5 Worst Audio Trends of the Noughties

Here are my picks for the Top Worst Audio Trends since 2000. Feel free to add your own comments and picks.

  1.  The End of Hi-Fidelity – Digital distribution of music has lowered the fidelity bar to new levels offering consumers less quality than ever. George Massenburg recently spoke out on the effects of compression formats that introduce distortion, destroy stereo image and generally sound awful giving us something to think about and the knowledge to fight back.
  2. Illegal Downloading – The popularity of illegal peer-to-peer music “sharing” eroded the power of copyright and greatly affected the bottom line of our industry. The Supreme Court came down on the side of copyright holders but not before the damage was done and an entire generation grew to feel they were entitled to free music.
  3. Pitch Correction Abuse – Pitch correction software is nothing short of amazing, but in many cases it created a music culture where talent is optional and production is driven by “fix it later” instead of “get it right.”
  4. The Death of Dynamics – While audio pros continue to fight the misconception that louder is better, it keeps rearing its ugly head, even in mainstream media where Metallica fans cried foul when they realized that Guitar Hero: Metallica game mixes sounded better than the record because the songs had more dynamic range.
  5. Staying Inside The Box – There’s no question that digital audio workstations, modeling software and plugins are here to stay and have changed our industry. But completely eschewing analog processing and recording in favor of staying “inside the box” denies adding a flavor and color to music that can never be modeled. Case in point, The Dead Weather’s Horehound which was recorded on 2″, 8-track analog tape and is a feast for the ears.

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