Using the Galaxy Buds2 Pro, an acclaimed producer, an audio engineer and a mastering engineer discover new ways of thinking about the music that gives life its meaning
When we describe music, we often speak in practical terms: volume, melody, tempo and rhythm. While these elements more or less sound the same to everyone, the way music makes us feel is entirely subjective. Perhaps even harder to qualify is the language of how it feels to make music.
To discover new perspectives on the essential qualities of music-making, Samsung teamed up with Grammy-winning mastering engineer, Chris Gehringer, Grammy-winning audio engineer and producer, Tony Maserati, and popular comedian turned Grammy-winning music producer, Jay Versace, to create a series of documentary-style films exploring the feeling of sound and the difference that a Hi-Fi quality listening experience can grant the listener.
While each expert’s approach to the different stages of making music was revealed to be as distinct as the artists they work with, the films shed light on the ability of the Galaxy Buds2 Pro to amplify what each sees to be a critical component when it comes to the feeling of world-class sound: dimension, impact and texture.
CHRIS GEHRINGER: DIMENSION
“While a lot of people just like music for the message, I look at music dimensionally,” says Chris Gehringer, a senior mastering engineer at Sterling Sound. “I don’t really turn the knobs to make it brighter or duller, I turn the knobs to give it a feeling.”
During his 38 years in New York, Gehringer worked with the biggest names in pop music, garnering innumerable accolades along the way. It’s a feat he can still lay claim to to this day, albeit from a slightly different perspective in New Jersey, where he’s now based.
“I always felt when I was younger listening to vinyl that the best sounding records had the most dimension,” says Gehringer. “As technology changed, the listener’s perspective changed. What I’ve done has never really changed, and that's to deliver the best, biggest, most emotional sound I could.”
Perspective – otherwise articulated as dimension – is a crucial element which Gehringer has sought to instill everything he’s touched with since he started working in stereo decades ago. “Dimension is just manipulating the space so that you fall into it,” he explains.
“I want you to feel like you’re in the room with the musicians. It’s the one thing that changes your perspective, the way you feel about the music.”
From his roots in the 1980s hip-hop scene – where he had his first hit record at age 22 – up until today, Gehringer has always taken sound seriously, even if technology hasn’t been able to meet his ambition until now. It’s an attitude that he encourages others to adopt too, as Hi-Fi evolves to democratize the accessibility of a studio-quality listening experience through features like immersive, spatial 360 Audio.
“The Galaxy Buds2 Pro give people the chance to hear something at a higher level and with more feeling,” Gehringer continues. “Everyone now has the ability to experience what I experience in the studio somewhere else.”
JAY VERSACE: TEXTURE
Natural sounds come to the fore in an altogether different sense in the work of Jay Versace. Less traditional in his approach, though no less influential, the social media comedy star turned self-taught Grammy-winning producer draws on an extensive collection of recordings from his personal life and the natural world to imbue his beats with an all-important element of texture.
“I really let texture drive every single thing that I do,” says Versace. “I’ve been trying to be gentle with sound – how I consume it, what equipment I’m using – so I can make other people feel like that. I want to give that feeling to other people,” he continues, noting that a recent personal revelation about the healing properties of music has led to a greater appreciation for audio equipment that results in the highest quality playback.
“The 24-bit audio playback on the Galaxy Buds2 Pro means you can really hear the music as it was meant to be heard. You’re gonna hear so much more texture because it’s the best possible way to deliver the music, uncompressed.”
While Versace’s fixation on feeling the texture of sound was no doubt born of an upbringing in which he was surrounded by “so much classic music” – samples from which find their way into his beats today – it’s his deep love of the natural world that is felt most keenly in his work, whether you immediately hear it or not.
“That’s why I’ve been on this journey to find different equipment. It’s so important to have that extra layer. You probably can’t even hear it in the song, but I capture audio to be in the background because in 30 years, when the technology is extremely advanced, it’s gonna be really important for sound.”
With the Galaxy Buds2 Pro, however, there’s no need to wait that long.
TONY MASERATI: IMPACT
For the acclaimed producer and audio engineer Tony Maserati, time spent listening to music outside the studio is integral to his process as he chases the feeling he desires most in the music he makes: impact.
“I need to hear what the average listener is going to listen to because I make music for people who listen to music on their laptops, on their phone, on earbuds,” explains Maserati. “It’s imperative.”
For the two decades that he worked in downtown New York, where he was instrumental in shaping the sound of the city’s hip-hop scene, Maserati would frequent the cafés and parks of the East Village to listen to the music he’d worked on in the studio the night before. Listening to his work in-situ was crucial for understanding whether or not he was making his desired impact above the din of New Yorkers noisily carving out their space in the city.
“[Impact is] something I have to create,” Maserati says. “And I want to make sure that that’s represented in that playback system. I want to accentuate what the artist intended so that the audience can’t let go.”
For Maserati, fidelity to the performance is key to generating the impact he desires to elicit through his work. “With the two-way speaker in the Galaxy Buds2 Pro, you really hear the bass and treble separately,” Maserati says, noting that accurate bass representation is among the harder elements to recreate outside of a studio context.
“You get a wide frequency response, so it sounds more like a studio speaker. Most earbuds sound like the music is being shot straight into your ear. These have more movement in them. There’s better separation between the bass, midrange and top end in these Buds. They sound perfectly natural.”
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