The New Analog
Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World
240 pp., 7 x 8 in, 49 b&w illus.
- Published: November 3, 2017
- Publisher: The MIT Press
- Rights: not for sale in the US, Canada, or the Philippines
A meditation on what was lost—and on what is worth preserving—in the movement away from analog music and culture.
Although digital media have created new possibilities for music making and sharing, they have also given rise to new concerns. What do we lose in embracing the digital? Do streaming services discourage us from listening closely? In this book, musician Damon Krukowski uses the sound engineer's distinction between signal and noise to examine what we have lost as a technological culture, and to identify what is worth preserving.
Krukowski examines experiences from the production and consumption of music that have changed since the analog era—the disorientation of headphones, flattening of voice, silence of media, loudness of mastering, and manipulation of time—and employs them as a lens through which to consider digital culture. When music went digital through such streaming services as Napster and iTunes, it was reduced to signal only, stripped of its analog-era noise. But the analog and the digital need not exist in isolation from one another, Krukowski argue; noise can be as communicative as signal, conveying time, location, and space. The New Analog urges us to reconsider the role of noise in our increasingly digital lives, to appreciate its continued relevance, and to plug in without tuning out.
This could all make for dry reading, or be of little interest to a non-musician or non-sound engineer, but Krukowski's sprightly, clear, and above all, even-handed prose holds our attention.…Engaging, idiosyncratic, and highly enjoyable, The New Analog takes the changes since the analog era, and brilliantly uses them as a lens through which to examine the digital culture we all consume.
very enjoyable to read... inspiring reading for those scholars that aim to explore further the implication of digitization and over the music world.
Tecnoscienza: Italian Journal of Science & Technology Studies