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Clean isn't always better

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Anonymous
November 29, 2004 4:29:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I've been recording since high school, c. 1972; mostly classical.

I've been striving, in my own inexpensive gear, to achieve transparent,
noiseless recording for three decades.

The most recent generation of gear in my rack is a pair of Schoeps CMC641's
feeding a Cranesong Spider. I thought I had achieved Nirvana.

Then I heard the BLUE B6 capsules on my old C451 bodies.

Now I'm forced to admit that absolute clarity and purity of sound is not
the only solution in all situations. Sometimes the perfectly accurate
sound is too sterile. I'm still not buying into the idea of introducing
any distortion into the recording chain, but I can see how the shimmer of
an "interesting" microphone can add to an already good recording.

I'm threatened with another case of Gear Aquisition Syndrome.

What are the primary condensor flavors out there? U-87, 251, C-12, ...

More about : clean

Anonymous
November 29, 2004 4:29:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Carey Carlan wrote:
>
> I heard the BLUE B6 capsules on my old C451 bodies.
>
> Now I'm forced to admit that absolute clarity and purity of sound is not
> the only solution in all situations. Sometimes the perfectly accurate
> sound is too sterile. I'm still not buying into the idea of introducing
> any distortion into the recording chain, but I can see how the shimmer of
> an "interesting" microphone can add to an already good recording.

Budget suggestion: try your B6 on a C480B (or a modified C460B.)
Anonymous
November 29, 2004 4:29:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Carey Carlan wrote:
>
> I heard the BLUE B6 capsules on my old C451 bodies.
>
> Now I'm forced to admit that absolute clarity and purity of sound is not
> the only solution in all situations. Sometimes the perfectly accurate
> sound is too sterile. I'm still not buying into the idea of introducing
> any distortion into the recording chain, but I can see how the shimmer of
> an "interesting" microphone can add to an already good recording.

The B6 is a rather wide cardioid, which you're comparing to a much more directional capsule.




> I'm threatened with another case of Gear Aquisition Syndrome.

Budget suggestion: try your B6 on a C480B (or a modified C460B.)

You might also want to audition a pair of MK21's and/or MK21H's.
Related resources
Anonymous
November 29, 2004 10:41:29 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Kurt Albershardt" <kurt@nv.net> wrote in message ...

>
>> I'm threatened with another case of Gear Aquisition Syndrome.
>
> Budget suggestion: try your B6 on a C480B (or a modified C460B.)
>
> You might also want to audition a pair of MK21's and/or MK21H's.

The MK-21 is my favorite of the Schoeps capsules... But it is still very
clean and can sound sterile... My favorite mic of my collection is my AKG
426 stereo mic. It has a slightly "wooly" sound but that coloration makes
it seem to work on everything. It makes a shitty room sound good and a good
room sound great.

I've also been enjoying work lately using the Royer active ribbon mics, but
that is a whole different sound entirely.

--Ben


--
Benjamin Maas
Fifth Circle Audio
Los Angeles, CA
http://www.fifthcircle.com

Please remove "Nospam" from address for replies
Anonymous
November 29, 2004 6:24:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Kurt Albershardt <kurt@nv.net> wrote in
news:30vktoF34848eU1@uni-berlin.de:

> The B6 is a rather wide cardioid, which you're comparing to a much
> more directional capsule.

Allowing for that. There is a real difference in the character of the
microphones. I like both, but most microphones that intentionally hype or
otherwise distort the signal don't excite my ear like these.

>> I'm threatened with another case of Gear Aquisition Syndrome.
>
> Budget suggestion: try your B6 on a C480B (or a modified C460B.)

It's not a budget suggestion if I already own the 451's.

> You might also want to audition a pair of MK21's and/or MK21H's.

Those are already on the GAS list.

But the question before the committee is this:

You with experience on many microphones probably divides them into
families. For instance, many Chinese mics claim to be in the U87 familiy.
Then there is the Elam 251 familty and the AKC C12 family (which includes
the B6 capsule mentioned above).

Are there other condenser microphones so famous that they have a covey of
imitators and competitors?
Anonymous
November 29, 2004 6:44:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I started that way. And have found recently that there is no "best" I
often find myself blowing up drum tracks on my Tascam 424, Four track
apocalypse <g> Made some mic's from some supplies at radioshack. get
that lo-fi.... Maybe trying to use the gear you have differently.
"Unconventionally" maybe. However when recording classical I guess
options, while not limited the idea is to repreduce the performance as
clean as possible. i.e. No over the top compression and distortion.
ehhhh... my .02 cents anyway.

cheers

garrett



On 2004-11-28 17:29:21 -0800, Carey Carlan <gulfjoe@hotmail.com> said:

> I've been recording since high school, c. 1972; mostly classical.
>
> I've been striving, in my own inexpensive gear, to achieve transparent,
> noiseless recording for three decades.
>
> The most recent generation of gear in my rack is a pair of Schoeps
> CMC641's feeding a Cranesong Spider. I thought I had achieved Nirvana.
>
> Then I heard the BLUE B6 capsules on my old C451 bodies.
>
> Now I'm forced to admit that absolute clarity and purity of sound is
> not the only solution in all situations. Sometimes the perfectly
> accurate sound is too sterile. I'm still not buying into the idea of
> introducing any distortion into the recording chain, but I can see how
> the shimmer of an "interesting" microphone can add to an already good
> recording.
>
> I'm threatened with another case of Gear Aquisition Syndrome.
>
> What are the primary condensor flavors out there? U-87, 251, C-12, ...
Anonymous
November 29, 2004 6:44:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Benjamin Maas wrote:

> My favorite mic of my collection is my AKG
> 426 stereo mic. It has a slightly "wooly" sound but that coloration makes
> it seem to work on everything. It makes a shitty room sound good and a good
> room sound great.

