Society of Sound music – Join The Debate

Well, it’s been two weeks since we launched Society of Sound music and we’d really like to know what people think, not only of the music but also of the concept as a whole.

We spent a long time thinking this through, deciding on a music policy (excellent in both sound and musicianship ended up being our only criteria), working out how to make it attractive to artists (we decided that the opportunity of recording at Real World and returning the master to them after 2 months would be good) and thinking generally of other ways musicians could get their music heard. We know we’re taking a risk in not having a library of artists for customers to choose from, but there are plenty of other platforms that do this well, and we thought that the low subscription fee was worth that risk for a one-off album that may introduce you to a world of music you didn’t know existed. So that’s this month’s open thread, please comment below as we’d love to hear from you.


  • MichaelCPE says:

    Please consider providing an “audiophile” version of the albums without compression. If there was about 9db more dynamics to Little Axe he would sound live. As it is it just sounds like a recording.

    Why not make music sound good once again!

    (& 50 words is too limiting!)

  • v m disanto says:

    i am intrigued by the concept, and love the role that B&W is playing in driving this idea forward. i know many purists balk at ‘lossless compression’, but i find that the quality is excellent for home listening purposes. for greater fidelity, i will see the performer play live. i think the pricing is a bit high for the full service, but i will continue to keep an eye on its development.

  • Benjamin Lehmann says:


    Thanks for your comments, we are going to have an ‘insider’ at realworld come and talk about the mix and mastering on the album very soon! Watch this space and stay involved in the conversation.

    @VM Disanto

    Glad you’re enjoying the music! We have worked hard to keep the price affordable but part of our mission is to make sure that the musicians get a good deal out of the Club and unfortunately that means a higher cost over 12 months. Please keep the feedback coming!


  • Bill says:

    I am quite impressed with the service so far – especially the sound quality! Admittedly the Little Axe album is somewhat “eclectic”, but I really enjoy it.

    I signed on for the full year because it seems to be a reasonable price, and I like the concept of discovering new music each month.

    Also, my impression is that the Little Axe album *doesn’t* suffer from dynamic range compression they way many CDs produced today do. I could be wrong about that, but it certainly sounds fantastic on my home system (anchored by B&W 703s)

  • MichaelCPE says:

    v m disanto said… “for greater fidelity, i will see the performer play live”.

    I want the best fidelity I can get at home. We have the technology, we only need the will.

    Bil said “my impression is that the Little Axe album *doesn’t* suffer from dynamic range compression they way many CDs produced today do.”

    I agree with Bill that Little Axe is far better than may recent CDs. But put on a CD pressed in the early 80’s and you will hear the difference. The ‘80’s CD will have probably have greater dynamics, and you will need to turn the volume up to match volume levels.

  • Carlos Villegas says:

    Hello, I agree completely with MichaelCPE about the sound quality of this material. Maybe in a mid-fi system the sound is ok, but in hi-fi or high-end systems the sound is not good enough. I suggested to some audiophile friends to download the B&W demo and they have a similar opinion.

  • Jez says:

    Can’t seem to post to your blog in Safari, by the way – no comment field.
    I’m with MichaelCPE – why not 24-bit 96k versions?
    To avoid bandwidth problems your end, issue as a legal BitTorrent – see Trent Reznor’s latest NineInchNails giveaway The Slip at; works a treat.
    Cheers for Little Axe though – a fan already so awesome freebie! But subscription model? – sorry, nah.

  • Jerry says:

    Great concept, but I haven’t managed to get the album downloaded yet!
    Providing only a “plain vanilla” HTTP link is not practical on a download of this size. Even though I’m on an ADSL line in South Africa, the chance of a download not crashing over the course of a large transfer (say, > 100MB) is virtually nil, and plain browser downloads do not support a RESUME function.
    Please consider making the download link freely accessible with any of the many good download managers available, eg DAP.

  • Benjamin Lehmann says:

    Thank you for your feedback.

    @ Jerry – please send your email address to and let us know the nature of your problem. We are eager to help you enjoy the free trial as you have subscribed.

    To everyone else who commented, we are very interested in your feedback and have just posted a new blog entry above with some comments from Real World Studios, where the album was recorded and produced, in response. I hope it will provoke some more debate.

  • Nonreality says:

    I like the idea of the club and will probably take advantage of it in the future as my pocketbook is a bit thin right now. The Grindhouse EP I listened to is great! The recording has less compression (still could be better, slap those engineers) and it does have an early Radiohead feel. As I can’t afford to join at this moment does the Artist have the right to release these albums after the 2 month period? I just wondering because I definitely want to get Grindhouse. Keep up the good work and really encourage them to forget about the Volume Wars and go for dynamic range. There are a lot people out here looking for that. Oh and thanks for my 3 mth preview, it’s appreciated!

  • Bill says:


    I agree that the album is great – I subscribed after listening to the EP because I wanted that album. And given how much I spend on music, this club isn’t very expensive imo.

    As I understand it, the artist owns the work outright to do whatever they want with it. It could be self-published by the artist or they could take it somewhere to produce & publish a CD or LP or whatever they like.

    I’d be surprised if it doesn’t show up for sale somewhere.

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