1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
- May 30, 2005
- Kansas City
First a disclaimer of sorts. Those of us who grew up caring about audio & having the LP as our main source were reminded frequently as to it's limitations in dynamic range. Tech articles said the LP was capable of only ~60dB dynamic range & orchestral crescendos could reach 120 dB SPL. In regards to the latter, well maybe if it was an empty theater with no ventilation going. Otherwise real life background noise eats into the DR. The most direct compensation for this is to have the players actually play a bit louder on the soft parts & then you no longer have 120 dB range, eh? When we got the CD there was the opportunity to have a much increased dynamic range over LP & right about that time everyone went crazy with compression & loudness wars. So what good did this do us? I see there is a great deal of interest on QQ regard DR stats. I find that very interesting but so unlikely to tell me how a recording might sound. Fixating on this is not much useful when there are so many other things that contribute to a good (or poor) recording. So anyway I like a high DR just like you do but it's only part of the story.Hey Scott, maybe you could expand more on this statement of yours ( pun intended )
And even tho I am a big fan of high DR you’d be surprised how a gentle bit of multi-band compression can actually make it sound better.
I’ve noticed that although using the Pre-synth method often increases DR for MC it also seems to take some of the desired “punch” or presence out of the music, so is there a way to retain that without just upping the amplitude?
You've made an astute observation that yes expanding the soundfield does increase transient dynamic range & opens up the soundfield in quite a nice way. If you increase the DR by this method you take away some of the punch that compression adds. There are several flavors of compression & the most damaging is the simple single band where one might select to amp the original +10dB and then hard limit peaks to say -.5dB. I call this the FM radio effect. But you don't have to boost input you can just limit wild peaks if you want. A great useful tool in AA 3 (I don't think Audacity has it) is the multi-band compression tool. Like it sounds it works over low, mid & high bands with complete control of all compression settings. AA 3 has some good presets & if you want to play try the Pop Star & Classical Master to get an idea of what it does.
When I do my own up mixing this is done close to the end & I have my own preset that just barely makes the effect noticeable. And yet when I A/B compare real time I can hear it adds a little bit of that punch back to the mix doing all good & no harm. I usually apply this to front chs only and then check rear chs for good balance after doing this.