In commenting on Tom Fine's and my exchange about the audibility of
Cedar artifacts in commercial releases, At 06:52 AM 2007-05-22, Don Cox wrote:
>Most computers have fan noise which would make it hard to hear the
>ambience on a record.
>And there is the question of what monitors are being used.
This raises an issue which has only been marginally touched on in
this list and I fear with all the other cost and time pressures
perhaps does not receive proper attention.
Good room acoustics (as well as audio monitor selection) are crucial
in doing a good job of restoration and mastering. They are less
important for doing preservation copies where no processing involving
operator judgment is performed, but they are still important so you
can hear if you have optimum playback.
While all of us may have our favourite monitor speakers, a recent
series of tests about the Studer A80/A810 and Sony APR-5000 tested
more than the audibility of differences among these three machines.
It also showed that audibility of subtle differences can be discerned
on three good monitor systems of VERY different design/implementation.
I have a 5.1 arrangement with Mackie HR-824s and an Energy subwoofer
with a Blue Sky Bass Management Controller. My room was designed with
the help of a major-league acoustician (but many compromises were
made from the design, so I don't credit him). I have never owned a
room/monitoring chain with better imaging. It matches the ITU/Dolby
published geometry for 5.1 surround.
My friend Don has a Blue Sky 2.1 personal system in an average home
bedroom (I think there is carpet on the floor).
Steve Puntolillo has a nice Tannoy monitor system in an acoustically
designed control room.
All three systems were useable - Don doesn't use the Blue Sky 2.1
system for post production (he doesn't do anything but edit and has
other systems for that) - even though they were very different.
Part of this shows how we adapt to our own monitoring environment(s),
I think. Last fall, Don and I spent a good day listening to stuff on
his Blue Sky personal monitor and it was wonderful -- partially
because we were using it very near field, shutting out the rest of the room.
Since I've built my studio, I've found I haven't used my AKG K-240DF
headphones at all. I can hear more over the Mackies in the new room
than the headphones -- this was not the case in my old room in
As to computer ambient noise, I have solved my challenge in that
regard by having the fans "speak" to a foot-thick high-density
mineral wool wall. Nothing reflects back from that. With both
computers on, the room meets (or exceeds) NC-25. Depending on how
much gear is on, and how fast I run the supply/exhaust fans, this
number is degraded slightly.
The worst offenders are the Sony APR-5000 tape recorders which have
noisy fans. I looked for the "Pratt and Whitney" label on them, but
couldn't find one -- I do have some allegedly quieter Pabst fans
awating installation...but they are a BEAR to swap.
If you meant "monitors" in the computer monitor sense, yes CRTs can
emit noises that are annoying. I don't find that with my LCD
monitors, though I presume some could emit noises. Most CRTs for
computer use don't have that annoying 15,734 Hz tone that TV monitors
have. I think I have a permanent notch at that frequency!
Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.