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In Reply to: RE: Here's a reply from Robert Von Bahr of BIS... posted by Disbeliever on June 15, 2012 at 23:03:59
Disbeliever: IF the repertoire is the same or similar, and IF the artists are equally "dynamic" in their playing, and IF the other labels have a higher "average level", then YES!!!!! Their recording dynamics is tampered with (read: compressed).
This is not a question about whose recording is the best, this is pure physics. We don't interfere in the dynamics of the artists/repertoire, we faithfully reproduce what they produced. The loudest part of the recording is set to zero (allowed top level). The rest is what it was. If you don't like it, too bad.
But I am tired of reading your drivel, Mr. Disbeliever. If you want to go through life listening to what a recording engineer thinks you should like rather than the real thing, yes, do abstain from our products. Easier for both of us.
Robert (von Bahr, bissie, CEO, BIS Records, Sweden)
Mr BIS how many more times do I have to post my drivel that the problem experienced does not exist with all other labels that I know of, you are saying that Channel Classics, Chandos, Pentatone, Sony Hyperion, Decca , LSO Live 2L etc have all got it wrong and you are the only correct one, Get Knotted.
Yes, he is correct. And some of the engineers on those other labels should be shot for using compression, IMHO.
Levels on Channel Classics have been very low on some recordings, e.g. Lazic Schubert. Another one that's low is the Mahler 5 on Water Lily Acoustics. Both excellent recordings if one knows how to twist a knob clockwise.
"Diversity is the law of nature; no two entities in this universe are uniform." - P.R. Sarkar
Yes, I am saying that, all other things being equal, if we have the same repertoire, the artists play equally loudly, and there is a difference in the average level, yes, Mr. Disbeliever, they have tampered with the dynamics. If there is a difference in dynamics, and since I KNOW that we haven't changed anything, they must have. Basic logic 1 A. And, since, without naming names, I happen to know that quite a lot of labels do do that, I feel even more justified is stating this - obvious - fact.
I am not putting any real value opinion into this. I can understand that, if an SACD contains one huge crash and the rest is "normal", the temptation is there to diminish the crash, so that the rest will appear to be louder in comparison with it. It is just that I am an absolute, and I have forbidden that practice. However understandable, it is a lie.
If you have this problem with BIS and not with the others, then either they compress, or our Artists play more wildly. There are no other answers.
Robert von Bahr
Interesting,... Mr BIS is accusing all other labels of dishonesty in that they are compressing dynamics and he is the only one that gets it correct. Even Andrew McGregor of BBC CD review says levels on BIS discs have to be adjusted and I find this simply spoils the enjoyment of the music. One example is BIS Romeo & Juliet no enjoyment in listening because the quiet passages get far too low in volume, not easy to know if it is the conductor or the recording engineer who gets it wrong or both for that matter as I suspect in this instance.
No, Mr. Disbeliever, I don't find it at all interesting. I find it sad.
Sad that you accuse me of barefaced lying - our recording engineer has NOT tampered with the dynamics, basta! Your repeating it doesn't make it any more truthful, but it does put eggs on your face.
Sad that you cannot follow simple logic on a level of a 10-year old. Last time (I am a born optimist):
If there is a difference in dynamics and therefore the average level, and all other things being equal, and we have NOT tampered with the dynamics, then follows that the others have. QED.
Mind you, I am not making statements about the quality of our recordings vs any other labels'. I am not saying that my view re dynamics objectively is better, and there may very well be some substance to some complaints (especially from someone that has to broadcast on an analogue net). But I AM saying that we want to present the truth, and we DO present the truth, and nothing but, as far as dynamics are concerned. If you don't like it, stay clear.
I would expect to get criticism from people that try to listen to a cheap boombox while showering, or from people who regard classical music as nice background, but in THIS Forum, where people are audiophiles and presumably interested in the correct sound and true dynamics, that feels really odd, and that's putting it mildly. Very mildly. Why do you buy SACD:s, if you don't want the full Monty? mp3 would suit you admirably (we can provide them as well...)
Robert von Bahr
Yes I am certainly taking your very good advice and staying well clear of BIS SACD's giving those few I have to a Charity Shop. , However I will still be buying those I like from all the other labels as they cause no problems, yours IMO are not fit for purpose due to the levels problem not experienced from all the other brands that you say are compressing dynamics.
Erm it's no secret that most labels do apply dynamic range compression. It became very fashionable in the last couple of decades. Why did they do it? Maybe to make it easier for radio handle with their dynamic range limitation, or maybe to make an easier licensing deal supplying musak for shopping malls. But this is not what the artist intended and is literally changing the music. It's like changing the artists original sheet music dynamics notations and making everything "pp".
Respect and praise for BIS for not doing this.
"Erm it's no secret that most labels do apply dynamic range compression". This may or may not be true,. I do not buy any more BIS SACD's because I have to constantly adjust the levels which spoils the performance, futhermore it is not always possible to know if it is the recording level that is at fault or the conductor, This annoyance for me does not exist from ALL the other major labels. Even Andrew McGregor of of BBC CD review mentioned BIS levels on Air and then trys to cover it up after getting an email from Bissie.
I see on SA-CD.net that Claude says Pentatone & Channel Classics are the best labels, I can well understand why he has omitted BIS.
You write nothing but nonsense.
I loved your new Gershwin album (see link below), but I'm a multi-channel kind of guy.
Yes, we're working on it. Shouldn't be that long.
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