That's what I think of as "the romance filter efect", like used in
photography for Valentine sweetheart pics. I don't know why it works, or
how it really works, but the resulting softening of the fine points of
some sounds results in something far more pleasing to listen to.

This is what people want in a plug-in, and it ain't happening. <g>

--
ha
Anonymous
November 30, 2004 12:42:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

hank alrich <walkinay@thegrid.net> wrote:

> > [...] It has a slightly "wooly" sound but that coloration makes
> > it seem to work on everything. It makes a shitty room sound good and a good
> > room sound great.
>
> That's what I think of as "the romance filter efect", like used in
> photography for Valentine sweetheart pics. [...]

hmmm, I don't know those mics, but can't help thinking about pictures
when I read the above. I do have strong opinions about what filters and
lenses processing do to pictures. The effects of a softening filter or a
polarising filter supposedly "enhances" pictures by hiding unwanted
detail like skin structure or "deepening" colours. Especially as used by
ad agencies and especially american ones (i.e. coca cola). Retouching
pictures to "enhance" the appearance of skin, teeth, smoothness of hair
etc etc. I hate it. It looks awful and artificial. It looks "commercial
picture" (professional if you like - still ugly). Also compare BBC
TV-series to american (visuals that is) totally different, where the
american ones have that artificial "shimmer" - usch... the audio
equivalent can most prominently be heard in movies, or commercials.
Similarly awful IMNHO. I hope it's not that kind of "wolly" "romance
filter" you're looking for in recordings...


Lars


--
lars farm // http://www.farm.se
lars is also a mail-account on the server farm.se
Anonymous
November 30, 2004 1:20:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Lars Farm wrote:

> < ..snip... >
>
> hmmm, I don't know those mics, but can't help thinking about pictures
> when I read the above. I do have strong opinions about what filters and
> lenses processing do to pictures. The effects of a softening filter or a
> polarising filter supposedly "enhances" pictures by hiding unwanted
> detail like skin structure or "deepening" colours. Especially as used by
> ad agencies and especially american ones (i.e. coca cola). Retouching
> pictures to "enhance" the appearance of skin, teeth, smoothness of hair
> etc etc. I hate it. It looks awful and artificial. It looks "commercial
> picture" (professional if you like - still ugly). Also compare BBC
> TV-series to american (visuals that is) totally different, where the
> american ones have that artificial "shimmer" - usch... the audio
> equivalent can most prominently be heard in movies, or commercials.
> Similarly awful IMNHO. I hope it's not that kind of "wolly" "romance
> filter" you're looking for in recordings...
>
> Lars

So you're into the "reality" of music rather than the "art." Hmmm, wonder
what you're thoughts are on painting. To each their own.
Then too, what's the point of a "commercial picture" or for that
matter a "commercial recording" ... .. .

Later...

Ron Capik <<< cynic in training >>>
--
Anonymous
November 30, 2004 1:53:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Ron Capik <r.capik@worldnet.att.net> wrote:
>
> So you're into the "reality" of music rather than the "art." Hmmm, wonder
> what you're thoughts are on painting. To each their own.

In music I tend to think of the performer as the artist. Admittedly
there is an element of art in the recording too. More so in some genres
than others.

> Then too, what's the point of a "commercial picture" or for that
> matter a "commercial recording" ... .. .

Well, as in recordings its about the purpose of the recording/picture
and what you think sells. As for pictures there is a definite difference
between european and american visual preferenses as can be witnessed by
comparing for instance a BBC production to any american TV production.
I'm european (but not Brittish...;-)

There are parallells in audio preferences.

Lars


--
lars farm // http://www.farm.se
lars is also a mail-account on the server farm.se
Anonymous
November 30, 2004 2:42:29 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

mail.addr.can.be.found@www.farm.se (Lars Farm) wrote in
news:1go1dwk.1shlqxb1c6a9j4N%mail.addr.can.be.found@www.farm.se:

> Ron Capik <r.capik@worldnet.att.net> wrote:
>>
>> So you're into the "reality" of music rather than the "art." Hmmm,
>> wonder what you're thoughts are on painting. To each their own.
>
> In music I tend to think of the performer as the artist. Admittedly
> there is an element of art in the recording too. More so in some
> genres than others.

So wonderful to find on-topic replies to on-topic threads.

That's my point about the B6. I love my Schoeps for their scalpel clean
sound. I love my new B6 capsules for what they do that's not so clean.
Each has a place in the real world.

