Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Compression and Fidelity
Regarding my previous post—metaphor is compressed logic—I'm willing to bet good money that sound compression is similar, in other words, compression is the removal of “redundant” sounds (“noise”).
Why does The Dark Side of the Moon still kick ass on your speakers? Because Alan Parsons compressed the hell out of it. (Seventeen compression cycles if I recall, someone correct me.)
Such a sound promises a Platonic fidelity to the real (“hi-fi”), but in fact the effect is wholly Aristotelian: it has to do with rich, chocolatey sound that punches you. If you've ever used a compression sustain pedal you'll know what this does to your electric instrument sound. (My experience is with electric violin.)
From this we can guess that compression is the introduction of increased consistency into an information system. On this view, astonishingly, poetry is more “consistent” than logic!
(Here consistency means something the consistency of a chocolate sauce.)