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BIS has shifted to 96k/24 for the past year or two. I am anything but a sampling rate fascist. BIS recordings, even at 44k/24, are invariably excellent, multi-miked though they may be. Yes, their approach goes more in the minimalist direction, but it includes spot mikes. Listening on a good system, rather than beliefs and mind sets, demonstrates that excellence to a tee.

 

Incidentally, with your esteem of Channel Classics, Jared Sacks (also in 2009) wrote :

It is really not my business to lecture others of which recording medium to use. I can fully understand the barriers for Robert if he is dealing with all his sets plus being compatible with their system back home. Not to forget all the postproduction capabilities which DSD just does not have. Maybe if the SACD was selling to a larger market, he might have invested in the equipment but now is certainly not the time.

 

My only comment to many labels who approach me is that at least record and store the data at the highest possible denominator not knowing what the future will bring by way of format to the consumer. Downsampling is always a better selling point than upsampling!

 

Bis makes great recordings and everyone on this forum always seems to agree so indeed the music comes first and you accept the lower sampling rate for what it is. then whether you or Bis can hear the difference in a blind listening test is not an issue.

And, recently, some thoughts regarding his own approach to recording :
America's problem is actually at the dealer level. For years, they didn't want to deal with SACD, and they didn't want to educate anyone coming in; that has continued to be the problem. So we need magazines and websites to educate the listener. Since what you never hear you do not miss, I organize regular listening sessions at my studio to let people hear what they are missing!

 

Jared_Sacks_Shares_a_Story_at_DSD_Party.jpg

 

To me, DSD's superiority has to do with emotion, depth, and how the sound leaves the speaker. It's not a block anymore in the way it dissipates. When you listen to PCM, you can literally hear it as a block of sound coming out of the speaker. That doesn't happen with DSD. There's air around the sound. At the end of the day, we are talking about the air around the sound.

 

In our business, we have to do post-production, but not all the time. I always make a mix-down into stereo. The surround channels go directly to an A/D converter, so they don't go through a mixer, and I try to leave them like that. Then I make a master without going through post-production (without going through the sigma-delta converter again).

 

The moment I have to change levels or do some EQ, I have to go through the mixer, and that means going through the sigma-delta again, which lowers the quality. Of course, it's all high DSD, but you have to go into DXD if you do post-production, and there's really no way around it. This problem will be solved in the future. But we are talking about further research, which costs money, at a moment when there is not much to be made selling to recording companies.

 

When you listen to my raw data, and you compare it to the post-produced recording, there's a difference in the air around the instruments and the depth. There's a degradation of sound. It's slight, but it's there. It's unfortunate, but there's nothing we can do about it, because we have to go into the sigma-delta processor again. As with any other audio signal, if you have to keep on processing, it will change.

 

You may ask, given that, if there is a difference between the sound of 192 and DSD? You have to have a really good system, and it also depends on the repertoire, to hear the difference. I still do, especially because of the dynamic range. When I down-sample to 192, you can hear that it's PCM, absolutely.

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I good read from when it was all starting,

Journal of the Audio Engineering Society April 1958

Stereophonic Sound with Two Tracks, Three Channels by Paul W Klipsch

https://community.klipsch.com/forums/storage/3/1084848/Stereo_2track_3channel.pdf

 

For some great modern multi channel recordings on BluRay see,

Mark Waldrep's BluRays usually include 5.1 recording done with different mic perspectives that give you either a audience or a stage listening position. All done in excellent 24/96 True High Definition sound. If you have a top shelf 5.1 system these offer some of the best multi channel hi def recording available.

AIX Records - Home Page

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Incidentally' date=' with your esteem of Channel Classics, Jared Sacks (also in 2009) wrote :

And, recently, some thoughts regarding his own approach to recording :

 

Thanks, Willhelm, for the quotes. Yes, I remember you well from sa-cd.net forums and some private emails.

 

I do esteem the sound of Channel Classics sound very much. They are one of the very best. However, I am not a pure DSD Nazi. Nor, do I place their minimally miked sound, Grimm a/d converters, etc. on a pedestal above others. Personally, I am just as happy sonically with RCO Live, BIS or most anything recorded by the Polyhymnia or Sound/Mirror teams, to name but a few. There are many others. These include a cross-section of teams using lesser or greater multi-milking, some in pure DSD, some not. There is more than one way to skin a cat or to engineer an excellent disc.

 

 

I think if you avoid rigid mind sets, open your mind and ears, there can be some great rewards, sometimes where you do not expect it.

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Ok, George. Hopefully, we are done here. But, do try Channel Classics in Mch with a correct speaker setup. As I said, they are minimally miked, just 5 omnis, and also in pure DSD, if that matters to you. But, though you protest, I still do not believe you have any clue how truly professional hi rez Mch recordings are made.

 

Now why would I not know that? I have been in a number of venues and studios where such recordings were actually being made (including Davies Symphony Hall in SF when Tilson Thomas was conducting the recording session for his interpretation of Mahler's 5th Symphony in 5.1)! But, you go ahead and believe whatever helps to get you through your day! :)

 

Yes, that varies somewhat from label to label and from team to team. But, I am having the time of my life with them. I never thought audio in the home could be this good. But, of course, unlike you, my sense of proper imaging is seriously handicapped, in spite of all the 2 dozen or so live concerts I attend each year. Vive la handicap!

