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In Reply to: RE: Yes! I want to hear hall ambiance on a recording too! posted by Chris from Lafayette on March 07, 2017 at 11:08:55
Remember Dolby NR? Of course we do. When engaged, Dolby NR would completely eliminate any high frequencies and hall ambiance. Any subtle queues from instruments, foot shuffling, turning of musical score sheets, etc. was completely removed.
When I listen to my best sounding LPs, most of them have either traffic or HVAC noise that can be heard. I even have one LP whereby someone is practicing their instrument in a room adjacent to the recording. You would think that someone would have thought about this in advance, but sure enough, you can hear that faint instrument in the background.
Back to Dolby NR, I think a similar technique applies in digital land. I am confident that there are software techniques (maybe hardware hi bypass filters) that allow an engineer to remove any signal below a certain threshold. This could certain give the black background and eliminate the hall ambiance. I just queried the web and there are many software packages that have a "background noise removal" feature. My guess is that the background noise removal feature is more likely the culprit than the microphone technique. Just a guess, but at least we know for certain that both are available in the engineer's toolkit.
I used Dolby A in our studio. It only eliminates noise added by the tape. It does not alter the incoming signal with proper dolby playback
I could be wrong though! ;-)
There's also the interesting question as to how "crisp" the background noise is - the crisper the better for me. There's an in-concert Strauss recording where the applause definition and other non-musical extraneous noises are so defined that I really rejoice in what I consider the truthfulness of this particular recording:
You are not wrong Chris
One of my favorite scores is Schnittke's Sonata No.2 for Violin and Piano "Quasi una Sonata. The music is very aggressive, with many points of silence in between notes. Just listen to the first 2 minutes. You will see what I mean.
I came across this youtube video, see below. When you listen to the first minute or so, you can hear that the background noise was clearly cut off after the piano strikes or the hard violin notes. It's a shame, because otherwise it is really something to behold.
This is caused by pumping do to heavy compression.
It is not a common practice in classical recordings but FM radio stations and TV stations typically do this
Please educate me, what is "pumping"?
Let us give an example. You send music to a compressor. You set it so it will lower the gain of the music (compress) by 10db.. Music plays and gain is reduced by 10db. When there is some silence the gain goes back up by 10db This going up and down of the gain is called pumping. If there is light noise in the background when the music stops the noise will come up 10db. That is pumping. You can here it on remote radio newscasts. When the newscaster stops speaking the background noise comes up
. . . which in itself is surprising - that's to say, I'm SURPRISED that a classical recording would even be issued this way. And if I'm not mistaken, this pumping effect is more an artifact of analog compression, rather than digital compression?
Other recordings made there as well.
I listen exclusively to LPs and it's a disappointment when hall ambience isn't there.
Older classical recordings at Carnegie in New York and Orchestral hall in Chicago have subway sounds
When Carnegie Hall and especially Zankel Hall were renovated, supposedly a major factor was eliminating or minimizing subway noise.
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