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Oh now THAT

August 3 2010 at 3:08 PM

Vince  (Login MoxiFox)

Response to And, it's not so much...

is just stretching things a bit too far, Pope!~

The age-old problem with sound recording is cross-feed between microphones. What happens is that sound is recorded from the mike directly in front of the singer or instrument but ... sound travels and is picked up on one or more other mikes being used. Since sound moves at about 1000' per second, a mike nearby will pick up the same waves but out of phase with the primary mike ... and the phase shift varies across the sound spectrum. Low frequencies experience little shift but the higher the frequency, the more shift there is.

Thus, if you have mikes spaced, say 10 feet apart, the recorded (mixed) sound will have all sorts of warble effects from sound cancellation and reinforcement. It sounds really bad. (One of the reasons why some elderly sound purists INSISTED on using a single mike for a large group, with everyone clumped around it).

You want as little cross-feed as possible between mikes but, you also want a bit of liveliness from the sound studio but not too much ... so it's a tricky, trial-and-error thing, getting the right spacings, dampings and reverb to make the sound track sound natural.

Today, they "cheat" a lot, by recording every instrument or singer on its own track ... with artists hearing the mix in their headphones to simulate liveness. They use artificial reverb to simulate chamber reflection.

The interesting thing about those old recordings -done in real studios- is that sound reflection and phase shifting occurred naturally ... and if you listen to them in a good surround sound system, you actually hear the sounds that are normally canceled in a 2-front-speaker-only stereo system ... on the BACK speakers! The matrix in a surround sound turns one channel upside down, mixes both channels together and brings out the opposite (normally canceling) waves to the rear speakers. It makes those old recordings reveal sound you never knew you had! It's like listening right in the studio itself ... sound coming at you from all over the place ... including the ceiling.

You can't get it with the highly sophisticated modern recordings because the "echo" is totally fake and arbitrarily phased. Quality on modern recordings is far better, no question but ... that eerie realism can only be brought out of the old real studio recordings.


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