So, whats-up? The playback of a (hypothetically) “perfect” recording “should” sound IDENTICAL in every way to the live event.
— Continued —
Sure, there is the loudspeaker/room issue to consider and that is bound to play a large part of the problem. Yet, considering our present level of knowledge in the acoustic/electro-acoustic sciences and the state of advanced, computer-based analysis equipment, surely if we throw enough money at that too we can devise a system of sufficiently high performance that the total combination “should” render a level of playback that sounds indistinguishable from the live event. Nope… still not there.
Hmm… as some audiophiles do by purposefully selecting components that generate low levels of “euphonic” distortion (like certain vacuum tube-based amplifiers, etc.), do we need to purposefully add some form of distortion or make some type of modification to the electronic signal in order for playback seem more “real”? That makes no sense as otherwise “live” events wouldn’t sound live in the first place for not having done the same during the original performance. Nope once again, as that defies all logic and common-sense.
Stepping back a bit, is it possible that maybe we have arrived at a level of technological accuracy in our component design and system performance that is now so “good” that other forms of distortion and noise, etc. are beginning to reveal themselves? Types of distortion and noise that heretofore have been overlooked and/or neglected by the scientific/electrical engineering community?
Is it possible that such artifacts have been hiding “down there” all along and now that we have finally vanquished the lion’s share of the more “obvious'“ form of distortion, they are finally beginning to reveal themselves more clearly? We’re talking sonic artifacts down at the lowest levels of the dynamic range that are working to “mask” the finer details of the live performance that we are trying so hard to accurately capture and reproduce? We think so, and the sources of these artifacts are not the byproduct of “voodoo science” or over-active imaginations either. No, they are real and we are about to expose them for all their “clandestine” infamy.