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09-09-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
jessie.dazzle


Paris, France
Posts 456
Joined on 04-23-2006

Post #: 1
Post ID: 5267
Reply to: 5267
Attention Sound Engineers (compression and loudness)

ATTENTION SOUND ENGINEERS

Dear sound engineer,

As you certainly know, a recording that sounds BAD on a "high-end" or "audiophile" playback system may still sound GOOD or at least acceptable on a the average more modest mass-marked systems (such as one might buy at Circuit City).

However, a recording which sounds GOOD on a "high-end" audio playback system will also sound GOOD on a the average Circuit City system... In fact, (please pay attention here) a recording which sounds GOOD on a "high-end" system will sound THAT MUCH BETTER ON THE AVERAGE CIRCUIT CITY SYSTEM.

So WHY then do you the SOUND ENGINEERS so often record in a way that is listenable only via "Circuit City level systems"? I am not talking about subtleties here; what are you using to verify the results of your work?

Again, I could understand the situation if the relative few "audio psycho freak systems" required special recording techniques which would not sound good when played back via more modest systems, but this is not the case! Everybody would benefit from recordings which sound good on better systems! I have proven this to myself numerous times when listening to better recordings either in my office (a system which I bought from the French equivalent of Circuit City), in the car (the factory installed system... real junk), or in some cases, on the systems of non-audiophile friends. Yes, (are you still listening?) better recordings do also sound better on "normal systems".

The most obvious and offending characteristic is the tendency for levels that are too strong in the upper mid range, and higher frequencies (this is almost standard with Rock and Pop music).

It shouldn't cost anything to get this right.

Don't make me start my own record label!

Thanks for listening,

jd*


How to short-circuit evolution: Enshrine mediocrity.
09-09-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
guy sergeant
United Kingdom
Posts 258
Joined on 08-03-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 5269
Reply to: 5267
Loudness Wars
The record companies demand that sound engineers make the recordings so that the band sounds as loud (noticeable) as possible when played on the radio.  Music recorded in this way sells in greater numbers.  If the sound engineers refuse the record companies will take the job to another engineer who will do this.  The artists rarely have a say.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4hreQ
09-10-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Gregm
Greece
Posts 91
Joined on 02-16-2005

Post #: 3
Post ID: 5273
Reply to: 5269
Artists (some) seem to have an attenuation syndrome too
I.e. seek "louder" as if they wear permanent ear-plugs
 guy sergeant wrote:
The record companies demand that sound engineers make the recordings so that the band sounds as loud (noticeable) as possible when played on the radio. Music recorded in this way sells in greater numbers.
Actually, and amazingly, marketing doesn't seem to have established this...
The artists rarely have a say.
Some artists also demand it; so they're louder than the rest!
09-10-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
jessie.dazzle


Paris, France
Posts 456
Joined on 04-23-2006

Post #: 4
Post ID: 5274
Reply to: 5273
The LOUD Treatment

Guy, that is one excellent clip!

It does explain a lot of the problem, and I can understand why Pop and Rock are most affected, and why Jazz and Classical are more often less horribly affected.

It seems a lot of older but remastered recordings have received the LOUD treatment as well.

But what about labels like EMI... Take for example Nigel Kennedy's "East meets East" (not my favorite music) recorded in 2003 by EMI Classics; one would think it might be done right. What a screechy bearly-listenable waste of $15!

Here is where I see a real opportunity for a big record label:
Imagine that Virgin decided to offer the radio edit version of their recordings (the LOUD versions), as they do now, and also as downloads. Then imagine, for selected performances/artists, they offered in parallel a "connaisseur's version" of the same material that has simply been properly recorded... Sold for the same price. One would not need a high resolution player to hear the benefits. With correct marketing this could give people a real reason to return to buying music on a physical support (instead of downloading it).

Regarding those artists who demand that their music receive the LOUD treatment (see post by Gregm):
This is not a problem. An artrist who is insensitive to the damage done by the LOUD treatment is not going to create anything that a proper recording technique might improve.

jd*




How to short-circuit evolution: Enshrine mediocrity.
09-10-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,486
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 5
Post ID: 5276
Reply to: 5274
I have littlie enthusiasm that “it” might be better…

..as recorded music is just the industry commodities. Therefore I absolutely do not share your enthusiasm about the “opportunity for a big record label”.

