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Re: [ARSCLIST] Aren't recordings original sources?
On Fri, Oct 17, 2008 at 7:41 PM, Tom Fine <tflists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>wrote:
> Also, it used to be (maybe not, in general, anymore) that a professional
> studio's control room WAS designed for CRITICAL LISTENING. That was the
> whole freakin' point! In fact, one of the big evolutions I saw in NY rooms
> in the late 70s into the 80s was moving all the noisy tape machines out of
> the control room into an isolated machine room or machine "closet" so one
> could listen MORE carefully. Given the levels I've heard most professional
> engineers listening at, I can't imagine the tape machines would be audible
> but perhaps this was helpful for a client seated toward the back of the
> control room. Anyway, let's not forget history here! Do some reading about
> the evolution of studio monitors. And the tuning of control rooms, etc. Yes,
> perhaps today when every "musician" with a Mac and a mic thinks he has a
> "studio," what passes for a recording studio may not be a critical listening
> environment, but this was certainly not always the case!
In the old days you refer to, the Yamaha NS10M monitor speaker was
widely popular among recording professionals (I use the word as loosely as
anyone). It featured a top end so, ah, brutal... that the tweeter was
commonly covered with a flap of Kleenex or toilet paper. This was the de
facto reference standard.
Plus, studio monitoring is almost always done in extreme near-field
conditions, IMO an unnatural place to listen -- even notwithstanding the
fact that few end-users (as I believe they're called) employ such a setup.
> And by the way, here's a big irony. Go back and look at most of the
> mastering rooms where the "golden age" records were cut. Those were usually
> TERRIBLE listening environments!
True enough. And yet... and yet... They were doing something right.
What's been lost?
> This is all very different over the past couple of decades, mastering
> suites have evolved to be "super-fi" listening rooms. Has the net quality of
> the end product evolved upwards? I would say this is a very arguable point.
No argument from me there!
Only that I disagree about the soi-disant "'super-fi' listening rooms".
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Rob Poretti" <r.poretti@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: <ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Friday, October 17, 2008 5:31 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Aren't recordings original sources?
>>> A few of these facilities use those $1000+ AC cables. I did not have the
>>> balls to ask them to swap to a standard cable for my own curiosity, but I
>>> can tell you *none* of the mastering engineers described the differences
>>> "major improvements".
>> Again, the studio environment... these are not listening studios, these
>> recording (or mastering) studios.
>> RP) I'm sorry, but I beg to differ and I believe most audio professionals
>> won't agree with that statement. Mastering rooms are built for critical
>> listening. I agree that the design criteria (neutrality with excellent
>> translation to the outside world) might be different then in a personal
>> listening room. (personal preference often based on a preferred music
>> If you really feel this way, then we have a serious void in our individual
>> point of reference, to even continue the debate.... IMHO.
>> Besides, I've never claimed that differences are instantly detectable.
>> They're not, usually. They get to you over an extended period.
>> RP) That's an interesting comment. I was reacting earlier to your
>> statement "wrought major improvements".
>> I would think that "wrought major improvements" are also "instantly
>> detectable." Would you mine defining "an extended period"? Was it hours,
>> days, weeks?
>> Do I understand by your comments that the "major
>>> improvements" that you discerned did not require ABX listening tests?
>> "Require"? As stated earlier, ABX only blurs the distinctions.
>> Someone locally here once told me he'd done a DBT that proved to the 99%
>> confidence level, that insertion of the ABX box was audible. I chuckled,
>> I might hope everyone would.
>> Who elected the ABX box as our arbiter?
>> RP) First, I meant to say DB ABX. My mistake. Second, you can build
>> transparent ABX boxes and the nice thing about them is they provide the
>> lens for both "A" and "B" - that's why they are valid in critical
>> tests. Unless you are saying that all DB ABX listening tests are not
>> Do you have a more definitive listening test procedure?
>> My comment about "requiring ABX" was that I was trying to determine how
>> audible the difference was - was it instant or was it difficult to
>> determine? I think you could see the intent of my question.
>> Rob Poretti
>> Sales Engineer - Archiving
>> Cube-Tec North America