we all love kicking back to some tunes after a day of work or whatever you do in the day but have you ever put any thought into how it gets from the drug addled brains of your musical contemporaries to your ears? no exactly, you have too many important things to be thinking about to give it even a passing thought but it can be quite interesting.
sound as we know is basically movements of tiny particles of air which in turn move the little flaps of skin inside your ears creating a tiny electrical pulse that is sent to your brain for judgement as to wether or not these tiny movements of air particles are pleasing or just a load of over produced bollocks.
Albert Einstein said that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only converted into different forms.He was a pretty clever bloke so i have no reason to dote that he was correct but the point im making is thats exactly what is happening when we record music.
with any energy transfer some of the original energy is lost as by products like heat for instance so the secret to efficiency is to go direct and have as few changes as possible.
ideally you would just plug straight into the brain of john Lennon and just let the music flow.
unfortunately this concept has many floors, for instance if you enjoy the music of the libertines you would have to plug into the brain of pete doherty and as such subject yourself to a whole world of bullshit as well as some nice tunes.
so direct musical transfer is out of the window then, shame.
the next best option then is live music, to most people this is seen as as pure as it gets, the first pressing, but really its already on its 4th transfer by the time it reaches your brain. It was an idea in a brain then turned into electrical pulses to play the instruments, then from the instruments into air movements, the air movements into electrical pulses into your brain. Not to mention the complicated amplifiers cuircuites and speaker systems which convert it to and from between movement and electrical pulses.
so thats it then, we will never hear the true first pressing? strictly speaking yes thats just the fact but in reality some transfers can be beneficial to our eventual audible experience.
valves in amplifiers for instance can distort the sound in a pleasant manner improving the sound, so really what were hearing is an enhanced musical manifestation of the ideas in the head of the composer.
so in summary the true first pressing is in the brain of the composer, however the best sound is in the ear of the beholder.
then again this might just all be complete bullshit anyway.