----- Original Message -----
From: "George Brock-Nannestad" <[log in to unmask]>
> From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
> David Lennick wrote
> > Some of us are still reeling from the memory of those gawdawful Caruso
> > reconstructions. Don't forget..the "original room" was designed to produce
> > the
> > maximum amount of oomph and channel it into a horn.
> ----- that is not entirely true, and very company dependent. For instance,
> VTMC used what must be described as a very dry room, because e.g. in 1907
> they are reported as having all the windows open during summer.
> ----- those gawdawful Caruso reconstructions were based on very erroneous
> premise by Thomas Stockham in his processes. One was that if we can find a
> similar tenor in electrical recording, then we can use that voice
> characteristic to filter the original acoustic by Caruso himself and thereby
> get a grip on the difference, which must be what the acoustic process has
> contributed. They used Bjoerling, and indeed: if you increase the treble on
> the LP, then you hear Bjoerling's voice as "used by" Caruso, very strange
> indeed. But he cleaned up the bass quite efficiently. I do not have any of
> the McCormacks that RCA also put out using the Soundstream process, but here,
> at least, the voice was basically the same. Stockham called it blind de-
> convolution, and the process works, but the opera record collector he must
> have been associated with must have misled him.
> Mapleson cylinders would
> > be
> > about the only recordings where you might have a vague hope of
> > reconstructing
> > an acoustic worth hearing.
> ----- well, if anything, they were certainly far-field recordings. However,
> the signal-to-noise ratio is such that not much reverb signal is left.
> However, with modern signal processing - who knows.
Well, Victor is noted (as were, I suspect, most recording companies of
that era) for treating ANY reverberation as an undesirable variation
of the recorded signal! Various forms of padding were hung everywhere
to expunge the "dreaded echo!" Yet (speaking once again of Waring's
acoustically-live recording of "Freshie"...) when echo WAS inadvertantly
recorded, it suddenly added a new...and more lifelike...dimension to
recording. I can't help but wonder whether Victor customers...and/or
Victor management...noticed this! Apparently not, since the recording
survives as an all-but-unique example of its sort...!
Again, since we have no "dead version" of the recording, it would
probably take more computer analysis than the current state of the
art allows to figure out the reverberant component of "Freshie!"
Worse yet, the exact reverberant content would be dependent on
dimensions and construction of the applicable studio...and would
thus NOT apply to any other studios or recording locations.
Currently, we can try our best with electronic/digital "reverb
systems" that can add calculated degrees or artificial and
calculated "echo"...if anything, better than no reverb at all.
The harsh reality is that our human minds are set up to realize
and calculate a substantial amount of aural/otic data from the
reverberations we hear...so sound stripped of all reverberations
has in and of itself an artificial, "something's missing here..."
quality...same as a two-dimensional visual image!
Oddly enough, the folks in charge of recording operations NEVER
seemed to understand this fact...!
Steven C. Barr