been through, we all perceive music differently to each other. So the perception of the studio producer will be different to mine resulting in varied (even if slightly) final products of the piece, to which the musician/artist may have not wanted it perceived. I understand it's a VERY vague and ambiguous question (sorry if I didn't ask the question clearly), yet due to the lack of academic studies on this, I'm wanting everyone's personal opinion no matter how vague or detailed it is. Hence the very open ended question.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...