Nowadays a sound engineer’s main objective is to obtain high technical properties of recording.
The concept which is offered to you on this site focuses on the aesthetic aspect of sound (its emotion and tunefulness). Technical accuracy plays only a subordinate role.
“…Music is so dear to us because it
is the most profound expression
of our soul, a harmonic echo of its
joys and sorrows…”
Art is an outstanding phenomenon in the history of humanity. People of art possess a great gift of talent and mastery enabling them to find a way to the human heart and touch delicate strings of the human soul.
If you closely watch the way how a work of art affects human consciousness you will see a remarkable thing. This effect is mainly achieved through video and audio channels of human perception.
When man sees or hears something the information enters his consciousness and the process of emotional perception begins.
Unlike other forms of art, music is capable of making man happy or sad even without creating visual or mental images in his consciousness.
Music has huge potential for affecting man’s inner world.
How does music get to the listener?
Let’s consider the technical dimension of the process:
The composer, using his intuition, creates something that we call the soul of a piece of music.
Then musicians continue the process and array the composer’s creation in an audible cloth.
Then the sound producer comes to the scene. His responsibility is to convey to listeners what the previous masters have produced.
Finally, the listener receives the ultimate result of the work of all the participants of the process in the form of the final recording.
Let’s ask the following question. How, by what criterion, can we assess the above-mentioned work?
The answer is simple:
The level and quality of the feelings aroused in the listeners determine how successful the creator of an artistic image has been.
What do we have these days in terms of modern equipment for reproducing that great human cultural phenomenon called MUSIC?
Unfortunately, we must admit that the modern equipment abilities in conveying the initial emotional component of a piece of music are quite low, with a few minor exceptions.
Something which the composer, musician and sound producer with such great effort tried to bring to us has actually turned into a flow of audio information which we hear but do not feel and no soul response is achieved!
Surely, there is almost no noise or distortion when reproducing the music. But something else has disappeared as well – something that the old vinyl record could evoke in us. It could arouse our feelings and emotions and convey the Soul of Music to us!
The sound of modern digital sources of music information is similar to a dummy whose beauty is “sterile”, the features are regular and proportional but lifeless, and they lack something that distinguishes a dummy from a human being - they lack life!
The following question arises: what’s the aim of the famous brands when they release their audio production?
Is it created for man to hear a sound with minimum distortion?
Or for MUSIC to enter his soul?
In the long chain of transmitting music material from the composer to the listener there is one more link which plays a rather important part in the process.
That link is sound engineers.
Until recently, it was taken for granted that these specialists' top priority was to record sound without distortion – that is to record it as precisely as possible.
To a certain degree this point is correct.
The sound engineer, when producing a recording, must work with an audio signal with special care. He should try not to distort it.
But then it is reasonable to ask the following question:
if vast masses of digital content transmit to the listener featureless, unemotional and sterile information, isn’t it the sound engineer’s obligation to take every possible effort to return to the sound its ability to stir emotions in people?
The answer is affirmative. Surely, the sound engineer is obliged not only to record with low-level distortion but also make the sound sections vivid so that they can evoke the listener’s emotional response!
Thus, professionals working with sound face the problem of working out engineering solutions capable of giving back the soul to music, the soul that has been lost in the maze of digital “zeros” and “ones”!
It’s necessary to change the situation by focusing on the emotional aspect of music.
Here we discuss a new approach to the notion of sound quality, the approach which will help us to come nearer to man’s feelings. The old notion of sound quality was described with the help of the following math formula: sound quality = high precision of sound reproduction.
The new notion of sound quality has another math formula, namely: sound quality = high precision of sound reproduction + emotional and music vividness, tunefulness.
It is time to admit that the pursuit of figures and high technical characteristics lead to the situation when aesthetic values of music art have completely vanished.
It is also high time to admit that only a new approach to the issue of audio can return to people the ability to listen not only with the help of ears but with their soul as well!
“…Always perform as if an artist is listening to you…»