Posted by Mary Ann on February 17, 2003 at 15:35:43:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tech advice...recording equip? posted by Rick Denney on February 17, 2003 at 11:40:05:
I agree that what I get with this setup is 98% of "amateur" studio quality. Or any studio that is sound-deadened but trying to record acoustic instruments; they all sound equally bad. But I've heard two general types of professional CD's: ones that are obviously manipulated (like, the viola solo for 10 seconds sounds like it's two feet in front of me, but then when it ends, the orchestra is 30 feet away from me) and ones that don't seem to be manipulated: everybody sounds like they are the "real" distance from the mike that they would be in actuality. But both have some kind of sparkle (not reverb, not echo, I guess crispness is your word that came the closest) that I can't get on my recordings, and which makes my recordings sound dead in comparison. Sometimes I wonder if the people who find they are satisfied with home recordings, have already lost a significant part of their hearing, that erases the difference. Yeah I know we went over a lot of these recently, but it was mostly equipment talk and not the differences in quality that I hear. Like, my favorite brass quintet CD's have the sound quality I'm looking for, that seems way more than 2% better than what I get.
I used to have a 4-track cassette Porta-Studio that made _fine_ recordings of my string band, with about a $100 vocal mike. It stunk trying to record horn, though. I thought it was the mike, then; I still don't know what it is about brass that I hear, that doesn't make it onto the recording. I do still have my high frequency hearing mostly intact, but turning up the highs just produces hiss, not what I'm looking for. Besides, violin has a lot of highs in it....if the mike is too close, the violin has to be filtered before it doesn't sound bad. Recording engineers always have to have it explained to them that the violin was designed to be listened to out in a hall, not two inches away. It squeaks and hisses up close, and the hall swallows all that. I don't want to hear the squeaks and hisses in a recording of violin.