The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Level riding in classical music. Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 1st February 2019
  #61
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
Such a brilliantly elegant and simple idea. A uncompromised master, with some kind of level automation burnt in the file !

Such a perfect solution for the problem, that it will probably never happen

It is in this context I am not a fan of producing masters with compromised dynamics, WITHOUT having also a very dynamic hires master. It is why I do not advocate level riding on every production. What are you going to do if the client asks for a more dynamic master in 5 years, if the above idea should becom reality ?
However it's implemented, I think this is going to ultimately be the most satisfying solution...for everyone. Some download companies do so already, presenting you with 3 or 4 quality variations (and price points) of the same source recording, from mp3 through 16/44.1 up to 24/192.

However....this is only the data density issue addressed, not the dynamic range/compression one. I also archivally retain all my recordings at maximum data density, straight out of the recorder, uncompressed....and then deal with the material according to where it's destined for playback, and try to steer a middle ground of average levels and dynamics (-21 to -23LUFS most typically)

However I'd much rather that the playback hardware dealt with this...which was possible with dedicated walkman style mp3 and CD players for example. I'm surprised it wasn't implemented more often back then...a simple 2 or 3 position switch on the player to give you uncompressed/15dB/4dB dynamic range....allowing you to respond to background noise conditions variably....

Actually, those here with long memories might recall a primitive realization of this concept in the upper mid to luxury range of cars. The CD player/radio unit had an inbuilt mic, detecting the ambient noise level in the passenger cabin. This was connected to a circuit which (slowly) ramped up /down the overall player volume (or the compression ratio, I don't recall which) ....according to traffic conditions, road noise etc.

I guess the net result or intended consequence was that the listener could expect to concentrate on the task of driving, without having to constantly adjust the player's volume knob in response to ambient noise levels in the cabin. A bit like hands-free cellphone operation nowadays ?

Cruise control.....for the ears
Old 1st February 2019
  #62
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post

Actually, those here with long memories might recall a primitive realization of this concept in the upper mid to luxury range of cars. The CD player/radio unit had an inbuilt mic, detecting the ambient noise level in the passenger cabin. This was connected to a circuit which (slowly) ramped up /down the overall player volume (or the compression ratio, I don't recall which) ....according to traffic conditions, road noise etc.

I guess the net result or intended consequence was that the listener could expect to concentrate on the task of driving, without having to constantly adjust the player's volume knob in response to ambient noise levels in the cabin. A bit like hands-free cellphone operation nowadays ?

Cruise control.....for the ears
Many modern car audio systems (factory and aftermarket) do this today - either by "listening" to the ambient noise, or by getting speed data from the car and using that to apply appropriate dynamic range adjustments according to a speed-indexed model of ambient noise.
Old 1st February 2019
  #63
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMetzinger View Post
Many modern car audio systems (factory and aftermarket) do this today - either by "listening" to the ambient noise, or by getting speed data from the car and using that to apply appropriate dynamic range adjustments according to a speed-indexed model of ambient noise.
OK, good to know...so they stuck with it, and most likely refined it too ?

So...everyone here with a car having this feature....how do you like it ? Is it noticeable in operation, and can you defeat it with a button-press ?

Maybe your car has had it for years, and you never even knew it was there...apart from thinking "gee, the music always sounds great, listenable, reveals details at all driving speeds in this car" etc ?

Time to phone home with your impressions on 'sliding-scale, dynamic compression' .
Anyone here old enough to remember the dbx 117 dynamic range expander for home stereo, Dolby HX Pro for cassette decks ?
Old 1st February 2019
  #64
Gear Addict
 

I know my car cranks up the subwoofer as the speed increases. It works surprisingly well, I have to say. You actually miss that feature when you play the same CD in a car that does not do that.

In some early Lexus LS 400 cars, there was that switch for auto sound level that was also linked to the speed.
Old 1st February 2019
  #65
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo View Post
I know my car cranks up the subwoofer as the speed increases. It works surprisingly well, I have to say. You actually miss that feature when you play the same CD in a car that does not do that.

In some early Lexus LS 400 cars, there was that switch for auto sound level that was also linked to the speed.
Was that their way of bringing in a reverse Fletcher-Munsen effect as compensation for the increased ambient noise ?
Old 1st February 2019
  #66
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Was that their way of bringing in a reverse Fletcher-Munsen effect as compensation for the increased ambient noise ?


I am not sure what they were basing their design on but I think it has something to do with the masking effect. When the road noise is high it covers up the bass more than anything else. It seemed to make sense to me.
Old 1st February 2019
  #67
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
Of course you ride levels. It’s called engineering.
Old 1st February 2019
  #68
Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo View Post
I know my car cranks up the subwoofer as the speed increases. It works surprisingly well, I have to say. You actually miss that feature when you play the same CD in a car that does not do that.

