Saturday, June 9, 2012

Delay Tactics

One of the few nice things that happened as a result of our friend Danny’s passing was getting back in touch with old friends.
I was contacted by both Walt Whitney and Carl Weingarten. After a lot of catching up and nostalgia, we decided it was time for a new Delay Tactics release.
Unlike Wax Theatricks, Delay Tactics focused on instrumentals. I was very proud of the sound of the recordings. I blame Walt for that.
He had a 4 track Scully recorder. Wax Theatricks was recording on 16 and 24 track decks and getting nowhere near the sound. I kept thinking about Sgt. Pepper being recorded on a 4 track Studer machine.
Carl is sending a 10 minute piece he and Walt have been working on. He asked what format I would like it in.
This brought up an old lament of Danny’s and mine. The current format of music favors convenience over quality. Even the best 192k MP3 is no match for a CD, although it beats the hell out of tape or even FM radio.
I told Carl to send it to me 44.1k/16 bit because that’s what CDs use. The problem with that is the Recording Industry Association of America ( RIAA) announced Cds will end next year. I think it has more to do with how easy it is to steal than obsolescence.
I guess unless it’s a band promoting itself with sales at the venue, we’ll be downloading everything.
Walt has been mixing everything at 48k/24 bit in surround sound. That’s what they use for DVDs and unfortunately, it’s complete overkill in this day and age for music.
Last Christmas I gave my son a stereo with a turntable because he’s into vinyl now. Having grown up with boom boxes and ear buds, he’s amazed by the sound. He likes to turn the bass all the way up and blast. The house shakes, the dog freaks, and my ex’s screams can’t be heard over the din. It’s great! The music sound’s terrible though.
What will be the new standard?
If you haven’t already seen it, check out this 1985 PBS show about Delay Tactics.

 pic is from a Delay Tactics show in the early 80s.

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