Audio News for May 26, 2015

Science Proves the ‘80s Produced the Most Homogenous Pop Music – A unique computer algorithm has analyzed nearly 17,000 tracks on Billboard’s Hot-100 List since 1960, breaking down the tracks by harmony and timbre. It has concluded, according to a paper published in the academic journal Royal Society Open Science, that Madonna and Phil Collins have a lot to answer for. It concluded that pop music of the 1980s was so catchy that creators inclined to originality were beaten into submission. The computer blames the adaption of aggressive synthesized percussion, guitar-heavy arena rock, and metronomic dance-pop heros like Madonna. The sounds of the Reagan era pushed out genres like folk and country to the point that the middle to late ‘80s became the most homogeous period in pop over the last 50 years.

Samsung Has a First by Including Surround Sound for Headphones in TVs – Samsung will be incorporating DTS Headphone:X in 40 of their new models just launched. It is said to turn any ordinary pair of headphones into an immersive surround sound experience, offering consumers a cost-effective way to experience surround sound without a home theater speaker system. Samsung and DTS have also found that consumers are using headphones with their TVs more frequently so as not to disturb their partner or children, to be respecful of their neighbors or to better hear what’s on the TV over background noise.

Classical News – There are aftershocks from the sudden firing of the music director of the San Luis Obispo Symphony after 31 years, and there are threats to dismantle the orchestra altogether. The board members have remained quiet on the reason for their sudden move. Many patrons have withdrawn their support. The orchestra’s principal violist called the situation “Incredibly fishy…”  The executive director of the Vermont Symphony for the past 16 years has resigned. The orchestra’s music director is Jaime Laredo. The director of Radio France Musique has also quit. Radio France has been in turmoil for nearly a year. It has a big budget deficit, and its board has encouraged early retirements and proposed charing emplyees for their parking spaces. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, under Esa-Pekka Salonen, is conducting a month-long “French Reveries and Passions” festival, with works by Ravel, Debussy and Messiaen.

Next Month Yamaha Launches Their Most Expensive Subwoofer – The NS-SW1000 will be $2499, has a 12-inch front-firing driver, and a 1000-watt amp. Servo technology delivers “perfect linear motion”, extremely tight joints enable accurate bass reproduction, and an aluminum die-cast frame suppresses unwanted resonance. Frequency response is 18 to 160Hz.

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