Podcast 115: Michael Fremer

The inimitable Michael Fremer, editor of the new website AnalogPlanet.com, talks about his career as an analog advocate, the sonic and emotional difference between vinyl LPs and CDs, converting between digital and analog audio, objective measurements versus subjective listening, consumer preference tests, how to enjoy vinyl LPs without spending a fortune, his own reference system, answers to chat-room questions, and more.

Run Time: 56:01

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Michael Fremer is the editor of AnalogPlanet.com, a new website from the publisher of HomeTheater.com, Stereophile.com, InnerFidelity.com, and AudioStream.com. He's also contributed to The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Consumer Digest, and The Bergen Record (New Jersey) among other publications and periodicals.

Fremer appeared on the oft-run History of Audio documentary on The History Channel. He's also been on MTV, The Today Show, CNN, and hundreds of other radio and television shows throughout the United States, talking about the high-end audio listening experience, home theater, and the ongoing, unlikely resurgence of LP vinyl records.

His other credits include supervising the Academy Award-nominated soundtrack to the 1982 Disney science-fiction feature film Tron starring Jeff Bridges, and co-writing the animated feature film Animalympics, on which he also provided voices along with Gilda Radner, Billy Crystal, and Harry Shearer.

Fremer was an on-air personality at WBCN-FM in Boston during the 1970s and has produced and voiced thousands of radio commercials that have run across America.

In 2006, he wrote, produced, and hosted the DVD 21st Century Vinyl: Michael Fremer's Practical Guide to Turntable Set-up, which has received unanimous worldwide media acclaim. An Italian/German version followed. A second DVD, It's a Vinyl World, After All: Michael Fremer's Guide to Record Cleaning, Storage, Handling, Collecting & Manufacturing in the 21st Century, was released December 2008.

Here's the video of this podcast:

Deckard's picture

Usually I start to tune out when the HTG podcasts get too technical, particularly when audio/video philes are involved. I mainly want to hear about new gear with the latest bells and whistles. Michael Fremer hit me real close to home.

Digital is to analog as synthesized is to acoustic instruments. As a music teacher I am constantly asked to teach music technology courses. The reason we need to continue teaching traditional music classes, like bands, orchestras, choirs etc. is that for many of our youth this is the only exposure that students will ever get to the nuances of analogue sound.

To many of today's kids, digital is all they have every heard and it takes almost a year for my new students to understand that louder and faster isn't always better. Unfortunately many never go beyond the iPod.

It's hard to escape the convenience of CDs and now digital downloads, but I really do miss perusing through album art at my local record store. I still own some records but I am currently without a turntable. Nothing beats a great live performance, but records definitely do a much better job of reproducing the overtones generated by live musicians than any digital transfer can.

I agree with everything Michael Fremer said about the merits of analog sound and I thank him for sharing his insights with us today