Audio Format Wars

Before buying a new car, getting married, or adopting a new audio format It is wise to ask a few questions, peer under the hood, and ask the advice of Someone you trust. Will the new format satisfy your needs not only now but, Also in the future? Will it look (and sound) as good on all the mornings after You first met? The analogue cassette is an old and trusted versatile friend that went With you on those morning jogs and cruised in the car with you on Friday nights. However, the powers that be, have declared our trusted friend to be in the last Phase of the life cycle. It's successor must sound better, work better, and Have new features such as a digital display for song titles. There are Currently two formats competing to be the consumers next choice for sound on the Go.

They are Philips' Digital Compact Cassette (DCC) and Sony's Mini Disc (MD). What exactly is digital recording? The definition is, «An electronic Format that is designed to duplicate sound, while affording extremely accurate Control over any changes you might wish to make in the recording» (Mclan & Wichman,1988). In simple terms it means that the digital circuitry samples the Signal and then reproduces what it has seen. The quality of the recording Depends on the sampling rate of the machine. The sampled signal is then encoded To the tape or disc in 1's and 0's, just like a computer disk drive would encode Information. However, the biggest advantage of digital recording is the fact That it eliminates tape «hiss» that is usually found present in analogue Recordings. In the Eighties, a Philips invention captured the limelight. The Compact Disc introduced us to a new era of digital sound, or «perfect sound.» In the nineties another Philips invention has taken centre-stage, the Digital Compact Cassette (DCC). DCC is the marriage of the analogue cassette to Digital Audio. Together they form a union that combines perfect sound, high convince and Greater versatility. « DCC is a medium on which audio information is digitally Encoded and which reproduces CD quality sound» (Philips Electronics, Sound & Vision, 1995). A number of features have been incorporated into DCC tapes and Decks to achieve CD like sound and convince.

DCC decks can locate a chosen Track on either side of the tape because track and time codes are recorded on The tape. This combined with autoreverse, which is standard on all DCC decks, Makes track access effortless but, not as fast as a CD. Another attractive Feature of DCC is the text mode. Text mode allows the deck to display support Information about the recordings on the tape such as the album title, a complete List of track titles, names of the artists on each track, and lyrics (displayed In sync with the music). Television screens or remote control units can also be Connected to the deck to display more extensive information. The tapes have Recording and playback times of 60, 90, and 100 minutes. «The well known Durability of cassettes is enhanced by the use of videochrome tape: chromium Dioxide - or cobalt - doped ferric-oxide» (Philips Electronics, Sound & Vision, 1995). With the new tape shell, the tape and tape drive wheels, which are Exposed on the analogue tape, are concealed by a metal sliding panel called a «slider». The slider helps protect the tape from dirt and dust which Contributes to tape breakdown. This along with the videochorme tape and DCC's Digital error correction system help prevent tape dropout. Numerous digital First generation DCC to DCC copies can be made. Any further copies (ie. 2nd, 3rd, etc generation) made from the first generation copy will not be digital. The biggest advantage that DCC has over the competition is its compatibility With its analogue predecessor.

Sony's Mini Disc is a miniature version of the compact disc that comes In a plastic shell like that of a 3 1/2 computer floppy. «Unlike CD's, MiniDiscs can be recorded using magneto-optical technology» (Dmytryk, 1993, p. 62). Mageto-optical technology allows a MiniDisc to be recorded on many times. A MiniDisc is smaller than a DCC tape and has random track access like a CD. It Also gives the user the capability to edit songs, and the order that they appear In on the disc. To record on a partially full disc, simply hit Record, with no Concern for cueing. Recording starts immediately and the new material is added As a new track. It is also simple to remove dead air and unwanted material. The deleted time is added to the total time remaining on the disc. All of this Makes it very easy to create your own custom compilations. The MiniDisc, like The DCC allows the user to make multiple first generation digital copies. But Second and third generation copies will not be digital. One of the biggest Advantages that MD has over DCC is it's small slim size and durability. By Comparison the sharp edged DCC cassette seems a bit clunky and less durable. Both MD and DCC use data-compression techniques to squeeze digital audio Data into a fraction of the space required by a CD or a Digital Audio Cassette (DAT). « DCC's Precision Adaptive SubCoding (PASC) achieves slightly better than 4-to-1 compression. While Mini Disc's Adaptive TRansform Acoustic Coding (ATRAC) is slightly worse at 5-to-1» (Dmytryk, 1993, p. 65).