>> Then too, what's the point of a "commercial picture" or for that
>> matter a "commercial recording" ... .. .
>
> Well, as in recordings its about the purpose of the recording/picture
> and what you think sells. As for pictures there is a definite
> difference between european and american visual preferenses as can be
> witnessed by comparing for instance a BBC production to any american
> TV production. I'm european (but not Brittish...;-)

Having not paid much attention to British production values, myself, I ask,
How are they different?
Anonymous
November 30, 2004 3:34:10 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Carey Carlan wrote:

> < ...snip.. >
>
> Each has a place in the real world.
>
> < ...snip.. >
> > TV production. I'm european (but not Brittish...;-)
>
> Having not paid much attention to British production values, myself, I ask,
> How are they different?

I'm going to guess this is a YMMV thing; in my experience many slavish
[ Soviet, Polish, etc.] have way more ambiance (reverb) than fits my taste.
I guess it might be a realistic representation of the audience experience
in one of those large stone cathedrals.

It's a big world, lots of room for variation and taste.

Later...

Ron Capik
--
Anonymous
November 30, 2004 3:57:05 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Carey Carlan" <gulfjoe@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:Xns95B069E707C07gulfjoehotmailcom@207.69.189.191...
> Kurt Albershardt <kurt@nv.net> wrote in
> news:30vktoF34848eU1@uni-berlin.de:
>
> > The B6 is a rather wide cardioid, which you're comparing to a much
> > more directional capsule.
>
> Allowing for that. There is a real difference in the character of the
> microphones. I like both, but most microphones that intentionally hype or
> otherwise distort the signal don't excite my ear like these.
>
> >> I'm threatened with another case of Gear Aquisition Syndrome.
> >
> > Budget suggestion: try your B6 on a C480B (or a modified C460B.)
>
> It's not a budget suggestion if I already own the 451's.
>
> > You might also want to audition a pair of MK21's and/or MK21H's.
>
> Those are already on the GAS list.
>
> But the question before the committee is this:
>
> You with experience on many microphones probably divides them into
> families. For instance, many Chinese mics claim to be in the U87 familiy.
> Then there is the Elam 251 familty and the AKC C12 family (which includes
> the B6 capsule mentioned above).

Most of the chinese mics I've tried are only visually similar to the U87.
Soundwise, they are closer to the C12 family (read: bright). I'm not saying
that they are close, though.


> Are there other condenser microphones so famous that they have a covey of
> imitators and competitors?

U47?

Predrag
Anonymous
November 30, 2004 3:57:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Predrag Trpkov wrote:
> "Carey Carlan" <gulfjoe@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:Xns95B069E707C07gulfjoehotmailcom@207.69.189.191...
>
>> You with experience on many microphones probably divides them into
>> families. For instance, many Chinese mics claim to be in the U87 familiy.
>> Then there is the Elam 251 familty and the AKC C12 family (which includes
>> the B6 capsule mentioned above).
>
>
> Most of the chinese mics I've tried are only visually similar to the U87.
> Soundwise, they are closer to the C12 family (read: bright).

The capsules in the Josephson C700 & C700S are patterned after the C12, yet their sound is far less bright than most of the others which claim C12 ancestry.
Anonymous
November 30, 2004 5:50:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Lars Farm" <mail.addr.can.be.found@www.farm.se&gt; wrote in message ...
> hank alrich <walkinay@thegrid.net> wrote:
>
>> > [...] It has a slightly "wooly" sound but that coloration makes
>> > it seem to work on everything. It makes a shitty room sound good and a
>> > good
>> > room sound great.
>>
>> That's what I think of as "the romance filter efect", like used in
>> photography for Valentine sweetheart pics. [...]
>
I hope it's not that kind of "wolly" "romance
> filter" you're looking for in recordings...
>

The mic in question is actually a very clear, but slightly warm sounding
mic. It is large diaphragm and has much of the characteristics of a
large-dia. mic as well... It is not hyped like many of today's condensers,
but clear with what may be considered a slight mid-range bump (or lack of
accentuation of top and bottom end).

As I said before, even shitty rooms sound good with this mic. Good rooms
sound fantastic. Compare this to a Schoeps mic where it will tell you
exactly how bad your room may be...

--Ben

--
Benjamin Maas
Fifth Circle Audio
Los Angeles, CA
http://www.fifthcircle.com

Please remove "Nospam" from address for replies
Anonymous
November 30, 2004 5:52:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Lars Farm" <mail.addr.can.be.found@www.farm.se&gt; wrote in message ...
> Ron Capik <r.capik@worldnet.att.net> wrote:
>>
>> So you're into the "reality" of music rather than the "art." Hmmm, wonder
>> what you're thoughts are on painting. To each their own.
>
> In music I tend to think of the performer as the artist. Admittedly
> there is an element of art in the recording too. More so in some genres
> than others.


No art in recording? Common.... Let's get real here. Recording is quite
definitely an art. It depends on capturing somebody else's performance
(their art), but to capture it is a completely subjective process.

