In discussions of whether it’s possible to “accurately” reproduce the artist’s intent, there are skeptics who feel this is mission impossible. But, while it’s of course impossible to fully replicate a live musical performance if music is created in a studio, or on someone’s PC, that work is defined by mixing and mastering.
Even with a live recording, in the end, the mixing and mastering will largely define how it is judged on technical merit. So, it only makes sense that if you pursue accuracy, you will pursue the conditions under which music was mastered. And in that context, the dominant factors are the room and the speakers.
This brings us to the news of the moment, which is a playlist from Focal Naim America that “focuses” on tracks mixed with Focal speakers (the company makes studio monitors, not just speakers for the home). The playlists are available here:
“Mixed on Focal playlists are a perfect way to show off the incredible sound of Focal speakers,. The pro audio community works tirelessly to record and mix the best sounding music possible, and listeners dream about hearing the best representation of that music – now we offer them a way to hear the music as it was mixed and meant to be heard – by listening on Focal speakers with ‘Mixed on Focal’ high-resolution streaming playlists.” –Romain Vet, VP of Marketing & Communications, Focal Naim America
Granted, a home listener with Focal speakers likely is not going to be using professional powered monitors (but they could!). The idea, however, is that Focal monitors and Focal speakers have similar performance capabilities. Ultimately this is an exercise is audiophile entertainment, and even if you do not have Focal speakers, you can listen for the sake of music discovery, and to hear some tracks this company feels are superbly produced.
Thomas “Tillie” Mann (Focal Twin6 Be)
Mike Pepe (Focal Trio6 Be / Twin6 Be)
Ryan West (Focal Solo6 Be)
Eric Stenman (Focal Trio6 Be)
Rob Tavaglione (Focal Trio11 Be)
Jimmy Bralower (Focal Twin6 Be)
IanBoxill (Focal Solo6 Be)
WillYip (Focal Trio6 Be).