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Re: [ARSCLIST] Dynamic-frequency Range


Thanks for the information...with more questions below.


On Thu, 19 Oct 2006, Aaron Z Snyder wrote:

> As for dynamic range, this too can vary all over the place. These recordings
> are probably more influenced by the performers themselves than by the
> limitations of the recording equipment. Obviously, one doesn't want a signal
> so loud that it would produce blasting on the recording; yet, one doesn't
> want s signal so low that it gets swamped by surface noise. Theoretically,
> acoustical recordings can have a considerably wide dynamic range (the only
> limiter is that mechanical extremes which the cutter can achieve), but that
> wasn't necessarily a desired effect.

I guess my question centers on the extremes the cutters of the time could
achieve. I am also reminded of some of the Victors from perhaps even the
late 30s through the 40s which used so much compression...some of the BSO
recordings in particular...when that compression (limiter use?) was not
really required by the limitations of the technology but seen as desirable
to compensate for the noise level?  Perhaps someone more informed might
know the rationale they had for the practice.

Then I am remind of that extreme case of the recording of the last
movement of the Vaughan Williams Sixth where for the first recording that
last movement, marked piano-pianissimo throughout, they raised the
recording level to improve the signal to noise ratio and ended up with
that last movement sounding as loud as the early movements which were, at
times, extremely loud...needless to say the composer rejected that first

Again, while I have never measured it, it seems to me that basic noise
level of the acoustic discs, coupled with the limitations of the materials
used and the ability of the needle to track would have provided a
substantive limitation to the available dynamic range and that one could
provide some average of the range.

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