I heard from Bob Stuart once again. It’s clear from a number of comments that the confusion over recordings and live performances is alive an well. My original comments were based on a reading of the question and Bob’s answer that differs from what he was saying. It was my fault for taking things out of context. I shouldn’t have done it but I was conflicted by his position.
Here’s his clarification:
I see from your recent post, and in the comments, that we are in danger of taking one statement out of context and compounding the error because your readers are not privy to the background of our discussion.
A shared topic for some time has been: ‘What constitutes High Resolution in audio?’, particularly against the background of several attempted definitions in the digital domain. My original comment and subsequent note were in that context, nothing to do with MQA.
The central point I was making (and in the linked article) is that we can define ‘Resolution’ strictly in the analogue domain (and by analogy therefore in acoustic, mechanical and electrical domains!).
One reason we are in the weeds as an industry is that, for sounds, these terms have not been defined as helpfully as they were for pictures.
In optics or photography, image resolution is the detail an image holds, and one measure is how closely two lines can approach and still remain separated (resolved). That tends to be a property of e.g. a column of air, a lens or film .
In digital photography, pixels only loosely correlate to ‘resolution’ which is why they use the different term ‘definition’ for the digital part. A high definition image need not be high resolution.
In sound, ‘resolution’ should be about the separability (resolvability) of two objects or events in time; a measure that can be mapped to analogues of acoustical, mechanical or electrical domains. And unless we can define it way back in the acoustic domain we can’t be reliably guided by the auditory sciences.
A digital path is not necessary to either enable, constitute or reduce resolution. We can have a high- or low-resolution analogue path; we can have a high- or low-resolution digital path. But an analogue definition helps to inform the design of a complete chain.
So once again, I wasn’t commenting on whether analogue recording systems are high resolution or not (nor indeed on whether pre-electrical recordings aren’t analogue), I was making the point that there needn’t be a digital path to have the discussion. This is a very precise topic because it is the starting point.
Discussion over! I’d suggest people wait for your book.
You can post this or not.