The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, more commonly known as The Recording Academy, it has been established as the premier outlet for honoring achievements in the recording arts. The GRAMMYs are the only peer-presented award to honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position, (unlike all of the other awards) shows. As a Voting Member of the Academy, we constantly address the fact that the vast majority of people are listening to low quality mp3’s today. And although we all recognize the portability, ease of purchase and now streaming, I don’t think most people are aware the vast degradation to the music once converted into an mp3 file. By definition, an mp3 is a means of compressing a sound sequence into a very small file, to enable digital storage and transmission, by some omissions diminishing the musical information by up to 90%.
As a teenager growing up, I saved my money to buy the best stereo, even upgrading the speakers to Bose when I could afford them. When one purchased an album, you would bring it home, drop the needle and listen to both sides in succession. And while doing so, purge through the liner notes, who’s the bass player, the drummer on the session, the engineer, where was it recorded and who Produced it – you get the idea. The defector reference monitor in most recording studios are Genelec 1031A Bi-amplified speakers. I believe these speakers reproduce the work with such accuracy in playback that many years ago I invested three grand in a pair to enjoy music in my home. Today, finding detailed liner note information is virtually impossible. And in addition to this vital information not being available to give proper credit to the creators and individuals responsible for the creation of the music, most of us are listening to the end product in an mp3 file and quite often through shitty little ear buds.
If you care to learn more about this subject matter and the artists themselves who are so passionate about sound quality, be sure to view this video. The Distortion of Sound