Both developers Justify the use of compression with these statements, «The human ear only hears sounds above a certain loudness (dB) Level, called the hearing threshold. The threshold of hearing depends on The frequency of the sound. Therefore, only sounds above this Dynamic threshold need to be recorded.»(Philips Electronics, Sound & Vision, 1995) Loud sounds can completely mask softer sounds that are close in Frequency. Because our hearing is far more acute in the mid-range than at The high or low end of the spectrum, what you hear is defined by the Frequency content during each time slice.» (Dmytryk, 1993 p. 65). In other Words no one will know the difference if certain frequencies are missing. What will all of this new technology cost the average consumer? Well, a Philips DCC deck cost about $600, pre-recorded DCC tapes cost about $20, and Blank tapes cost about $8. While a MD player cost about $500, the pre-recorded Discs cost about $20 and the blank disc cost about $10. Of course as the Popularity of the format grows, the cost will drop. Manufacturers are trying to give the public a more durable and better Sounding medium for those of us that are always on the go. However, since their Introduction about three years ago very few MD and even fewer DCC players have Been sold. Some audio experts feel that the reason they have not sold many Units of either format is because the average person thinks that there is Nothing wrong with the sound quality of a good CrO2 (Maxell's XLII) or metal (Sony's CDit IV) analogue cassette. Many people still live by the old saying, «If it ain't broke, don't fix it.» Manufacturers have built up these new Formats as «the greatest thing since slice bread,» in the hopes of changing the Way people listen to music.

Yet, the public has not jumped on the band wagon of Either of these new formats. However, one thing is certain, the days of the Analogue cassette are numbered. It is only a matter of time before either MD, DCC or some new digital Format such as the recordable CD takes the place of the analogue cassette.

By: Sheldon Khan.


Ballou, Glen. Handbook For Sound Engineers (2nd ed.). Indiana: Sams, 1991.

Davis, Don & Carolyn. Sound System Engineering. Indianapolis, Indiana: Howard W. Sams & Co Inc, 1975.

Dmytryk, George. «Digital Debate.» Electronic Musician, Vol 9 No.8, 1993, August: 62-70.

Mclan, Peter & Wichman, Larry. The Musican's Guide To Home Recording. Toronto: Simon & Schuster Inc, 1988.

Robertson, Patrick. The Book Of Firsts. New York: Bramhall House, 1974.

Sony Home Page. www. sony. com. e-mail: webmaster@sony. co. jp Digital Compact Cassette. Philips Electronics N. V. (1995).

Auguste Rodin

1840 Birth of Auguste Rodin on 12 November in Paris.

1850 10 years oldHe started to draw.

1854 14 years oldHe attended a special school for drawing and mathematics, known as «la Petite Ecole», and followed courses given by Lecocq de Boisbaudran and the painter Belloc.

1855 15 years oldRodin discovered sculpture.

185717 years oldHe left «la Petit Ecole» and sought admission to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He was rejected three times.

1858 18 years oldRodin worked for several decorators and ornamentalists.

1862 22 years oldStricken by the death of his sister Maria, he withdrew to the Monastery of the Order of the Holy Sacrament, where he stayed until 1863.

1864 24 years old He started to work with Carrier-Belleuse. He met Rose Beuret, aged 20. Birth of Camille Claudel.

1866 26 years oldBirth of his son Auguste-Eugène Beuret.

186727 years oldHe worked as a practicien (sculptor's assistant) for several ornamentalists.