 

Sigh! I'm glad that you are enjoying yourself, but You still don't seem to understand my POV. I'm sure that the Channel Classics (strangely, I don't have any of those, to my recollection) 5-Mike recordings sound OK (3 in the front, 2 in the rear, I suspect), But they are not what I consider "multi-miked", which is what I have been railing against this entire thread. 5 mikes are, of course, the MINIMUM one can use and get 5.0 surround. But here is my problem with the whole concept. While I obviously have enjoyed the classical recordings of Bob Fine and Mercury Living Presence for many years, I have never particularly liked the stereo perspective afforded by the spaced omni method that he and many others (such as Bob Woods of Telarc) employed. Some variation (and there are many) of the coincident mike technique using cardioids*, is to me, the only proper way to record true stereo. Whether it's A-B, X-Y, ORTF, the "Decca Tree", or M-S, The results are true, phase-coherent stereo. The reason why I have always recorded the surround that I have done in 4-channel is because coincident miking doesn't lend itself to a center channel for what, should be, obvious reasons. Your assumption that only 5.1 can give "proper Mch" is based on your erroneous belief that three front channels for the musicians is either necessary or desirable. It's certainly not necessary and many recordists (me amongst them) don't believe its even desirable There are only two ways to get three front channels out of a musical performance: 1) use three spaced omni-mikes ala Mercury Living Presence, or 2), use a forest of close-up microphones, recording each section (and in some cases, even each instrument) to a separate recording track, and then going-back and mixing those multiple channels down to a final mix of three channels, right, center, and left. Neither of these methods gives an ideal stereo soundstage (not to mention the fact that instruments in a symphony orchestra do not sound the same (read that as: "they do not sound right"!) miked close-up as they do when heard from the proper perspective of the audience. 12-20 close miked violins tend to sound like 12-20 individual violins rather than a "string section" as they're supposed to. And with all of the record industry's tools and toys, they still can't fake it either). The three omni method being the lesser of those two evils. The multi-track, of course gives no real sound stage and no real imaging (just a line of instruments stretching across the stage from left-to right with no depth because multi-miking techniques capture no depth, so there can't be any). Here's the bottom line: Unless a recording was made using three spaced omnis or a forrest of microphones feeding a 8-48 track recorder, there is no way to produce a 5.1 surround recording. And since neither method of deriving three front channels is satisfactory to me for proper imaging, or proper instrument sound, I don't want to listen to it. That's why I don't value modern 5.1 surround. Now, if that doesn't explain my objections to the practice, then I cannot be any clearer than that.

 

*The exception is, of course, Kimber's IsoMike process with it's huge valentine-shaped baffle between two pairs of otherwise closely spaced omnis (two facing forward, two facing back).

 

If I had any interest whatsoever in surround sound (which, it should be apparent by now, I don't have), I would certainly take your advice and thank you for it.

 

BTW, Ampex made a 3-channel tape machine back in the 50's:

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_multitrack_recording

 

Ampex isn't the only one, but it is what Mercury used (RCA Victor tended to use their own in-house designs). Also making 3-track pro recorders were Magnecord, Westrex (3-track, 35mm magnetic film recorder such as those used to capture the famous Verve Getz/Gilberto album and the Getz/Byrd Jazz Samba album), Magnetech, Stancil Hoffman, 3M, Amega, Willi Studer, RCA, of course, and Telefunken and probably many more that neither of us have ever heard of. All 3-channel, 3-track pro recorders were either 1/2-inch tape or 35mm magnetic film recorders.

 

Yes, I realize it was a pro machine, and consumer versions for playback of 3-channel RCAs and Mercurys from tape never quite came to fruition.

 

Now there's an understatement! I told you in our initial exchange that three-track recorders were only pro machines and there were no consumer 3-track decks ever sold. And the only way that anybody could get a three-channel recording to play "at home" was if they knew somebody at RCA or Mercury who would dub them a half-inch copy of the master, and I'll guarantee you that didn't happen very often! Remember, 3-channel recordings were only made so that they would have both a stereo master for stereo vinyl discs (as well as stereo R-to-R tapes) and a mono master for "regular" LPs. Mixing the center channel equally into the right-and left channels for a "phantom" third channel) didn't come until later. Some recording engineers (such as Bert Whyte of Everest Records) never recorded three channel because they tended to use coincident or M-S miking techniques. Other labels that never recorded 3-track in stereo's early days were British Decca, DGG, HMV, and I'm sure there were others. Reason? If you use coincident or M-S miking you don't need a separate mono track to get a mono mix for regular LPs because these miking methods yield a phase coherent recording that sums perfectly to mono, while spaced omni arrays do not.