--Ben

--
Benjamin Maas
Fifth Circle Audio
Los Angeles, CA
http://www.fifthcircle.com

Please remove "Nospam" from address for replies
Anonymous
November 30, 2004 8:37:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>That's what I think of as "the romance filter efect", like used in
>photography for Valentine sweetheart pics. I don't know why it works, or
>how it really works, but the resulting softening of the fine points of
>some sounds results in something far more pleasing to listen to.
>
>This is what people want in a plug-in, and it ain't happening. <g>
>
>--
>ha

Hank - you already know this, but for others who might not:

It's one of the things that makes particular pieces of "vintage" gear (that
might not be so "vintage" to those of us who are a bit "vintage" ourselves) so
desirable, whether it's RCA 44s and 77s, Neumann U67s, Teletronix LA2As, 70s
era Neve modules, Pultec and Lang EQs etc. etc. etc...

They all can *at times* impart a very pleasing sonic character by (among other
things) adding mild to not-so-mild harmonic distortion, slurring transient
response, rolling off top end, adding something damn close to a short reverb to
the low end...and so on. They also do what they're supposed to (capture the
sound, compress, EQ, etc) in a useful way, but it's the often heavy coloration
(for the most part unintended by the original designers, who were doing the
best they could to make high fidelity gear with what they had at the time),
that makes them so special now.

Used at the wrong time and place they usually just sound lo-fi in a bad way.
That's where you want the nice clean, modern gear.

Choosing the right gear chain for a specific application is like cooking. The
just-right combination of ingredients and spices for one dish could be the
just-wrong one for another. What that combination actually turns out to be can
be pretty surprising sometimes...


Ted Spencer, NYC

"No amount of classical training will ever teach you what's so cool about
"Tighten Up" by Archie Bell And The Drells" -author unknown
Anonymous
December 2, 2004 7:59:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< Now I'm forced to admit that absolute clarity and purity of sound is not
the only solution in all situations. Sometimes the perfectly accurate
sound is too sterile. >>

Well, yeah. Sometimes to achieve the appearance of transparency you have to do
things that purists won't ever consider, on strictly philosophical grounds,
like EQ & compression. And microphones with personality can add spice. Pea soup
made just from peas may be an accurate representation of the taste of peas, but
pea soup with spices added is an interesting eating experience.

<< I'm still not buying into the idea of introducing
any distortion into the recording chain, but I can see how the shimmer of
an "interesting" microphone can add to an already good recording. >>



I think one has to simply get over ones opposition to close miking if that's
the flavor that gives us listening pleasure.


Scott Fraser
Anonymous
December 2, 2004 7:59:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <20041202115922.05986.00000889@mb-m19.aol.com>,
scotfraser@aol.com (ScotFraser) wrote:

> << Now I'm forced to admit that absolute clarity and purity of sound is not
> the only solution in all situations. Sometimes the perfectly accurate
> sound is too sterile. >>
>
> Well, yeah. Sometimes to achieve the appearance of transparency you have to
> do
> things that purists won't ever consider, on strictly philosophical grounds,
> like EQ & compression. And microphones with personality can add spice. Pea
> soup
> made just from peas may be an accurate representation of the taste of peas,
> but
> pea soup with spices added is an interesting eating experience.
>
> << I'm still not buying into the idea of introducing
> any distortion into the recording chain, but I can see how the shimmer of
> an "interesting" microphone can add to an already good recording. >>


>
> I think one has to simply get over ones opposition to close miking if that's
> the flavor that gives us listening pleasure.
>
>
> Scott Fraser

As much as I have tried not to, I find I still like the hyper-realistic
representation I can create better than the actual sounds that come into the
microphones. I guess that's where the fun lies for me. It is kind of like
cooking.

The best thing about teaching others about recording is seeing their faces when
they realize what can be done with dynamics processing and equalization.

-Jay
--
x------- Jay Kadis ------- x---- Jay's Attic Studio ------x
x Lecturer, Audio Engineer x Dexter Records x
x CCRMA, Stanford University x http://www.offbeats.com/ x
x---------- http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jay/ ------------x
Anonymous
December 2, 2004 8:06:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< You with experience on many microphones probably divides them into
families. For instance, many Chinese mics claim to be in the U87 familiy.
Then there is the Elam 251 familty and the AKC C12 family (which includes
the B6 capsule mentioned above).
Are there other condenser microphones so famous that they have a covey of
imitators and competitors?>>

The U47 is probably the most imitated of the several main food groups.
Scott Fraser
Anonymous
December 2, 2004 9:07:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Carey Carlan wrote:

> I'm still not buying into the idea of introducing
> any distortion into the recording chain,

I buy into that idea anytime I think it'll get a sound I want. It's not
where I'd start, but I can go there and enjoy the trip.

--
ha
Anonymous
December 3, 2004 3:43:05 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Jay Kadis <jay@ccrma.stanford.edu> wrote in
news:jay-A0709D.09412702122004@news.stanford.edu:

> As much as I have tried not to, I find I still like the
> hyper-realistic representation I can create better than the actual
> sounds that come into the microphones. I guess that's where the fun
> lies for me. It is kind of like cooking.
>
> The best thing about teaching others about recording is seeing their
> faces when they realize what can be done with dynamics processing and
> equalization.

