How I listen

For these blog posts I want as level a playing field as possible- meaning I want you the reader to be able to hear exactly what I’m hearing, page exactly how I’m hearing it.

Of course I have access to very nice sounding speakers and special recording equipment, shop but that isn’t really a fair way to listen to the end product, because even if you too have access to nice sounding speakers I guarantee they are not the same ones I have, and even if they are the same speakers they would be in a different room which would give a different sound and so on.

For that reason, I’m listening to these tracks from my iPhone 5S with the stock Apple EarPod headphones. Believe it or not these headphones actually rock. Also- this is something that anyone with an iPhone can hear- you don’t need any special equipment.

Audiophile purists will scoff and tell me how wrong I am and so forth- but WHATEVER. I am fully aware of technically what’s going on with the technical mumbo jumbo and how it’s not as good as something else and so on and so on and so on. The truth is that none of that really matters for what I’m trying to show you here.

The beauty of the ubiquity of the iPhone means that for the first time in the history of recorded sound is that the sound can be delivered to EVERYONE at the same uniform standard. If you’ve ever mixed a record I’m sure you’re familiar with being in love with the sound in the control room and then you bring it out to your car to discover that the vocal is 10 times louder than anything else or some other weird thing. This is why a lot of folks have multiple speakers in the studio so they can hear a mix played across different speakers and get a good guesstimate of how it should sound on most systems. This is also why good mastering engineers are so valuable- they can do things to the final final mix to ensure that it will sound the best across all systems. But even then, you don’t really know what the mix will be heard on.

Well now because there are so many people with iPhones you can pretty much count on one thing- people will hear it on an iPhone. I’m not trying argue that any one thing is better than another- it’s just a fact that people will likely use an iPhone in addition to whatever else.

Also, because of initiatives like “Mastered for iTunes” for the first time as engineers we have the hope of distributing audio at greater than CD quality audio.

So there you have it- a level playing field!

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