Tag Archives: music

Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Unprecedented control

I’ve been having a blast learning and working with musicians, producers, and engineers at Octave Records. It’s fast paced: quick learning steps leading up the ladder to new understandings of more than just the subject at hand, especially as it relates to how we listen.

When you and I are playing music on our stereo systems we’re constantly evaluating the work of producers and recording engineers. Up until recently, the only control we had over how their efforts sounded involved only the playback chain.

Once you’re immersed in both the playback and recording an entirely new vista of comprehension opens up. If I hear something not quite right in Music Room 2 I can go into the mixing room and change it: depth, width, tonal balance, room size, etc.

There is much to think about with this new found control—questions that we have been asking ourselves for decades. How do we voice our electronics for the greatest number of our HiFi Family members becomes how do we voice our recordings for the greatest number of HiFi Family members? What’s right and what’s wrong? How does it honor the music? The musicians?

Fortunately, there is a common thread that we’re confident in. If it sounds great on our reference system it will sound great on the vast majority of our HiFi Family’s systems. That’s a wonderfully comforting thought—one we have verified time and again over the years with efforts like our Mountaintop DAC upgrades and how our products sound and perform in the field.

But this is new. The level of control when one starts at the microphone and gets to optimize the entire chain right up to the ear is startling, to say the least. Much more will come of this. We are just beginning to scratch the surface.

I predict our future holds not only lots of great recordings but discoveries and revelations on the playback side too.

The closer one gets to the source, the easier it will be to uncover the truth.

Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Detachment

How attached are you to your stereo rig? So attached that you take everything on a very personal level? Detached enough to objectively work on improving its performance?

I find fascinating the art of detachment.

As an stereo engineer, I need to detach from the emotional aspects of the musical listening experience in order to objectively and dispassionately look at facts, measurements, and results.

As a listener, I need to reattach myself into the emotional beauty and connection music brings into our lives.

To successfully produce products worthy of your time and trust it’s necessary for us as engineers, designers, advisers, and craftspeople to commutate between attachment and detachment in service of honoring both the customer and the music.

As in most things the best happens when we do not go too far in any one direction, but rather stay focused on the road ahead.