Hello Don, et al,

A few more thoughts about post processing: When working with recordings of
Balinese music, in 8 out of 10 cases they sound fine without processing.
This is true of Gender Wayang, Gamelan Salunding, Gamelan Gong Suling, to
name just three styles. It's the remaining 20% that need help.

Let's consider again the Barong performance in the Temple of the Dead in
Ubud, accompanied
by an augmented gamelan: During the event, the sound was rich and powerful,
truly compelling. But when I listened to this recording it sounded clinical.
The richness and power were missing. So I experimented with limiting,
raising the gain a few dB at a time, and listening to the result. Every time
I cranked up the gain a few dB it sounded better and better! Relatively
quiet instruments like the gender, which contribute to the richness of the
musical tapestry, were more and more audible. In fact, it kept on sounding
better, all the way up to 15dB of limiting! After a while I decided to be
more conservative, and reduced the limiting to 9dB. There's still plenty of
dynamic range, but it sounds richer and more exciting than the unprocessed
version. True, a very rich audiophile with a huge room, listening on Duntech
speakers, might well prefer the original. But I'm putting together
recordings for the music lover, who like myself, has a limited budget. (I'd
be glad to create versions for rich audiophiles for a commensurate fee!)

While the energy conveyed by Tibetan rituals is very different, they also
need help. Typically, the chanting sounds much too quiet, almost inaudible,
when playbavk settings suit the instruments. Using a substantial amount of
upward compression narrows the dynamic range sufficiently so allow the
result to be enjoyed in an average living room. The chanting becomes more
audible, more present.

Salutations, David Lewiston
The Lewiston Archive, Recordings and Documentation of the World's
Traditional Music