Originally Posted by xradman
Except that at bitrates we are talking about, difference between lossy and lossless may not be obvious depending on state of your gear and ear, whereas results from poor mixing can be very obvious regardless of your gear or ear.
I agree ... but the question (wrt the original observation) I'm asking is, So what?
What follows from the original observation (which I don't dispute) - that it's preferable to have a good lossy mix over a poor lossless one? what does it have to do with the ongoing lossy vs lossless debate that keeps coming up here and on blu-ray.com and on other forums?
To pursue a better analogy than the Big Mac vs a decent burger. Let's forget about recorded sound and consider live sound.
If you ask an engineer, How do you get a really good live sound? the first, and I mean the first thing he will say is Put the band in a good-sounding hall.
Don't put the band in a subway tunnel! Put it in Radio City or Massey Hall or any of the other famous venues reputed to have great acoustics.
But suppose a clever person remarks:
Hold on a minute. I'd rather hear an IN-TUNE band playing in a subway tunnel, than an OUT-OF-TUNE band playing in Massey Hall.
Uncontroversial also. But then - what the heck does this observation have to do with what we call good live sound ??!
Does it show that it's more important to good live sound to tune the band than to position it in a good sounding hall?
I don't think so. Because I think that tuning the band is irrelevant to what we ordinarily call good live sound.
I got one for ya.
A famous acoustical engineer was once asked: What makes a truly great live sound?
His reply: Tune the orchestra, man. Tune the orchestra!
That has the form of a joke. It looks like a joke since the answer is strictly irrelevant to what was meant by the question.
Here's another irrelevant observation:
It's preferable to listen to a real live band in a subway tunnel than a group of corpses in Massey Hall.
Variables such as the tuning of the band, the vitality of the performers and so on certainly have an effect on what's preferable to listen to. However, they are simply not the ingredients of what constitutes a good live sound. (That has to do with fundamental acoustical properties of the room, not properties of the performers.)