LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for ARSCLIST Archives


ARSCLIST Archives

ARSCLIST Archives


ARSCLIST@LISTSERV.LOC.GOV


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

ARSCLIST Home

ARSCLIST Home

ARSCLIST  February 2013

ARSCLIST February 2013

Subject:

Fw: Recordings "vs" Live (was Re: [ARSCLIST] Audibility of 44/16 ?)

From:

Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Thu, 14 Feb 2013 09:07:45 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (274 lines)

I don't think an ideal recording has much relation to a live performance. It depends on the music, 
depends on the production decisions, etc. The magic of recorded sound is that it can go beyond 
what's possible in a live setting. In relation to "acoustic music" like orchestral classical, 
large-ensemble jazz or indeed small-group versions of both musics (ie music played at one time with 
the whole group together at the same time), the magic of recording and good production is that a 
listening perspective can be created that is not possible from any one place where a human head can 
be in that space. Also, through the magic of editing, you can preserve on the mass medium an 
error-free performance. Good musicians sometimes do play through a complete selection in a live 
setting and make no errors, but not always. When they have a good day in the studio, it's a complete 
keeper take. Finally, mics "hear" differently from human ears, even dummy head mics.

When you're talking about heavily-produced music, which involves complex mixing, overdubbing, 
non-concurrent recording of parts, etc, then the results often cannot be replicated live, at least 
not with any surity. A good example is Roger Waters performing Pink Floyd's "The Wall." He needs a 
huge ensemble of musicians and singers, and a massive light show and media production, to accomplish 
what four guys, a good producer and some hired guns here and there pulled off over several months in 
a studio. And it still had to be re-imagined for the stage.

Recordings of live performances are generally made with several or many mics, none of which placed 
in much relation to a human in the audience. If you're talking amplified music, most live recordings 
cut out the PA system, so they're picking up something totally different from the sound in the 
venue. One of those famous well-liked live recordings in the audio community is "Jazz at the Pawn 
Shop." That is a very nice sounding performance and recording (although it's a bit bright for my 
taste), but that's not what you'd hear live in a room. You'd never hear a drum close in and crisp 
like that at the same time a clarinet is so prominent, it can't happen because the drum would 
overpower the clarinet if you were close enough to hear all the brush and stick detail. I could cite 
many other examples, suffice to say, the live recording ain't what anyone  (audience or musicians) 
heard in the venue that night. OK, one more example -- Ed Green's classic recording of "Jazz Samba" 
by Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd. Made in a large church that clearly is a reverberant space. What seat 
in the audience could hear all the details of Byrd's guitar work, especially on the quiet passages. 
And where in a reverberant space would you hear the crisp transitions of Getz's note changes? By its 
very nature, that acoustic space would create a pleasant "halo" of reverberation that would "blur" 
the details with standing and cancelling sound waves.

This is my point about hearing and personal taste. There's such a range of musical taste and so many 
ideas about what sounds "good," I don't agree with Hunter that there is much common ground as far as 
listening environments and playback equipment. I do think, though, that there is a limited range of 
difference in available equipment today, because everyone is manufacturing to the same specs (which 
may or may not mean "good" or "bad" sound, as I explained before). Keen ears may hear this range of 
difference as greater than limited, but strictly going by measurements, it's not a very wide range. 
I think the wide range of perceived differences has more to do with personal hearing and tastes and 
aesthetics, which is why I stand by my statement that subjective "reviews" are useless to anyone but 
the reviewer.

By the way, when you buy a recording, any professional-grade recording, you are submitting to the 
musician(s) and producer(s) ideas about what sounds "good", what's a good sound-balance and what are 
good dynamics. Not to mention what constitutes "good" music. The only way you can totally indulge 
and explore your own taste is learn how to play music, correctly and well, and learn the art and 
craft of recording. For the rest of us, we're viewers and, hopefully, appreciators of the painting 
rather than the person with the brush and oils.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "DAVID BURNHAM" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2013 3:25 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Audibility of 44/16 ?


This assumes that the ideal is always that the recording sounds like the live event. In my
experience such is not always the case. I have recorded a local orchestra several times in a hall
with poor reverberation, very unpleasant sound quality and faulty balance. Listening to the
orchestra live in this hall is not enjoyable at all. Our recordings, however, manage to correct
these problems to a large extent so that, for my taste, and according to the reactions of the
orchestra members who have heard broadcasts of our recordings there, our recordings are far superior
to the live sound. It is also my experience that almost all live jazz recordings sound far better
than the live experience in a room with a low ceiling and very dry muffled sound.

