The Rebirth of Stereo

I listen to a headphones a lot, like so many others. Though I might not be using over-priced, over-hyped cult status symbols, I still spend several hours a day hearing things those around me aren’t. But in a good way.

One thing that headphone listening really emphasizes is that music from the last forty years has been recorded, predominantly, in stereo. Somewhat distressingly, it seems like fewer and fewer songs are actually making use of the potential of having two separate audio channels. While there is a certain irony to think that we’ve gone from mono recordings, to stereo, to quadraphonic, to stereo again, and now seem to be back, for all intents and purposes, high-definition monaural music, it’s slightly depressing as well.

I wonder, though, if the continuing popularity of personal music players and the ever-increasing use of headphones to listen to music might eventually lead to a resurgence of music that really is in stereo, as it used to be, with different things happening in the left and right channels.

Maybe there’s a reason today’s music sounds monaural; perhaps most people find the spatial separation of truly stereo audio disorienting, or fatiguing, or something like that. Whatever the reason, though, I really do wish artists and producers would be less afraid to venture away from the realm of “everything in the middle of your head, always.” Hey, if nothing else, it’d be one way to help distinguish all the look-alike, sound-alike “pop” acts apart, right?

Published in: Geekiness, General | on August 20th, 2007| Comments Off on The Rebirth of Stereo

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