LUNCH WITH THE DIGITAL DEVIL

and

THE HOT ONE THROWS ME A BONE

After my letter to the editor "The Pact with Digital Devil" which appeared in Stereophile Magazine I received hundreds of email responses, and even a handwritten letter from Jose Silva in Maia, Portgual, thanking me for clarifying the essence of the problem with digital audio. Of course The Mighty One Who Controls All Recordings, was also pleased because his vanity was satisfied and The Tempter had a good feeling about demonstrating the futility of renegging on any pact with....yet.... He wanted to go further....and offered me another "bone" if I would go further in explaining his ultimate power and controling over the music industry.

I wanted The Man to meet my audio bro’ Mark Conese, who owns Ambient Recording Studio, and suggested we meet for lunch at "Firehouse Chilli Company" in Stamford.

We could hear The Hot One’s car from a mile away. A 5.8 liter Cadillac motor with double turbochargers, Engel Cam, MSD ignition, Venolia pistons, and fuel injection (650 hp) feeding glass pack mufflers that wailed like Miles. The 1959 Candy Apple Shimron Red convertible with white sidewalls and red leather interior did a four wheel slide right into the driveway , and out jumps The Tempter in his bright red silk gabardine jumpsuit, red Tony Lama cowboy boots, and red baseball cap. Today’s coif was two long shinning braids down to his waist. As always I was amazed out how seriously The Master takes his fashion look, especially, his hair. I also noticed that He was wearing a gigantic diamond ring...I mean the kind of whopper that Elizabeth Taylor wears to the hardware store on the pinky of his right hand, and his fingernails were very long and had a aluminum colored polish on them.

This is the first time that Mark met the Devil and he was very nervous as he showed The Dealer Who Always Wins the redesign of his studio. "Interesting ego trip, but totally irrelevant" were his comments to Mark who looked crushed. Mark is in the process of "re-analog-ing" his studio and is such a aural freak that he has gone totally battery powered to eliminate AC and rectification grunge. This is the studio where Tom Jung of DSP Music recorded the first of the new Sony SACD CDs.

"I’ve seen enough, let’s grab some lunch..we will go in my car". In a flash of burning rubber and growling turbochargers we were at Firehouse Chilli Company. The Devil ordered and soon three bowls of "Eternal Inferno" were in front of us, and in a flash he emptied his bowl...but as he did a drop of the chilli fell on the table and burned a hole right throught it. Mark and I pushed our bowls towards the Devil and he downed them and turned his head towards the window, and gave out a big burp of flames....and then he started......

"There is no industry that is easier to do deals...no arguments...no moral posturing....no stupid intellectual arguments...everyone is so soft and compliant....no waves......just make me rich and famous..wham, bang, thank you mam..."

"And having the benefit of a completely uncritical press is helpful....can you imagine claiming that a new faster computer chip will make the quality of writing in America better? The press would throw rotten tomatoes. Or...this is like a student complaining to his teacher that he couldn’t get his grammar right because his computer isn’t fast enough, and the teacher responds..."You’re right...what you need is a faster computer, and then your grammer and style will improve"...oh how I love it.....record producers are my favorte victims".

Reaching for the the Chilli sauce and empting the whole bottle in his mouth he continued...

"Like apple pie, democracy and motherhood, everyone supports a better digital format, because that can translate into billions of dollars of sales of new digital equipment and I support that because it will result in an even be a lower standard of music quality for the public."

The Devil, once again, started to laugh so hard that the firehouse started to shake..."Don’t you get it Gizmo and Mark...this is just like the principal of a school saying......Jimmy, because you can’t master 3rd grade courses, we are going to promote you to the 4th grade...so you can make a bigger fool of yourself".

I could tell that Mark was getting very upset....he was getting an uncontrolable eye twitch...but Mark is a brave dude and blurted out....."But the old format sounds so digital....".

The Devil smiled, picked his teeth with his diamond studded pinky, looked up towards the ceiling and let out a belch of fire that was so intense that the ceiling of the Firehouse Chilli Company caught on fire, and the Man said..."Run for the door", and as we safely made it out the door we looked back and we saw the Tempter, bend over and produce a "flame thrower chilli fart" and watched as the Chilli house went up in flames, as we burned rubber and headed back to Ambient Recording Studio...and heard the clang of fire engines...

As The Corruptor walked around the control room he turned towards Mark and asked..."Why bother, with all of this stuff.....do you really think that the public cares that you have removed a bunch of my favorite digital grunge by using battery power? My dear boy, the most important thing about music today is how it looks on television....don’t you watch MTV? Let me do a simple calculation..." and the Devil paused and took out a scratch pad and did some calculation.....

"Yupe....it is always the same number....less than 1/1000 of one percent of people in the recording business have a clue about how to make a quality recording....because music quality doesn’t matter...and there will always be freaks like you. Mark, I don’t mean to hurt your feelings but facts are facts...and your are so vain...your the kind of guy I can make a deal with...what do you want? Do you want fame, money, power....want people to say...Now there goes Mark he really cares about music?

Mark was blushing and shuffling his feet, and if he could run out of the control room and hide some place safe...he would have done it.....and then he blurted out....." I just want my digital recording to sound as good as those great vinyl records...that is why I am doing all of this work".

The World’s Greatest Liar smiled........"It’s a deal......"

Mark, was caught off guard and gulped...."But...what’s the deal?"

"My dear Mark, it is very simple...I’ll give you what you want, and I’ll take what I want...trust me".

As The One Who Belchs and Farts Fire was leaving he threw me a big brown envelop...."Gizmo....here’s a bone...it is your finders fee..."

TO BE CONTINUED

WHAT WAS IN THE ENVELOPE?

 

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