1870 30 years oldRodin accompanied Van Rasbourgh to Brussels. On his return to Paris, he was enlisted in the Garde Nationale as a corporal but was subsequently discharged because of his myopia.

1871 31 years oldAfter his discharge, he joined Carrier-Belleuse in Belgium. Death of his mother. Rose joined Rodin in Brussels at the end of the year.

1872 32 years oldHe stopped working for Carrier-Belleuse who returned to Paris.

1873 33 years oldHe associated himself with the Belgian sculptor Antoine-Joseph Van Rasbourgh.

1874 34 years oldWhile in Belgium, he participated in the decoration of the Palais des Académies in Brussels, painted a series of landscapes of the Soignes forest and made some lithographs to illustrate the satirical magazine Le Petit Comique.

1875 35 years oldRodin travelled to Italy where he studied the work of Michelangelo.

1877 37 years oldHe exhibited The Bronze Age at the Cercle Artistique et Littéraire in Brussels, then the Salon des Artistes Français in Paris. Rodin was accused of having cast his statue directly from life. In autumn, Rodin undertook his first tour of cathedrals in central France. Rodin and Rose left Belgium and returned to France.

187939 years oldRodin worked at the Manufacture de Sèvres until December 1882.

1880 40 years oldHe moved into his first studio at the Dépôt des Marbes, 182 Rue de l'Université, which he kept until he died. The French State bought The Bronze Age and commissioned him to sculpt a monumental door for the future Museum of Decorative Arts. Although he worked on it until the end of his life, it was never delivered and was only cast in bronze after he died.

1881 41 years oldThe French State bought a bronze model of Saint John the Baptist. He visited England for the first time and learned the techniques of engraving from Alphonse Legros in London.

1882 42 years oldHe sculpted the figures of Adam, Eve and The Thinker.

1883 43 years oldHe met Camille Claudel, who was then 19 years of age. Death of his father.

1885 45 years oldThe city council of Calais commissioned a monument to commemorate Eustache de Saint Pierre, which was to become known as The Monument to the Burghers of Calais and was inaugurated in 1895 in the presence of Rodin.

1886 46 years oldHe received orders for monuments to Benjmin Vicuna Mackenna and General Patricio Lynch for Santiago in Chile. The Kiss.

1887 47 years oldHe was appointed Knight of the Légion d'Honneur. He illustrated a copy of Les Fleurs du Mal by Baudelaire belonging to Gallimard.

1888 48 years oldThe State commissioned The Kiss in marble for the Universal Exhibition of 1889.

188949 years old He became a founding member of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. He received a commission for a Monument to Claude Lorrain, which was inaugurated in Nancy in 1892. He exhibited with Claude Monet at the Galérie Georges Petit. He received an order for a Monument to Victor Hugo to be placed in the Pantheon.

1890 50 years oldThe project for the Monument to Victor Hugo (Victor Hugo seated) was turned down.

1891 51 years oldWhile he prepared a new maquette for the Pantheon (Victor Hugo standing), the first project for a Monument to Victor Hugo was ordered for a garden. The Société des Gens de Lettres commissioned a Monument to Balzac.

1892 52 years oldRodin was promoted Officer of the Légion d'Honneur.

1893 53 years oldRodin succeeded Dalou as President of the Sculpture Department and Vice-President of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. He hired Bourdelle as a practicien.

1894 54 years oldOn 28 November, Rodin was invited by Monet to Giverny where he met Cézanne. He received an order for a Monument to Sarmiento for Buenos Aires (Argentina), which was inaugurated in 1900.

1895 55 years oldHe bought the Villa des Brillants in Meudon, which he had rented since 1893 and started to build up his collection of antiques and paintings. Inauguration in Calais of The Monument to the Burghers of Calais.

1896 56 years old»Rodin, Puvis de Chavannes, Carrière» exhibition at the Rath Museum in Geneva.

