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In the Forum: Didital Things
In the Thread: K-Stereo Ambience Recovery Processor
Post Subject: Notes of Romy's commentsPosted by peter foster on: 11/20/2007
Dear Romy,

The tracks are correctly listed.

Yes, the tracks are varied and some are not good recordings at all.  BUT if you want to listen to Billy Bean play guitar or you want to hear Louis Stewart's first recording as an 18 year old then you have to live with what you can obtain.  The comparison needs to be - given a particular recording, can there be some non-destructive digital processing that enhances (1) imaging, (2) depth, (3) clarity and (4) spaciousness.  And if there can be, then how much enhancement for a particular track is the right amount before you screw with the "absolute tone".

On some tracks I prefer absolutely no K-processing.  On other tracks, I prefer a little K-processing only.  There is no best answer because the best settings vary from recording to recording and even on my mood.  I have learned often that less is more, i.e., a subtle use of K-processing often produced the most pleasing results. Note that the samples show bypass versus maximum K-processing (K +06.0) in order to emphasise the differences (which is using a heavy hand).

On my system, my preferred listening would be as follows:

K +03.0 WIDE ON
Serge Koussevitzky, Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Tchaikovsky, Symphony No 4 in F Minor, Opus 36.

K +01.5 WIDE + DEEP ON
Evgeny Mravinsky, Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra.
Tschaikowsky, Symphonie Nr. 4 f-moll (in F minor) op. 36.

Paper Hat, Nine Conversations.

Monty Alexander, Love And Sunshine.

Bill Evans, Waltz For Debby.

Paul Horn & Billy Bean, Flute Cocktail.

K + 01.5 SMALL ON
Louis Stewart, Louis The First.

K + 01.5 SMALL ON
Blossom Dearie, Blossom Dearie.

Johnny Pisano & Billy Bean, Take Your Pick.

Lisa Gerrard, Lisa Gerrard.

K + 01.5 SMALL + DEEP ON
Annie Ross & Zoot Sims, A Gasser.



While we have variable electricity supply here, I do not experience the impact that you and others seem to experience.  I do not know whether that is because of the uninterruptible power supplies (very important) that I use, or that we have (notional) 240 V 50 Hz power supply (often 250 V), or that the amplifier I am using has hand wound high quality custom made output transformers (very important), or because I live in a semi-rural area, or for some other reason but it sounds to me from the descriptions on your site that whatever ambience recovery you might be able to obtain from a digital machine would make only subtle differences compared with the big differences being caused by poor electricity supply.  I mention this because your comments about Playlist 07; Song 02 and Song 03 are difficult for me to reconcile.  On my system the upright bass is heard with very fine detail and all of the complex harmonics that follow the fundamentals are clearly heard.  To me, this is a toure de force recording of upright bass made with incredibly sensitive microphones that are certainly more sensitive than many human ears.  Recently, I was making a reference recording of a new archtop guitar and testing various microphones positioned at the edge of the nearfield.  I would pluck an open string and only when I heard complete silence I would then pluck the next open string and so forth.  When I played back that recording (with gain) there was absolutely no point of silence between plucking each string because the microphones were just so sensitive.  That is exactly the kind of sensitivity I am hearing on Playlist 07; Song 02 and Song 03.  In amplifying a very fine recording, you may very well be hearing material that you would never ever hear in an audience at a live concert.  On my system and to my hearing those tracks are perfect upright bass.  Yet your comments about Playlist 08; Song 13 are spot on.  Last week some friends came to visit and we listened to this track and after 5 or so minutes first the wife started crying and then soon after so did the husband because, they said, listening to that piece of music became an emotional listening experience.

Anyway, thank you for the comments which I was very interested to hear.

With kind regards,
Peter Foster.

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