Perfecting Sound Forever An Aural History of Recorded Music

ISBN-10: 0865479380

ISBN-13: 9780865479388

Edition: 2010

Authors: Greg Milner
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Description: In 1915, Thomas Edison proclaimed that he could record a live performance and reproduce it perfectly, shocking audiences who found themselves unable to tell whether what they were hearing was an Edison Diamond Disc or a flesh-and-blood musician. Today, the equation is reversed. Whereas Edison proposed that a real performance could be rebuilt with absolute perfection, Pro Tools and digital samplers now allow musicians and engineers to create the illusion of performances that never were. In between lies a century of sonic exploration into the balance between the real and the represented.Tracing the contours of this history, Greg Milner takes us through the major breakthroughs and glorious failures in the art and science of recording. An American soldier monitoring Nazi radio transmissions stumbles onto the open yet revolutionary secret of magnetic tape. Japanese and Dutch researchers build a first-generation digital audio format and watch as their "compact disc" is marketed by the music industry as the second coming of Edison yet derided as heretical by analog loyalists. The music world becomes addicted to volume in the nineties and fights a self-defeating "loudness war" to get its fix.From Les Paul to Phil Spector to King Tubby, from vinyl to pirated CDs to iPods, Milner pulls apart musical history to answer a crucial question: Should a recording document reality as faithfully as possible, or should it improve upon or somehow transcend the music it records? The answers he uncovers will change the very way we think about music.

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Book details

List price: $18.00
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication date: 5/25/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 432
Size: 5.93" wide x 8.30" long x 1.09" tall
Weight: 1.122
Language: English

Greg Milnerhas written on music, film, and technology forSpin,Salon,The Village Voice,andWired, among other publications. He is the co-author with Joe Berlinger ofMetallica: This Monster Lives.

Liner Notes
Intro: "Testing, Testing ..."
Acoustic/Electrical
The Point of Commencement
From the New World
Analog
Aluminum Cowboys: A Pretape Parable
Pink Pseudo-Realism
Presence
Digital
Perfect Sound? Whatever
The Story of the Band That Clipped Itself to Death (and Other Dispatches from the Loudness War)
Tubby's Ghost
Outro: "Testing, Testing ... (Reprise)"
Notes
Acknowledgments
Index
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