How do you get "hyper-realistic" and compression/EQ into the same thought?

I guess I'm really asking how you define hyper-realistic.
Anonymous
December 3, 2004 3:43:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Carey Carlan <gulfjoe@hotmail.com> wrote:

>Jay Kadis <jay@ccrma.stanford.edu> wrote:
>
>> As much as I have tried not to, I find I still like the
>> hyper-realistic representation I can create better than the actual
>> sounds that come into the microphones. I guess that's where the fun
>> lies for me. It is kind of like cooking.
>>
>> The best thing about teaching others about recording is seeing their
>> faces when they realize what can be done with dynamics processing and
>> equalization.

>How do you get "hyper-realistic" and compression/EQ into the same thought?
>
>I guess I'm really asking how you define hyper-realistic.

Well, since hyper means: Over; above; beyond; excessive; or excessively,
"hyper-realistic" would be over or beyond realistic, putting it into a class
above Radio Shack products. Wasn't that a song in the movie Mary Poppins?

Super-hyper-realistic-expi-ali-do-sious?

Harvey Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio
http://www.ITRstudio.com/
Anonymous
December 3, 2004 11:25:03 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Thu, 2 Dec 2004 11:59:22 -0500, ScotFraser wrote
(in article <20041202115922.05986.00000889@mb-m19.aol.com>):

> << Now I'm forced to admit that absolute clarity and purity of sound is not
> the only solution in all situations. Sometimes the perfectly accurate
> sound is too sterile. >>
>
> Well, yeah. Sometimes to achieve the appearance of transparency you have to
do
> things that purists won't ever consider, on strictly philosophical grounds,
> like EQ & compression. And microphones with personality can add spice. Pea
> soup
> made just from peas may be an accurate representation of the taste of peas,
> but
> pea soup with spices added is an interesting eating experience.
>
> << I'm still not buying into the idea of introducing
> any distortion into the recording chain, but I can see how the shimmer of
> an "interesting" microphone can add to an already good recording. >>


>
> I think one has to simply get over ones opposition to close miking if that's
> the flavor that gives us listening pleasure.
>
>
> Scott Fraser

I agree. And if you're using microphones and speakers to do your work, you've
already given up any and all hopes for sonic purity. All that stuff is a myth
about the size of Lake Erie. We are custodians of the remnants of what our
devices slice off of reality. We never get the full loaf.

As a result, we used those crumbs to form our own personal meatloafs. In the
best of cases, everyone likes what we bring to the table. In the worst of
cases, well, did you ever notice that your own farts always smell better or
more interesting than any one elses?

Regards,

Ty Ford




-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
December 3, 2004 11:27:44 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <Xns95B3C8953A289gulfjoehotmailcom@207.69.189.191>,
Carey Carlan <gulfjoe@hotmail.com> wrote:

> Jay Kadis <jay@ccrma.stanford.edu> wrote in
> news:jay-A0709D.09412702122004@news.stanford.edu:
>
> > As much as I have tried not to, I find I still like the
> > hyper-realistic representation I can create better than the actual
> > sounds that come into the microphones. I guess that's where the fun
> > lies for me. It is kind of like cooking.
> >
> > The best thing about teaching others about recording is seeing their
> > faces when they realize what can be done with dynamics processing and
> > equalization.
>
> How do you get "hyper-realistic" and compression/EQ into the same thought?
>
> I guess I'm really asking how you define hyper-realistic.

The flushing up of the low-amplitude sonic details by compression and limiting
and judicious spectral tweeking with EQ make the sound realistic in the sense
that you can hear the details of the sounds even when they would have otherwise
been masked in a complicated mix. But it's not what you would hear in the
tracking room.

The term hyper-realistic comes from Dan Levitin, a former editor for RE/P and
now a cognitive psychologist at McGill.

-Jay
--
x------- Jay Kadis ------- x---- Jay's Attic Studio ------x
x Lecturer, Audio Engineer x Dexter Records x
x CCRMA, Stanford University x http://www.offbeats.com/ x
x---------- http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jay/ ------------x
Anonymous
December 3, 2004 4:27:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 02 Dec 2004 16:59:22 GMT, scotfraser@aol.com (ScotFraser) wrote:

>Well, yeah. Sometimes to achieve the appearance of transparency you have to do
>things that purists won't ever consider, on strictly philosophical grounds,
>like EQ & compression. And microphones with personality can add spice. <snip>

Put some RCA 77As on brass or strings sometime to "spice up" your
soup. Inaccurate? Perhaps, but they do give the requisite "listening
pleasure."

><< I'm still not buying into the idea of introducing
>any distortion into the recording chain, but I can see how the shimmer of
>an "interesting" microphone can add to an already good recording. <snip>

So, basically, it all gets down to where you want to introduce your
"distortions" into the chain...the source, being the mike, or in the
grinding of the sausage in post-pro, or in inherently "distinctive"
electronics in the recording process. Same thing, only different.
This is the reason we so many doofuses trying to use Ampex 300/350/351
chasses for "mike pres"...they're wanting a certain distortion and
think that using an Ampex chassis just as a preamp will somehow give
them that "Gold Star vintage sound." Durrrrrrrr....

dB
Anonymous
December 3, 2004 5:21:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< Super-hyper-realistic-expi-ali-do-sious? >>




I thought it was "Super-Hyper-Realistic-Chronic-Halitosis".