The Guy’s clip depicted a well know phenomena, there are a few more factors… still I do not feel that Sound Engineers are the guilty party. To hold the technical personal that record music responsible for the “Loudness Wars” is as superficial as to blame Adolf Hitler for Nazism and WWII.

I would also do not hold musicians responsible for the “Loudness Wars”. Music exists in 3 forms: notes, “live” performances and recorded media. Musicians handle the first two but the culture of recorded media is a totally different domain of human knowledge and musicians do not necessarily have skills to be dangers enough in that filed. It is like a car racer, he knows how to drive the vehicle very advancely but he might not necessary knows what techniques of hot-valves adjustment in order his car’ engine to push the necessary extra horse power. 

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-10-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
guy sergeant
United Kingdom
Posts 258
Joined on 08-03-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 5277
Reply to: 5276
Some artists take the trouble
I have a friend who works as an engineer with one of the top two UK producers. I recently visited him and he played me some of the atrocities they had recently been responsible for! He and the producer know perfectly well what the record companies now want and know how to create it.  He also said that very few of the artists knew how to get involved in the production process or really even took an interest. One that did, who even insisted on working with Pro-Tools herself was Bjork.  She apparently had a very clear idea of the sounds and effects she wanted and knew how to use the equipment to get there. She also did seem to have some control over how the end result would sound.
09-11-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
jessie.dazzle


Paris, France
Posts 456
Joined on 04-23-2006

Post #: 7
Post ID: 5285
Reply to: 5276
Thirsty Horses, Water & Bio-Recordings

Romy's Quotes in blue :

"...recorded music is just the industry commodities... Therefore I absolutely do not share your enthusiasm about the “opportunity for a big record label”.

I'm not really expecting it to happen (I have some experience with this sort of thing : My "DAY JOB!" involves leading thirsty horses to water... Horses that very often just won't drink). It is something that would require a well coordinated and educational marketing effort on the part of the record label.

However, look at the "opportunity" in the following light :

ogm_cuffs.jpg

Consider that many people now go out of their way (and pay more) for normal unmolested farm produce. Again, this is just normal farm produce... By doing absolutely nothing special, struggling farmers discovered a new market, providing consumers with a choice. Since the early '90s, sales of "Bio" or "organic" foods have steadily increased at a rate of 25% per year (this info courtesy the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Division).

No it is not quite the same thing; listening to compressed recordings will not cause kidney inflammation, and lesions to both liver and kidney tissue (see note at end), but it might result in headaches and irritability.

Being selectively naive (there are advantages), it is not such a stretch for me to imagine that a somewhat savvy record label might start promoting the advantages of "bio-recordings" as a means to win back market share. These would be nothing more than normal, full-dynamic-range (FDR) recordings of selected performances, sold along side the now standard LOUD versions (most ideal would be if both versions could be packaged onto the same physical support... eventually "downloadable" as well).

Can anyone put me in touch with the CEO of Virgin Records (is it Jason Flom?)...???

"...The Guy’s clip depicted a well know phenomena..."

I admit, I was aware of this phenomenon, but to see such total madness so clearly demonstrated is great.

"...I do not feel that Sound Engineers are the guilty party..."

Yes, I should have titled this thread "Attention Record Labels" (feel free to change it)...

Also, the technical person in the case of a recording studio is actually referred to as the recording engineer (not the sound engineer as I wrote).

Nevertheless, check out this quote from the fully-crystalized-moron/wanna-be live sound engineer... It seems he's just an amateur, and I hope he stays that way; still, I'm terrified!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you DaveTheBass!
http://www.davethebass.com/pa.htm

"...Every (and I mean every) record you listen to is heavily compressed... A compressor makes the music punchier and more enjoyable. It works by making the loud bits not so loud so the quiet bit can be instead., er...... well, above a certain threshold ..."

Ok, now I'm really concerned... Please tell me this guy represents only a small minority!

alesis_compressor.jpg
Above, one of Dave's tools : The Alesis 3830 Portable Compressor 
Yesss.... Just the thing to make that live gig more enjoyable!


"...I would also do not hold musicians responsible..."

Hmmm...

"...It is like a car racer, he knows how to drive the vehicle very advancely but he might not necessary knows what techniques of hot-valves adjustment in order his car’ engine to push the necessary extra horse power..."

Without disagreeing, I feel the artist (musician or race car pilot) should be able to distinguish good results from bad, and communicate those observations to the technician. I would not for example expect the race car pilot to directly dial in a bit more stiffness on the front anti-sway bar... I would however expect him to say to the technician something like "dude, the front end plows like a pregnant pig going into turn 1".

