Here is an excellent article posted at Mixcrate by DJ Enki that I thought many of you would identify with. The article discusses the human ear's innate desire to find music with a "live" feel more pleasing to listen to. This phenomenon is certainly something that I have become more and more aware of as I study all of my musical heroes and continue my quest for the "perfect" mix (or shall I say "imperfect" mix). Ultimately, it's the perfect imperfections from masters like Dilla, Rza, Pete Rock, etc. that separate them from the rest of us. We all may try to duplicate what they do in our own way, but none of us can replicate their sound because our skill level just doesn't match up to them. Simply put, it's raw skill and mastery that allows for the perfect imperfections to be recorded. In the end, our ears can distinguish between the skill level that goes into a J. Rocc mix versus the technological genius that allows for a seemingly "perfect" mix to be created with the help of a program like Ableton. They are not the same, and our ears know it.
To me, the key moment comes when Gopnik sits with a couple of university professors who are studying the psychology of sound. They discuss an experiment in which a pianist played a Chopin song, and then the recording was manipulated to “much more variation within the tempo, or much less; with more variations within the volume of notes, or much less.” The manipulated recordings were played for people who then relayed their feelings about what they heard.
In other words, they were making the music sloppier or cleaner, testing to see at what point sloppiness turns music into just a mish-mash of sound, and, conversely, just how listeners respond to music that is so regimented as to be absolutely flawless.
They found that listeners like the middle ground. A little variation is the human touch; too much makes a mess of things.
Or, to steal a terrific quote from Chuck D: “The funk lies in the imperfections.”
Read Article HERE.