The 1st two laws of audio reproduction, mixing, mastering and anything else you do to audio., in a studio, recorded or live performance.
2 quotes from “ardis” on a gearslutz forum thread.
“”Funny no analogue or digital process will “improve” audio quality. Anything you do to sound degrades it. Cracks me up when people use that argument. It actually starts with the performance that you alter and degrade in the first place and goes downhill from there. The magic is actually turning that into a positive.””
“The operative word is “perceived”. Our job is to interpret the performance through the tools we have at hand, to make an alternate reality conform, to what our interpretation of that performance is. Perception literally is reality in sound.”
I’ll add, this also applies to all audio equipment, including playback systems anywhere. It’s all a bit of a pleasurable con, when done right, and explains why a lot of this also has to consider the look and feel of the product or service, perception…, faith…., not reality.