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Musicians Expose the Decline of Sound Quality in New Film “The Distortion of Sound”

“The Distortion of Sound,” a documentary exposing the decline of sound and how technology has changed the way we listen to music, premieres this evening at an invitation-only event at the GRAMMY® Museum in Los Angeles, California. Following tonight’s screening, the documentary will air on “The Distortion of Sound” YouTube channel, DistortionofSound.com, the Sundance Channel, the IFC Channel on July 23 at 6 p.m. ET and PT.*

Presented by audio giant HARMAN, and told directly by artists, producers, music lovers and fans, “The Distortion of Sound” reveals the gap between the music that artists create in the studio and on the stage and how fans experience it on the go.

The documentary delves into the development of portable audio equipment and music streaming, which led to the normalization of digital music compression and a degradation of sound quality. It also addresses the proliferation of low quality audio products and the industry’s emphasis on fashion and mobility at the expense of a quality listening experience.

“This movie is a wakeup call about what we are missing and how technology has changed our musical experience,” said world-renowned record producer, Quincy Jones.

“There is a great irony that as technology advances and music becomes even more accessible, those songs aren't being played back in their full richness and color,” added Linkin Park co-lead vocalist, Mike Shinoda. “We now have access to all the music we could ever want, but this access has come at the expense of quality.”

Filmed by Bandito Brothers Films and produced by kbs+, “The Distortion of Sound” features candid interviews with a cast of artists and industry experts, including, Quincy Jones, Mike Shinoda, Slash, Snoop Dogg, Steve Aoki, Hans Zimmer, Dan the Automator, Lianne La Havas, Neil Strauss, Kate Nash, Andrew Scheps, A.R. Rahman, Manny Marroquin and more.

“More than just a look into the effects of technology on sound quality, ‘The Distortion of Sound’ is a film about the power and strength of music and the emotions it evokes in those who live and breathe it every day,” said the film’s director, Jacob Rosenberg. “Ultimately, it’s a celebration of the artistry and passion that is poured into music creation, and the profound connection between the artist and audience.”

“This documentary is about how technology has changed the way we create and enjoy music – for better and for worse. While we all want our music to follow us everywhere, we have unnecessarily sacrificed fidelity for mobility. HARMAN wants to reverse this trend,” said Dinesh C. Paliwal, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of HARMAN. “We are in the studio and on the stage with artists, helping them create their life’s work. They – and their fans – deserve better, and we hope this film opens eyes and ears to how we can ‘save the music.’”

*Check local listings for Sundance and IFC channels.

About HARMAN

HARMAN (NYSE:HAR) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and integrated control solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson ®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a global workforce of approximately 15, 200 people and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the 12 months ended March 31, 2014.

© 2014 HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon and Mark Levinson are trademarks of HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated, registered in the United States and/or other countries. AKG is a trademark of AKG Acoustics GmbH, registered in the United States and/or other countries. Features, specifications and appearance are subject to change without notice.

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