 

That idea was quickly overwhelmed by the appearance of the stereo LP, when standards for that medium were finally agreed upon, rather suddenly as I read in an archival copy of Audio Magazine. 2-channel LP technology was not new, but there were differing proprietary standards. Finally, there was industry-wide agreement in the late 50's using the Westrex 45/45 degree cutter head. And, of course, the LP was much cheaper to manufacture than tape reproductions. Unfortunately, we lost the center channel in that Faustian bargain in the interest of better market penetration. So, the rest, as they say, is history.

 

I'm not convinced that there was ever a serious consideration of marketing three-channel to the public. I know a lot about the history of recording and the record business and I've never heard of such a marketing scheme. Welch and Reed don't mention it either in their exhaustive study of the recording industry in From Tinfoil to Stereo and neither does Tremaine in his even more exhaustive and detailed The Audio Cyclopedia. If such a thing were being seriously considered, surely, at least one of them would have mentioned it. Keep in mind that in the early days of stereo, before the advent of 8, 16, 24, and 48 track recording with it's concomitant forest of microphones, the only source of three-channel material would be those record producers who mastered in three-track. Otherwise the material for such a consumer product wouldn't even exist. If you have a citation that says definitively that the recording industry was ever going to release a three-track consumer tape format, please post it, I would love to see it. Bye for now.

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I good read from when it was all starting,

Journal of the Audio Engineering Society April 1958

Stereophonic Sound with Two Tracks, Three Channels by Paul W Klipsch

https://community.klipsch.com/forums/storage/3/1084848/Stereo_2track_3channel.pdf

 

Thanks for this. Most of the Derived 3rd channel matrixing info is old hat now. But Klipsh's perspective on microphone placement is interesting. Keep in mind that many in the recording (and playback) industries in the 1950's and into the 1960s believed that because the frequency response of cardioid mikes rolled-off (or became uneven) at the edges of the pattern, that they weren't acceptable for recording music. While that might have been true early-on, it certainly wasn't true by the late '50's. I've made a number of stereo recordings using a Telefunken M-270 "stereo" mike (not mine, unfortunately) with both capsules switched to cardioid and gotten excellent stereo recordings with great, pin-point imaging and excellent, smoothe frequency response. When using a coincident cardioid pair the truth is that where the left mike's right edge starts to roll-off, the left edge of the right mike is rolling-on. Careful back-and forth placement of the stereo pair will ensure that the outer edge of the pair's pickup pattern is beyond the placement of the furthest right or left instrument in the ensemble and whatever rolloff there is becomes therefore, irrelevant. I guess that this is the type of thing that either one has a feel for or one doesn't....

 

 

For some great modern multi channel recordings on BluRay see,

Mark Waldrep's BluRays usually include 5.1 recording done with different mic perspectives that give you either a audience or a stage listening position. All done in excellent 24/96 True High Definition sound. If you have a top shelf 5.1 system these offer some of the best multi channel hi def recording available.

AIX Records - Home Page

 

 

I have several of Mark Waldrep's Sampler DVDs, and I think that he is probably a competent and knowledgeable mastering engineer, but a lousy recording engineer. Most of his miking techniques are, to my tastes, completely incompetent. He tends to close-mike everything and he mikes pianos by putting stereo microphones inside the piano! This yields, on playback, pianos that are as wide as the room with the bass end of the keyboard on the left, Middle C in the center, and the treble-end of the keyboard on the far right! He does a similar thing with drum-kits. Part of the kit is on the left, part is in the center and another part on the right. There might be some people who like this sort of thing, and likely, most are probably indifferent to it to the point of not even noticing, but to me it completely destroys the illusion that I'm listening to music. When I first played his samplers, I was appalled! Waldrep asked me the next day at the show what I thought of the samplers, and I couldn't even come up with the simplest platitude, so I lied and told him that I hadn't had a chance to listen yet.

Edited by gmgraves

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As much as I wish more recordings were done simply, and the good sound comes from the good musicians in a good space that is not happening.

 

It is happening at PlayClassics.

 

All our recordings are made this way. In fact, we think this is the only way to go. But it was not easy. To get it right we had to rebuild our own studio from scratch. It was tough, and there were times when we thought we would not make it, but finally it all came together and the results are outstanding.

 

We have a web page where you can stream all our music for free, so you can hear it for yourself: PlayClassics, the art of true music

 

And if you want to test how our studio sounds against other major recording locations around the world you can take our blind test at our studio page: Musicstry Studios, discover the Truthful Recording Technology

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But for normal acoustic music I greatly prefer what can be achieved with 2 microphones.

 

We think this is the best method, not just for the benefit of the listener, but for the performer too.

 

This is the only way artists can retain full control over the sound of their music, when done correctly it can create a direct link between artists and listener. Read hear for a better explanation: About - PlayClassics, the art of true music

 

It may seem that making a recording with only two mics would be a simple thing to do, but the truth is that this type of recording is technically the most challenging one. To get it right, problems have to be solved on the real world. It takes a lot of time before the actual recording event to get a right setup of the auditorium, and in most cases this just cannot be done.

 

Mario Martínez

PlayClassics, the art of true music

Musicstry Studios, discover the Truthful Recording Technology

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We think this is the best method, not just for the benefit of the listener, but for the performer too.