1897 57 years oldAn art patron, Maurice Fenaille, published a series of 142 drawings by Rodin, with a preface by Octave Mirbeau, known as the «Goupil Album» (named after the publisher). The Monument to Victor Hugo was displayed at the Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts.

1898 58 years oldHe broke up with Camille Claudel who was then 34 years old. The Société des Gens de Lettres refused the plaster statue of Balzac, which was presented at the Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts.

1899 59 years oldHe received a commission for a Monument to Puvis de Chavannes. First exhibition devoted to him in Brussels, then Rotterdam, Amsterdam and The Hague. The large-scale Eve was shown at the Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts.

1900 60 years oldRodin was appointed Knight of the Order of Leopold of Belgium. Inauguration of the Rodin Pavilion at Place de l'Alma in Paris on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition.

1901 61 years oldThe Rodin Pavilion for the Universal Exhibition was dismantled and re-installed in Meudon, on the grounds of the Villa des Brillants. It was converted into a studio. Major photographic exhibition of Rodin's works by Eugène Druet at the Galerie des Artistes Modernes.

1902 62 years oldMajor exhibition of Rodin in Prague. Rodin met the poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926). He was Rodin's secretary from 15 September 1905 to 12 May 1906. Illustrations for the second edition of Mirbeau's Jardin des Supplices, with lithographs by Auguste Clot.

1903 63 years oldRodin was appointed Commander of the Légion d'Honneur.

1904 64 years oldRodin met the Duchesse de Choiseul (their friendship broke up in 1912). First exhibition of a large-scale plaster of The Thinker at the International Society of Painters, Sculptors and Engravers in London, then a bronze version at the Salon in Paris. Friendship with Gwendolen Mary John (1876-1939), an English painter, woman of letters, and sister of the painter Augustus John. She became the mistress of Rodin and was his model for the Whistler Muse. International exhibition in Dusseldorf.

1905 65 years oldRodin was appointed member of the Conseil Supérieur des Beaux-Arts and awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Iéna.

1906 66 years oldRodin was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Glasgow. The Thinker was placed in front of the Pantheon. Rodin was appointed titular member of the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts. He painted a series of watercolours of Cambodian dancers who performed at the Colonial Exhibition in Marseilles. He met the Japanese dancer Hanako (1868-1945) who posed for him for the first time in 1907.

1907 67 years oldRodin was granted an Honorary Doctorate by Oxford University. The first major exhibition devoted exclusively to his drawings at the Galerie Bernheim Jeune in Paris. The Walking Man (large model) was exhibited at the Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts.

1908 68 years oldThe Cathedral. Thanks to Rilke, Rodin discovered the Hôtel Biron (now the Rodin Museum in Paris) and moved in. Major exhibitions of drawings in Vienna, Leipzig and Paris.

190969 years oldDecision to sell the Hôtel Biron. Major exhibition of drawings at the Galerie Devambez in Paris. First draft of a donation to the State drawn up by Paul Escudier.

1910 70 years oldRodin was appointed Grand Officer of the Légion d'Honneur. Exhibition of drawings at the Gil Blas Salle des Fêtes in Paris.

1911 71 years oldRoyal exhibition of the Berlin Fine Arts Academy. The State commissioned a Bust of Puvis de Chavannes for the Pantheon. Acquisition of The Burghers of Calais by England for the Westminster garden. The Walking Man was installed in the Palazzo Farnese in Rome. L'Art, Entretiens Réunis, by Paul Gsell, was published by Bernard Grasset, Paris.

1912 72 years oldRodin exhibition in Tokyo. Display of drawings at the Nouvelle Bibliothèque in Lyons. Inauguration of the Rodin Room in the Metropolitan Museum of New York.

1913 73 years oldInternment of Camille Claudel in an asylum. Exhibition at the Faculty of Medicine in Paris where Rodin's collection of antiques were shown for the first time. Rodin went to London to supervise the installation of The Burghers of Calais in front of the Parliament.