Development like this involves hours of team work and communication between pilot and designer/technician. Coincidentally, this critical phase is called the "Track Development Phase"; it can get extremely expensive... I imagine the same might be true for the recording industry.

All that said, I can also see how, and can directly sympathize with the artist who is rendered powerless to effect changes in the face of decisions that have nothing to do with art.

jd*

Btw, that genetically-manipulated corn has been shown to cause kidney inflammation, lesions to both liver and kidney tissue, and other nasty things, when given to laboratory test animals... You are far better off letting the insect have a bit of your corn!).
http://www.newswithviews.com/Smith/jeffrey7.htm
http://www.newstarget.com/021784.html




How to short-circuit evolution: Enshrine mediocrity.
09-11-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,104
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 8
Post ID: 5286
Reply to: 5285
Well, there are some good recordings out there...
but I sometimes wonder just what sort of collaboration it takes to produce them.  It almost seems like good intentions and great (minimalist) engineering must be bolstered with plenty of plain old luck.

For one thing, even people who claim they set out to produce a spectacular recording generally wind up with something my system renders as between less-than-stellar and painful.  Who knows what the "artist" wants to get out of his/her participation in the actual production?  I know for sure that artist participation is no guarantee - at all - of a superior recording/record.

And let's not forget that the recording is one thing and the record is another.  How many old records do you own that have great recordings of great performances?  Of those, how many sound like the stylus is tracing shattered glass?  I have one word for you, Benjamin...
 
I am actually pleased with some of the more recent Classic and similar "audiophile" re-masterings of jazz and classical works, at 30 buck and upward a pop.  However, I have no idea how many good original ("mother") sources are avilable anymore for performances of an absolute quality that may never be repeated in our lifetimes.  Later generation dubs are doomed to slip right out of the gate.

If you go back through the history of records I think you have to admit that most of the "better recording" hype has been just that, and, disturbingly, there has been more hype and less good delivered as a percentage since, probably, the 60s.  And look at all the more recent superior production technology just wasted on "showcase" music.

I remember my first DGG, with all the pre-press and expectation, and then to have Beethoven sound like Mozart, Mozart sound like Bach, and Bach sound like a caliope; it was very disappointing; yet they got one Grand Prix du Disque after another.

Who needs quality when you have collaboration?

It started out that Johnny could actually read, but he just wouldn't.

Now he really can't read , and he doesn't care, and HE DOESN'T NEED TO.

And he is absolutely deaf as a post.

I am sorry to be so cynical, but...

Best regards,
Paul S
09-12-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,486
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 9
Post ID: 5287
Reply to: 5285
At least it is how my mind works

 jessie.dazzle wrote:
"...I would also do not hold musicians responsible..."

 Hmmm...
People who approach music from perspective of playing and people who approach music from a prospective of listening music via recording have (unfortunately) different views about what they do. I perfectly understand why many performers do not particularly care how their music will be recorded – a recording for them is after fact, the past, the accomplished thing that they acknowledge in their minds and that do not need to have a recording proof.

If I were able to play and spend a considerable amount of my individual affords to play a specific piece then the important to me would be the fact of me played is in a way how I feel it should be. It is an accomplishment itself that never would be taken out of my perception of myself and my awareness would be satisfied by the fact of me have done it. A recording however is not the subject of my musical, spiritual or professional objectives but rather the subject of my ego. Surely I would like to have “better” recording of me performing a given piece but in my subconscious I would know that I have done what I intended and the rest would be less relevant.

Rgs. The caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-14-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
samuel33
Posts 25
Joined on 09-06-2007

Post #: 10
Post ID: 5298
Reply to: 5276
The story of a guy, who is overload by his willing to make a good pun
 Romy the Cat wrote:

..as recorded music is just the industry commodities. Therefore I absolutely do not share your enthusiasm about the “opportunity for a big record label”.

The Guy’s clip depicted a well know phenomena, there are a few more factors… still I do not feel that Sound Engineers are the guilty party. To hold the technical personal that record music responsible for the “Loudness Wars” is as superficial as to blame Adolf Hitler for Nazism and WWII.

I would also do not hold musicians responsible for the “Loudness Wars”. Music exists in 3 forms: notes, “live” performances and recorded media. Musicians handle the first two but the culture of recorded media is a totally different domain of human knowledge and musicians do not necessarily have skills to be dangers enough in that filed. It is like a car racer, he knows how to drive the vehicle very advancely but he might not necessary knows what techniques of hot-valves adjustment in order his car’ engine to push the necessary extra horse power. 

