My initial understanding of Andrew Rose's use of the Har Bal tool was that
he wasnt so much trying to make the old recordings "sound like a modern
recording" - although up to a point that should happen as a byproduct - as
to EQ it closer
to how it actually sounded live at the time of the original recorded
performance. I've not used Har Bal or similar tools
but I recently noticed a particular CD reissue of a Kathleen Ferrier live
performance which had a nasty, unnatural peak in the vocal and orchestral
sound, and the same harsh peak in the audience applause between items.
Manually reducing that peak made for a more natural and easier to listen to
sound. I believe EQ is a powerful tool for good but equally for the bad in
----- Original Message -----
From: "Karl Miller" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, March 05, 2019 11:55 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Recording Equalization
I am reminded of a lengthy conversation I had with John Eargle. John said
that he had discussed this with many of the "old guys." John said that they
all agreed that prior to RIAA, EQ was subjective. "Whatever sounded best."
As Dennis has suggested it is a challenge and, ultimately, in my experience,
When I was teaching my class, I used to have the students listen to, and
compare, restorations of the same recording done by different
individuals...for example, a Mark O-T versus a Ward Marston version. Sure,
one does not know the condition of the discs/pressings each guy used, but
the differences in the results could be startling. Then you have someone
like Andrew Rose who uses software to analyze the spectrum of a modern
recording of a particular work and then apply that to his restoration of an
old recording of that work. To my ears, one loses the acoustic of the
original recording. For example, his restorations of the stuff recorded at
Eastman, sound nothing like the distinctive acoustic of their hall.
Not doubt this is common knowledge in this email list...we apply the notion
of EQ to the electrical process. However, when I think about it, I am
reminded that a form of "EQ" was a part of the acoustic process. For
example, it is known that, especially in the case of pianists, they were
expected to adjust the dynamics of their playing, in different parts of the
frequency range, to suit the particular qualities of the reproducers of a
On Monday, March 4, 2019, 8:49:13 AM CST, Dennis Rooney
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Recording equalization varied widely from the introduction of electrical
recording until the supremacy of the RIAA curve in the mid-fifties. The
ascertaining and applying the correct playback equalization is one of the
most challenging aspects of disc playback.
Other respondents will supply more information in answer to your queries.
On Mon, Mar 4, 2019 at 9:26 AM Steve Smolian <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Companies that made 78s electrically used different systems at different
> times. This was usually indicated by a code in the dead wax, either as
> part of the matrix number or in another area. W in a circle was often used
> for Western Electric, for example. C was used by Columbia to indicate
> their own system about which I know nothing- was this their own
> or licensed from an outside source?
> Has anyone noticed a change in recording characteristics after the date
> this was changed? Does this affect the playback equalization settings?
> Has there been a study of these systems, dates, etc.?
> If there was no change, there's not much use chasing down some of this
> Steve Smolian
1006 Langer Way
Delray Beach, FL 33483
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