Addition or subtraction?
Is added warmth an accurate term? As in, I went out and found some of it and added it into the recipe. Or, is added warmth an illusion caused by the lack of something else? You can add warmth by putting on a coat, or turning off the air conditioner.
I have been as guilty as any audiophile for using terms without really describing their root cause. It’s lazy talk.
Yes, we can sometimes add warmth, sharpen sonic focus, or extend the highs. But more often than not these additions are really the result of removing something else getting in the way. And the problem with descriptors is they tend to define our beliefs.
As designers, we need to know what’s really going on. We need to understand whether something is an omission or a commission. Important information to get right because these are the keys to building clean designs that serve a higher musical purpose.
I will do my best to keep my vocabulary of descriptive terms in check. It’s just too easy to throw out a word that accurately details what we hear but inaccurately points out why.
It is the why that matters most.
I think music does more than help with mental health.
Music as medicine
In my upcoming book 99% True, the long talked about memoir, I refer to high-end audio as a well kept secret and I believe that to be true. After all, the vast majority of humans on this planet have never heard of an audiophile much less met one in person.
All of us participating in the connected world have heard reproduced music. Few on Earth have heard it reproduced as we do. Or, for that matter, are even aware there is another level of listening pleasure available to them.
Some of us don’t share our secret with friends and family for fear of ridicule or misunderstanding. Others don’t share it because it can be an expensive endeavor and perhaps we’re a little embarrassed. Still others shout out their passion from the highest rooftops only to have their words fall on deaf ears.
And the secretive nature is a shame because music can heal the troubled soul.
I wonder what would happen if knowledge of our world became well known. Some, I suspect, would be delighted. Others might be bothered by the invasion. I, for one, would be thrilled. Not because I’d sell more products but because I believe better sound benefits the world in the same way better food makes us healthier. I’ve watched hardened people melt in the presence of beautifully reproduced music.
What we love most may be the best medicine for mental health.