Explaining Audio Fidelity

How do you increase audio fidelity is a common question we get here at Slick Audio.  So it’s time to put a post together to help new musicians and engineers understand this concept a bit better. First, we need to define and refine the question a bit more. Of course, the original performance, live, is the ‘true’ fidelity, which consists of all of the variables surrounding the original sound … instruments, mics, room, etc. This is ‘the sound’. What any engineer should be doing is trying to capture that sound as accurately as possible. What you do with it from there (processing, etc.) is by choice and may ‘sound’ great to one person and terrible to another. Thus, that leaves the original premise of the question to be subjective on whatever they are using to create the reproduction (or capture the original). In audio, there is no ‘wrong way’ to do anything, it becomes ‘your way’ and if that is perfectly acceptable to you, the listener of the audio and you are happy, that is all that matters. Taking that premise one step further, if you are looking to make a studio ‘sound better’, we need to understand what you are using today and what the room looks like (from a sound perspective) … live, dead, etc. It is impossible to comment on better fidelity until those factors become known. If you are trying to increase a home stereo systems fidelity … get better equipment than you have today and spend 2X the amount of money on your speakers than any other single component (rule of thumb).