The Cat


Except the goodwin point, this is a very stupid assertion...

Ok there were an ambience of antisemitism -made by the christian (who killed jesus?) and by the fact that jewish have became powerful becuase christianity thought that money business was dirty- and other factors....but a "stimung" doesn't achieve to "Nazism and WWII" stupid idiot.
Who have written "mein Kampf"? who have decided the final solution? who had taken inspiration in the north myth? who against his own high graded collaborator have decided to choose this path...Etc Etc Etc the list is too long....

Please roomy take -and read- a history book, just once in your life.

I don't respond to your post because the subject of the shoah is *untouchable*, i respond because it was just false.
You know horns...just talk what you know about.


09-14-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
samuel33
Posts 25
Joined on 09-06-2007

Post #: 11
Post ID: 5299
Reply to: 5267
Copyright
Jessie.Dazzle i find your post very intresting....i had just post -before reading yours- in a sound engineer forum a post asking them why they rarely use High-end speakers...

I will copy/past the response....

I gonna post also yours if you don't mind.
09-15-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,486
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 12
Post ID: 5300
Reply to: 5298
It is not an assertion but a well-defined position...
 samuel33 wrote:
Except the goodwin point, this is a very stupid assertion...

Ok there were an ambience of antisemitism -made by the christian (who killed jesus?) and by the fact that jewish have became powerful becuase christianity thought that money business was dirty- and other factors....but a "stimung" doesn't achieve to "Nazism and WWII" stupid idiot.
Who have written "mein Kampf"? who have decided the final solution? who had taken inspiration in the north myth? who against his own high graded collaborator have decided to choose this path...Etc Etc Etc the list is too long....

Please roomy take -and read- a history book, just once in your life.

I don't respond to your post because the subject of the shoah is *untouchable*, i respond because it was just false.
You know horns...just talk what you know about.
... and it was exactly why I mention that people who have very shallow view on the Nazism roots (history generally?) and explore history only through the bumper-stickers slogans tend to see the things very superficial.

This site is defiantly not the place where I would have any desire to talk about it further but looking what you have said on the subject I might assure you that you have a lot to educate yourself. Start with the acos premise of my comment: “To hold the technical personal that record music responsible for the “Loudness Wars” is as superficial as to blame Adolf Hitler for Nazism and WWII.”

Rgs, Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-15-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
samuel33
Posts 25
Joined on 09-06-2007

Post #: 13
Post ID: 5302
Reply to: 5300
Roomy explains the nazism
 Romy the Cat wrote:
 samuel33 wrote:
Except the goodwin point, this is a very stupid assertion...

Ok there were an ambience of antisemitism -made by the christian (who killed jesus?) and by the fact that jewish have became powerful becuase christianity thought that money business was dirty- and other factors....but a "stimung" doesn't achieve to "Nazism and WWII" stupid idiot.
Who have written "mein Kampf"? who have decided the final solution? who had taken inspiration in the north myth? who against his own high graded collaborator have decided to choose this path...Etc Etc Etc the list is too long....

Please roomy take -and read- a history book, just once in your life.

I don't respond to your post because the subject of the shoah is *untouchable*, i respond because it was just false.
You know horns...just talk what you know about.
... and it was exactly why I mention that people who have very shallow view on the Nazism roots (history generally?) and explore history only through the bumper-stickers slogans tend to see the things very superficial.

This site is defiantly not the place where I would have any desire to talk about it further but looking what you have said on the subject I might assure you that you have a lot to educate yourself. Start with the acos premise of my comment: “To hold the technical personal that record music responsible for the “Loudness Wars” is as superficial as to blame Adolf Hitler for Nazism and WWII.”

Rgs, Romy the Cat


Thank you for your non response....very well argued....

Just to give you a second chance to read the relevance of your assertion : "To hold the technical personal that record music responsible for the “Loudness Wars” is as superficial as to blame Adolf Hitler for Nazism and WWII.”   For sure it is ...hum....brillant.

Maybe you can explain -not in a superficaly way of course- who is to blame for the nazism, the shoah and the second world war ? 

Or maybe you can just admit, that it was a lame comparison?
09-15-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
jessie.dazzle


Paris, France
Posts 456
Joined on 04-23-2006

Post #: 14
Post ID: 5303
Reply to: 5302
The Uncompressing of Mr. Hitler's Ego
Whoa!

