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Dynamic Range classical music recording
Old 5th October 2017
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
THE_NIK's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Dynamic Range classical music recording

Hi all I record live orchestral gigs every couple of months and would like know if my methods are sound or if you would have any suggestions for me.

I record at minimum 24bit 48K but i plan to move up to at least 96k from now on or maybe 192k .

I aim for a recording level of about -20 dBFS when everything is in (i can occasionally hit a peak of -12 dBFS)

They require a recording at the end of the show and for the purposes of broadcast I like to get the level up a little. So I use a limiter and dither before I bounce. The limiter does not ever engage any compression i just use it to normalise a little.

My final bounce Wav file normally has an audience noise floor between -50/-60 dBFS and a max peak of about -4 dBFS

What do you's reckon ?
Old 5th October 2017
  #2
The levels you set while recording make sense. If you're not using any dynamics, then simply normalizing the file so that you end up with a peak of maybe -1 dBFS means that you should be ok for later CODEC changes like MP3.

Now, I believe it's an accepted practice to manually adjust gain in sections if you NEED to reduce the dynamic range for something like broadcast. I prefer this to compression.
Old 5th October 2017
  #3
Lives for gear
 
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You are making a dual purpose recording. One for archive, one for broadcast. I suggest modulating to -6dBFS during your recording at the auditorium. No need to be as conservative as you are being right now. Peaks can go higher than you are currently recording.

When preparing your program material for broadcast don’t exceed -10dBFS. You can pre-treat the program with light compression if you have an excellent compressor and can set it to be inaudible. By pre treating the program with compression you allow the unknown radio station processing chain to not work as hard to contain the dynamic range of your program. Better you to control it than the radio station Orban or similar processor.

Well known orchestras produce tremendously wide dynamic range. Regional orchestras don’t produce as wide a range of loud / soft. Most importantly, always enjoy your work and take fun and enjoyable people with you to help at the job site.
Old 5th October 2017
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
When preparing your program material for broadcast don’t exceed -10dBFS. You can pre-treat the program with light compression if you have an excellent compressor and can set it to be inaudible. By pre treating the program with compression you allow the unknown radio station processing chain to not work as hard to contain the dynamic range of your program. Better you to control it than the radio station Orban or similar processor.
^^^THIS^^^
Old 7th October 2017
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Knowing how much radio stations compress the dynamic level of the music they put on air these days, a better strategy would be, first of all, to leave your recording dynamic range alone, don’t compress it. Secondly, normalize the audio to -10 to -15dBs. The reason for that is that radio stations set their compressor and leave the settings pretty much alone, so by sending your audio to them at lower level, chances are it will less likely to trigger the compressor to bring down the level because for most part your audio will be below the threshold setting of their compressor. I believe most of radio stations add some gain before the compressor as well so if the music gets to be soft they can bring it to higher level. I just quickly checked WQXR webcast, a classical music station in New York, their basic dynamic range is about 12dBs between soft and really loud music. It sounds horrible. In a nutshell, to preserve your recording dynamic range you have to starve their compressor with low audio level.


Best regards,

Da-Hong
Old 7th October 2017
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Wyllys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo View Post
Knowing how much radio stations compress the dynamic level of the music they put on air these days, a better strategy would be, first of all, to leave your recording dynamic range alone, don’t compress it. Secondly, normalize the audio to -10 to -15dBs. The reason for that is that radio stations set their compressor and leave the settings pretty much alone, so by sending your audio to them at lower level, chances are it will less likely to trigger the compressor to bring down the level because for most part your audio will be below the threshold setting of their compressor. I believe most of radio stations add some gain before the compressor as well so if the music gets to be soft they can bring it to higher level. I just quickly checked WQXR webcast, a classical music station in New York, their basic dynamic range is about 12dBs between soft and really loud music. It sounds horrible. In a nutshell, to preserve your recording dynamic range you have to starve their compressor with low audio level.


Best regards,

Da-Hong
The degree of compression ( typically Optimod ) will be determined as much or more by the level leaving the studio board. The best scheme for maintaining dynamic range goes right in the crapper when the board OP pots it up too hot.
This is why many of us prefer to do some reasonable compression prior to handing it over to a board OP.
Old 8th October 2017
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
The degree of compression ( typically Optimod ) will be determined as much or more by the level leaving the studio board. The best scheme for maintaining dynamic range goes right in the crapper when the board OP pots it up too hot.
This is why many of us prefer to do some reasonable compression prior to handing it over to a board OP.
I don't know many classical stations that play music through a board now. They are cued remotely from the announcer computer to the master control computer.
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