phillip holmes wrote:
> Hey Bob,
> I'm definitely NOT saying modern equipment is more musical or more
> truthful. However, it is quieter, which is one of the points I was
> trying to make. I can't stand most modern recordings. I worship at
> the alter of Decca and Mercury. One thing that is an absolute truth
> is that some microphone techniques are stupid to the point of moronic
> imbecility. No concert goer, anywhere, is going to here a French Horn
> from two feet behind the bell. I've seen jackass recording engineers
> put their microphones behind the Horns, pointed at the bell. The
> things don't sound like Horns when they're recorded that way.
> Brass players are successful arrangers because they use more brass
> instruments. Brass is more "awesome" than the other instruments.
> When you add all the various mutes to your tonal arsenal, a full brass
> section can produce whisper soft sounds all the way up to something
> like a freight train running over a jumbo jet.
> Bob Olhsson wrote:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> >From phillip holmes: "...One thing that the couple could be talking
>> about is
>> the marked improvement in background noise levels since the '60s.
>> From the microphones, to the cables, to boards and electronics,
>> everything is much quieter than in the '60s. They might be comparing
>> multi-microphoned Columbia recordings from the '60s to something
>> similar from the '90s..."
>> It's highly debatable that microphones, cables, boards or electronics
>> actually improved, especially since the 1960s when I began my career.
>> They've only gotten cheaper and in too many cases both worse sounding
>> worse measuring once we learned what it was we needed to measure.
>> The point is that they believed using multiple mikes made what they
>> felt was
>> an improvement in the final product and I can't imagine that this matter
>> wasn't a subject of discussion among most recording musicians at the
>> Musicians typically listen for being able to hear all the parts and for
>> perfect time and intonation. The challenge is that 90% of what each
>> of us
>> hears are details that have been filled in by our imagination unless
>> we are
>> very careful. Fixing all three at the expense of emotional communication
>> and/or the ability for an ordinary listener to suspend their
>> disbelief is
>> the very essence of overproduction. Producers who are fans tend to
>> make that
>> mistake a lot less in my experience than producers who have been
>> professional musicians.
>> Among musicians, brass players have frequently been the most successful
>> arrangers and producers. Some of us speculate this may be because
>> they were
>> brought up counting rests in orchestra. Just for the record, I got
>> through a
>> year of violin in college before dropping out to accept my job at
>> Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
>> Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
>> Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!
>> 615.385.8051 http://www.hyperback.com
A big amen to that. Though I mentioned that my opinions are primarily
from the perspective of the performer, I didn't mention that I was a
horn-player. I can't tell you how many broadcasts, recordings and
mega-miked performances that I have played where I have had to move the
***damned mike away (far away) from my bell. The fact that the horn is
played with its business end facing away from the audience and the
player cups his (or her) hand inside of it is what makes it SOUND LIKE A
HORN. Since the mid 18th century, this has been true and it has always
frustrated me that 99% of audio guys I have encountered on gigs do not
seem to have gotten the word on this yet.
Sorry if I am skittering off on a tangent here, but I just needed to
acknowledge Phil's wisdom on this point since it is so rare that I have
found anyone who acknowledged this painfully obvious fact.