Tokyo Damage Report

how about a REAL new music format?

When I was a kid, we had LPs and cassette tapes. CDs were the “new thing” that was supposed to “change the way you listened to music”.  No one was sure exactly what would change, except you were supposed to throw all your LPs in the trash and spend your change on replacement CDs.  Because. . . shinier!!!!
Then mp3s happened, and this really DID change things. . . they changed the way music was DISTRIBUTED. And various Apple products changed the way you could CARRY your music – 150 gigabytes of it per pocket.  
But here’s my point: exactly NONE of these advances (more shiny, more free, smaller) actually changed the WAY we listen to music.  
In fact, in terms of the ONLY THING I CARE ABOUT . . . .we’re still listening to music the way we did back in the days of WAX CYLINDERS.  
We’re still listening to PRE-MIXED MUSIC.
All these advances in technology and we still aren’t able to pick and choose the volume levels of the various instruments. Just like back in the wax cylinder days.
 How many songs have you heard that sound great on headphones but shitty on your car stereo?  YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIX THAT. How many songs have amazing riffs but you can’t ever listen to them because the asshole engineer made the hi-hat louder than the fucking snare? YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIX THAT. How many bands are awesome but have one particular band member that just fucks it up (usually the singer or keyboardist)? YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO MUTE THAT. How many totally rad guitar riffs have you heard but you can’t learn them on your own guitar because of all the other instruments playing over it? YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO SOLO THEM. How many songs are awesome but the lyrics are so fucking dumb that you just wish the singer would shut up? Until we invent some filter that automatically translates English sounds to Esperanto or some other language nobody knows in real time, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO MUTE THEM.
Think about it: everything recorded in a studio since the ‘60s has each instrument on a different track. THE VAST MAJORITY OF THAT INDIVIDUAL-TRACK DATA HAS BEEN PRESERVED. 
 
When you’re listening to some beatles song, you’re likely listening to something recorded on a 16-track.  Why are they selling you a 2-track recording (stereo)? Fuck this “quadraphonic” or “surround sound” bullshit. I want ALL the tracks.
I mean, what is the fucking holdup? Memory? You can fit the library of congress in a USB drive shaped like a dog dong. Copyright? As long as you’re not copying the individual tracks, it wouldn’t be any different than owning the stereo pre-mixed version.  Playback technology? Sure, record players and CDs were limited to 2 tracks (right and left). But as soon as we started using computers to play our mp3s – the SAME EXACT COMPUTERS THAT WE USE TO HOME-RECORD 64-TRACK JAMS ON – then the last technological barrier to mass-marketing music as individual tracks went away.
 
THAT WAS FUCKING 18 YEARS AGO. 
 
 If you really want to talk about “technology is changing the way people listen to music”, let’s fucking do this right. If you really want to make people pay to re-get music they already fucking paid for in a new format, fucking make it a REALLY NEW FORMAT.
 
Here’s how it would work: you pay for a 32-track song (for example).  You’d get 32 mp3 files, plus another file that would have the “default” mixer settings for your player’s mixer.  Then you could tweak, mute, louden and quieten the individual tracks however you felt, and save various re-mixes with the original file.  You could even swap mixes with your friends WITHOUT ILLEGALLY SHARING THE SONG. You’d just be sharing the mixer settings, which would be useless to anyone who had not paid for the song. 
 
So next time you hear some Wired magazine douche or Apple brandwhore talking about how technology is great, remind them that we are actually 18 years behind the fucking times.
2 comments

2 Comments so far

  1. 23 Wolves May 13th, 2013 7:30 pm

    This is an AWESOME idea.

  2. Charles May 14th, 2013 6:06 am

    a cool idea, but there's no reason for the music industry to support it- if anything, it makes production flaws easy to spot, and if you have multiple mp3 files with each track on a file, plagarism would increase ten fold, as people can easily just drag the drum track into their own song etc

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