In some early Lexus LS 400 cars, there was that switch for auto sound level that was also linked to the speed.
My Subaru Outback has the same feature. There's a control for how much adjustment it makes with speed.
Old 2nd February 2019
  #69
Lives for gear
 

The DAB (DAB+) spec makes provision for Dynamic Range Control (DRC) to be transmitted by the broadcaster; the intention is to "make quieter sounds easier to hear when the radio is used in a noisy environment".

The receiver has three settings: 0 - ignore broadcast DRC; 1/2 - DRC level is set to half that sent by broadcaster; 1 - DRC is as set by broadcaster.

Is anyone aware of any DAB/DAB+ station using this facility? How well does it serve its stated purpose? How is the DRC information set? Is this another of those features that seemed like a good idea at the time?
Old 2nd February 2019
  #70
Lives for gear
Thanks panatrope.....I guess the take-home message is that you might as well seize control early in the piece and make your dynamics adjustments (for DAB+) to suit yourself.....because the broadcaster will assume control and do it for you anyway otherwise !
Old 2nd February 2019
  #71
Lives for gear
 
tourtelot's Avatar
True, but do not clip the ISDN line.

D.
Old 2nd February 2019
  #72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy-boy View Post
That's fine if that's what you prefer. Lots of other peeps need reduced dynamic range to listen though. All depends on the preferences of the target audience. My target audience has complained when I provided stuff at -25 LUFS.

-Tom

P.S. Bonus question - do you also prefer music to not have any audio edits or comp'ing of parts/takes?
Edits are common and acceptable if not heard. As to -25 db FC, don't ever go to a live concert if you can't deal with the dynamic range of many classical pieces.

Not everything was intended to be heard in a car blasting down the road at 70 mph. Certainly not the composers.
Old 2nd February 2019
  #73
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy-boy View Post
P.S. Bonus question - do you also prefer music to not have any audio edits or comp'ing of parts/takes?
It's not a bonus question, it's a whole other ball of wax and a distraction....let's not get sidetracked by conflation with a side issue deserving of its own dedicated thread....
Old 3rd February 2019
  #74
Old 4th February 2019
  #75
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
p.s. i'm not riding levels; i let dynamic devices do the work.
If you're going to let "the machines" do the work (either hardware or software implementations), it's a really good idea to know how they work

Here's a particularly good outline of a particularly adept mastering compressor....just the thing the OP might include at the end of his workflow when producing the final master.

YouTube

If you'd like to try out some of the ideas quickly, Holger has included a few presets which can tweak settings in the right direction here: http://www.centerforlydteknik.dk/dow...or-presets.pdf

It's a free trial download, with a few minor deficits compared with the paid version...

Last edited by studer58; 4th February 2019 at 07:12 AM..
Old 4th February 2019
  #76
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
If you're going to let "the machines" do the work (either hardware or software implementations), it's a really good idea to know how they work ...
thx but
a) i'm recording/mixing on a desk and use some digital outboard
b) weiss, jünger, orban, tc, waves and drawmer hardware ain't that bad
c) i'm pretty much aware of what the gear can do for me and how to use it.

i use it on location/on air/live too, not just in the studio for mixing/mastering: think of a mastering chain (including headphone amp with crossfeed matrix, level meters, goniometer plus measurement mics, analyzer, speaker controller for monitor speakers) getting used while the tracks are still hot... - imo mixing is about commitment, not about delaying decisions!
Old 4th February 2019
  #77
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
thx but
a) i'm recording/mixing on a desk and use some digital outboard
b) weiss, jünger, orban, tc, waves and drawmer hardware ain't that bad
c) i'm pretty much aware of what the gear can do for me and how to use it.

i use it on location/on air/live too, not just in the studio for mixing/mastering: think of a mastering chain (including headphone amp with crossfeed matrix, level meters, goniometer plus measurement mics, analyzer, speaker controller for monitor speakers) getting used while the tracks are still hot... - imo mixing is about commitment, not about delaying decisions!
Deedeeyeah....do you really think I'd send you a basic primer (ok a bit better than basic) on Compression class 101 ?