Might we agree that Mr. Hitler had an ego, and very much needed to do SOMETHING; needed to be somebody... And might we also agree that "the people" needed or at least responded to what he (and his gang) offered them?

It was a nice tidy little symbiotic package, the combined force of which was strong enough to write a very ugly chapter.

So, Back to audio...

I found a really good article (via one of the responses to the YouTube Loudness Wars clip) : Starts of a little shaky, but picks up quick, and is worth reading. Here's the link :
http://moozeek.de/mirrors/articles/over_the_limit.htm

Also, I found (also amongst the many YouTube responses to this clip) the following petition which we (you) may consider signing; though you are most likely not a Red Hot Chilly Peppers fan, it seems a simple way to get a point across... Here's the link :
http://www.epanorama.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=8433&

Samuel, yes if its ok with Romy, you may copy and use my post.

Back to the horns (had a really slow week)!



How to short-circuit evolution: Enshrine mediocrity.
09-15-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
jessie.dazzle


Paris, France
Posts 456
Joined on 04-23-2006

Post #: 15
Post ID: 5304
Reply to: 5303
Mr. Hitler's Ego Part II
Though to me it is obvious, in the interest of being completely clear, I add the following :

In my above post with regard to the responsibility of history's most "ugly chapter", I meant to convey that the responsibility is SHARED, and lies as much with "the people" as with their CHOSEN leader.

With regard to recording quality, we can (and most here I am sure do) try to avoid CHOOSING to buy recordings that have received the LOUD treatment.

It would be good to enlighten others whenever possible.

jd*


How to short-circuit evolution: Enshrine mediocrity.
09-15-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 488
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 16
Post ID: 5311
Reply to: 5302
Actually a good analogy
 samuel33 wrote:
Maybe you can explain -not in a superficaly way of course- who is to blame for the nazism, the shoah and the second world war ? 


I don't want to spend to much time on this except to say that any student of history must recognize that Adolf Hitler was simply an ambitious man who ended up being the leader of an already well-established movement of German Social Nationalist.  He consolidated his control over the party with systematic murders of other would-be leaders, particularly on the Night of the Long Knives in 1934.

The salience is that sound engineers are simply doing what they are paid to do (it is a job after all), and music industry executives are responding to market pressures becuase their job is to sell records.  Music may be about beauty and emotion, but CD's and other media are for sale.  The goal is to sell, and the product is tailored to achieve that goal. 

If you want preservation of music, go to the Smithsonian.

Adrian
09-16-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,486
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 17
Post ID: 5314
Reply to: 5304
That was the whole point of the analogy.

 jessie.dazzle wrote:
Might we agree that Mr. Hitler had an ego, and very much needed to do SOMETHING; needed to be somebody...

 jessie.dazzle wrote:
In my above post with regard to the responsibility of history's most "ugly chapter", I meant to convey that the responsibility is SHARED, and lies as much with "the people" as with their CHOSEN leader.

With regard to recording quality, we can (and most here I am sure do) try to avoid CHOOSING to buy recordings that have received the LOUD treatment.

Hitler with all his “historically accepted devilnessnes” was no more then just a poppet in much larger game of much more diabolic forces. The poor kids are staffed with historic BS about the horrible uncle-Adolf but no one educate the kids who made Nazism possible, who financed it, who profiteered on the Nazism’s climes, who co-participate in the Nazism’s climes, and who had cashed out of the entire Nazism’s ride. I would not even mention that the leaders of the Third Reich do not killed and do not fight in wars – the millions of others parentners did…. I wonder how much propaganda is necessary for me in order me to go to war to kill some abstract Chekoslavakians or Brazilians…

Anyhow, to hold a technical personal that records music responsible for the “Loudness Wars” is as superficial as to blame Adolf Hitler for Nazism and WWII.  Nazism was a natural reaction toward a number of historical events and conditions that were brewing for a long time, starting from over-humiliation of Germany over WWI and ending with Western capitalism's fight for a World domination and influence of dollar. The very similar to it the story with the DaveTheBass that Jessie mentioned -  David does not express his own preferences about the heavily compressed sound but just fluctuates with his small brains in the very narrow window of understanding that was assigned to him (similar to the Nazi leaders who did pretty much what was given to them). The DaveTheBass is in a way a hostage of the satiation. From one side he has the industry that finance and educate DaveTheBass what he shell do, shell like or shell feel in order to be plugged into the mechanism of industry’s sharing. From another side he has his customers who instead of showing to the DaveTheBass’ porch with a bazooka on the shoulder and asking “what are you doing?”  they keep abidingly buy the Dave’s produce, silently endorsing the David’s (industry) idiocy. How different is it from the Germans who allowed Nazis to become Nazi?

