Clean isn't always better

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, ...
40 answers Last reply
More about clean better
  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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?
  5. 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, ...
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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 >>>
    --
  9. 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
  10. 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?
  11. 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
    --
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "Lars Farm" <mail.addr.can.be.found@www.farm.se> 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
  15. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "Lars Farm" <mail.addr.can.be.found@www.farm.se> 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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/
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. 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
  28. 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.
  29. 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
  30. 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.
  31. 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
  32. 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.
  33. 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
  34. 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
  35. 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
  36. 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
  37. 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
  38. 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
  39. 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
  40. 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
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