Vintage vs Modern Audio - Page 2
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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvber View Post
    The cycling example I cited was meant to depict the variations we always face when comparing the plan vs results in just about everything. Sure, the musician / artist would have the final say in how it sounds before releasing the album.

    Your negative experience at those band performances may have been isolated to you and perhaps a few other locations only. If the recording microphones were in ideal locations, the resulting sound quality of album may well be better than what you've perceived. Professional recording engineers would know where to record from.
    Well....there's tons of funny business, here; some practical, some just plain "that is what they want and how it is done".

    -A classic example is jazz. If you're going to record, say, a trumpet--the mic is going in the bell of the horn--where no one ever puts their ear. It is part taste--but also practical, as the mic doesn't get doppler-effect from the trumpeter moving himself and his horn relative to the mic. What an audience hears live, and how it is recorded are antithetical.
    -As mentioned above--in electroacoustic music, a guitar will be mic'd with a condenser right in front of their amp-stack; again where no one would ever want to listen.
    -A piano playing with an orchestra...the mics are going inside the lid, to get isolation from the orchestra.
    -A violin soloist is going to have an X-Y setup above and infront of them a dozen feet or so, where no one IRL listens.
    -A recording of Tchaik's Nutcracker, is going to have the gain on the celeste cranked as high as they dare go--because otherwise you just plain don't hear it in real life.
    -A recording for old-school terrestrial radio, or a radio company and then remastered for CD, might well have been done in M-S configuration (Middle-Sides) rather than X-Y....because of channel down-mixing practicalities
    -Then you have personalities like Jascha Heifetz who deliberately sabotaged recording efforts with intentionally poor mic placement....probably to improve his ticket sales, as in life he sounded far better according to all witnesses there.
    .
    .
    .
    And on and on it goes.


    During a show's tech time, the FOH guys mix based on their position and hope it works "good enough" for everyone else. Of course....sometimes there's hilarious f-ups that happen; one time during a show call the FOH audio pit guys were swearing up a storm on comms because it "sounded like $hit!". They were practically red-lining their amps trying to boost the signal coming out of the subs. But basically nothing was coming out. I was up in the spot booth and I was almost enjoying it...turned out their subwoofer cabinets had a voltage potential switch on the back; that was set to the wrong mode. Ooops.
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

  2. #27
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    That's a lot of stuff I lusted after in the 80's when I couldn't afford it. Especially the SAE stuff and the Mitsubishi linear tracking TT.
    If I were to beat you senseless with a tire iron, what color would you bleed?..The Missus

  3. #28
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    Marc -- all of what you say makes perfect sense in a live amplified venue, and there's no doubt that that's the way it's done with most modern recordings. But audiophile recordings (gag me with a spoon) like to trumpet that they use as few mikes as possible. With a Blumlein crossed pair of figure 8s as the holy grail.

    Finally, yeah, I don't blame the engineers or producers if they let Heifetz get his way in recording sessions. One word from Heifie to the record label (was it RCA?) and the recording crew would be peddling pencils on main street.
    Mapie is a conventional looking former Hollywood bon viveur, now leading a quiet life in a house made of wood by an isolated beach. He has cultivated a taste for culture, and is a celebrated raconteur amongst his local associates, who are artists, actors, and other leftfield/eccentric types. I imagine he has a telescope, and an unusual sculpture outside his front door. He is also a beach comber. The Rydster.

  4. #29
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    About 10 years ago, I gave away about 150 lbs of high end (80s vintage) Kenwood (audiophile-grade) and Yamaha equipment -- integrated amp, tuner, cassette tape deck, etc.

    I kept my Polk M10 speakers, and my other Polk speakers (I forget the model).

    I replaced 150 lbs of massive Yamaha amp circuitry with a small, light Class D amp.

    The sound is much better with the relatively tiny Class D amp.

    The tech has moved so far since Yamaha and other companies were putting out heavy amps with the latest huge Field Effect Transistors, and giant power supplies and capacitors to keep everything humming along at 100 watts, and a mass of copper and silver to keep it all together.

    The Class D amps I have -- they're so small and inexpensive, I can have one wherever I want one... manage to beat the output, specs, and most importantly, the sound of the old hardware.

    Until I discovered the miracle of Class D amps... I was convinced that for perfect sound, you had to have equipment that weighed a lot, consumed lots of electricity and belched out huge amounts of heat... due to all the components and wiring, the enormous energy-hogging power supplies -- preferably one for each channel with two huge low-noise capacitors per channel, and of course, stupidly large fancy solid metal knobs on the front.

    I have one of these, and two more made by different manufacturers.

    https://www.amazon.com/TDA7498E-Audi...pf_rd_i=537344

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Well....there's tons of funny business, here; some practical, some just plain "that is what they want and how it is done".