 

This is the only way artists can retain full control over the sound of their music, when done correctly it can create a direct link between artists and listener. Read hear for a better explanation: About - PlayClassics, the art of true music

 

It may seem that making a recording with only two mics would be a simple thing to do, but the truth is that this type of recording is technically the most challenging one. To get it right, problems have to be solved on the real world. It takes a lot of time before the actual recording event to get a right setup of the auditorium, and in most cases this just cannot be done.

 

Mario Martínez

PlayClassics, the art of true music

Musicstry Studios, discover the Truthful Recording Technology

 

 

+1!!!!!!

 

Yes, simple two-mike stereo does seem like it should be easier than other mike techniques, but in reality it takes something that I feel that most recording companies have neither the patience nor the in-house talent, expertise, nor experience to pull-off successfully, so they play it safe and multi-mike everything. You are also right when you say that multi-miking techniques take control of how the performance ultimately sounds away from the musicians and the conductor.

 

Well written and very lucid description. Thank you.

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Now we get to the crux of the debate. You see, I happen to believe that any classical recording not minimally miked is wrong.

I couldn't agree more.

 

It completely baffles me how anyone could possibly think otherwise.

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I couldn't agree more.

 

It completely baffles me how anyone could possibly think otherwise.

 

 

My guess is that in many cases, it's because people have gotten out of the habit of attending live classical concerts and therefore have either forgotten, or never knew, what real, live, acoustical instruments played in a real space actually sound like. The only other reason that I can fathom is that they have 'different' tastes and/or are so caught up in making their stereo systems sit-up and do tricks that they don't really care that it has little or no relation to real music. If there are other reasons that anyone else can think of to legitimize such a travesty, let's hear them, by all means (and before rockers, rappers, and other "pop" aficionados chime-in, we're talking classical, mostly symphonic, music here. What the pop and jazz recordist do, is irrelevant to this conversation)

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I couldn't agree more.

 

It completely baffles me how anyone could possibly think otherwise.

 

I agree with that. I believe Barry D has the idea one mike per channel of playback. I think that is a good way to go.

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I still like the idea of subtle ambient hall sound in rear surrounds either miked, dsp, or matrix. Been having something like that available since the 70s quad days. But I'm a rocker so we're told we don't count here. Too bad since we're about 95% of the market. Won't make any money by ignoring us. WOO :-)

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I agree with that. I believe Barry D has the idea one mike per channel of playback. I think that is a good way to go.

 

 

That's somewhat simplistic, but yes. But it's not just one microphone per channel, it's the kind of microphone and how those mikes are arrayed. Spaced omni's, for instance, to me are wrong. You'll never get phase coherent stereo out of them. Coincident mikes using figure-of-eights or cardioids, in XY, AB, ORTF or MS configuration are, on the other hand the only correct way to record for stereo. Most minimally-miked surround, for instance is five channel; with a single omnidirectional mike for each of the five channels (with or without a point-one for the mono bass*): right front, center front, left front, and right and left rear. The three front channels screw the stereo up beyond redemption! Even though it can "sound good" and even spectacular, it fails at what I can only believe to be it's primary goal which is to transport the listener to the venue where the performance took place. Yes, the real "thing" has the room ambience coming from behind the listener, but the real thing also images the musicians giving a realistic soundstage where the listener can close his/her eyes and pick out each instrument in its actual location on the stage - side-to-side and front to back. Spaced omnis (whether two or three) cannot give that kind of pinpoint stereo. Most people don't notice it because they've rarely (if ever) experienced it, but once one does experience and recognize it for it is, it gives people goosebumps.

 

* OK for surround movie soundtracks, wrong for classical music.

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I still like the idea of subtle ambient hall sound in rear surrounds either miked, dsp, or matrix. Been having something like that available since the 70s quad days. But I'm a rocker so we're told we don't count here. Too bad since we're about 95% of the market. Won't make any money by ignoring us. WOO :-)

 

 

Nobody's "ignoring" rockers, it's just that even though rock and other forms of pop are a by far the largest market segment, the way the music is realized and recorded doesn't lend itself to ambience retrieval. Besides, if you gave most most rock producers the carte blanche to do surround for their productions, they wouldn't be able to resist putting the musical group all around the room and this has been proven by the fact that they couldn't resist it during the quadriphonic era. Also, pop is primarily a commercial venture rather than an artistic one (although many would argue that pop and rock are art as well, I'll stay out of that can of worms) and by far, the lion's share of that audience is listening on ear-buds or cheap players of some kind and don't give a hoot or a dollar about such niceties as "subtle ambient hall sound". After all, the term 'subtle' is not exactly the word that most people would associate with most pop, and especially rock and rap.

