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At 09:20 AM 6/16/2004 -0500, Angie at Avocado Productions wrote:
>Diederick,
>
>Using a de-esser is the easy answer.  A de-esser is simply a compressor
>that only compresses a specific frequency band(s).  What software/hardware
>are you using to digitize?
>
>The above assumes your stylus is fresh and the turntable has been set-up
>correctly. And that the recording was not originally supposed to be sibilant.

The recorrdings - at least those issued on Columbia in the U.S. - were
supposed to be sibilant, reflecting the sound of her cabaret voice and
close miking. Only with the Dreigroschenoper is there a reduction of the
effect; even in Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny, her voice stands out
from those of the rest of the cast for sibilance as well as for its unique
character. Both of the compilation LPs of theater songs (one German, one
American) have sibilance appropriate to her voice, though I don't know the
stereo of Berlin songs. I suspect that for Dreigroschenoper stereo dictated
a change in mikes used and miking technique, thereby reducing the intended
sibilance. (For example, compare with the ETV telecast in which her
speaking voice is unique but not sibilant, but the sung segments which
follow show the familiar sibilance even when singing with another.) I do
note that her Telefunken 78s, show a markedly different voice from that of
the Columbia years and one without excessive sibilance.

If you are being asked to reduce a quality inherent in the voice and the
recording, you will have to create a sound not intended originally. In
doing so, your judgement will be taxed and you will probably be criticized
as having removed too much and too little - one hopes by different people.
Finally, I note that I am not familiar with the title "Lotte Lenya Album".
Is it by any chance a compilation with pseudo-stereo? If so, all bets are
off on creating an appropriate sound - de-esser or not. AFAIK, only the
Dreigroschenoper was recorded in stereo.


Mike
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