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In Reply to: RE: BIS Dynamic Range posted by Fitzcaraldo215 on June 10, 2012 at 09:25:45
Bissie statement of purpose is I think similar to the one stated on all
CIMP recordings (CIMP is a jazz label)
On all their cd's it states the following.
Digital recordings allows for a vanishing low noise floor and great dynamic range. The compression of the dynamic range is what limits the “air” and life of many recordings. Our recording capture the full dynamic range one would experience in live concert. We set our levels so that the maximum signal will not overload the recorder. This means that the average level will always be lower than you are used to.. You will find that if you set your levels to the loudest passages to be reasonably loud the rest will fall into place. You may find passages when the signal is almost inaudible, please resist the temptation to turn the volume up, this is the way it sounded when it was recorded. The quieter your system and the lower the noise floor of your listening room, the more impressive they will be
I am a little confused when they say that the dynamic range limits the "air"
Anyway I never was impressed with CIMP recordings, pretty good yes but nothing extraordinary.
Yes, like bissie's statement, it is hogwash. There is way, way more dynamic range in hi Rez than anyone needs or can hear. Recording at lower average levels by a few dB has essentially no effect on that. Turn up the volume a bit, and it is essentially the same.
Why do they do it?? They surely have more experience about recordings than all of us put together.
If anyone would name two or three BIS recordings that have "excessive" dynamic range if they match some of the ones that I have I will look at them with an editor and look at what is going on. Most of the BIS recordings that I have are 44/24 downloads of the masters, some 88.2/24, prior to conversion to DSD. It would be interesting to compare some of the DDD and ADD or AAD recordings.
Some of the Channel Classics DSD downloads are even "worse" in the sense that the peak levels are low. However, with DSD there is no way to increase the volume over the original recording level without loss of resolution and one wants conservative levels in the first place to minimize the chance of the recording being ruined by overload. Even with PCM there is some loss of resolution in performing volume adjustments during the production process, so once a recording has been made one it is best to leave it "as is" and let the customer make necessary volume adjustments, unless one is selling recordings to idiots. (The exception would be if there are technical flaws in a recording requiring processing, e.g. EQ, in which case one may as well increase the peak levels since there will be no further loss of resolution by doing so if one is using one's tools correctly.)
If your room, neighbors, system or ears are not up to snuff you can always listen to chamber music, some of which was written to be background music and should be performed with limited dynamics.
"Diversity is the law of nature; no two entities in this universe are uniform." - P.R. Sarkar
Dunno. You would have to get bissie to go deeper than the party line about dynamic range. I suspect it might be a carryover from their CD recording days. But, they have a perfect right to do it as they see fit. It's really not a big deal, except, for some reason, some warped people cannot bring themselves to increase the volume and would rather complain about it instead.
In the absense if an exact standard, if every other single label in the business were using just one single average volume setting on every single recording, and BIS were the only outlier, it would be a different story. But, that is not the case. It is true in my experience, though, that BIS is typically recorded somewhat lower in level than most anyone else on SACD by maybe 4 dB or so without actually measuring it precisely. As I said elsewhere, there are other labels where I have to consistently turn them down even more than that to be comfortable. Who is right? Everyone and no one. Only your own ears and trusy volume control can tell you that.
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