CES, undisputedly the technology event of the year is always exciting, showcasing the newest gadgets and toys. Just as memorable is meeting music’s legendary producer/writer/musician Jimmy Jam. He is always looking for the next thing to make his own creations memorable and exciting.
Jimmy Jam is not your ordinary geek or nerd, but a self-described “creative guy who’s at the intersection of creativity and technology.” Today, he was all fired up and ready to discuss High-resolution audio. Through his passion and persuasive theories, you’ll realize that this next format for audio and sound is not a fad, but the wave of the future – and the future is now.
High-resolution audio, also known as High-definition audio, HD audio or Hi-res is a marketing term used by some recorded-music retailers and high-fidelity sound reproduction equipment vendors. It refers to higher than 44.1 kHz sample rate and/or higher that 16-bit linear bit depth. Since its infancy in 2000, Hi-res slowly is becoming the new definition for sound, the next step up for true audio experience because the music will sound more real due to the bandwidth it embraces. Mp3 sound is compressed with the absence of hi’s & low’s, so you’re not hearing the way it was recorded. Hi-res allows listener to hear it as it was recorded in the studio when it was actually recorded, and is not compressed; therefore the sound is free to impact the listener.
More record labels like Sony and Atlantic are embracing the format, collaborating with everybody from artists to technological companies are working together to ensure the compatibility of the format stays consistent. This is important due to the importance of a singular format, where “everything works with everything and everything is collaborative.” It also certifies the music will sound the same and work across all platforms.
After 35-years in the business, Jimmy Jam still has the energy and vision to keep him going. His adoption and adaptation of the technology allows his attitude be about the craft. He can write, play and produce music on his laptop from the comfort of his own home since the process hasn’t changed, just how he does it has. At the end of the day, the fans just want the product to come out great. Even with the direction of the music today, he likes hip-hop although he’s not of hip-hop.
“There are more people, with more access, to make more music.”
Jimmy Jam is truly a pioneer with the accessibility that’s rare for any one person. He wakes each day with a song in his head, looking forward to new sounds and music to keep him motivated and that motivation is about the gift and ability to create. Moreover, his advice to up-and-coming artists is to drop the word “waiting” from your vocabulary and replace it with “preparing.”
“You should be preparing for your break, no matter where you are. Always be prepared.”
Yet Jimmy Jam wants to be remembered today as a nice guy, the way Michael Jackson was when he reigned. They got into a discussion about this subject of how they want to be remembered and recalls it in the video. His band mate and mentor Prince, who got him started in the business, wasn’t always a rock star but had the tendency for great things. Even though they grew up and went to high school together, Prince was an avid basketball player but Jimmy Jam decided to be the music guy. Both stories in the interview are fitting homage to legends that were larger than life but still had time for the humanity that made the part of our memories: gone but not forgotten.
- Joseph Walker, III
Follow Jimmy Jam on Instagram & Twitter @FLYTETYMEJAM