Fatty launches More Hi Less Wifi Campaign
What is More Hi-Fi Less Wi-Fi?
It’s about sound… so, in simple terms, ‘vibrations that travel through the air that can be heard when they reach a person's ear’.
Vibrations? The bigger the speaker, the bigger the vibration? Yes indeed – and that's where the fun starts. Few really comprehend it but all enjoy it when they hear it correctly. This is why we have sound system maniacs who build speaker boxes the size of houses and we rave to the likes of Mungos Hi-Fi, my personal favourite sound system in UK.
But let’s rewind first for a moment…
Record labels like EMI and Decca pioneered recording techniques, and built and modified recording equipment to reach very high standards. In classical music the Decca sound is still unbeaten today as far as I am concerned. Island records for its 1970s output was famous for its sound, the sound of the Stones, Bob Marley and Led Zeppelin all have something in common. The modern mixing console design was developed by UK electronic mavericks such as Dick Swettenham from Helios (used by the names I just mentioned) and Rupert Neve. In Neve's cas,e many of their 1970s mixing consoles are still in use today and are in some of the top studios in the world. Dave Grohl is a fan and owns one of the best examples. (link to film)
In Jamaica, King Tubby modified the American made Altec, Langevin and MCI equipment that had come from Atlantic Records recording studio in New York. As Atlantic upgraded their equipment in the early 70s, the engineers figured the Jamaicans would appreciate the warm sound of their 60s equipment. I was personally told by the great Bunny Lee that, during the time he was Atlantic's best distributor in the Caribbean, he was given said equipment as a gift which he then passed on to his friend King Tubby. The rest is well documented in audio and reggae history.
I have taken it upon myself to contribute to the preservation and to promote the analog traditions associated with our great musical heritage. The UK has produced some of the best recording equipment, technicians and sound engineers over many decades.
Is it just about sound? No, there is more. It’s also about the personal listening experience. Computers, tablets and phones ultimately distract the user from really going deep into the music. This is where the less Wi-Fi comes into play. I challenge anyone to listen to an album or see a live show and not look at the distraction circuit in their hands. Remove a phone from someone's hand and it’s like removing a pack of cigarettes from a smoker! They ain't gonna like it.
I personally don't get affected by this as I have large Tannoy speakers and so when I play something to a friend I turn it up loud and they have little choice in the matter. I can see why other record producers over time have lost some of the enthusiasm though. Does a film director now expect the average person to be watching movies on a phone? It seems so.
A call to action: what can we do? Buy real hi-fi amps, speakers and turntables. Blue tooth funky portable speakers are great for the beach and hotel room but not your living room. When I was a kid every house had a Hi-Fi: where are all the speakers now? Let’s bring it back. For the same price as the latest iphone you can start your Hi-Fi experience. Hi-Fi doesn't need software updates or Internet connections. Buy some big speakers and impress your friends... support our homegrown audio technicians, designers and lets keep analog alive. Buy vinyl and keep old ladies in employment! (women are used in pressing plants for quality control as they outperform men. Please visit the Erika Vinyl factory in Los Angeles for confirmation.)