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Old 14th November 2011, 10:22 PM   #17901
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I would like to again state that I am personally only interested in making the best audio possible, within the price range that it is designed. OF COURSE, the cost is exponential, rather than linear, for better sound, but it is the same in cars, cameras, telescopes, etc., to get the best from them, also.
Yes, Jack Bybee's Bentley IS more comfortable to sit in, especially the back seat, than my Acura, but then it cost 15 times as much, so I would expect it. That is normal. It is the same in my world of high fidelity design.
All I really care about is how to IMPROVE fidelity even with existing designs, but utilizing 'what works' or what some would call 'upgrades' or 'tweaks and mods'. This is one area that is given too little consideration by many here.
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Old 14th November 2011, 10:35 PM   #17902
wrinkle is offline wrinkle  United Kingdom
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Interesting you should bring up Ansel Adams, with some of his plates it is all in the studio mastering that the photo appears, that and printing on platinum paper, not silver based.
Some of them involved many hours of studio time to correct the recording...


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Old 14th November 2011, 11:10 PM   #17903
jlsem is offline jlsem  United States
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Quote:
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That's very true. But as with all areas of technology, we've made huge amounts of progress, and the performance of those systems can easily be bettered- if by "better" one means "closer to the sound of the direct mike feed." It's sometimes tough for us old guys to get with the program, but the world has moved on since our youth. Progress is a GOOD thing.

I wish good mikes weren't so darned expensive, though...
That is all true, which brings me back to my original point: Even with modern equipment you still must take the same pains as they did in the fifties and sixties, whether it's making a recording or setting up a PA system. It's a mistake to think that digital technology can take care of old problems by itself or time and labor can be reduced and short cuts taken with modern computer software.

By all appearances dancers today are just as coordinated and far more athletic than Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, but who these days is going to spend eight hours a day for four to six weeks rehearsing and developing a five-minute dance number? There are all-digital recording studios that do get it right, but most don't, just as it was in the days of analog.

Having said that, I still haven't heard any digital recording come close to analog tape done at 15 or 30 ips on a Studer A810, all other things equal. However, if I can, I will take you up on your Dec. 3 offer. It sounds like some very interesting things are happening south of here.

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Old 14th November 2011, 11:19 PM   #17904
SY is offline SY  United States
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T It sounds like some very interesting things are happening south of here.
It's not dull. No Jan or Scott this time, but Pete Millett may be coming.
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Old 14th November 2011, 11:33 PM   #17905
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Yes, Jack Bybee's Bentley IS more comfortable to sit in, especially the back seat, than my Acura, but then it cost 15 times as much
I have friends that think a fully equiped Lincoln Continental is the be all and end all of comfort.
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Old 14th November 2011, 11:41 PM   #17906
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It's not cheap either, so it may be a 'bargain'. '-) A '55 Cad would be OK to me, especially the back seat.
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Old 14th November 2011, 11:50 PM   #17907
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It is such a pitty that some of the albums I like best are definitively recorded below todays standards. Roxy Music, Traffic, Neil Young, Wonder, Pink Floyd; the list can be made much longer. All before the advent of digital.

The album Ella and Louis is a case in point. It is a nice recording, well balanced, with natural voices, but at the same time to me it appears severely bandwith limited and distorted. I would have loved this recording more, had it been done up to the technical standards of today.

There are good old recordings, but technically, much of it it is rubbish by todays standards. It is like looking at old photographs. You may still enjoy the contents, while at the same time regretting that better technology was not at hand when the occasion happened.

vac
SY,

You asked where this photography thing came from and I think it was me.

It is nice that without knowing it, you amplified my point. Leica SLC on the best fresh wet film from the fridge vs. modern digital, no comparison by a long way twice over.

Ansel Adams was a great artist and he knew how to stretch the dynamic range of wet film to its most, but new technology is besting it. But no-one will ever see the same thing the same way he did. So that is why his landcapes are still great art (combined with great skill). The same with audio recording. It took me a long time to realize that most of my unhappiness with what I heard on my system came from the source material. It has technically only gotten better. Unfortunately, the music hasn't always to the same extent.


vac

Last edited by vacuphile; 14th November 2011 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 15th November 2011, 12:23 AM   #17908
SY is offline SY  United States
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vac: I think you put your finger on where the analogy falls down- the creation of an illusion is art, getting an electrical signal into storage and back out again is technology. I wouldn't be able to duplicate the ability of some great engineers/producers to create enjoyable illusions, but the tools I have are far, far better than what they used. Imagine what they could do with a medium with the dynamic range, low distortion, flat frequency response, pitch stability, and archival robustness of modern digital.

To John's earlier point, there is a lot of labor saving- I am not constantly tweaking bias and EQ to accommodate different batches of tape, mechanical maintenance is zero, I don't need to gain-ride... now, there's still no help for the problems of mike setup and positioning, and level setting is still critical.
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Old 15th November 2011, 01:14 AM   #17909
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Modern recordings can be technically brilliant - but most are rather sterile.
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Old 15th November 2011, 01:17 AM   #17910
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SY,

Mostly agree, but.

The recreation of music through electronic means is an art as well, not just technology. I can only speak from what I do and that is prototyping bi-amped small speakers at the moment. The major part of it is calculated and measured to the bone, but then there are judgement calls to be made as well. Example: I got quite convinced by the Hawksford argument to use current drive for speakers, at least for the upper range (he's right btw). Therefore, I have put a 10-12 Ohm resistance in front of the 4 Ohm tweeter. Now, what are you going to take, 10 or 12? Measure it either way you wish, and it will still remain well within +/- 1.5 dB compared to the rest. Are you going to push up the peaks a bit to get the valeys in line, or the other way around? The only witness to assist you in making this call are your ears.

There are areas in audio I regard mainly as technology, like amplification, but for the folks deep into it, they know where the trade offs are, and what bits to use, and which not. It is a bit like what Stradivarius was about. For them it is an art, so I like to listen to them even when it leads to acid engineering brain freeze.

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