Home Cd converter The era Neil Young called the “dark age of recorded sound”

The era Neil Young called the “dark age of recorded sound”


If there’s one thing Neil Young hates, it’s modern technology. In the past, he’s lamented the rise of everything from music streaming to Google and beyond, engaging in what can only be described as a lonely quest against modernity. So it’s no surprise to find that he’s already launched a tirade against the now relatively picturesque compact disc.

“Anything that was recorded between 1981 and, say, 2010 will be known as the dark ages of recorded sound,” Young began. On the surface, his distaste for the CD seems a bit too dramatic, but he had a number of important reasons for not liking the format. The compact disc succeeded the cassette in the early 1980s and was launched in tandem with stereo players equipped with the newly invented program button, allowing the listener to rearrange the album’s track lists according to their preferences. own tastes, essentially giving the middle finger to the intentions of artists like Young, who believed so strongly in the sanctity of their artistic vision.

But for Young, the CD heralded something much worse – the dominance of digital sound. “It’s almost like torture,” he argued. “Digital makes you believe you hear it better than before [but] you hear a facsimile of it, you only hear the surface, ”he continued. He scores a point. Digital sound – unlike analog formats like cassette and vinyl, which are physically printed with recorded sound waves – is often viewed as mere representations of recorded sound.

According to Young, the rise of digital sound formats like CDs changed the way people listened to music, marking the end of that form of repetitive listening that was appreciated by the wide audio spectrum inherent in analog formats. According to Young, what people listen to when they put on a digital audio recording are: “Binary numbers spewed out from a digital converter that recreate the sound of music … You hear a CD once and you’ve heard it. . You are not going to go any further because there is nowhere to go.

If the period between 1981 and, say, 2010 represented the dark ages of recorded music, where are we now? I have to say that Young’s whole argument seems a bit arbitrary. To me, his comments about the deterioration in music quality sound like the moans of a grumpy old fog that has become so bitter with the world around him that he has completely forgotten how to have fun. Instead, all he can do is explain why things aren’t as good as they used to be.

Young’s rejection of digital music on the grounds that it is a representation of sound rather than an original print is, again, a completely arbitrary distinction. All recordings are acts of translation. Just because something has been translated using new technology doesn’t mean it has less value. I agree that the rise of digital formats has changed the way we listen to music, but change isn’t always a bad thing. Just because I would have thought that a man who lived through one of the most turbulent times in modern American history would understand that. Again, I may be overly optimistic.

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