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That's somewhat simplistic, but yes. But it's not just one microphone per channel, it's the kind of microphone and how those mikes are arrayed. Spaced omni's, for instance, to me are wrong. You'll never get phase coherent stereo out of them. Coincident mikes using figure-of-eights or cardioids, in XY, AB, ORTF or MS configuration are, on the other hand the only correct way to record for stereo. Most minimally-miked surround, for instance is five channel; with a single omnidirectional mike for each of the five channels (with or without a point-one for the mono bass*): right front, center front, left front, and right and left rear. The three front channels screw the stereo up beyond redemption! Even though it can "sound good" and even spectacular, it fails at what I can only believe to be it's primary goal which is to transport the listener to the venue where the performance took place. Yes, the real "thing" has the room ambience coming from behind the listener, but the real thing also images the musicians giving a realistic soundstage where the listener can close his/her eyes and pick out each instrument in its actual location on the stage - side-to-side and front to back. Spaced omnis (whether two or three) cannot give that kind of pinpoint stereo. Most people don't notice it because they've rarely (if ever) experienced it, but once one does experience and recognize it for it is, it gives people goosebumps.

 

* OK for surround movie soundtracks, wrong for classical music.

 

The argument for omnis vs. directional mikes goes way, way back. And, different engineers, some with terrific credentials and recordings to their credit, prefer one way, the other way or a mix of the two. Same goes for single mike/channel vs. multi-mike. So, while there may be one and only one absolute answer for you, others have found a different one and been successful with it. I think each recording needs to be judged on its own merits, not in terms of dogmatic adherence to a particular ideology, much like audio equipment.

 

In my discussions with recording engineers who prefer omni mikes, they cite the frequency colorations in directional mikes as a major downside. Truth be told, I have heard these colorations myself in some famous recordings done with coincident pair, directional mikes. Decades back, there was a front cover of TAS featuring the Water Lily "In Nature's Realm", recorded at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Sawallisch. That was done by Kavi Alexander using crossed figure 8's, I believe. A fair number friends and I were quite familiar with the sound of that orchestra in that hall. One of my friends volunteered to help Kavi on the project, so he was there in the hall at the live session.

 

Yes, there was very good, dimensional image retrieval on that recording by stereo standards, provided one sat at +-45 degrees to one's speakers. But, the overall sound of the orchestra in the hall was disappointing and the recording quickly fell from audiophile favor in spite of the hype by TAS. It is a very difficult hall to record in, and it has seldom been used by any other label in the stereo era. My friends and I unanimously agreed, though, that the sound was just much drier than the real thing, which is dry in the first place, and it failed to accurately capture the sound we knew as orchestra subscribers. We did not think the recording was competive in capturing live orchestral sound compared to many multi-miked commercial recordings of the day.

 

This is but one isolated example, and maybe Kavi screwed up. I do not find his other orchestral recordings, such as those in St. Petersburg, to be that good either. The point being, minimal milking is no panacea that guarantees a great stereo recording. Conversely, multi-miking is not automatically doomed to produce a second-rate recording, though certainly there are many examples of where it has done so. It all depends ...

 

There have also been many audiophiles and a handful of recording engineers over the years who, like you, insist that minimally miked, coincident pair is the only "correct" way to record classical music. Yet, it has never managed to convince the main stream of audiophiles and engineers, in spite of the continued advocacy by you and others. The engineers I have talked to are quite aware of the techniques you advocate, but their considered opinion is you are quite wrong, all things considered.

 

And, I also think you are quite wrong about 3-channel Mercury and RCA stereo from the 50's-60's. It is far better than the 2-channel versions. Unfortunately, since you have no center channel in your setup, you have no idea based on actual listening. But, you have a strong ideological belief nonetheless.

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Nobody's "ignoring" rockers, it's just that even though rock and other forms of pop are a by far the largest market segment, the way the music is realized and recorded doesn't lend itself to ambience retrieval. Besides, if you gave most most rock producers the carte blanche to do surround for their productions, they wouldn't be able to resist putting the musical group all around the room and this has been proven by the fact that they couldn't resist it during the quadriphonic era. Also, pop is primarily a commercial venture rather than an artistic one (although many would argue that pop and rock are art as well, I'll stay out of that can of worms) and by far, the lion's share of that audience is listening on ear-buds or cheap players of some kind and don't give a hoot or a dollar about such niceties as "subtle ambient hall sound". After all, the term 'subtle' is not exactly the word that most people would associate with most pop, and especially rock and rap.

Totally agree with your comment on what most producers do with 5.1, I had full quad back in the mid 70s with Marantz 2270 + 2440, most were garbage. But there's some very fine work being done on BD like David Gilmour's Remember That Night.

We could have a real argument over what is or isn't art but that just boils down to opinion and isn't worth the breath to discuss LOL

As to what rockers are listening on, don't forget it was baby boomer gen rockers that built high end audio. More high end equipment was sold to listen to Dark Side of the Moon than all other music styles combined. :) Plus the labels are still surviving on reselling 30-40 year old rock recordings on the latest digital or vinyl pressing fads. When we finally all croak off it will be dark days for the component equipment industry. LOL

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The argument for omnis vs. directional mikes goes way, way back. And, different engineers, some with terrific credentials and recordings to their credit, prefer one way, the other way or a mix of the two. Same goes for single mike/channel vs. multi-mike. So, while there may be one and only one absolute answer for you, others have found a different one and been successful with it. I think each recording needs to be judged on its own merits, not in terms of dogmatic adherence to a particular ideology, much like audio equipment.

