Sunday, July 31, 2005

Low Tech Hi Fi

I went to a gig on the weekend where one of the guest MCs (it possibly refered to more people than just himself - as in a crew of people) was named Low Tech Hi Fi. The name they had chosen for themselves got me thinking about its connotations and what it was that they were trying to say about who they were and the music they produce. Am I right in thinking that this is - low technology and high fidelity?? And do you think that this speaks of some sort of musical professionalism and/or expertise where by a DJ and MC use low forms/old school technology but through their skill still manange to produce high fidelty sounds? I wondered if in reality they really were using low tech or old school tecnologies to do what they were doing, or if this was merely a marketing device which referenced a fondness for old reggae etc etc and showed that this is where the influence of these sounds within their music came from (or where the choice of tracks that they mixed came from as of couse they were not their own creations).
It reminded me of a clip that Luke showed us in film,tv,media (was it 101 or 100?? cant remember), but anyway - it was a Ben Harper music video and showed Harper and his production crew recording and then physically producing the vinyl albums, which were then distributed by Harper from the wire basket on the back of his old bicycle as he peddled around a jamaican style setting. The recording 'studio' was an old run down shack and the actual musical track had scratchy references to a needle on vinyl and all that kind of thing. This for me connected with this idea of Low technology being able to produce a hi fi sound...but left me wondering in both cases, if it were neccessarily true or not.


At 6:46 PM, Blogger Chris said...

I'm currently looking at buying a Roland VK88, totally digital organ synth. The old electric organs produced sound through tone wheels, with different combinations and different wheels for different tones. Frequently those wheels would leak power into each other, effecting the resulting sound. The VK88 by default incorporated tone leakage, and you can even adjust the amount of leakage. The old organs also has mechanical draw bars which you would operate to change the tones as well, a lot of organ synths have the same deal, but with buttons or knobs, or even through PC controlled mouse and keyboard to change the drawbars. The VK88 has 9 (22 total) draw bars built in, to let you control that.

it even ships in classic wood finish, to give that oh so 50s appeal.

retro has a certain aesthetic, which keeps on returning.

At 11:26 AM, Blogger mags said...

yeah, its bizzare (but not really I guess) that we create machines to, in this example, produce the effect that the original had anyway - just minus the effort involved. I guess a lot of it is to do with refined control over the sound produced?? And less physical skill and effort involved?


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