Oh, wait, that wasn't Mary Poppins, it was my 97 year old great-grandmother.


Joe Egan
EMP
Colchester, VT
www.eganmedia.com
Anonymous
December 3, 2004 7:52:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< All that stuff is a myth
about the size of Lake Erie. >>



I didn't know there was a myth concerning the size of Lake Erie. Is it not as
big as everybody contends?

<g>


Scott Fraser
Anonymous
December 3, 2004 10:42:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Jay Kadis <jay@ccrma.stanford.edu> wrote in
news:jay-015420.08274403122004@news.stanford.edu:

> The flushing up of the low-amplitude sonic details by compression and
> limiting and judicious spectral tweeking with EQ make the sound
> realistic in the sense that you can hear the details of the sounds
> even when they would have otherwise been masked in a complicated mix.
> But it's not what you would hear in the tracking room.
>
> The term hyper-realistic comes from Dan Levitin, a former editor for
> RE/P and now a cognitive psychologist at McGill.

I understand and agree with compression and EQ when creating a mix. Do you
agree that, given an agreeable source, they aren't necessary in a solo
stereo setting?

I am sometimes asked for a "car" mix, meaning squashed to hell. I can do
that, too, and it even sounds OK when I use the limiter built into my
Spider (an underrated feature of that august machine). But my main focus
is full dynamic range. The sample I posted on my webpage approaches 70 dB
from quietest to peak.
Anonymous
December 3, 2004 10:42:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <Xns95B49595BD6BAgulfjoehotmailcom@207.69.189.191>,
Carey Carlan <gulfjoe@hotmail.com> wrote:

> Jay Kadis <jay@ccrma.stanford.edu> wrote in
> news:jay-015420.08274403122004@news.stanford.edu:
>
> > The flushing up of the low-amplitude sonic details by compression and
> > limiting and judicious spectral tweeking with EQ make the sound
> > realistic in the sense that you can hear the details of the sounds
> > even when they would have otherwise been masked in a complicated mix.
> > But it's not what you would hear in the tracking room.
> >
> > The term hyper-realistic comes from Dan Levitin, a former editor for
> > RE/P and now a cognitive psychologist at McGill.
>
> I understand and agree with compression and EQ when creating a mix. Do you
> agree that, given an agreeable source, they aren't necessary in a solo
> stereo setting?
>

Absolutely. I was only referring to rock'n'roll context.

But how about in the mastering stage? I'm editing an early music recorder CD
that my brother is co-producing, Buxtehude and the like, and they are concerned
with getting the volume of the CD up to "commercial" levels. I think we're
going to need to use some clean limiting on that. But I wouldn't mess with the
dynamics any more than that.

> I am sometimes asked for a "car" mix, meaning squashed to hell. I can do
> that, too, and it even sounds OK when I use the limiter built into my
> Spider (an underrated feature of that august machine). But my main focus
> is full dynamic range. The sample I posted on my webpage approaches 70 dB
> from quietest to peak.

Then there's the issue of the noise floor in churches and similar venues.
Recording a harpsichord in a very ambient church in the middle of town does
present its problems. Have you ever used expansion?

-Jay
--
x------- Jay Kadis ------- x---- Jay's Attic Studio ------x
x Lecturer, Audio Engineer x Dexter Records x
x CCRMA, Stanford University x http://www.offbeats.com/ x
x---------- http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jay/ ------------x
Anonymous
December 4, 2004 1:26:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Jay Kadis <jay@ccrma.stanford.edu> wrote in
news:jay-2C847A.11585403122004@news.stanford.edu:

> But how about in the mastering stage? I'm editing an early music
> recorder CD that my brother is co-producing, Buxtehude and the like,
> and they are concerned with getting the volume of the CD up to
> "commercial" levels. I think we're going to need to use some clean
> limiting on that. But I wouldn't mess with the dynamics any more than
> that.

I have never had to succumb to the "commercial equals loud" philosophy.
One of the few advantages that classical recordings have in their favor is
that they are the only format to still embrace full dynamics.

The few rock recordings I have done have all been properly squashed.

> Then there's the issue of the noise floor in churches and similar
> venues. Recording a harpsichord in a very ambient church in the
> middle of town does present its problems. Have you ever used
> expansion?

