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Sound Spectrum

Julie JD
September 20, 2011

There is a difference in sound when a recording is converted to mp3. What difference you say? Well, each tone you play, plays at a certain amount of hertz (Hz). Which is the amount of cycles per second a sound wave travels. When you're recording, certain microphones only pick up on certain frequencies, kind of like our own abilities which is 20 Hz to 20 kHz. When you convert these sounds to an mp3 it compacts these frequencies, some time completely cutting out the outer spectrum. A CD doesn't quite do the same thing, it just compacts the sound to fit on disc. Which is why when you upload a CD onto your computer to an mp3 it sounds a little different. Where as when you listen to vinyl, you get more of the spectrum. A record actually imitates the sound waves which is why they're bigger and only fits 5 songs on each side of a vinyl record. This is why you hear some people say mp3s sound digital and how vinyl gives them a better sound impression.

So what's the point in telling you all of this? It not only makes you look smarter when you regurgitate this information to some fellow musicians, but it's good insight to have when you're promoting yourself. Mp3s are an efficient way to get your music around, but if you spend a lot of time recording the music and have intricate sounds and melodies you're better promoting it all on a CD. Something I noticed visiting in Vancouver some bands had they're songs on a 45. yeah that's right, a smaller vinyl record. I thought it was really good idea, it not only gave them some cool points, but the record made they're songs sound really full. And owning records make you feel more like a pretentious music listener.

- Julie JD -