Legendary producer T Bone Burnett has teamed up with folk icon Bob Dylan on a special new project with the express goal of championing analog recording and listening. Using new technology, the first breakthrough in analog recording in 70 years, Dylan has chosen a set of songs to revisit for the first time in decades.
The goal of the project for Burnett is to use this new technology to advocate for the “sonic excellence” of analog recording techniques. Over the last few decades, artists and producers have opted for digital recording of music. This has resulted in the streaming industry which dominates music and while digital recording is more convenient and inexpensive, purists would argue that the quality of sound has greatly diminished. The new songs that Dylan recorded will be “pressed” onto a new disc format that looks very similar to a vinyl record.
Analog recorded music is described as having more “warmth” with other common descriptors of the sound as having more depth, being more harmonically complex and having better resonance. In a press release, Burnett describes digital recordings as being “frozen.” Burnett’s new methods of analog recording reportedly improve the fidelity and durability of the medium, something that will have audiophiles very excited. In fact, Burnett claims the sound from these new discs will surpass any previous medium – vinyl, cassettes, CDs and digital.
“An Ionic Original is the pinnacle of recorded sound,” says Burnett. “It is archival quality. It is future-proof. It is one of one. Not only is an Ionic Original the equivalent of a painting, it is a painting. It is lacquer painted onto an aluminum disc, with a spiral etched into it by music. This painting, however, has the additional quality of containing that music, which can be heard by putting a stylus into the spiral and spinning it.”
Burnett created a new company called NeoFidelity, Inc. to record artists, so there are plans to extend this project beyond just Bob Dylan. It was not revealed in the press release what songs Dylan revisted or when the Ionic Original disc will be available for purchase.