This is aimed for the OP.... and others of us not conversant with the complexities of the device.... remember that this thread is essentially about " to compress or not to compress". I'm sure you have long long ago made a policy decision about that

From you....I expect a 3000 word essay on the deeper operational points of disagreement you have with the YouTube video by Holger. On my desk by 9am in the morning if you please !
Old 4th February 2019
  #78
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
thx but
a) i'm recording/mixing on a desk and use some digital outboard
b) weiss, jünger, orban, tc, waves and drawmer hardware ain't that bad
c) i'm pretty much aware of what the gear can do for me and how to use it.

i use it on location/on air/live too, not just in the studio for mixing/mastering: think of a mastering chain (including headphone amp with crossfeed matrix, level meters, goniometer plus measurement mics, analyzer, speaker controller for monitor speakers) getting used while the tracks are still hot... - imo mixing is about commitment, not about delaying decisions!



I don't own any hardware based compression tools. But I am wondering, do these hardware tools you mentioned pass the signal as is if they are set 1:1 ratio? In order to use hardware compressor, you have to feed the signal through it, regardless.
Old 4th February 2019
  #79
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
Hi dseetoo,

You can set whatever ratio you want. Usually for classical broadcast use something like a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio sounds good. Even better is to use parallel compression on the highlighted instrument. Threshold can be set to around -15 or -12.

This presumes that the engineer is "pre-treating" the signal so that the radio station compressor does not have to intrude "as hard" on the program material.

Rupert Neve Designs Master Buss Processor is the best compressor to use for this purpose.
Old 4th February 2019
  #80
Gear Addict
 

That was not my question. I was wondering how transparent are the hardware based compressor. How much damage they do to the sound, if any. Will the passthrough signal didn't trigger the compressor null with the original? I usually prefer not to use compressor. I like to find the peak spot and do a small edit around the peak to reduce the level so the rest of the recording does not go through any processor. There will be no compressor sounds like no compressor and that is my principle.
Old 4th February 2019
  #81
Gear Addict
 

Radio station pretty much set their compressor and forget about it. No engineer at radio station will be checking your material first and then adjust their compressor/limiter accordingly. That is a fantasy. You know your recording will be compressed once more before it is aired.
Old 4th February 2019
  #82
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo View Post
I don't own any hardware based compression tools. But I am wondering, do these hardware tools you mentioned pass the signal as is if they are set 1:1 ratio? In order to use hardware compressor, you have to feed the signal through it, regardless.
when bypassing all other functions, some digital hardware compressors/limiters leave the signal below threshold unaffected/leave the signal pass through (as can easily be measured: they will null after adjusting for latency).

i find it very useful not to reduce dynamics all at once but soften signals first by a compressor with slower and lower settings (and let the transients pass though) and then use a (brickwall) limiter to prevent the signals from overshooting.

- tc finalizer/dbmax/eq station and drawmer 2476 work like this; they are multiband dynamic processors and/or dynamic eq's (finalizer, gold channel, eq station).

- then there is jünger: some of their gear is using a unique principle they call multi loop compressor (d0x series, accent series) or use their level magic algorithm (many other series): pls look it up, i don't wanna pretend any bs by not going into details - these tools clearly have an immediate effect on signals although to various degrees. both can be highly efficient if used/adjusted with taste.

- weiss recently ported the code of the ds-1 into software/plugin which you may want to check (highly recommended too).

- the waves maxx bcl acts the same way as various waves plugins chained together.

- several orban processors i don't really care about much (i hated the programming on earlier models...) as i only use them in my monitoring chain to hear results after radio processing (with the same settings as used by some broadcasters). btw: lots of jüngers for broadcast around here, so my jüngers get dual use :-)

[i'm sometimes using lake and/or yamaha dme speaker processor to adjust signals of spot mics as they offer far more sophisticated tools for alignment than simple eq/delay/polarity]

---

when using my own desk, i don't really 'need' any outboard (well, besides quantec and lake) 'cause a) it's got lots of dynamic processors built in and b) i like them for being pretty much transparent. nevertheless, at least one jünger almost always travels with me...

i rarely ever use multiple dynamic devices in series but may insert some on spot mics (they almost always get comp/efx/delay) or on instrument sections/subgroups. if using two, they are mostly on the master inserts for easy comparison (or i link identical boxes by midi for surround use but then may trim center/rears differently) or i use them for their entirely different characteristics (say tc and jünger).

the choice of when to use what gear is not always based on how they affect sound but sometimes also/soley on speed of use: mixing live (and also going on air) is about speed and imo one cannot beat jünger and waves in this regard.