 

I'm sorry, this is not a matter of opinion, this is as incontrovertible as the run rising in the east and setting in the west. Spaced omnis simply do not make for real stereo. They can't, It's impossible. All one has to do is sit in front of a musical ensemble while they're playing, close one's eyes and LISTEN. Then record the same ensemble with spaced omnis and then, again, with a stereo pair. Go back to one's stereo system with those recordings and listen to both of them. One will give pretty much the same perspective and stereo soundstage experience that one heard listening to the ensemble live, and the other will give this vague, amorphous soundstage. Three guesses which is which. It's unambiguous, it's as clear as crystal, and there's no room for debate. People who record using modern spaced omnis are simply wrong from a stereophonic sound perspective. I suspect that it is done for reasons other than proper imaging and stereo.

 

In my discussions with recording engineers who prefer omni mikes, they cite the frequency colorations in directional mikes as a major downside. Truth be told, I have heard these colorations myself in some famous recordings done with coincident pair, directional mikes. Decades back, there was a front cover of TAS featuring the Water Lily "In Nature's Realm", recorded at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Sawallisch. That was done by Kavi Alexander using crossed figure 8's, I believe. A fair number friends and I were quite familiar with the sound of that orchestra in that hall. One of my friends volunteered to help Kavi on the project, so he was there in the hall at the live session.

 

Like I said. They do it for other reasons than proper stereo. And, it can be a matter of opinion as to whether the tradeoffs are worth it (or even exist at all). I've been recording that way since the 1970's and using Sony C-500s and C-37Ps in those days and I can tell you that if you know what you are doing, there are no "frequency colorations".

 

Yes, there was very good, dimensional image retrieval on that recording by stereo standards, provided one sat at +-45 degrees to one's speakers.

 

Well, that depends upon the speakers. The Magnepan 0.7s that I'm listening to now do require a bit of toe-in for proper imaging, but my Martin-Logans do not. They prefer being square to the listening space as do many other speaker designs.

 

 

But, the overall sound of the orchestra in the hall was disappointing and the recording quickly fell from audiophile favor in spite of the hype by TAS. It is a very difficult hall to record in, and it has seldom been used by any other label in the stereo era. My friends and I unanimously agreed, though, that the sound was just much drier than the real thing, which is dry in the first place, and it failed to accurately capture the sound we knew as orchestra subscribers. We did not think the recording was competive in capturing live orchestral sound compared to many multi-miked commercial recordings of the day.

 

I had a similar experience in the venue where the San Jose (CA) Symphony played their concerts. The place was designed with a moveable ceiling: closed for plays and lectures, and open for concerts. Unfortunately, when they were getting ready to open the hall for the first time, they were testing the ceiling and it completely collapsed! Luckily there was no one in the audience when it fell. They fixed it by scrapping the moveable ceiling and replacing it with a compromised fixed ceiling: i.e. too reverberant for lectures and plays and music too dry for music. I tried to solve the problem by first adding two microphones to the back of the hall, and when that didn't really gain me too much, I started using an early "reverb" machine consisting of bucket-brigade delay lines and long springs in big cardboard tubes. It was better, but still not ideal.

 

This is but one isolated example, and maybe Kavi screwed up. I do not find his other orchestral recordings, such as those in St. Petersburg, to be that good either. The point being, minimal milking is no panacea that guarantees a great stereo recording. Conversely, multi-miking is not automatically doomed to produce a second-rate recording, though certainly there are many examples of where it has done so. It all depends ...

 

Correction: minimal miking is no panacea for making good recordings period. One needs to know what one is doing. Properly miked stereo will guarantee good stereo, but that doesn't guarantee a good "recording". I've heard recordings made with cheap electret mikes (like the Sony single-point 929 MS mike) that have great stereo imaging, but with little bass and rolled-off highs, it's nothing I'd want to listen to except out of curiosity.

 

There have also been many audiophiles and a handful of recording engineers over the years who, like you, insist that minimally miked, coincident pair is the only "correct" way to record classical music. Yet, it has never managed to convince the main stream of audiophiles and engineers, in spite of the continued advocacy by you and others. The engineers I have talked to are quite aware of the techniques you advocate, but their considered opinion is you are quite wrong, all things considered.

 

There's a lot of incompetence out there and a lot of record company recording engineers who would rather be recording the Rolling Stones than the Philadelphia Orchestra, but they go where they're told and record what they are bid to record even though they may not have the interest or the aptitude for it. Likewise, most listeners wouldn't know a properly miked classical recording if it came up and bit them in the arse. I don't think that I need to speculate very hard to understand where you fall.

 

And, I also think you are quite wrong about 3-channel Mercury and RCA stereo from the 50's-60's. It is far better than the 2-channel versions. Unfortunately, since you have no center channel in your setup, you have no idea based on actual listening. But, you have a strong ideological belief nonetheless.

 

Well, Like I said, in an earlier forum. You have convinced me that you have no idea what comprises a proper stereo perspective. Your adherence to three-channel spaced omnis tells me that you have never performed the experiments with different microphone placement strategies to have even the slightest clue about what the advantages and disadvantages are of using different microphone techniques. I'm sure if you look on the Internet long enough you can find a site that will show you, mathematically, why spaced omnis cannot do real stereo. But I doubt that even that will convince you, since obviously, listening has taught you nothing.

