Steve Schwartz <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>You know, I never thought the goal of a recording was to resemble the
>live concert experience.
>Instead, I believe a recording is its own thing. A great recording
>or great recorded sound doesn't resemble the concert hall at all, in my
>experience. Did Ormandy's Philadelphia sound anything like his recordings?
>Did any orchestra? Not in my experience (I preferred them live). Same
>for RCA's and Decca's recordings of the Chicago.
I find it fascinating to compare the "Living Stereo" (RCA)[Lewis Layton
engineer] and "Living Presence" (Mercury) [The Fines engineers] recordings
of the Chicago Symphony. I would wager that nobody doing a "blind"
listening test would ever imagine they were done by the same orchestra.
Another interesting comparison (often mentioned in the literature) for
me is comparing the Philadelphia Ormandy and Stokowski recordings and
the Philadelphia Munch recordings. I would assume the recording setups
were fairly similar, but the sound of the orchestra is remarkably different
when Munch was conducting.
Then one can compare the broadcast recordings of Philadelphia versus
their commercial recordings. The same holds true for the Boston Symphony
recordings. I have some copies direct from the masters, not recorded
off the air. The sound quality is remarkable and for me, far preferable
to the "studio" recordings made in the Hall. However, very sadly, the
broadcast recordings were often subject to compression and gain riding...
and of course, we had one of the most disasterous releases of historic
broadcast recordings when the Boston Symphony issues (engineered by EMI)
were subjected to even more gain riding than the original broadcasts.
However, even with that issue, there was something to be learnt...as far
as I recall not a single review mentioned the gain riding!
I guess that since we are so used to the compression in radio broadcasts
and the limited dynamic range in popular music as well as the high levels
of background noise in our living environments, we just don't seem to
be aware of dynamics.