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Discussion: Sibelius: Karelia Suite, Finlandia, The Wood-Nymph etc. - Vänskä

Posts: 445
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Post by Ucheru March 31, 2011 (311 of 445)
bissie said:

(...)
This "problem" has been with me from the very outset of BIS, in 1973. You see, we don't make any changes to the dynamic level when recording. We find out what is the loudest crash, set that at "zero", and the rest will be what it was. (...)

And this is exactly what makes BIS an audiophile label and its recordings so authentic. Thank you for doing so and for expressing it so clearly. Keep up the good work.

Post by Disbeliever March 31, 2011 (312 of 445)
bissie said:

Then, Mr. Disbeliever, what you are saying is that it is not correct to let the composer and musicians decide how the music should be performed and sound, but the task of the recording engineer, who obviously knows so much better.

I disbelieve that.

Robert

I tried the Sibelius again this morning and being fresher I did not fall asleep this time. However not that it is a problem I had to increase the volume by up to 5 dB on my system from normal and would ask why is this when all other labels do not require this increase in volume ? I find the sound & performance OK but not exceptional some tracks are better than others.

Post by bissie March 31, 2011 (313 of 445)
Disbeliever said:

(...) However not that it is a problem I had to increase the volume by up to 5 dB on my system from normal and would ask why is this when all other labels do not require this increase in volume ? (...)

If that is true (and I don't say it is) it means one of two things:

1) the other recordings are indeed compressed or
2) they don't play with the dynamic that our artists do.

I know the answer to that, but I will not go public with it.

Robert

Post by Disbeliever March 31, 2011 (314 of 445)
bissie said:

If that is true (and I don't say it is) it means one of two things:

1) the other recordings are indeed compressed or
2) they don't play with the dynamic that our artists do.

I know the answer to that, but I will not go public with it.

Robert

ABSOLUTE NONSENSE So all the others are wrong and you are correct You know the answer and will not go Public with it, what are you frightened of ????

Post by flyingdutchman March 31, 2011 (315 of 445)
Disbeliever said:

I tried the Sibelius again this morning and being fresher I did not fall asleep this time. However not that it is a problem I had to increase the volume by up to 5 dB on my system from normal and would ask why is this when all other labels do not require this increase in volume ? I find the sound & performance OK but not exceptional some tracks are better than others.

There are other labels that have the same "problem." BIS is not alone in this.

Post by Fitzcaraldo215 March 31, 2011 (316 of 445)
Disbeliever said:

ABSOLUTE NONSENSE So all the others are wrong and you are correct You know the answer and will not go Public with it, what are you frightened of ????

What on Earth is your big problem with having to turn up the volume a few notches on BIS's or Channels or others? Or, turning it down on Pragas, Harmonia Mundis or others. I am here to infom you that's what volume controls are for.

Your "right", "wrong" argument is plain stupid. There is no "correct" level, as there is no industry standard. They vary all over the place by label and by disk within label. To condemn a label because you have to adjust the level on this disk is mindlessness of the worst kind.

Would it be nice if there were an industry standard for levels? Sure, but that horse has been out of the barn since Edison cylinders, 78's, 33's, CD's, etc. Even so, the volume would still have to be tweaked on a disk-by-disk basis even if there were a standard.

Post by bissie March 31, 2011 (317 of 445)
Disbeliever said:

ABSOLUTE NONSENSE So all the others are wrong and you are correct You know the answer and will not go Public with it, what are you frightened of ????

IF all the others are compressing and we not, then, yes, we are correct and everyone else is wrong, according to my criteria.
But that's a bif IF. The better of our colleagues, precisely as Arnaldo puy it so aptly, let the musicians and the composer decide the dynamics.
I didn't want to start accusing my colleagues, but I can say with emphasis that during the LP era it was standard procedure to compress. I even had to sign a paper with the pressing plant that they didn't have any responsibility whatsoever, if people complained about the dynamics on my LP:s!! Then I was really alone. Now, thankfully, we aren't any more.

Robert

Post by seth March 31, 2011 (318 of 445)
bissie said:

Well, this is the "other" Robert responding.
This "problem" has been with me from the very outset of BIS, in 1973. You see, we don't make any changes to the dynamic level when recording.

Not to name drop, but I was talking with Neal Zaslaw a few years ago about acoustics, and he said the number one complaint of first time concertgoers/ones that infrequently attend live concerts but listen to lots of recorded music, is that the ensemble/hall wasn't loud enough. He argued that so many labels compress their sound so every note sounds loud, that concertgoers have an incorrect beliefs about what constitutes loud.

BIS certainly **does not** contribute to this problem.

Post by chenzl March 31, 2011 (319 of 445)
bissie said:

If that is true (and I don't say it is) it means one of two things:

1) the other recordings are indeed compressed or
2) they don't play with the dynamic that our artists do.

I know the answer to that, but I will not go public with it.

Robert

Mr Robert

I personally don't like low-level recordings and thought it must be a personal choice or fault of a particular engineer. But your two points now let me see the subject matter in another perspective. If low-level recording generally means untempered recording, I would be glad to stick to that.

An interesting point is that from my collection of BIS recordings, generally most of them are NOT low-level recordings, the issue is obvious only with some of the recent SACD releases.

Post by bissie March 31, 2011 (320 of 445)
chenzl said:

Mr Robert

I personally don't like low-level recordings and thought it must be a personal choice or fault of a particular engineer. But your two points now let me see the subject matter in another perspective. If low-level recording generally means untempered recording, I would be glad to stick to that.

An interesting point is that from my collection of BIS recordings, generally most of them are NOT low-level recordings, the issue is obvious only with some of the recent SACD releases.

Thank you. The wider the dynamics, the more low-level the average will get. It is obvious that a harpsichord doesn't have the same dynamic level as an orchestral recording, and so the harpsichord recording will sound much louder at a given amplifier setting. So it is a matter of repertoire and how violent it is. We just present what was.

Best - Robert

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