Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Reflective chat: Analogue Vs Digital?

This week our chat covered a variety of interesting topics but for this post I will focus on the subject:  Analogue Vs Digital?  The reason why I want to focus on this topic is because I feel that I need to explain my reasons in more detail on why I prefer analogue for the creation of music and digital for the reproduction of music.

Years ago when I first started playing electric guitar my first amp was a transistor amp.  At first this was fine to learn to play on but after a couple of months I hated the sound so much that I just stopped playing.  I had a friend who had a Marshall valve amp and totally loved the sound and knew that I had to have one if I wanted to continue playing.  The only way I can explain this is that the sound of the valve amp seemed to flow, while the transistor amp was so compressed it felt like the sound was trapped in a box in desperate need of escape.  I have since tried digital amps and I find them much the same as the transistor amp only with more effects but still the compressed sound.  On the whole I think most guitarists will agree with me when I say that nothing compares to a valve amp at the moment.  Yet I do have some friends that just don’t seem to be able to hear the difference, and to be honest I feel that they are missing out big time on not being able to hear this. But then I guess if you can’t hear the difference then you’re not missing out perhaps!

My reason while I prefer digital for the reproduction of sounds is because the sound is crystal clear and there’s no hissing with background noise as with vinyl or tapes. The sound can be copied perfectly.  I also don’t buy music on cds anymore either, because digitally downloading music is much more environmentally friendly than buying cds, records or tapes so this all makes perfect sense to me.   For this reason I also prefer to read books, newspapers and comics via computer too :-)

Click here to see Gary Moore playing guitar at a Marshall Amp Demo.

Gary Moore playing Parisienne Walkways live at Montreux in 1999.  RIP Gary.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Reflective Thoughts

After reading  The Practice of Everyday (media) Life by Lev Manovich I also happened to stumble upon an interesting discussion on self-publishing Vs the publishing industry: click here

So you are probably thinking what is the connection and why is she mentioning this as well? Ok so firstly one of the questions my tutor has asked:  Is art still possible after web 2.0?  Manovich’s belief is that most content is being produced by prosumers, young professionals or professionals in training.  Manovich wrote this a few years back and things have changed quite a lot since.  Ordinary people are becoming more and more familiar with digital technology each and every day.  For instance the blog post on ebooks and self publishing that I mentioned early is very inspirational. This triggered a vision of how I think art could evolve in a similar way using the self publishing ebook.  Artist’s could self publish an ebook and charge just a small fee to view on computer.  This could include statements, interviews, photos and videos.  Also, another vision of how I see the future development of art is -  full immersion within a 3D virtual environment. This would be a fantastic way to view selected exhibitions, and totally perfect for so many people, from disabled people to people in other countries that can’t afford to travel, to people with little time on their hands.  The exhibitions could ask for a donation to view, or charge a small fee, or totally free and rely on advertising.  However relying on advertising may affect the ethics of some artists so this may not be an option.

Manovich’s final statement:  The real challenge may lie in the dynamics of web 2.0 culture – its constant innovation, its energy and its unpredictability.  I totally agree with this statement, nobody can ever really tell what will take off, things are always changing and I find this quite exciting :-)