I don't use expansion because I have such excellent noise reduction. Adobe
Audition, when properly used, can reduce noise levels significantly. With
a really good noise sample and very consistent background roar, I can
reduce noise as much as 20 dB and not impact the recording. The usual
victim of heavy NR (and downward expansion) is ambient reflection, which
can be simulated with a bit of judicious reverb.
Anonymous
December 4, 2004 1:26:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Fri, 03 Dec 2004 22:26:23 GMT, Carey Carlan <gulfjoe@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>I have never had to succumb to the "commercial equals loud" philosophy.
>One of the few advantages that classical recordings have in their favor is
>that they are the only format to still embrace full dynamics.
>
>The few rock recordings I have done have all been properly squashed. <snip>

"Commercial equals loud" ruins any good serious recording of serious
music, IMO. Part of the genre is the use of wide dynamic range, the
exact antithesis of pop music, where a highly compressed drone is
required to muddle the minds of its intended consumers. The classical
listener pines for such range, one big reason they embraced CD-A in
the '80s after initial resistance. However, a quartet of recorders
playing Buxtehude recorded at full bore seems to be a bit of overkill,
as does close micing of such instruments
>
>> Then there's the issue of the noise floor in churches and similar
>> venues. Recording a harpsichord in a very ambient church in the
>> middle of town does present its problems. Have you ever used
>> expansion? <snip>

I've recorded pipe organs in some really horrid background situations.
Back in the tube Ampex days, you didn't worry about that too much; a
lot of the traffic noise got buried in the hiss of Scotch 211, which,
on an organ recording, easily fakes for wind noise. Now? Different
proposition entirely. This actually started showing up when Ampex 456
and other low noise/high fluxivity oxides became the norm; as the
noise floor dropped and the MOL rose, traffic "whoosh" and "sizzle"
became obtrusive, making middle-of-the-night sessions an imperative,
especially in venues in a downtown area, in which most large
instruments are located. Worst noise invader of 'em all: traffic
"sizzle" from wet streets. More than one such recording session would
be "rained out" simply because of that, even in early AM sessions.
There was simply no getting rid of it.

Depending on the composition at hand and the registration
eccentricities of the performer, some compression was going to happen
anyway, due to the huge dynamic range of a large more-or-less romantic
voiced organ in a reverberant church or hall. No matter how hard you
tried, those 32' pedal flues would cause your Westons to peg at the
most inopportune times, no matter how many times you did level checks
with different registrations. Thus, some limiting would be used as a
precautionary measure, but I never relied on compression per se,
except for brief excursions into saturation.

>I don't use expansion because I have such excellent noise reduction. Adobe
>Audition, when properly used, can reduce noise levels significantly. With
>a really good noise sample and very consistent background roar, I can
>reduce noise as much as 20 dB and not impact the recording. The usual
>victim of heavy NR (and downward expansion) is ambient reflection, which
>can be simulated with a bit of judicious reverb. <snip>

I've heard some recent digital classical recordings that seem to
feature some kinds of expansion, and the ambient in the building seems
to "pump" wildly if it's overdone, similar to a malfunctioning dbx
box. "Mi no habla digital," so I'm at a loss to explain it away any
more than that.

dB
Anonymous
December 4, 2004 1:34:03 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

DeserTBoB <desertb@rglobal.net> wrote in
news:e8m1r0pt597ccntiva9d5ss4i71cqkjd7m@4ax.com:

>><< I'm still not buying into the idea of introducing
>>any distortion into the recording chain, but I can see how the shimmer
>>of an "interesting" microphone can add to an already good recording.
>><snip>
>
> So, basically, it all gets down to where you want to introduce your
> "distortions" into the chain...the source, being the mike, or in the
> grinding of the sausage in post-pro, or in inherently "distinctive"
> electronics in the recording process. Same thing, only different.
> This is the reason we so many doofuses trying to use Ampex 300/350/351
> chasses for "mike pres"...they're wanting a certain distortion and
> think that using an Ampex chassis just as a preamp will somehow give
> them that "Gold Star vintage sound." Durrrrrrrr....

I guess it's only a matter of degree. The "tape saturation" effect on my
CraneSong has never been used, but its effect is as subtle as moving from
the Schoeps mic to the BLUE. "But it's an effect!" Like the microphone
isn't.

When artists finally achieved true realism in paintings, they moved to
impressionism. Perhaps I'm just opening my eyes to that view.
Anonymous
December 4, 2004 1:34:44 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Jay Kadis" <jay@ccrma.stanford.edu> wrote in message...

> But how about in the mastering stage? I'm editing an early music recorder
> CD
> that my brother is co-producing, Buxtehude and the like, and they are
> concerned
> with getting the volume of the CD up to "commercial" levels. I think
> we're
> going to need to use some clean limiting on that. But I wouldn't mess
> with the
> dynamics any more than that.

I would deal with this by manually adjusting overall levels. If you have
particularly dynamic music, you can use long linear crossfades to adjust the
level (ie 10 and 15 second fades) by several db. Because you aren't
compressing or limiting, you maintain all of your transient information.
The other option is to use some parallel compression to 'firm up" the lower
dynamic levels while keeping your upper dynamics virtually untouched.

> Then there's the issue of the noise floor in churches and similar venues.
> Recording a harpsichord in a very ambient church in the middle of town
> does
> present its problems. Have you ever used expansion?
>

In a situation like this, I don't use expansion, but rather I'll bump the
level as needed and on fades at ends of pieces and quiet sections, I'll use
one of several techniques to deal with room noise. It ranges from EQ and
replacement of room sound to selection audio restoration techniques in
limited use... With the ability to do this non-destructively in Sequoia, it
means I can fade in a restoration tool or extreme EQ over a period of time
and not hear it kick in.