___

there are two more reasons for using digital dynamic devices - at least when working with amplified instruments:

in case there is not enough rig for the gig (which unfortunately still happens more often than one might think), getting 3db more spl level and protecting the pa from being driven into overload at the same time is really easy by using digital compressors/limiter (compared to stacking twice the amount of speakers/amps!)

the other reason is not to get higher spl levels on intention (although it cannot be avoided) but deals with the topic of how (much different) electronic instruments behave compared to an orchestra: if i have to merge their sound for the audience to be perceived as one large instrument, i almost always need to limit both sources (with separated settings/gear): the orchestra to prevent the soundfield from collapsing on very soft parts but also in order not to get amplified much on loud parts - and the electronic instruments/samplers etc. to match the dynamics of the orchestra so they are not sticking out - besides dynamic devices, this often involves using additional speakers for some localisation (if wanted/possible without killing nearby musicians), speaker processors to control them and of course efx devices to match their sound with the orchestra).


[the lake gets also used if a dancer/actor/singer with a mic for whatever reason walks in front of front fill (or worse: a full blown pa main hang/stack): an almost unlimited amount of filters and some serious limiters saved me from blowing out hf speakers and/or severely annoying the audience on several occasions...]

___

i'm using dynamics on the way in (but also record a second main mix output without processing should i ever need to go back and same for channels if doing redundant recording: one pc/recorder gets direct outs from the stagebox/preamps/converters): i want my signals to be pretty much finished when hitting the tracks - probably an old habit from the analog days (i started on a800)

i try not to use gear just because i have it but hopefully in a way it serves the music to be perceived in a 'nice' way - and sometimes to camouflage the shortcomings of some other gear further down the signal path: with the experience i claim to have, i rather do it myself than leave it up to the dwarfs dealing with inferior gear/operating on severly restricted budgets...

___

p.s. most of my gear is hooked up on a madi/aes converter and i patch things in as needed


p.p.s. sorry for the long post... - hope i could point at some reasons why/how/which dynamic processors i'm using, in a field where many/most (?) other engineers don't feel the need for doing so: you mileage may vary, i do and i'm not afraid of using gear which is well established in some other sectors of our trade (live sr/broadcast/mastering) but maybe not so much in the (imo often rather reactionary) field of recording/mixing of classical music...


Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo View Post
Radio station pretty much set their compressor and forget about it. No engineer at radio station will be checking your material first and then adjust their compressor/limiter accordingly. That is a fantasy. You know your recording will be compressed once more before it is aired.
not quite: most programs are highly automated so the settings of the limiter can easily change along for dayparted radio or tv program and/or are smart enough to adapt to meet specific criteria/change levels within a predefined range ... - dunno to what extent this is getting used though and i doubt broadcasters will share any information on this topic.

in a small country like mine, it is/used to be easier to find out: most stations were using the same gear and they were happy to use the presets as configured by just one or two engineers: i used to know one of them very well (and helped programming a bit)...

even if one gets to know the gear and settings, this still doesn't tell anything meaningful about the sound: it just tells whether the broadcasters are able to protect their own gear from overload and whether they operate within verifiable limits of regulations...

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 5th February 2019 at 01:23 AM.. Reason: edited twice
Old 5th February 2019
  #83
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
Hi desetoo,

Sorry, I did not grasp your question.

You probably already know the answer. The hardware can be set to be pretty transparent but, no, it would not null with the original--that's because it is controlling the dynamic range of the program material.

But it does not have to be heard doing it.

If set properly, listeners could not tell that the program was being controlled.
It would sound really good if you use something like the Rupert Neve Designs (Texas) Master Buss Processor.

Being wary of controlling dynamic range is a good philosophical position if the compressor is poorly adjusted or can be heard.

SOME great compressors like Rupert Neve Designs, Gyraf, some dbx, and Jünger Audio are inaudible if set up properly.

At WFMT Radio in Chicago, we do have people in the control room monitoring the live broadcast or edited tape and adjusting the input levels so as to not trigger the radio station compressor heavily.
Old 5th February 2019
  #84
Gear Addict
 

To my ears, all the sound manipulating tools screw up the sound, more or less, one way or the other. The question is which is the lesser evil. We need to reduce the dynamic range for practical reason but we also want to preserve the audio quality as much as we can. I pretty much know the sound of all SW dynamic tools available. None of them is really transparent. I hear it immediately once I insert it into the chain. I am leery about hardware dynamic tools just as much although I haven't used any for a long time. That is why I ask about their transparency.


I don't do any live sound work so I don't use any hardware gear. I used to use whole bunch of Lexicon stuff but no longer. I don't even have a console anymore so it is a bit trouble some to even route some outboard gear. All my dynamic range management is done with software these days, either manually editing the hot spot or via plug-in. In regard to Weiss software compressor, I am interested, at least to find out the sound and its ability. I use their S/R converter software which is very good. I wouldn't be surprised if their SW compressor also sounds good.
Old 5th February 2019
  #85
I've tried the Weiss software trial. Sounds very transparent to me. Supposedly a direct port of the hardware code. However, I couldn't tell any difference between it and the one I use, Flux Solera, and I like the controls on Flux much more as well. We've gotten to the point where well written software can outstrip just about any digital outboard effects.
Old 5th February 2019
  #86
Lives for gear
To dynamics-reduce or not...still no apparent drift towards concensus here then ?

