The musical road less traveled leads to places like New York's Downtown Music Gallery. If your taste in music lies somewhere outside the marketing-demographic bell curve, DTMG has tunes for you: live tunes, recorded tunes, strange tunes, bargain tunes. There's something for almost everyone at recently launched www.dtmgallery.com---from Classical to Klezmer to Progressive Jazz to World Music to Absolutely Uncategorizable.
In the race for technological superiority, audio electronics companies in the United Kingdom, with a few notable exceptions, haven't often been first out of the gate. Arcam, however, may have already lapped the field with its Alpha 10 DRT (Digital Radio Tuner).
Singer Dusty Springfield died at her home near Oxford, England last Tuesday, March 2, a few weeks before what would have been her 60th birthday and only one day before she was to have appeared at Buckingham Palace to be honored by Queen Elizabeth. The cause was breast cancer.
Unit sales of CD players rebounded in 1998, rising 4% to $336 million, according to statistics from the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association. All segments of the CD hardware market---single-play, carousel changers, and mega-disc changers---improved over the big slump of 1997, when unit sales fell 60% and dollar sales fell 40%. Through November 1998, single-disc player sales were up 33% in units and 24% in dollar volume. Carousel changers, component-CD's largest segment, rose 15% in units and 7.5% in dollars during the first three quarters of 1998.
The popular condensation of Darwin's theory of evolution is "adapt or die." The phrase could certainly have been addressed to the music-industry establishment by any one of four Internet entrepreneurs in a public discussion last week at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club. The four---Gerry Kearby of Liquid Audio, Gene Hoffman of GoodNoise, Arnold Brown of AudioExplosion, and Andrew Keen of Audiocafe.com---gathered at the public affairs forum Tuesday evening, February 22, for a spirited discussion of "The Future of Music Distribution."
In the classic textbook example, the Doppler effect is demonstrated by an increase in both pitch and volume (or amplitude) of a train's whistle as it approaches a station, followed by a decrease in pitch and volume as it moves away. This effect---the shift of a frequency emitted by a moving object---leads to a fundamental flaw in audio technology. A midrange driver behaves like the approaching-and-departing train when it attempts to reproduce varying frequencies. When the driver is fed simultaneous 400Hz and 2kHz tones, the forward movement of the cone at the lower rate modulates the 2kHz tone upward in pitch and amplitude; when it moves backward it modulates the higher tone downward. (The human eardrum also behaves this way, but the brain's audio-analysis circuitry knows how to deal with it.)
Rare violin dealer Geoffrey Fushi has devoted many of the past several years and a substantial portion of his liquid assets to producing The Miracle Makers, a reference book-and-recording project honoring the works of Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu, late 17th- and early 18th-century makers of the world's most sought-after violins. Fushi is also the founder of the Stradivari Society, a philanthropical organization of violin fanciers who loan their invaluable instruments to gifted students. Members believe that their treasures were intended to make music, not merely to gather dust in heavily guarded vaults.
Music lovers within driving distance of San Francisco and those planning a visit for later this month should set aside Sunday, February 28, for a feast of black vinyl. That's the day the San Francisco Conservatory of Music holds its Giant LP Sale.
Musician, martial artist, and electronics whiz Ben Blish has loved audio since he was a little kid staring into the glowing tubes of his father's Scott hi-fi equipment. Thirty-four years after catching the bug, he still nurtures it daily.
Until the end of January, the Federal Communications Commission had opposed the proliferation of low-power FM radio stations. "Microradio," as it is sometimes called, has been an ongoing problem for the agency since inexpensive broadcasting gear became widely available several years ago. Primarily an urban phenomenon, microradio consists of individuals and small groups with a hodgepodge of equipment, who wedge themselves into unoccupied slots in the crowded FM band.