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Re: My introduction

Subject: Re: My introduction
From: madl74
Date: Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:05 pm ((PDT))
> My blindness definitely is one of the reasons for that. Now I am 
> 26 and am still strugglling for the right technical solution to get 
> clear and pleasurable stereo recordings, but, I guess, most of us still 
> do in a way.


I've got a tip from when I was a professional TV Film Recordist. There were 
many occasions when I couldn't see the meter on the tape recorder, but I 
trained my ears to recognise a peak level and adjusted the headphone output 
to make this read just under 100% on the meter. 

Now we have gone digital, there is much less need for accurate level 
control, but it is safer to record on the low side as this can be brought up 
later with no quality loss. I still don't use a meter. 

The trick in training your ears is to always use the same, preferably 
closed, headphones. I don't just listen for the peak sound, but I get a 
physical feeling in my ears at a fairly loud point, but not as loud as to be 
uncomfortable. I set the recording level to below that point and who needs a 

This feeling in the ears is below the maximum comfortable listening level. 
Get to recognise a level below anything that sound too loud. 

In fact I usually record so as to peak at minus 10 dB or lower, so if 
something unexpected happens, it doesn't hit maximum on the digital 
recorder. You can usually get away with recording at minus 20 dB peak if you 
could be expecting something loud like thunder. 

The other thing to train you ears to do is to recognise audio compression. 
almost all music and speech is compressed making the loud bits more even in 
loudness. In addition a digital recorder will have a limiter, which is a 
hard compressor set just below the 100 percent level. Once you have a feel 
to recognise compression, you have another clue to the peak levels of your 
recording. This is useful in adjusting your recordings later while editing. 

Hope that helps. 

For stereo, you may have to train your ears for headphones so you can judge 
a stereo image. Compare a good stereo recording of music or wildlife on 
stereo loudspeakers and then on headphones. Centre and full left and full 
right are easy to recognise, but you may have to train your ears to your 
headphones for the half way and quarter way points. 

Out of doors of course you can simply listen to birdsong with bare ears and 
then through the headphones as see how they compare. 

You of course need a stereo mic if you haven't already got one, and 
personally I would go for a double mic with a pair of cardioids mounted 
together at an angle. 

David Brinicombe 

"While a picture is worth a thousand words, a 
sound is worth a thousand pictures." R. Murray Schafer via Bernie Krause.

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