[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: [ARSCLIST] Absolute Polarity
At 01:41 PM 2008-10-19, Clark Johnsen wrote:
On Sat, Oct 18, 2008 at 6:02 PM, Richard L. Hess
> Clark, are the higher peaks usually the positive peaks?
Hmmm... Well they are if you think of "high" as being above the X-axis. But
sometimes the peak occurs beneath, but greater in amplitude that the top
Please allow me to restate for clarity and so we don't get lost in
discussing questions I did not ask. I am well aware of the
limitations in studio and distribution practice, but most studios
that I was familiar with (mostly in the broadcasting environment)
took studio electrical polarity quite seriously. Since at least some
of the tapes that I transfer are good-quality 2-mic recordings, the
multitrack issues are a non-issue.
The question that I have is if we see a waveform signature where the
absolute values of the positive and negative peaks relative to the
X-axis are substantially different, which instruments, when properly
recorded should have that greater (and usually narrower) peak be
positive-going and which should have that peak be negative going.
Usually the first attack of the note is what I would look at, not the
decay. In other words, dare I say, which instruments "suck" and which
don't, in a technical sense (i.e. compression and rarefaction)?
Here is a start of what the useful list might look like with some of my guesses
Piano - compression attack (i.e. positive-going peak)
Saxophone - compression attack
Snare - compression attack
Tympani - rarefaction attack
Are these correct in your experience and what others would you care to share?
As an aside, the lack of a standard for laying down and retrieving an
absolute polarity from magnetic tape was something that I personally
attempted to address in at least one large project in the 1980s,
where I tried to include Dr. Lipschitz's proposed standard in the
tape machine procurement spec, but the client rejected it. With the
switch to digital, this has become somewhat moot at the system level.
I have not checked at the consumer level what is happening with
Thanks for the interesting discussion.
Richard L. Hess email: richard@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.