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Re: [ARSCLIST] From ProTools to Vinyl? was [ARSCLIST] Fred Layn's post on the Studer
On Fri, 14 Jan 2005, Steven C. Barr wrote:
> we will be able to enter or select the correct values and digitally
> interpolate what was played from what was recorded...
An engineering friend of mine suggested that one could take an early piano
recording, isolate the fundamentals frequencies of each note played,
compare the relative amplitudes (unfortunately often adjusted by the
player to compensate for the limits of the recording and playback devices)
(a point which I don't often recall being raised...namely that recording
engineers for one label, would work to make their recordings sound best on
a machine manufactured by that same company) and use that information to
produce a "roll" or midi file, which could be used to control an acoustic
> "stereo" and the like). The problem is that no two people will
> agree on what constitutes "the maximum..." and at what point
> addition of non-existent elements begins!
I am reminded of a recent publication...a work in progress, which is an
attempt to provide guidelines for capture of audio from analog recordings.
The preliminary report stated something like..."the older members of the
group believe that there cannot be any absolutes in the transfer process."
I guess I am one of the "old ones," and resent the implication of just
being an "old fuddy duddy." What about age discrimination!
> during its existence. Note that this has a certain "romantic"
> appeal more than anything else...I've been in original 20's
> apartments, furnished and decorated in original style, that
> needed only a Victrola and a stack of 78's to provide a
> sonic backdrop...
I believe, especially with acoustic discs, that there is something
to be said for having a machine that is as close to the
original...especially if the company made (mentioned above) its own
reproducers. You can indeed get most of everything from a disc,
(acoustic discs in particular), but, from my experience, you don't know
much abouthow it sounded unless you play it on an older machine. One can
argue if this is important or not, since you could consider your equalization
adjustments to be predicated on an attempt to approximate the "true sound"
(however subjective a notion) of the audio. A metal horn versus a wooden
horn will significantly (at least to my ears) change the quality of the
sound. From my perspective, reformatting is not preservation...in the
strictest sense of the word...(as I type this I wonder...how many will be
shooting holes through my perspective)
> 4) To make it sound, as nearly as possible, like the last
> record that sold in huge quantities! The problem is, this
> style of thinking demands that noise be removed at all costs
> (people buy CD's because they have no background noise) and
> that CD buyers are from one of two demographics...people who
> buy current recordings (who want a lot of bass, for one thing)...
> or people who buy "Easy Listening" CD's (who want music that
> sounds like the 101 strings).
As probably one of the few who collects 101 strings albums...I limit
myself to paying a maximum of $2 a disc...you would have to appreciate the
absurd to understand...
I am reminded of some of the transfers I have heard done by Dutton...to my
ears, he adds some reverb to provide the illusion of high frequencies he
removes in his restoration process...no...I am not one who likes to hear
the surface noise, but not at the expense of a more "honest" sound...but
then, recorded sound is electronic music...a notion I got once from
Ussachevsky...we were looking for a definition of "electronic music" and
Vladimir responded, "loudspeakers."
Needless to say, once these
> engineers do their remixing, the music sounds like nothing
> else ever heard...itself included. This answers SA's comment
> about "it doesn't sound natural..."
I agree, the recording has become an object unto itself...with the advent
of sophisticated mixing...and speaking of extreme makeovers...
I am reminded of an old DG recording of Le Sacre...von Karajan
conducting...for the opening bassoon solo the sound suggests that the
bassoon player was at the front of the orchestra for the solo and then
retreated to his position with the woodwinds for the rest of the piece.
Most of the solo parts were handled similarly.
I have been experimenting with recording techniques a bit on my label. It
has been interesting to read the critical comments. On a related note,I
did one experimental recording (which I won't release) that was, to my ears,
the most honest sound I have ever heard from the piano...the microphones,
true to the "Living Presence" tradition, (following the notion that the
microphone placement for orchestra recordings should be near the
conductor's ears...so one could hear what the conductor heard...were placed
just behind the head of the pianist. (no doubt others have tried this) It
was interesting listening to a recording that sounded like what I hear when
I play the piano...well, not exactly, since I recorded a good pianist. I
do wonder what sort of critical response I would get if I did record a
disc in that way and release it...
As Steven would seem to be suggesting, and I would agree, it isn't what it
really sounds like, but how the consumer wants it to sound, that
seems to be the goal.