Friday, October 17, 2008

AES 2008

Peter Reardon of Shadow Hills showing off his spectacular gear. Those who are familiar with WWII radios such as the Hallicrafters SX-28 will appreciate the detail and stying of Peter's compressors and other electronics. I suggested to Peter that he submit one of his designs to MOMA for consideration as they do collect post modern products that are unusual and break new ground. In this case, by going back into the mid century aesthetic, and amplifying it, Peter and others have created a new style (that I will not label retro, but you may if you must) and that new style, to my eyes, invokes the idea of technology as a life form, work of art, possessing the soul of the maker, historical reference, and other attributes that that are used to intentionally influence the user's perception and appreciation of the product, combined with the knowledge/belief that the result is improved.

In microphones, musical instruments, and certain other human-technology interface devices, we know this to be an important factor. The user must have confidence and a sense of the overall aesthetic meaning, and that comes through in the final result.


Anonymous said...

This is an interesting style. Having not seen this equipment before. I would hope that the function and operation of the equipment is up and out front as it appears to be. Too much equipment is reliant on inscrutable functions buried in unrelated menus buried under other menus. This of course is an artifact of the computer age.

Bob Crowley said...

It is. There are a couple of manufacturers who seek perfection of form with respect to the elements of the product and how they function. No embellishment or hidden menu, and nothing but the idea of analog cirquits that do useful things. In a sense, less is more. In terms of tone there are people who much prefer the all analog approach and believe it can still be improved. This is certainly what I think and there may be a new era of analog. The papers of Freidlander and Pasternack discuss such an innovation where analog circuits can theoretically surpass digital in all functions including computing.