Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Censorship I’m facing on audio listener and engineering forums

Within the past three years I have registered and become a member of music listner forums(Steve Hoffman Forums) and professional audio forums(GearSlutz).  As such I have likely rubbed shoulders with engineers and managers who are responsible for the production and delivery of much of the music we hear on the radio or buy online or at stores.

Ever since bringing up what I considered to be the negative effects of so-called remasters on sites such as GearSlutz and Steve Hoffman’s, I’ve been hounded by the moderators of those sites, had my posts deleted, and have received suspensions and other infractions.  In the case of the largely listener-populated Hoffman forums, less educated music fans are going to question “how could the original possibly be better than the "remaster” in fidelity terms?

To be fair, the aim of my anti-loudness campaign was originally misguided, on the Gearslutz side: at the engineers(recording/mixing/mastering) themselves!  Once I stood corrected there, and realized that these people were just performing a service as requested, things kind of cooled down.

But now, even in threads devoted to loudness, or regulation of same, and remasters vs original, my contributions are being removed as “off topic”!  And most recently, just today, I was issued a warning from the Gearslutz Administrators about not posting things such as the link to this blog!  Well, now you know what kind of organization they are: Not necessarily "pro-loudness", but definitely, denialist.

Why this censorship against discussion of trends directly affecting the music industry?  Plain & simple: It’s a service business with money and reputations at stake.  The engineers on those forums(some of which serve as moderators , etc.) cannot afford to speak out against the very processes they must engage in, even though they don’t like having to, to turn out records that satisfy their clients(the artists, their producers, and the record labels).  And as far as the listeners go, on sites like the Hoffman Music forums, I chalk it up largely to just being misinformed.  I hope this blog helps those people out. J

It is important to realize that a site like GearSlutz is not solely the denizen of engineers and other “techy” types – aspiring and established musicians will also lurk there to read, as well as register there to participate in the discourse.  And engineers know this.  So, even if they do agree with what I’m saying, registering that agreement in such a venue could be toxic to their reputation with artists on there who might even be clients of those same engineers!

Often they say things like, “Musical tastes change”, or “What sounds good to you may not sound good to others”, in response to my statements about how music from a specific genre sounded better 20-30 years ago than current examples recently put out by artists.  I know that they are just saying that to keep up appearances, but they’d be free to really speak their minds if they came over here!

Such “censorship of the truth” as I militantly call it, is part of the very reason for this blog.

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