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February 2004
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
The Future of HiFi:
Future or Feature Creature?
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

 


Note: This article was written in 1997

 

  It hit me like a ton of bricks. Stupid me wasn't looking where i was going, walked into a brick wall, and in fact it was a ton of bricks! Blacked out for what seemed like a few seconds and this, like, totally radical vision came to me. A vision of the most amazing audiophile/videophile system of the future! No amplifiers, no turntables... not even a vacuum tube in sight. This was one really killer vision which I'm gonna parlay out to you now.

In this systems everything made sense too! For what you're about to read is an article of what just may be the music/movie reproduction system of the future. It is the year 2020. We now have a greater understanding of the human electrical system. Ya see, we humans are a type of electronics component ourselves. If you remember sending electricity over a frogs muscle in high school then you know what I'm referring to. The fact is even today in good ol' 1997 people half way around the world have effected a willing human movements via modem connection in one part of the world to a computer in another part of the world which controlled electrical stimulation!

But let's get back to this vision of the future. In the future our bodies are treated more like a type of electrical multi-system. Specifically, chemical and electrical with the ability of free thinking and abstract problem solving which computers can't quite accomplish even in the year 2020. While we are highly valued for our abstract thinking, our genes have been predetermined through genetic engineering and a computer acts as a link to the electrical system. This computer is fully transplanted and is part of us. In this type of man/machine marriage we free our brains of remembering dates, times, appointments, how to do a skateboard frontside olly to a 50/50 poleslide, etc.

An offshoot of this is that we also have the ability to uniquely control our enjoyment too. For those who might feel this is some kinda X-Files thing please remember that since we are a type of electrical system, one day low power computer chips will find their way into the human body (humor: and will we need some type of power filter by Jice or a Ching Warp Speed?).

The Overlookers of the recording industry in 2020, once referred to as the AES many years ago, realizes that minimal mic'ing using two microphones is the best way record acoustic music for realistic replay. Our music reproduction systems have evolved to reflect proper playback of said digitally recorded material. For auditory enjoyment our speakers and walls are mounted to an electromagnetic flooring. This type of flooring is capable of moving the walls and the speakers into whatever position we wish. Each recording is encoded with the information of microphone placement and room size. Therefore the walls will be active adaptive subsystems themselves where the acoustic properties of the wall will change according to the program material too!

So when the music program is asked run, the room and walls themselves accommodate this information with the walls and speakers moving into their optimum positions for realistic playback. Each work of musical art can the be replayed for in the most killer of setups.

TeledesicOur source for music will be through satellite feed via a modem speed not even attainable by today's T3 connection! All the music will be available via a database which brings audio and video into our homes. Of course the industry will have found a *pay per* system to make sure they get their slice of the pie. For movies we can all relax in the same room and enjoy our holography three dimensional picture. Precision holography will bring us such high definition pictures that the movie theaters have been turned into human interaction centers and large skateboard parks.

A key element missing in movies, the sense of smell, has been solved too. We no longer watch movies but, if we so choose, we can be in the move too! Crime will be at its lowest due to genetic engineering and also brain stimulation via holographic movies incorporated with the previously mentioned audio replay systems. These programs can adapt during replay and therefore have no set script once it begins. Yeah, we're talkin' virtual reality stimulation therapy customized, yet diversified for each individuals needs. Some of us may not have the financial resources or space to accommodate our own music/movie room (virtually reality therapy is paid for by the government), therefore we either share one as a community or use personally stimuli.

The personal stimulus system connects directly to our brain waves and can send our choice of enjoyment directly to our brains. In either room or brain wave stimulation some will argue over the possibility of thought control and of course many true music lovers may still prefer pure live music. Pure live music can be either as we experience it now in 1997, or with The Talented Human Interface System (T.H.I.S.).

A musically talented musician in 2020 can record their own performance to later be replayed by T.H.I.S. Another option is to choose a T.H.I.S. from another musician! Taking this idea to the extreme, we can use robots to actually perform live music. Robotics in the year 2020 have evolved to eliminate we humans menial tasks so we may better explore the hierarchy of our beings (like the ability to surf, snowboard, skateboard, etc.). Robotic musicians are very consistent and able to play repeatable performances. Unlike the system we have today in 1997 where generally only the rich old farts enjoy hearing music in Carnegie Hall while sitting in the best seats of the house, anyone can now enjoy the best performances played back in the best concert halls.

Of course there will be robotic performances and human performances via T.H.I.S. Instead of the vinyl vs. CD or analog vs. digital, arguments over live humans over their robotic counterparts will be posted all over the cyber-celestial internet. Humans have more delicacy some will say whereas robots play music which is perceived cold and unemotional. Still other will show us incredible precise graphs displaying the original performance and how the robots play the music more closely to it then their human counterparts.

Of course all of this was a vision, an insight... or a bad trip? The future is what we allow to happen. Technology is neither good nor bad per se, but how we choose to use it. Some of today's greatest inventions may one day be like a grain of sand on a beach or like a teardrop in the great oceans of life. Other may yield us that final breakthrough which is the key into making future possibilities happen.

This article is not to make any judgments on what the future may bring us. It's just written here to possibly get a glimpse as to what may be in our future. You can make your own final judgments. Please keep in mind a great saying in the movie Back To The Future:

Your future is what we make of it, so make it a good one!

As always, in the end what really matters is that you...

 

Enjoy the Music (Rush "2112", Part IV: Presentation" right now),

Steven R. Rochlin

 

"<Musician>
I know it's most unusual
To come before you so
But I've found an ancient miracle
I thought that you should know

Listen to my music
And hear what it can do
There's something here as strong as life
I know that it will reach you.

<Priests>
Yes, we know it's nothing new
It's just a waste of time
We have no need for ancient ways
The world is doing fine

Another toy will help destroy
The elder race of man
Forget about your silly whim
It doesn't fit the plan.


<Musician>
I can't believe you're saying
These things just can't be true
Our world could use this beauty
Just think what we might do.

Listen to my music
And hear what it can do
There's something here as strong as life
I know that it will reach you.

<Priests>
Don't annoy us further
We have our work to do.
Just think about the average
What use have they for you?

Another toy will help destroy
The elder race of man
Forget about your silly whim
It doesn't fit the plan...."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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