The high res storm in a tea cup
Time to be a little controversial and say that the whole High Res music scene is nothing more than a rather small storm in a tea cup.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the technical improvements that high bit rates and even higher sampling rates can bring to music. I love the fact that when properly implemented HD audio has the ability to deliver music with startling reality and dynamics.
The sad fact though is that in my opinion we have been told that because a piece of music is presented to us in a manner that is technically better than CD or good old -extremely old- analogue, it is automatically better. This is absolute hogwash.
The format that music is presented in bears absolute no reality to how good the reproduction of the musical event will be.
A 24 bit, 384 kHz version of a piece of music that has been poorly mixed, mastered and performed, will always sound like a piece of poorly mixed, mastered, performed and engineered music.
“a piece of music that has been poorly mixed, mastered and performed, will always sound like a piece of poorly mixed, mastered, performed and engineered music.”
A well performed, recorded, mixed and mastered piece of music presented in lowly CD quality will have the ability to move people and deliver levels of enjoyment far above the aforementioned piece of High res music.
If the performers do their job well, and if the engineers recording the music have equipment capable of capturing the enhanced bandwidth and dynamic range that more modern technology offers, and if those in post production don’t compress and strangle the life out of the music, there is a good chance that HD will deliver a better musical experience. If however anyone along the line has messed up, all HD music offers is a larger file serving of the same crap.
Ultimately all that really matters is the music, and not really the container it’s delivered in.