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Old 14th July 2004, 02:24 PM   #1
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Post The transistor age... Musings

I was born in the 60's so I guess that makes me middle aged.

I have many fond memories of my childhood but one of the fondest is that of always having a transistor radio with the "high fidelity" highly compressed AM tunes emanating from its speaker.

My whole life I have never been very far from a radio, yes radio. At home, at work, in my car, in high school I had a "ghetto Blaster" or boom box as they're called today.

I love radio or should I say loved, back when radio stations were locally owned and the music they played had a local flavor unlike the homogenous manila wrapper feces that is force fed to us these days by one of the small handful of multimedia conglomerates, can you say clear channel? Anyway, as I said I loved radio, it was a never ending mix of all my favorite music and sometimes not so favorite but the programming kept me humming, whistling or singing and was good for the soul not to mention blood pressure, back when some bands had a brass section and bass was an integral part of the music not the overwhelming predominant part.

But alas radio has ruined my ability to enjoy non radio music, my pet peeve is dynamic range, radio is SOOOO compressed that you set the volume and walk away but play a CD and you had better be prepared to keep the remote control nearby. Yep I said it, the dynamic range found on the average CD, or worse yet DVD drives me NUTZ!

You see I have lived in apartments most of my life, why?, don't know, I owned a house once and it was a pain in the A$$, I spent half of what should have been my leisure time looking after the house and a good chunk of my disposable income fixing stuff that went wrong, YA like I couldn't find something DIY audio to spend $500 on rather than a lawn mower, or siding or new windows or the water heater when it rotted out and leaked all over the place, anyway back to the matter at hand, in my apartment I have neighbors, above, below, either side and this dynamic range stuff is driving me mad, I turn up the volume cause I cant hear a quite passage then suddenly the walls are shaking through a loud passage so I have to turn it down, AAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHGHHHHHH!

So I am moving from my apartment and we have decided to rent a house, will I finally allow my self to enjoy a passage of music without having to fiddle with the volume, that remains to be seen but I have to say, I sure do miss that first transistor radio.


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Old 14th July 2004, 04:03 PM   #2
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While compression may be convenient for background irrelevance and disposable music, one has to be aware that dynamics is an important part of musical expression.

Leaving it away is as unmusical as playing false notes or not doing the rythm properly.

Me personally, I like to actually LISTEN to music and I definitely hate constant background sound. Remember that quietness is one of the nicest sounds !

Regards

Charles
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Old 14th July 2004, 04:21 PM   #3
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Look into the pro equipment side of the world and buy a limiter/compressor (or build one). They are not very expensive, and are typically highly adjustable. I've always wanted one for listening to cd in the car.
I bet Ebay has one or two (or seventy five).
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Old 14th July 2004, 04:30 PM   #4
K-amps is offline K-amps  United States
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I use a Behringer CX-3400 crossover. It has a pretty good adjustable dynatic range limiter.

It does not color the sound much (ok I am tin ear'd) It has XLR ins and outs and costs only $129 or so.

Oh by the way it also works as a 3 ways stereo electronic crossover.
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Old 14th July 2004, 04:33 PM   #5
angel is offline angel  Norway
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Perhaps someone would care to post a simple compressor here?

For dedicated listening, I prefer very wide dynamics, like just about everyone else.

However, when my S.O. is in bed, sleeping, I find it very hard to watch movies. Many english-speaking productions seem to think that its not necessary to subtitle in english, which is silly, as one should consider deaf people, etc...

At the cinema, 85dB is the average level for regular dialogue at 2/3 depth. 105dB is the peak level for effects. Whispering can be down to 60dB. This amounts to 45dB dynamic range.

When I'm putting something on in the background, or watching a movie all by myself, I want to be able to restrict the dynamic range to something like 3-9dB... Don't see why NAD is the only company that I've found that actually offers a compression option...

Of course, when watching at low levels, you'll also likely want to use an equal-loudness contour circuit.

A DSP could do all of this, easily, but I'd rather do this in the analogue domain.. :/

Anyone got anything nifty?
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