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06 October 2017

Photoshop the Audio

I've been watching a cool PBS documentary, Soundbreaking, recently. There's a segment in which Sir George Martin compares the traditional, pre-Beatles recording process to the process that they developed as being analogous to taking a snapshot versus making a painting. In other words, recording at one time was about capturing a performance, while it became more about building a performance.

It occurred to me, however, that this analogy no longer really holds. It's gone further. My mother-in-law, who is a pretty good photog, has told me that no one really takes photographs anymore; they are constructed. By this, she essentially meant that photos are Photoshopped and not just developed. Today, recording is more like CGI than it is either taking a snapshot or painting.

To be accurate, really, both are going on to some extent. It's not either/or but, instead, both/and. It's just that the pendulum has swung much further toward the both/and side.

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