Ongoing History Daily: No mono, please

You may have noticed that some early Nine Inch Nails recordings have a warning on them that reads “Caution: Not for use with mono devices.” What does that mean?

Basically, it’s a caution from Trent Reznor that says if you don’t listen to his stuff in stereo, you’ll miss all the work he put into layering the master tapes with sound after sound. There’s all kinds stuff hidden there. For example, try playing with the balance and tone controls the next time you play a Nine Inch Nails disc. You’ll hear instruments and voices that you never knew were there.

This, however, does create a problem for playing Trent’s stuff on smart speakers because most of them are being used as mono listening devices. Nothing replaces stereo sound.

Friday’s post featured a connection between Depeche Mode and Elvis. And don’t forget to check out my podcast The Ongoing History of New Music where you listen on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogleStitcher, or wherever you get your on-demand audio.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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