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Totally agree with your comment on what most producers do with 5.1, I had full quad back in the mid 70s with Marantz 2270 + 2440, most were garbage. But there's some very fine work being done on BD like David Gilmour's Remember That Night.

 

Not familiar with the work, so I'll take your word.

 

We could have a real argument over what is or isn't art but that just boils down to opinion and isn't worth the breath to discuss LOL

 

+1

 

As to what rockers are listening on, don't forget it was baby boomer gen rockers that built high end audio.

 

While that might be true later on, I don't think they had much say initially. Go back and look at some of the very early TAS issues or Stereophile issues or Hi-Fi News and Record Reviews. There were lots of record reviews but nary a one pertaining to rock music. Seems to me (IIRC) that rock reviews didn't start to appear with any regularity until the late 1980s (and then rarely), but by the turn of the century, they had slowly, but inexorably become dominant. Same with equipment reviews. Early-on in the high-end game, all references to recorded works used to evaluate equipment were classical (with an occasional jazz reference). Now it's pretty much all rock with an occasional classical reference (especially from the older reviewers).

More high end equipment was sold to listen to Dark Side of the Moon than all other music styles combined. :) Plus the labels are still surviving on reselling 30-40 year old rock recordings on the latest digital or vinyl pressing fads. When we finally all croak off it will be dark days for the component equipment industry. LOL

 

I suspect that when we croak-off, so will the industry. It's already on life support. Do you understand why audio equipment has become more and more expensive? It's simple economics. The market is tiny and getting tinier, and the manufacturers are, for the most part, also tiny. There are two ways to go. Build thousands of cheaper components per year or build dozens of very expensive components per year. The former business plan requires huge capitalization with tremendous risks if it fails. You have to assemble a huge organization with lots of workers to build the widgets and you have to buy components in bulk. OTOH, if you make a couple of dozen per year and sell them at astronomical prices you can make just as much money, but now you can afford to pick and choose your components and buy them in onesey-twosey quantities (of course they cost more than way, but at the prices you are charging, who cares?). You can also farm out metal work and circuit board fabrication and stuff those boards at your kitchen table (I know one VERY high-end manufacturer who does just that!). If you only buy enough components to build a couple of units at a time, if the business goes bust, you are minimally impacted. That's why audio components get more and more expensive. The market is dwindling and the only way to keep up with it while making fewer and fewer devices each year is to go upscale.

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While that might be true later on, I don't think they had much say initially. Go back and look at some of the very early TAS issues or Stereophile issues or Hi-Fi News and Record Reviews. There were lots of record reviews but nary a one pertaining to rock music. Seems to me (IIRC) that rock reviews didn't start to appear with any regularity until the late 1980s (and then rarely), but by the turn of the century, they had slowly, but inexorably become dominant. Same with equipment reviews. Early-on in the high-end game, all references to recorded works used to evaluate equipment were classical (with an occasional jazz reference). Now it's pretty much all rock with an occasional classical reference (especially from the older reviewers).

 

 

I suspect that when we croak-off, so will the industry.

 

True at the very beginning of High End cause JGH, HP, and all were mostly classical music fans. But it didn't take them long to realize that the market for equipment was being driven by the rockers and if they wanted the readership base to grow beyond the tiny numbers the classical music base would support, they better get on the soul train. The third thing the average boomer bought after he entered the work force was a HiFi for his crib and car

I find it sad the way the whole industry has changed.

What ever kind of music you like it's become just a background noise to life for today's generation?

I thought that the Home Theater market was going to hold out some hope but it appears that market is shrinking along with the boomers ageing too? Cheap ass sound bars are all most really want now.

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True at the very beginning of High End cause JGH, HP, and all were mostly classical music fans. But it didn't take them long to realize that the market for equipment was being driven by the rockers and if they wanted the readership base to grow beyond the tiny numbers the classical music base would support, they better get on the soul train. The third thing the average boomer bought after he entered the work force was a HiFi for his crib and car

 

Well, he bought a mid-fi anyway with brands like Pioneer and Marantz. And I think if you go back and look through the early Stereophiles and the early TAS issues you'll find that it really did take them a long time to "get on the soul train" as you put it. And remember high-fidelity as a force in consumer electronics was invented for classical music, as other forms of music simply weren't available in high-fidelity playback formats. Pop had 7" 45RPM or 10" 78RPM singles early on, neither of which were exactly high-fidelity sources. Even pop LPs were generally culled from 78s.

 

I find it sad the way the whole industry has changed.

 

As do I. When I read reviews of equipment in stereo magazines, and I read about the music that they cite to illustrate some characteristic of the equipment under review, I find that it simply means nothing to me. Most of the time, I don't even know what they're talking about, much less recognize the artists or the 'cuts' that they are referencing!

 

 

What ever kind of music you like it's become just a background noise to life for today's generation?