Defiantly the responsibility is shared but ….  I generally worry very little about collective awareness.

Rgs, The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-17-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
hagtech


Hawaii
Posts 117
Joined on 02-13-2006

Post #: 18
Post ID: 5325
Reply to: 5314
Compressing history
...responsibility is SHARED, and lies as much with "the people" as with their CHOSEN leader...


Aw crap.  Does that mean I'm responsible for everything Bush does?

...kids are staffed with historic BS about the horrible uncle-Adolf...


History is, of course, re-written by the victors.  Bravo Romy for being able to think for yourself.  It is all too easy to just fall for accepted wisdom.  The relevant facts are usually the ones left out. 

As far as compressors go, they are not inherently evil and can be implemented with a gentle touch, providing a somewhat necessary limitation of peak signal amplitude, especially for digital recordings.  I think it becomes a matter of intensity.  Exactly how much is too much?  In my opinion, the usage should be inaudible.  That is, like an experienced vocalist who knows when to stand back a little from the microphone.

jh
09-18-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,486
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 19
Post ID: 5328
Reply to: 5325
The benefit of compression or the good compression.

 hagtech wrote:
Aw crap.  Does that mean I'm responsible for everything Bush does?

From historic perspective, yes we Americans are more responsible for what Bush does then Mozambiqueans for instance. A hundred years from now people will look at the today Americans with the same questions that we ask the Germans who lived in 1930-40s…

 hagtech wrote:
As far as compressors go, they are not inherently evil and can be implemented with a gentle touch, providing a somewhat necessary limitation of peak signal amplitude, especially for digital recordings.  I think it becomes a matter of intensity.  Exactly how much is too much?  In my opinion, the usage should be inaudible.  That is, like an experienced vocalist who knows when to stand back a little from the microphone.

That is very interesting subject: the benefits of the properly implemented compression. One of the shadows of compression is equalization of volumes. The acoustic output of harp is many times less then tuba and when we hear it live our awareness can accommodate that dynamic range. The recording equipment does it badly, so the volume of the harp is raised. It is not compression yet but from other perspective it the compression. Is it beneficial? It is hard to answer, particular for me - the person who do not record anything. I might only propose that a compression and volumes changes that used to overcome the limitations of recording media or the limitations of recording space might be acceptable if they were supervised by conductor or musicians. The musicians should know that their volume will be modified and should get a feeling how their recorded dynamic range will be fit in the dynamic range of other instruments and instrumental groups.

Still, there were phenomenal lustrations when people went in extremes to find the right microphones position and record juts with 2 microphones and without use of compression - some Pope Music recordings for instance and many others…

Another very interesting direction is the recently announced (I have post the link in past) German-made 28bit DAC capable to run the first in the world truly 24Bit. With it near 170dB dynamic range the DAC has no input sensitivity volume control as there is no acoustic devise in air that it capable to make the DAC to clip.

Rgs, Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-19-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
yoshi
Jefferson (MA), United States
Posts 69
Joined on 05-04-2005

Post #: 20
Post ID: 5331
Reply to: 5328
Noise reduction and editing
One Japanese classical music reviewer, Naoya Hirabayashi, who seems to be very keen on recording issues, blames heavy use of noise reduction and editing (combining rehersal takes, adding reverb, digitally correcting mis-notes, etc.) as two major problems of today's digital mastering.  He compares many different issues of the same recording in his book to prove his point.

I only have one example he mentions, which is the famous Kleiber's Beethoven 5th with Vienna (DG).  One is the early 80's Japanese issue (has only 5th) and the other is the newer "Original-Image Bit-Processing" issue (has 5th and 7th).

On the jacket, DG says;

ORIGINAL-IMAGE BIT-PROCESSING now makes it possible to remix older recordings in order to "recreate" the original sound-image.  This recreation employs -wherever possible- physio-acoustical principles to compensate for delay factors (such as the time required for sounds to reach the main michrophone) as well as an extremely high-resolution processing of the musical signals.

To my ears, it sounds like they just added reverb, and as the result, some details of fast passages became hard to distinguish whereas I can hear them more clearly on the old issue.

Yoshi
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