My take on it is that, unless my recordings are forever destined to remain in a P2P (is that person to person, or peer to peer ?) relationship, and "P#2" has expressed a firm demand that it be totally uncompressed, I'll pull down some occasional transient peaks, and up the average level to at least sit around -21 to -23LUFS.

The music still has to breathe, express, ebb and flow....anything that compromises this quality is renounced.

My philosophical take on material that's going to pass onward to the broadcastable realm.....well, it's neatly encapsulated in the sing-along refrain to this gem by Dr John: YouTube
Old 5th February 2019
  #87
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
To dynamics-reduce or not...still no apparent drift towards concensus here then ?

My take on it is that, unless my recordings are forever destined to remain in a P2P (is that person to person, or peer to peer ?) relationship, and "P#2" has expressed a firm demand that it be totally uncompressed, I'll pull down some occasional transient peaks, and up the average level to at least sit around -21 to -23LUFS.

The music still has to breathe, express, ebb and flow....anything that compromises this quality is renounced.

My philosophical take on material that's going to pass onward to the broadcastable realm.....well, it's neatly encapsulated in the sing-along refrain to this gem by Dr John: YouTube
The impression I'm getting so far is that most people here are falling into one of two general camps (and that those two camps don't play particularly well with each other!)

One camp never wants to doctor the recording, and the other targets something pretty close to the LUFS based broadcast standards.

For my part, I'm so rarely in a listening environment that would support the full dynamic range, that it's a no-brainer to try some leveling in post (and just to clarify, I never had any intention of riding levels during recording. I understand the benefits in the analog realm, but with decent digital gear, I see no benefit.)

I'm going to make an attempt at fader automation leveling of my current organ project, targeting something around your -21 to -23 range and see how it goes. I'll certainly also keep a mix that retains the full dynamics for any future use. I'll probably be back with more questions.

For now, if anyone is willing to share tips and tricks on technique, I'm all ears! How fast of adjustments do you make? Is it 1dB/10 seconds, like in the Mike Skeet article, or are you willing to go much faster? If there's an especially large drop from loud to soft, but the soft section only lasts 10-15 seconds, do you just leave it quiet? It's too short to use the slow ramp method on, but in imperfect listening environments, it basically means 10-15 seconds of dead air.

I'd love to hear more about the mechanics of the process. Also, if there are more good articles on the subject, feel free to share those rather than having to type a whole bunch. Thanks in advance!
Old 5th February 2019
  #88
Lives for gear
 
Yannick's Avatar
 

In an organ recording context, I would do the level changes when the registration changes happen. Allowing for possible problems with the 10s reverberation ...

IMO it would be strange if an organ would do 10s level changes, even when tiny.
Old 5th February 2019
  #89
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
In an organ recording context, I would do the level changes when the registration changes happen. Allowing for possible problems with the 10s reverberation ...

IMO it would be strange if an organ would do 10s level changes, even when tiny.
This short snippet I'm working on includes examples of what I'm talking about. It's more than 10 seconds, but short enough to make smooth, gradual level adjustments difficult.

Old 6th February 2019
  #90
Here for the gear
 

@ Ebeowulf17
"For now, if anyone is willing to share tips and tricks on technique, I'm all ears! How fast of adjustments do you make? Is it 1dB/10 seconds, like in the Mike Skeet article, or are you willing to go much faster? If there's an especially large drop from loud to soft, but the soft section only lasts 10-15 seconds, do you just leave it quiet? It's too short to use the slow ramp method on, but in imperfect listening environments, it basically means 10-15 seconds of dead air."

Hi, as I for all my audiowork use Adobe Audition I have no idea what other programs will do. But, if I must compress the dynamic range of a organ program I do it in post. The simple way is to lift the soft compositions by 3-6 db. That is most time enough. If it is one composition going from pppp to ffff you can't do that. Than I use 'Dynamics processing' of 'Amplitude and compression effects'. You can over the whole dynamic range(-100-0 db) change the niveaus of the sound to expand or compress. See the screenshot. (I do not say anything about the effects on the quality of the sound.)
Attached Thumbnails
Level riding in classical music.-dynamic.jpg  
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
studer58 / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
8
AVRAMOLEW / Post Production forum
24

Forum Jump
Forum Jump