db



>________________________________
> From: L. Hunter Kevil <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 8:44:39 PM
>Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Audibility of 44/16 ?
>
>A comment from the peanut gallery about Tom's statement that our ordinary
>listening experiences are 'totally subjective.' An analogy to the total
>subjectivity argument would be that what Tom sees as blue I see as green.
>(Leaving aside the question of how we would know that.) This is not a good
>argument. There must some common elements.
>
>Let us take it as given that no recording can sound exactly the same as the
>sound as heard on site. This implies there is a means for comparison. If we
>have a sense of what makes a recording sound realistic or more or less
>real, it follows that we have a standard by which recordings fall short. I
>don't believe this must be subjective, though it is aural. However, this is
>the crux of my argument, the realistic qualities foremost for Tom may not
>be the same as those for me. For me attack and pitch stability in a piano
>are very important signals that what I am hearing is real or live. Tom
>knows what these things are, but because of his experience in the studio
>may see ambiance and bass extension as the primary clues to the
>presentation of live music. All these qualities are real in the sense that
>they are present in live music. If Tom & I were to sit down together and
>listen I suspect our reactions would be very similar.
>
>In any event, Tom, I value your evaluations of the sound quality of various
>recordings and look forward to more of them.
>
>L. H. Kevil
>
>
>On Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 3:44 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>
>> This gets right at the heart of why "reviews" of audio gear in the
>> "high-end" mags are so useless. All they amount to are one person's
>> subjective impressions of what he's hearing, in his listening room, with
>> his choice of other components. So, it's pretty much useless to you as far
>> as know if it will sound good to you. I do think it's more helpful to have
>> measurements of the gear, with uniform methods used for similar pieces, as
>> is done in Stereophile mag. But that's not really helpful in answering
>> "will I like the sound of that component or will I prefer it to what I have
>> already?" I'm also pretty sure many of the currently accepted standard
>> measurements don't tell you very much about overall sound quality or
>> "personality." Indeed, something that measures grossly out of the norm may
>> not sound "bad," just "different."
>>
>> I assume all of us are careful listeners, but I bet all of us have a
>> different idea of what sounds "good." It's totally subjective, based on our
>> own tastes, experiences and physical/psychological hearing capabilities.
>> I've long been convinced that "good" or "bad" sound has nothing to do with
>> the popularity of a recording, it's always the musical effect. Music taste
>> seems to be subjective but perhaps with some universal parameters, and some
>> artists know how to check off enough boxes with enough people to create
>> popular music.
>>
>> Peter also hits on a very profound point -- no recording sounds like a
>> live performance, not even recordings of live performances.
>>
>> -- Tom Fine
>>
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Mew, Peter" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 4:03 PM
>>
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Audibility of 44/16 ?
>>
>>
>> Hi Don
>> So what you really mean is
>> "the sound that I prefer" (Subjective)
>> Rather than
>> "The sound most like the original" (Objective)
>> And what has hearing live music got to do with it, recorded music, even
>> of live performances, rarely captures the sound as heard when played.
>> I was a recording engineer for more than 20 years before moving to
>> mastering some 25 years ago, so I have some experience of these matters
>>
>> Cheers
>> -pm
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]**GOV <[log in to unmask]>] On
>> Behalf Of Don Cox
>> Sent: Wed 13 Feb 2013 14:34
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Audibility of 44/16 ?
>>
>> On 13/02/2013, Mew, Peter wrote:
>>
>> Hi
>>> I think you should define "better" in this context. Surely the "best"
>>> copy should be the one that most accurately represents the source,
>>> however that sounds.
>>>
>>> Realistically, unless you were yourself the recording engineer, "better"
>> means "nearer to how I imagine the source sounded, based on my
>> experience of hearing live music".
>>
>> On Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 3:57 PM, Don Cox <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> I had an early player on which, if you ripped a CD to a CD-ROM, the
>>>>> copy sounded better than the original.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>> As a rule, almost any CD-R sounds better than the original -- although
>>>>
>>>
>>> certainly this has to be a function of the player. Which means that
>>>> all (most) players have a design shortfall.
>>>>
>>>> I think they do.
>>>
>>> The effect is in my experience absent if you use a separate D->A
>>> converter.
>>>
>>>>
>>>>> I think this was because the copy disc was lighter. The designer
>>>>> underestimated how much power was needed to spin the discs. The
>>>>> result was a drop in voltage supply to the audio output circuit. (In
>>>>>
>>>>
>> my
>>>>> opinion.)
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>> That may well be as well.
>>>>
>>>> clark
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> Regards
>>>>> --
>>>>> Don Cox
>>>>> [log in to unmask]
>>>>>
>>>>> Regards
>>> --
>>> Don Cox
>>> [log in to unmask]
>>>
>>> ------------------------------**------------------------------**---------
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Music from EMI
>>>
>>> This e-mail including any attachments is confidential and may be
>>> legally privileged. If you have received it in error please advise the
>>>
>>
>> sender immediately by return email and then delete it from your
>>> system. The unauthorised use, distribution, copying or alteration of
>>> this email is strictly forbidden. If you need assistance please
>>> contact us on +44 20 7795 7000.
>>>
>>> This email is from a unit or subsidiary of EMI Group Limited.
>>>
>>> Registered Office: 364-366 Kensington High Street, London W14 8NS
>>>
>>> Registered in England No 229231.
>>>
>>>
>>> ------------------------------**------------------------------**---------
>>>
>> Regards
>> --
>> Don Cox
>> [log in to unmask]
>>
>> ------------------------------**------------------------------**---------
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Music from EMI
>>
>> This e-mail including any attachments is confidential and may be legally
>> privileged. If you have received it in error please advise the sender
>> immediately by return email and then delete it from your system. The
>> unauthorised use, distribution, copying or alteration of this email is
>> strictly forbidden. If you need assistance please contact us on +44 20
>> 7795 7000.
>>
>> This email is from a unit or subsidiary of EMI Group Limited.
>>
>> Registered Office: 364-366 Kensington High Street, London W14 8NS
>>
>> Registered in England No 229231.
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------**------------------------------**---------
>>
>
>
>

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTSERV.LOC.GOV

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager