HRA was on full display during the recent High Resolution Audio Listening Experience in New York. The event featured audio engineers playing personal selections for an audience of their peers and members of the media.
One of the producers I enjoyed hearing from most was Frank Filipetti, a six-time Grammy winner known for his work with Frank Zappa, among many others. My colleague Dennis Burger says he was a god in the 80s. He’s also one of the earliest audio engineers to embrace digital, which was apparent in his presentation.
It came as a shock for me to hear an engineer say that he thinks analog “sucks.” (My notes from the event include several exclamation points following this comment.) He went on to say, “Anyone who waxes poetic about analog wasn’t in the studio recording it.”
Jungle City Studios played host to the High-Resolution Audio Listening Experience.
As a resident of Brooklyn, where being under 40 and owning a turntable is a major status symbol, my interest was especially piqued when he said, “[With vinyl], you get to the inner grooves, and it’s nothing but a bunch of sh**t.”
But his ultimate point is what resonated most: “There has never been a time where the consumer has been able to hear music in a better fashion than today.”
In other words, high-resolution audio (HRA) is a game changer from his perspective. “Never have we had the technology where you can hear in your home what we hear in the studio.”
While this event—hosted by the Recording Academy Producers and Engineers Wing, CEA, and DEG (Digital Entertainment Group)—was designed to show off the capabilities of HRA and spread the good word, I left feeling confident that listening to better quality music is sure to spread to the mass market. It’s not a question of ‘if,’ but ‘when.’ And it is definitely already happening.
Residential AV integrators can do their part by being knowledgeable about the technology and different codecs used, as well as the services available—like HDTracks and Acoustic Sounds—and associated hardware and software designed to support HRA. Sharing this expertise with current and potential clients of all ages will help accelerate the process and all the equipment available to bring the best sound into your clients’ homes.