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ARSCLIST  January 2012

ARSCLIST January 2012

Subject:

Re: Dolby Plugin

From:

Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 12 Jan 2012 10:19:05 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (70 lines)

I've had pretty good luck with dbx over the years. Back in the Portastudio days, dbxII was de rigeur 
for using those cassette-based things unless you wanted an ocean of hiss to built up really fast. We 
never had any problems as long as the tape was played back on the machine it was recorded on. 
Otherwise, it was a crapshoot but to be fair the dbx tracked more often than not. dbx Disc was a 
great system as long as the LP was mastered with decent level so as to trip the dbx decoder 
correctly. As others have said, dbx is less artifact-prone with "busy" or "noisy" music like rock or 
big band jazz. That said, I have some dbx encoded classical recordings that played back just fine 
when I transferred them.

Because of its problems with tracking even a slightly misaligned signal source, I imagine dbx 
becomes a headache with 24 tracks. People who had the old Fostex 8-track 1/4" machines used to bitch 
about it, but people who could afford the 1/2" 8-tracks from Tascam didn't complain as loudly, I 
suspect the wider tracks reduced level errors.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carl Pultz" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2012 9:04 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Dolby Plugin


I guess DBX was the system recommended to US public radio stations back in
the 70s as stations were equipping themselves for music recording. This was
a little bit before I got into that business. There were certain practices
that became dogma through the NPR recording workshops and sop at the station
(WXXI) I worked for - particularly Mid/Side micing, as they were all about
mono compatibility.

Noise reduction made it practical to record live classical concerts. You had
to use 7.5 ips to get a whole concert half without interruption. DBX was
very effective at ridding hiss, but whether you could hear it working
depended greatly on the source. IIRC, sound with a lot of high frequency
info or hall ambience suffered. Simpler sounds could go through pretty
convincingly. After a while, we lived with the hiss and ignored the DBX. One
fellow used enough compression before tape to make dynamic range irrelevant,
as he figured it was only going to get squashed at the transmitter anyway.
Sony PCM adaptors soon came to the rescue.

I think they still have a couple channels of DBX for the occasional archive
tape. But there isn't much archive, as it all turned into big piles of
sticky 456 goo, and much just got landfilled. Pity. There is an incredible
collection of live jazz and blues sessions sitting there, but no one seems
interested, and there's no money to deal with it.

Anybody here with public radio on their résumés? So wish I had attended that
training - what a great boost for a journeyman recordist.

Carl

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Shai Drori
Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2012 4:40 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Dolby Plugin

We didn't hear it working, at least not on the talent that came to THAT
studio (LOL), but when used with good tapes it worked. It just added a
certain something to rock that I doubt I would want on classical.
Hmmm... gotta dig those old tapes and see if I still like them after all
these years. I'm probably in for a surprise.
Shai

On 12/01/12 11:16, Ted Kendall wrote:
>>
> I'll say dbx sounded different! You could hear it working, for one
> thing...

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