Published Jul 16, 2009When choosing convenience, quality always suffers. It's a simple rule that applies to everything from, say, pies (made from scratch versus those pasty store-bought jobs) to music. Okay, bear with us here, it'll all make sense in a minute.
What we're getting at is that while the advent of the MP3 music file ushered in a new era of discovering and sharing music, making it easier for people to track down long-lost gems or just finding new favourites, the compression and minimal saving space for digital music came at the cost of one crucial element: sound quality.
With an MP3, everything gets squished together into a tight space, sacrificing some of the sweet highs and booming lows in order to get the whole thing to you. You also have to factor in that MP3s are generally being listened to on tin can-ish computer speakers, and, well, most music sounds like shit these days.
That's why Toronto-based sound engineer Brian Moncarz created his new website eMix Engine. In essence, the site is a place for musicians of all sorts to have their music mixed, remixed, mastered or re-mastered in order to maximize the quality of a band's recording.
How it works: Patrons send in their music files, and for a sliding-scale fee starting at $200 per song their music is manipulated and crafted into something that will presumably still sound fresh and clean despite the fact that it will eventually be crunched into an MP3.
Because the site is relatively new, few artists other than some regional acts and an endorsement from producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Jane's Addiction) are posted on the site. However, Moncarz does offer a few samples of his work for those who still think that kids these days prefer, or need, quality in the things they're stealing.