 

Unfortunately, we've bred several generations of youngsters who have essentially zero attention span for activities such as listening intently and critically to music. I've had more than one educator tell me that!

 

 

I thought that the Home Theater market was going to hold out some hope but it appears that market is shrinking along with the boomers ageing too? Cheap ass sound bars are all most really want now.

 

Yep. A good friend of mine has a 10-year old boy. He's not dumb by any stretch of the imagination, but all he does all day is watch those cheap semi-animated cartoons (while doing 15 other things simultaneously). He's never (to my knowledge) watched a live movie, or read a book he didn't have to read for school, and he is always trying to do three or four things at once - none of them well, apparently. But we caused that with all of these "modern" teaching techniques coupled with the sound-byte mentality of modern information dissemination.

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Yeah, this may irk you :

Dolby Laboratories [on Oct 3, 2013] announced that Metallica: Through the Never, a film based on the ground-breaking rock band, is the first live music performance mixed in Dolby Atmos.

 

Metallica: Through the Never, created by award winning film maker Nimrod Antal, is a music driven feature film that combines a bold narrative and spectacular live-performance footage of one of the most popular and influential rock bands in history; producing a bracing, raw and visceral cinematic experience.

 

Featuring dazzling pyrotechnics, the most elaborate stage ever built and imagery drawn from the band’s trailblazing iconography, combined with the life-like audio of Dolby Atmos, every beat, snare and vocal is heard in perfect clarity.

 

Andreas Spechtler, Regional Vice President, EMEA, Dolby Laboratories, said: “Hearing one of the world’s biggest rock bands in Dolby Atmos allows the fans to feel like they are actually in the stadium experiencing the real deal. It adds an entirely new dimension to cinema sound and showcases the full capabilities of Dolby Atmos in an innovative way with maximum impact.”

 

Ralph Dietrich, CEO of Ascot Elite Entertainment Group, who is at the forefront of independent film distribution and the distributor ofMetallica: Through the Never in Germany, said: “We are incredibly proud that Ascot Elite is releasing the very first concert to ever be mixed in Dolby Atmos. This marks an important milestone for both Ascot Elite and Dolby. We are always innovating and looking for ways to take the next step in film entertainment and Dolby Atmos provides the perfect opportunity.”

www.vimeo.com/74680846

Edited by 徐中銳

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"Nimrod Antal"

An appropriate name I would think. :)

 

"one of the most popular and influential rock bands in history"

That's a laugh, just another crank the amps to 10 heavy metal noise band.

 

Now Atmos, When is the Home Theater crew going to learn that 5.1 systems are about as far as they can push the average joe and his spouse for clutter in the living room. First it was 7.1 then 9.1 then 11.1 now Atmos and that other new speaker in the ceiling system. The more they push these multi speaker systems the more the wife says, just get the sound bar. LOL

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"Nimrod Antal"

An appropriate name I would think. :)

 

"one of the most popular and influential rock bands in history"

That's a laugh, just another crank the amps to 10 heavy metal noise band.

 

Now Atmos, When is the Home Theater crew going to learn that 5.1 systems are about as far as they can push the average joe and his spouse for clutter in the living room. First it was 7.1 then 9.1 then 11.1 now Atmos and that other new speaker in the ceiling system. The more they push these multi speaker systems the more the wife says, just get the sound bar. LOL

 

 

Well said! I've had similar musings myself. The industry will, apparently, come up with anything to sell more amplifiers and speakers....!

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Well said! I've had similar musings myself. The industry will, apparently, come up with anything to sell more amplifiers and speakers....!

 

I did in fact hear quite a few audiophiles, even well heeled ones with costly systems, say the same thing in the late 50's into the 60's. Except, then it was about the advent of stereo, which was, of course, awful compared to the mono they knew and loved. Stereo, they said, was a mere ploy to "sell more amplifiers and speakers".

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I did in fact hear quite a few audiophiles, even well heeled ones with costly systems, say the same thing in the late 50's into the 60's. Except, then it was about the advent of stereo, which was, of course, awful compared to the mono they knew and loved. Stereo, they said, was a mere ploy to "sell more amplifiers and speakers".

 

And here we are 50 years later and most "stereo" home systems are one box systems with the l & r speakers no more than 12 inches apart, or one speaker in a corner and the other on a bookshelf in the back of the room. How many of your friends that aren't cult audiophiles actually have a set of speakers set up to throw a decent image? Over close to 50 years as an audiophile I've had more friends that I can count come over to visit. I'd of course want to show off my system and sit them in the sweet spot then play some amazing recordings. Their mouths would drop and they'd say something about it being like the musicians were right in the room with the singer and lead guitar right in front of him, and the band just laid out across the area behind the speakers. I'd tell them it's mainly due to correct setup of the speakers and listening position and that their system could do something very similar with only correct positioning.

Some time later I'd visit their house and the speakers would still be where they were the last time I visited, totally wrong. When I asked about it he'd say something like, "oh the ole lady didn't like the speakers out in the middle of the room, they look real funny like that".

SO, yea if 95% of the population spent the same amount of total $ on a great mono system instead of a so-so stereo. they'd end up with a much better sounding system.

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