1914 74 years oldPublication by Armand Colin of the Cathédrales de France, illustrated with 100 facsimiles by Auguste Clot, and a preface by Charles Morice. Rodin fled the war and left France for England with Rose, in the company of Judith Cladel. He stayed in Rome with the Marshalls.

1915 75 years oldAnother trip to Rome during which Rodin sculpted a Bust of Pope Benedict XV. The Burghers of Calais was unveiled officially in London without a ceremony. Exhibition of sixteen of the eighteen works donated to England at the Royal Scottish Academy of Edinburgh.

191676 years oldRodin fell seriously ill. Three successive donations (1st April, 13 September and 25 October) of Rodin's collections to the State. The Chamber of Deputies and then the Senate accepted the donation, and the National Assembly voted for the establishment of the Rodin Museum in the Hôtel Biron. Rodin received an order for a monument to commemorate the soldiers of Verdun.

1917 77 years oldRodin married Rose Beuret on 29 January in Meudon. Rose died on 14 February and Rodin died on 17 November. He was buried in Meudon on 24 November, next to Rose. Their tomb is dominated by The Thinker.

1919 . A decree officially established the Rodin Museum, which opened its doors to the public on 4 August 1919.

Aul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne was born as the son of a wealthy banker in a southern French town called Aix-en-Provence on January 19, 1839. His closest boyhood friend was Emile Zola, who later gained fame for his novels and letters. Both boys developed artistic interest early in their lives. This idea greatly dismayed Cézanne's father. No one could have guessed it then, but Cézanne would be become a famous French painter who would come to be called the father of modern art.

After a variety of heated family disputes, Cézanne was finally given a small allowance and sent to study art in Paris in 1862. Zola had already gone there, and was still studying there. Paul was most intrigued by the more radical elements of the art world. He admired the romantic painter Eugene Delacroix, and some younger artists including Gustave Courbet and ‹douard Manet. These painters exhibited realistic paintings that were unexpected and shocking in both style and subject compared to other contemporary artists. Cézanne adopted similar styles at first.

Cézanne's early works were usually painted with dark tones and heavy, fluid pigments, which reflected the moody and romantic expressionism of earlier generations. He gradually developed a method of the representation of contemporary life. He painted the world as he saw without concern for idealistic themes or stylish affectation. The most significant influence on Cézanne at this time was Camille Pissaro who not only provided Cézanne with the moral encouragement that he needed, but he introduced Cézanne to a new impressionistic technique for rendering outdoor light. Because of Pissaro's influence, Cézanne shifted from dark tones to bright hues concentrating greatly on scenes of farmland and rural villages.

Cézanne seemed to be less technically accomplished than other impressionists at that time, and received some of the harshest critical commentary. He drifted away from many of his Parisian contacts, and spent much of his time in Aix-en-Provence during the late 1870s and 80s. He became withdrawn, embitter, and paranoid over criticism because of what he took to be references to his own failures in one of Zola's novels. He broke off from Zola and Pissaro, and soon inherited his father's wealth, which made him still more socially isolated. This isolation seemed to greatly increase his development, and he designed his own techniques for painting outdoor light. He himself spoke of «modulating» with color rather than «modeling» with dark and light.

He sometimes thought of himself as a failure. He left most of his works unfinished or destroyed them. He complained of his inability of rendering the human figure. This was displayed especially in the Large Bathers.

No matter how dissatisfied he may have been with himself, there was no lack of support from the next generation of painters. During the majority of his life, he was mostly unknown. This ended when in 1904 he was featured in a major exhibition, and by the time of his death in Aix-en-Provence on October 22, 1906, he had gained the status of a legendary figure. Many aspiring artists traveled to Cézanne's home to observe him at work and to receive and advice he may have had to offer.

Both his style and theory remained mysterious and cryptic. To some he seemed naïve and primitive, but to others her was a sophisticated master of impressionism. Among the artists of his time, Cézanne had perhaps the most profound effect on the art of the 20th century. He was the greatest single influence on Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. He was particularly well known for his use of color and his structure in the cubist style.

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