Colin Pykett Posted February 17, 2022 Share Posted February 17, 2022 I wonder if others find some modern recordings tend to be far too dry (devoid of 'presence' and room ambience)? On the whole, older ones seem not to suffer from the problem as much if my CD collection (built up since the 1980s) is anything to go by. I realise such opinions are purely subjective, but it might be relevant that in the past some recordings made in the studio or wherever were then replayed into large buildings, with the final master then being made from the sound picked up by microphones. This isn't done today because high quality artificial (electronic) ambience can be added so easily, thus it would inflate the cost (and reduce the profit margins) overmuch. But is ambience augmentation actually done at all today for 'classical' recordings, electronics notwithstanding, or is the current ethos not to meddle with the sound as recorded, thus leading to the question posed above? Anyway, I have an artificial reverberation box (i.e. hardware not software) incorporated in one of my hi-fi systems on which knobs can be twiddled to add any amount of ambience representing a wide range of 'rooms' to anything I happen to be listening to. It can add a wonderful spaciousness to piano or harpsichord recordings for example, and bring out an expansive warmth to string quartets which simply isn't there on the original recording. For organ music similar remarks apply, especially when the recording was done using close-miking. However I find that one has to be careful not to overdo it with the organ, because excessive emphasis of particular frequencies can arise with the sustained tones of the instrument which is (subjectively) less of a problem with the transient sounds of the other sources mentioned. - although you can usually get round this by simply choosing another 'room' on the reverb unit to suit the particular recording. I'm writing this listening to Ashkenazy playing Chopin with added ambience and, as always, it's mind-blowing. But I find returning to the original recording on this CD is most disappointing, almost as though one is listening to a microphone dangled just above the strings with the piano in an anechoic chamber! If you want to try it without spending too much, older digital reverb units can readily be obtained but, even so, they are far from cheap considering they can be over 30 years old! The Alesis Microverb models I, II or III hail from that era but sellers on ebay nevertheless seem to want a good price in the three figures for them - excessive to my mind. But I mention these because I have many of them knocking around and have used them a lot, and they will certainly give a feel for what a more modern system could do before you decide to shell out even more. I know some forum members have experience of professional recording, so I wonder what their opinions might be? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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