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Re: Digital Distortion

Subject: Re: Digital Distortion
From: Walter Knapp <>
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2003 13:03:35 -0400
Martyn Stewart wrote:
> Walt Wrote
> (So, thinking we are going to not modify sound levels seems a bit
> pointless. We are going to modify sound levels, we just have to do it
> with care.)
> And this is the key point here, you just would not go out and normalize
> everything at a set level, say 50%, I would use the envelope tool and do
> it gradual.

Exactly, we need to study how our processing software works best, and
process the sound that way, even if that means some change in levels
before processing. That may come out looking like we set everything to a
set level. If that's what a filter wants, I have no qualms about doing
that. We change levels for a reason, not just some rote rule.

And filters have a variable effect on levels. Getting back to the river
frogs and the insects, most of the sound energy is the insects,
filtering them out to make the river frogs audible will make the
recording a whole lot quieter. When the actual original site was a
bedlam of insects with faint river frogs under them. Yes, you change the
character of the recording in doing so.

Some have said we cannot adjust up because of mic self noise, etc. But,
if we do need to adjust up that really just means we have to deal with
that self noise in our processing. Having to do that is how you end up
going back and upgrading your equipment.

After processing, before producing the CD, we need to make sure and
adjust the levels for listening. And certainly that ends up not all the
same setting. I don't end up with a variation as great as the natural
environment between tracks, but do have some.

Actually, quiet ambiance is more like a lot of silence between the
sounds. The sounds themselves may not be all that quiet.

In the end, no matter how purist we are, our recordings are a artificial
construct that resembles the actual environment in some way. They are
our vision just the same as a painting or photograph.



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