--Ben


--
Benjamin Maas
Fifth Circle Audio
Los Angeles, CA
http://www.fifthcircle.com

Please remove "Nospam" from address for replies
Anonymous
December 4, 2004 6:58:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< I understand and agree with compression and EQ when creating a mix. Do you
agree that, given an agreeable source, they aren't necessary in a solo
stereo setting? >>



I agree it's a decision you make on a case by case basis, based on the client's
artistic intent.

Scott Fraser
Anonymous
December 4, 2004 7:13:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< Part of the genre is the use of wide dynamic range, <snip> The
classical
listener pines for such range, >>



Yes, but does the listener have the same dynamic range available in the
playback situation?
What the philosophical purist won't admit to is that a peak level which exceeds
the average level by 20db has the same perceived dynamic impact as a peak that
exceeds the average by 25db. One of these gives your average level a fighting
chance, though.

Scott Fraser
Anonymous
December 4, 2004 7:19:33 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< I guess I'm really asking how you define hyper-realistic. >>



There are many details of instrumental articulation that are only perceived in
close proximity to the instrument. They are not audible in the middle of a
concert hall, yet we consider concert hall sound "realistic". That which is
audible only near the player could be deemed "hyper-realistic".

Scott Fraser
Anonymous
December 4, 2004 8:25:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Jay Kadis wrote:

> > I guess I'm really asking how you define hyper-realistic.

> The flushing up of the low-amplitude sonic details by compression and
> limiting and judicious spectral tweeking with EQ make the sound realistic
> in the sense that you can hear the details of the sounds even when they
> would have otherwise been masked in a complicated mix. But it's not what
> you would hear in the tracking room.

I submit Tony Furtado's _Tony Furtado Band_, with production and
engineering by Cookie Marenco as an example of audio-musical
hyper-realism.

--
ha
Anonymous
December 4, 2004 12:28:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Fri, 3 Dec 2004 11:52:18 -0500, ScotFraser wrote
(in article <20041203115218.06175.00000938@mb-m27.aol.com>):

> << All that stuff is a myth
> about the size of Lake Erie. >>


>
> I didn't know there was a myth concerning the size of Lake Erie. Is it not as
> big as everybody contends?
>
> <g>
>
>
> Scott Fraser

It depends on from which shore you begin to count; something about the
exchange rate differences in the US and Canada.

Regards

Ty


-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
December 6, 2004 10:44:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1go8m3w.4uclhi13rhlhzN%walkinay@thegrid.net>,
walkinay@thegrid.net (hank alrich) wrote:

> Jay Kadis wrote:
>
> > > I guess I'm really asking how you define hyper-realistic.
>
> > The flushing up of the low-amplitude sonic details by compression and
> > limiting and judicious spectral tweeking with EQ make the sound realistic
> > in the sense that you can hear the details of the sounds even when they
> > would have otherwise been masked in a complicated mix. But it's not what
> > you would hear in the tracking room.
>
> I submit Tony Furtado's _Tony Furtado Band_, with production and
> engineering by Cookie Marenco as an example of audio-musical
> hyper-realism.
>
> --
> ha

Cookie did a real nice job on my friend Dan Brusseau's solo album several years
ago, too.

-Jay
--
x------- Jay Kadis ------- x---- Jay's Attic Studio ------x
x Lecturer, Audio Engineer x Dexter Records x
x CCRMA, Stanford University x http://www.offbeats.com/ x
x---------- http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jay/ ------------x
Anonymous
December 7, 2004 12:07:14 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Mon, 06 Dec 2004 07:44:47 -0800, Jay Kadis <jay@ccrma.stanford.edu>
wrote:

>> > The flushing up of the low-amplitude sonic details by compression and
>> > limiting and judicious spectral tweeking with EQ make the sound realistic
>> > in the sense that you can hear the details of the sounds even when they
>> > would have otherwise been masked in a complicated mix. But it's not what
>> > you would hear in the tracking room. <snip>

Wrong wrong wrong wrong WRONG! It's not "hyper-anything" except
"hyper-compressed!" It's not realistic at all; in fact, far from it.
It's the modern-day equivalent of Top 40 AM radio with 25 dB of
compression, nothing more. If it were ANY kind of "realistic," those
"subtle details" would be way down in the grass, where they're
SUPPOSED to be. THAT'S realism. Compressing the hell out of
everything is an attempt to DEFEAT realism, to make the track
something it's not. Same basic musical ethics as Milli Vanilli or
Enrique Iglesias. Simply, a fraud.

I heard all this same stuff back in the early '70s when guys were
compressing every track on a 48 channel mix "so each part can stand
out." If they'd have gotten their noses out of the coke long enough
to LISTEN, they'd have realized that all they created was flavored
pink noise, where EVERYTHING is competing for attention with
everything else. No depth, no dynamicism, no anything but high level
NOISE. The more things change, I swear, the more they stay the same.
Want it to sound good in a car? Fine, compress away, but don't try to
pawn it off as any sort of "realism."

So, call it "hyper-compression"..."hyper-clipping"...whatever. Just
don't show me a moldy melted cheese sandwich and try to tell me it's
the Virgin Mary, because I'm NOT buyin' it, even for the opening bid.

dB
!