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RE: How to reproduce the full dynamics of a scissor cutting paper without clipping

"I am afraid your confusing two different things,"

Actually, no. Obviously, the sound level picked up by a microphone will depend on the distance from the sound source. Scissors cutting a piece of paper is a very small sound - even with its peak level - at a more or less "normal" listening distance, to the point that, if there is conversation or other sounds in the room, it's practically inaudible and definitely ignorable. Take your B&K sound level meter, put it a meter or two from scissors cutting paper, and in an average home with average activity, it'll barely show up on the meter. Certainly, nothing like 140 dB peaks! Holy moly, we'd all be deaf by now, just from cutting paper in grade school!

(BTW, I remember those humongous B&K sound level meters! They were very cool - and precision!) and had WAAY more buttons than I needed!

If you place a microphone very close to the source (scissors cutting paper), then we can hear all kinds of detail which is typically lost in a normal setting and distance, and the average-to-peak ratio becomes quite apparent, especially when one views the waveform on a screen using something like SoundForge or ProTools. Last year, just for the fun of it, I recorded a triangle (you know, like they use in the percussion section of a concert band) at various bit rates/depths. I seriously had to put the mic within about two feet just to minimize the ambient sounds.

So, if we record the sound at a very close distance (inches away), and try to play it back at a fairly loud level, where the listener is NOT at a very close or normal distance, then that's a whole different ballgame.

I think I still have the recording of putting a key into a door lock. I still remember Josie B. (violinist) coming down the hallway and saying "Hi", then, realizing that I was recording - softly saying "oh, I'm sorry". Hahahaha!

:)


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