    -A classic example is jazz. If you're going to record, say, a trumpet--the mic is going in the bell of the horn--where no one ever puts their ear. It is part taste--but also practical, as the mic doesn't get doppler-effect from the trumpeter moving himself and his horn relative to the mic. What an audience hears live, and how it is recorded are antithetical.
    -As mentioned above--in electroacoustic music, a guitar will be mic'd with a condenser right in front of their amp-stack; again where no one would ever want to listen.
    -A piano playing with an orchestra...the mics are going inside the lid, to get isolation from the orchestra.
    -A violin soloist is going to have an X-Y setup above and infront of them a dozen feet or so, where no one IRL listens.
    -A recording of Tchaik's Nutcracker, is going to have the gain on the celeste cranked as high as they dare go--because otherwise you just plain don't hear it in real life.
    -A recording for old-school terrestrial radio, or a radio company and then remastered for CD, might well have been done in M-S configuration (Middle-Sides) rather than X-Y....because of channel down-mixing practicalities
    -Then you have personalities like Jascha Heifetz who deliberately sabotaged recording efforts with intentionally poor mic placement....probably to improve his ticket sales, as in life he sounded far better according to all witnesses there.
    .
    .
    .
    And on and on it goes.


    During a show's tech time, the FOH guys mix based on their position and hope it works "good enough" for everyone else. Of course....sometimes there's hilarious f-ups that happen; one time during a show call the FOH audio pit guys were swearing up a storm on comms because it "sounded like $hit!". They were practically red-lining their amps trying to boost the signal coming out of the subs. But basically nothing was coming out. I was up in the spot booth and I was almost enjoying it...turned out their subwoofer cabinets had a voltage potential switch on the back; that was set to the wrong mode. Ooops.
    That's why recordings go through mastering process. Some albums are better mastered than others. It's up to the skill level of the engineer/s. Obviously, the engineer would have to be at the live performance venue to get the idea of how it sounded before applying that to mastering process.

  6. #31
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    I do a good bit of my 'serious' listening through headphones. The new APT-X HD bluetooth codec is great and with Amazon Prime HD music I can't complain at all. But I do like to sit on the sofa with a book or read on the iPad and having a nice system is great. I've always thought, right or wrong, that you can tell a good systems sound at low volumes as much as high volume. This system sounds great even at background levels. I think a lot of it is the EQ, I have the dynamic volume setting at it's lowest setting so it is doing a little to help. You may want to try actually adding compression to your stuff so that you can hear the lower level stuff through the tinnitus.
    If I were to beat you senseless with a tire iron, what color would you bleed?..The Missus

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvber View Post
    That's why recordings go through mastering process. Some albums are better mastered than others. It's up to the skill level of the engineer/s. Obviously, the engineer would have to be at the live performance venue to get the idea of how it sounded before applying that to mastering process.
    Sorry to beat a dead horse but by pure coincidence I happened to read an old interview with Herbie Hancock last night regarding the Miles Davis Four & More Live album which he played on. I'd provide a link but I did not read it on the internet and can't find it there.

    I'll just say I'm going with his take on the matter over yours.

    In a nut shell, for reasons of mic placement that Marc mentioned, live recordings often sound much better than they actually would have to anyone at the show and in such cases the goal of mastering is in no way to make the recording sound like it did in person.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    In a nut shell, for reasons of mic placement that Marc mentioned, live recordings often sound much better than they actually would have to anyone at the show and in such cases the goal of mastering is in no way to make the recording sound like it did in person.


    Like I already mentioned, the listening experience at live performance events vary greatly depending on the listening location due to the nature of sound waves. There are always good spots and bad spots in concerts even though they try to maximize the good spots for business reason.

    Technically, the concept of hi-fi in reproduction is to be faithful to the original source at high (as in "hi") degree. It is the job of recording / mastering engineer to accomplish that and some are better at it than others. Good ones would know better where to listen from.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvber View Post


    Like I already mentioned, the listening experience at live performance events vary greatly depending on the listening location due to the nature of sound waves. There are always good spots and bad spots in concerts even though they try to maximize the good spots for business reason.

    Technically, the concept of hi-fi in reproduction is to be faithful to the original source at high (as in "hi") degree. It is the job of recording / mastering engineer to accomplish that and some are better at it than others. Good ones would know better where to listen from.
    The whole point, which Marc already made,, is that the recording is not anyone's "listening experience" and if the recording is good no one is trying to get it to match their listening experience if that's inferior.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    The whole point, which Marc already made,, is that the recording is not anyone's "listening experience" and if the recording is good no one is trying to get it to match their listening experience if that's inferior.
    I don't think you are getting my point. The music album is the end product of how it was recorded and mastered. The album's sound quality depends on the engineer's skill and the place it was recorded at (for onsite recording). The recording / mastering engineers rely on their interpretation of the event which takes experience to acquire. Good engineers would know the good spots to listen from.

    Not all concerts sound good. The bad ones you've experienced may well be the fault of the setup or you were at a bad spot. If the former, the album made from it would have less potential than others.

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