Recording Technology

Interesting this on recording technology by Keith Richards, and as interesting is Alan Jacobs’ take on it:

Keith rails against “technology” but what he’s actually doing is making the case for one kind of technology rather than another

Listening to the music the Stones (and Dylan is another example) made in the 80s, I think it remained of a quality in the early part of this decade because of the new recording technology not despite it. It was only when everyone involved in making the records became more adept and familiar with the recording technology – and now after reading Richards’ account, felt they had to use all of it – the music of these two suffered. This perhaps is connected to what I was feeling when I wrote about ‘Emotional Rescue’.

Recently I’ve been listening to a few albums from the mid to late 90s. There is definitely a sound they share which dates them to that period; it’s not always prevalent through a whole album (not on the good ones anyhow), and you can get a sense of it listening to albums that don’t share it, but as yet I can’t quite put my finger on what “it” is or how, or even if, the recording technology around that time played a part.

Related maybe to this is this interview with Ewan Pearson, where the subject of dynamic range compression being used more (and so becoming an issue) in the first half of the decade of the 2000s comes up.

Sunday Just Gone

Made a trip to Broadstairs, Kent:

It was the weekend of the week-long folk festival.

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In The Chapel on Albion Street (a bar I’ve heard being disparaged but that I like for the fact they sell beer, very good cider and books) as well as discovering¬†The Prodigy I bought this book:

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I bought it for that title really. And the aforementioned cider might have, at first, influenced my decision, but my mind was made up when I saw this great photo inside:

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Going For A Song: Dectectorists TVST

Johnny Flynn – Detectorists TVST

I’ve written about my admiration of the tv show the Detectorists (and good news – third series is on its way). This is the song that plays over the opening sequence. I don’t know if Johnny Flynn had this song written already or if it was written specially for the tv show. Either way it captures the mood and feel of the show perfectly.

Dead Ends

There was an article on AI in last week’s Sunday Times with the headline Robot wars: if we can’t beat them, let’s become them. It’s behind a paywall but some excerpts:

The truth is that Bob, Alice and Tay [AI programs) were straws in a wind that could, one day soon, blow humans off the planet

New machines could soon wipe out millions of jobs

As one technologist put it to me: “You can be confident your laptop isn’t going to strangle you, but it might with the help of your fridge.” We already know what the bad bots can do to our bank accounts

The article carries on in this vein. The writer, Brian Appleyard, does briefly offer up a counter view through Luciano Floridi but concludes:

Maybe he’s right. Or maybe one day soon our cars and fridges or future Bobs, Alices and Tays, talking gibberish, hating feminists and supporting Hitler, will decide that we’re just getting in the way

This type of article (it just so happens to be the most recent one I’ve read, though it is probably the guiltiest) only leads to what Tom Chatfield – a writer whose even handedness when writing about technology I really like – calls the dead end of human vs machine panic. It’s a dead end because it doesn’t encourage conversation, or reasoning, it just serves to set people to anxiety and worry.