Musicians know all too well what they hear in the studio while tracking never quite translates to the final digital mix and definitely not to the average fan listening on ear buds. The highest highs and lowest lows are gone. The decay of a snare hit or guitar note is truncated or reduced. Computers have to compress and remove the sound information humans “don’t need to hear” before they can record the sound to disk.
Read this article from the Nashville Tennessean that describes the compression process and some new technologies being developed for the studio that will increase the fidelity of recorded music as well as improved playback systems for consumer. The amount of recorded information removed from a digital recording is astounding.