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Six Audio Products That Need To Be Invented

Even though core recording products exist in the following areas, there's plenty of room for growth

By Bobby Owsinski October 12, 2011

This article is provided by Bobby Owsinski.

 
I got to thinking about the pro audio products I’d like to see invented after reading a similar story on home theater audio.

When you think about it, we’ve all gotten pretty comfortable with technology that no one could ever consider as cutting edge.

Even though core recording products exist in the following areas, there’s plenty of room for growth.

Let’s take a look at a pie-in-the-sky wish list:

1. A new loudspeaker technology. We’ve been listening to recorded and reinforced sound with the same technology for about 100 years now. Sure, the loudspeaker has improved and evolved, but it’s still the weakest link in the audio chain.

What we need is a new loudspeaker technology that improves the listening experience and takes sonic realism to the next level.

2. A new microphone technology. Something is seriously wrong when the best and most cherished microphones that we use today were made 50 years ago. Just like loudspeakers, the technology has improved and evolved over the years, but it’s basically the same in that it’s still based around moving a diaphragm or ribbon through a magnetic field or changing the electrical charge between two plates (that’s a condenser mic, if you didn’t know).

There has to be a new technology that takes a giant leap to getting us closer to realism than what we have now.

3. Get rid of the wires. Studios have been pretty successful at reducing the amount of wiring in the last 10 years or so, but there’s still too much. We need to eliminate them completely. Think how much different your studio would be with wireless speakers, microphones, connections to outboard gear, etc.

Much of this is possible today, but the real trick is to make the signal transmission totally lossless with zero interference.


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About Bobby

Bobby Owsinski
Bobby Owsinski

Music Industry Veteran and Technical Consultant
Bobby Owsinski is an author, producer, music industry veteran and technical consultant who has written numerous books covering all aspects of audio recording. For more information and to acquire a copy of The Recording Engineer’s Handbook be sure to check out his website.

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Jerome Malsack says

Yes the storage and back up are a problem that even the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and Smithsonian have been looking at.  You might see some good articles online from any of these.

Alan Moon says

Regarding “The ultimate audio file format”: Uh… How about Direct Stream Digital?  True 1-Bit recording with a sample rate that is 2.8224 MHz (64 times the sampling rate of CD audio). Plus there is a fully compatible delivery format in the SACD (Super Audio CD) that supports and delivers multiple layers for high resolution stereo, high resolution surround, and even a CD layer for compatibility. The fact that this technology has been around and used since the late 90’s is testament to the fact that it was ahead of it’s time.

Having worked in a world class studio (Clinton Recording Studios - R.I.P.) that afforded me the exposure and access to multiple recording formats and an environment where critical listening ruled the day, I can truthfully say that DSD was a superior digital format to the normal PCM systems of the time… which is important to point out that most digital recordings were done at sample rates of 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz 16-bit to either DASH (Studer D827) or to DA-88. Pro Tools was just earning it’s trust as a format to track to directly at the time… though a safety was usually run simultaneously to DASH. Regardless of this, the operational realities of storage capacity and track count limited what was possible with DSD recording. And it still does.

Thankfully Mytek Digital provides DSD conversion as an optional DIO card for the 8x192 converter. Pyramix has a DAW that fully supports DSD editing. However, the plug-in market is firmly rooted in the realm of PCM and 192 kHz is the goal to achieve in that realm. But, I would love to experience DSD recording in a DAW environment where I could work in a hybrid system (ITB with Dangerous Music summing/monitoring). THAT would be the point of revolution for our industry.

Am wondering if others have compared a DVD Audio disc to an SACD. I am curious what conclusions others would come to when comparing the same recordings in the differing formats. I just fear that these formats were too ahead of their time and arrived right at the emergence of MP3; when convenience trumped performance. We know that this is the where we’re going to be for a while; at least until storage device capability (bandwidth) and processing arrives to handle large I/O capability.

Thoughts?

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