Paul McGowan: I’ve written before that in the long run I find that we are very far away from reproducing live sound in our homes. We stress over cleaning and polishing the fine details of our systems when, in reality, they are very far away from live sound reproduced in our home. We can fool our senses by closing our eyes and imagining we’re in a concert hall but we always know we are not.
I believe that the biggest hurdles to achieving live sound in our homes are to be found not in digital vs. analog recording and playback but in the transducers themselves: the microphones and loudspeakers. These are archaic contraptions that will hold us back from reaching audio nirvana for as long as we insist on using them. Not that I have anything better to offer.
But can we get a piece of it right? Is it possible to reproduce some of the live qualities of music in our homes? I think the answer is yes and I would like to touch on the qualities of some of what we have right over the next few days.
My purpose in writing this isn’t to be a naysayer but rather to poke the box as my friend Seth is fond of saying. Poking the box means to me that I bring to light that which some of us may find uncomfortable. That which challenges our cherished beliefs.