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Article: Audio Recording Primer Part 1: Commercial Recording Quality


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Not sure why Naxos is considered a "audiophile" label.  Naxos has always been a budget label with no emphasis on the performers unlike the other labels.

 

it is kind of like a "generic drug" version of classical label.  Focusing on to repertoire rather then the star power of the performers.  It's principal is to broaden the discovery of new and less known music, and mostly avoid duplication of repertoire.

 

I had the pleasure of meeting Klaus Heymann many years ago, he is true music lover.        

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32 minutes ago, John Yow said:

Not sure why Naxos is considered a "audiophile" label.  Naxos has always been a budget label with no emphasis on the performers unlike the other labels.

 

it is kind of like a "generic drug" version of classical label.  Focusing on to repertoire rather then the star power of the performers.  It's principal is to broaden the discovery of new and less known music, and mostly avoid duplication of repertoire.

 

I had the pleasure of meeting Klaus Heymann many years ago, he is true music lover.        

I've been impressed by both the content selection and recording quality of Naxos recordings. 

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Funny because I was just about to start a thread along the lines "what makes a good recording good". Looks like my question will be incorporated here.

 

It has taken a long time since the dawn of digital but playback systems have eventually become very good. It is now the lack of similar quality recordings of mainstream artists that is the limiting factor. There are a small handful of people like Barry Diament making such recordings and I have also heard one of your excellent recordings. I think it is the crime of the century that this is not more mainstream. As you say, they did it better in the 1950s and 60s. Why have things not progressively improved since that time?

 

The usual answer is that artists and engineers are making things to sound "good" over earphones, iPhones and the like and this is why such things as compression and the loudness wars exist/existed. I still really don't get it, and very happy to be shown why, but for me a good recording sounds better on every medium that I play it on. It certainly sounds better on my high-end system, it sounds better on headphones, it sounds better when played on my TV and small contraptions like phones.

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

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6 hours ago, John Yow said:

Not sure why Naxos is considered a "audiophile" label.  Naxos has always been a budget label with no emphasis on the performers unlike the other labels.

 

it is kind of like a "generic drug" version of classical label.  Focusing on to repertoire rather then the star power of the performers.  It's principal is to broaden the discovery of new and less known music, and mostly avoid duplication of repertoire.

 

I had the pleasure of meeting Klaus Heymann many years ago, he is true music lover.        

 

Once spoke to him on the phone - my strongest memory is his thinking that the presentation of the Bose 901 speaker was what he thought was ideal for the music he had recorded, 🙃.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Sometimes measurable things aren't measured ... in the universe, ego is a mighty power ... 

 

Over and out.

 

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I recent years, some of the Naxos orchestra recordings are self-produced by the orchestras. I was told that they'll get a number of CDs and the international publicity of being on the label, but otherwise no compensation. Since many orchestras record for radio, I imagine it's a low-cost opportunity, so long as the players agree to it. In my experience, many Naxos disks sound pretty good.

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10 hours ago, fas42 said:

 

Once spoke to him on the phone - my strongest memory is his thinking that the presentation of the Bose 901 speaker was what he thought was ideal for the music he had recorded, 🙃.

Yecch! Well at least that opinion didn’t seem to influence the way that the recordings were made! Frankly I’ve never heard a Bose product that I liked. I once bought a used pair of 901s figuring that they would be perfect for the rear channels of a surround system... Boy was I wrong! Sold them on just a couple of weeks after buying them. Of course, I finally decided that surround sound, in general was not my cup of tea, and abandoned it altogether (practical reasons, not sonic ones).

George

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I have taken audio for granted. My son sings in a boy choir and they were part of an amazing ensemble performance of Carmina Burana in a lovely acoustic space which was recorded. We sat about 15' from the soloists and piano–what an experience. I thought the recording would be marvelous.

 

I obtained a copy of the recording after a couple weeks. I wondered why it was taking so long, and after I got it, I was reminded why recording is a bit of an art itself. Despite hitting the wall a couple times in the beginning (Carmina's dynamic range is just too wide, I guess), the rest of the performance is a satisfying (if not a "pro audiophile") listen. I now own something like seven Carminas and none of them are perfect recordings and performances, but I love each for its own strengths.

 

Finally, this reminds me of J. Gordon Holt reading his article about the characteristics of different microphones on Stereophile's first test CD where they switch the mics as he reads so you can hear the substantial differences. Looking forward to this whole series of articles here, thank you @gmgraves 

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As one who has run live sound for both music and theater productions and has dabbled in recording, I am looking forward to this series with great interest, @gmgraves!  I've often wondered the same as you -- why so many older recordings sound marvelous, and so many newer ones sound comparatively lifeless. Arguments about the Loudness Wars and such find their place here, but even records that are not mastered to sound LOUD are still lacking a lot of that joie de vivre. I'm buckled in and looking forward to where you take us next!

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2 hours ago, feelingears said:

I have taken audio for granted. My son sings in a boy choir and they were part of an amazing ensemble performance of Carmina Burana in a lovely acoustic space which was recorded. We sat about 15' from the soloists and piano–what an experience. I thought the recording would be marvelous.

 

I obtained a copy of the recording after a couple weeks. I wondered why it was taking so long, and after I got it, I was reminded why recording is a bit of an art itself. Despite hitting the wall a couple times in the beginning (Carmina's dynamic range is just too wide, I guess), the rest of the performance is a satisfying (if not a "pro audiophile") listen. I now own something like seven Carminas and none of them are perfect recordings and performances, but I love each for its own strengths.

 

Finally, this reminds me of J. Gordon Holt reading his article about the characteristics of different microphones on Stereophile's first test CD where they switch the mics as he reads so you can hear the substantial differences. Looking forward to this whole series of articles here, thank you @gmgraves 

Gordon was one of my closest friends and I miss him greatly. We spoke about recording often, and were pretty much of a single mind with regard or microphone technique. He was the first person I knew who recorded digitally. I was down in Sant Fe once and we recorded an amateur chamber group together. He had a “portable” VHS recorder and a Sony ADC hat had been modified by Apogee and a Yamaha mixer IRRC.

George

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1 hour ago, Jeremy Anderson said:

As one who has run live sound for both music and theater productions and has dabbled in recording, I am looking forward to this series with great interest, @gmgraves!  I've often wondered the same as you -- why so many older recordings sound marvelous, and so many newer ones sound comparatively lifeless. Arguments about the Loudness Wars and such find their place here, but even records that are not mastered to sound LOUD are still lacking a lot of that joie de vivre. I'm buckled in and looking forward to where you take us next!

Actually, part 5 is the last in the series. But thanks for your kind comments.

George

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