Revox B77Tim Goodyer was absolutely right when he described the uptake of MP3 and other audio compression formats as an ‘uneducation’ problem in a recent Facebook discussion.

Although I’ve seen it happening over a long time, I’ve only started to realise the magnitude of the problem over the past few weeks. And the past month or so has solidified my thinking on it.

OZTaking in musical ranging from R&B to rap and pop, and providing marketing, publishing, TV, film and concert promotion, US-based MBK Entertainment is the culination of 20 years’ ambition and dedication on the part of founders Jeff Robinson and partners Jeanine Mclean, Misha Hedman and Suzette Williams.

Their most recent venture is the opening of a new a world-class recording studio in New York City – OZ.

Glasgow CentralRecent investment in the UK's railway infrastructure has seen a new PA system installed in Glasgow Central, Scotland’s busiest railway station.

Part of the renovation of a transport hub that handles around 34m people every year, a Tanny Qflex system aims to solve the station’s long-standing problem with intelligibility due to the nature of the structure and its architecture, with reflective floors, sandstone walls and a glass roof creating problematic reverberation.

Troy MilnerIt’s been nearly 40 years since Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ introduced Bruce Springsteen to the record-buying public (and laid the groundwork for Manfred Mann’s ‘Blinded by the Light’ chart success.

And while not initially a commercial success, the album marked the start of one of rock’s most distinguished careers – as evidenced by his current round of three-hour-plus shows, sold-out arenas and glowing reviews.

{jcomments on}MicA friend recently told me a true story that highlights the ‘outsideʼ view of live sound.

It begins with a veteran club comedian being booked by a well-to-do sporting club to entertain an audience of around two hundred. Accepting the booking, our comic pointed out that he would need a microphone and asked whether the club had one. They had not, so he passed on details of a local PA hire operation and thought no more of it. Unfortunately...

Wizard of OzObsessions and collections made a good start to my blogging on Fast-and-Wide. Dipping into the history of the ill-fated Birotron keyboard exposed the joys, absurdities and contradictions that a passion for recording and equipment almost necessarily invites.

But who would build a fantastically successful sound business based on that very same kind of passion, and then not want to celebrate it?

Imogen HeapGrammy winner Imogen Heap recently staged a live show that was as close to completely ‘green’ as possible.

Timed to coincide with Earth Day – an annual event intended to raise environmental awareness – the performance took place in the garden of Heap’s home in the UK, in front of 80 specially invited guests – plus an audience of 500,000 who watched a live relay via Facebook and the artist’s website.

Vinyl‘People can say that they like the ‘sound’ of analogue, but to say that analogue recording systems are superior to digital systems is flying in the face of all the evidence.

‘I know that analogue tape recorders sound excellent on some types of recording, but they sound worse on others – and there are other ways of achieving analogue sounds, without suffering the sonic limitations that go with them.’

Bluegrass UndergroundWhile the Tennessee weather reports made unwelcome reading during February, the temperature was rising in the Cumberland Caverns, a series of underground caves more than 300 feet below the earth’s surface where Bluegrass Underground was being filmed.

To get to the concerts, tour guides led patrons through the cave and down the 333 feet to the cave past underground waterfalls, water pools and stalactites.

AidaWhile not convinced by other aspects of the production, the Telegraph newspaper found praise for Isabella Bywater’s set design at London’s current production of Verdi’s Aida. It even made mention of Bobby Aitken’s sound design, declaring the amplification ‘properly unobtrusive’.

A look behind the scenes reveals the full extent of the technology and ingenuity so simply dismissed – and uncovers the secret of the sound localisation.

Prime FocusI visited a new postproduction house in London’s Soho a few years back. Along with vast attention to equipment and interior design, it came complete with a backstory involving a crashed spaceship and technology from another world. It was pretty amazing.

But there was something deeply troubling about the gauze covering the monitor speakers – it helped with the story but it wasn’t going to do anything for the sound…

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