As far for the Beatles thing, I misunderstood what happened, when the first two albums were released in America, they added additional reverb to the American release, I thought they meant that the original was dry, so they added reverb, my mistake. Also I was only commenting on the first two Beatle's records. The Beatles, George Martin, and the team of engineers involved changed the recording process and helped develop a lot of the recording techniques we use today, by no means did I mean the Beatles never used reverb, I was just using the first two as an example, which now I realize was a mistake.
As far as the classical recordings, I didn't explain myself very well, I apologize for that. The person I mentioned in my post, really meant was the specific hall he was recording in, in Nashville, it would be looked down upon to add reverb, because the room is renowned for its great sound, granted I took my statements a little to far with the "mortal sin" line and generalized too much, but I was trying to give a specific example where it was prudent to not use reverb. Also putting up mics in the right spot and choosing the right pre-amps isn't exactly "Throwing them up", people spend hours finding the right mic locations, and making sure they use the best pre-amps for the job, I also didn't say they didn't do anything in post, but its usually a very delicate process, and typically with such classical recording its importatnt to stay true to the sound of the orchestra in the room. In my opinion the most important part of the sound recording process is microphone choice and placement, thats how you get the sound to tape, and the more time you spend on that means less time you spend on post, and in my opinion that yields the best recording. This is just my opinion you are more than welcome to disagree.
Furthermore, People pay money to see orchestras in specific locations, and when you buy Classical Music, the place where the music was recorded is typically printed on the front of the CD, because it is relevant to the purchase. The way people consume music is directly relevant to the way we record. Consumers of classical recording say, "have you heard 'such and such' orchestral group, well have you heard 'such and such' at this concert hall, they sound the best at this hall", etc. Now if one were too, add reverb to a recording of a specific hall, and it changed the sound of the hall, you might piss off a lot of consumers, because the consumer wants the most accurate representation of the hall. Now if you have the recording, and then the engineer realizes the decay of the hall sounds too short, so the egineer adds reverb to make it sound like it does in the room, thats fine, but from my understanding it would be more prudent to re-think ones mic positioning to get the most accurate sound, and once those options are exhausted then you look for post to help you, then again that is just one particular approach. I just don't think adding reverb to classical recording is something thats done off the cuff, and a norm, in my opinion you add reverb because it was not possible to accurately capture the room, when dealing with such recordings.
But then Folsum Prison violates rule #1b of my qualifications, since the room they played in had to have been very lively, since it was a fair size and obviously hard surfaced. :smile: I am surprised at the amount of dialog my (deceptively) simple question has generated. As a novice recording enthousiast, one can have all kinds of misconceptions about the craft. I naively thought that some amount of mechanical or digital reverb must be added, especially on tracks done in a very dry small rooms, but then again, maybe not. I am beginning to think the matter is entirely material dependent (i.e., the style and intent of the music) in part from my own experimentation, and also from the many interesting responses.
There are a few choice halls that have received a lot of buzz in the past decade or so-Disney Hall and Davies come to mind for CA, the Pei designed hall in Houston-but by and large that is localized to a core home town group. The whole civic pride thing waned dramatically in the 1980's and 90's to where today even some of the largest orchestras are in Dangerous territory.
Now, I LOVE to hear a fine orchestra in the Musikverein and one of my great pleasures is watching the DVD ORF puts out of the New Year's Concert. But. Der Wienner Philharmoniker sounds like a great orchestra no matter where they are and they sound completely different today than in the past. To be clear I have recordings in the Musikverein from 1932, 1938, 1952, 56, 59, 1963 and on into modern recording times. The Sydney Opera House is a similar experience though I only have one or two recording from there.
As to post production, if the engineer has done his/her job, you'll never know if an reverb was added or not. If it were that obvious that RE should be replaced. I believe your buddy has a good enough alchemy with the hall, his microphones/preamps, and the Nashville Symphony (shout out to my friends there) to not need any reverb added. That says nothing at all about compression etc which can certainly alter the sound far more than a bit of 'verb and those tools are definitely used all the time even in classical genre.
For the record (ha), I am a less-is-more RE whether it's an orchestra, band, or any of the myriad of chamber ensembles out there.
Computers and DAW Pro Audio Forums Moderator
Pro Horn player & Piano Technician
Kranking out Kopprasch since 1977
reverb added here but its virtually creating DVZ and reflections. This is the next wave in real with sampler libraries. I wouldn't think of adding anything to real classical but as a composer using things like virtual sounds, absolutely. In Pop music, I don't think there are any rules. Just common sense.
Sharing the hybrid experience
You quote me out of context. THAT is a mortal sin......
My point is this...... and I do agree that no one....at least not regular people....buy records based on reverb......
Point: And this will obviously require some homework but is worth it...Listen to the top 10 recordings from 1963. When you get to the Beatles songs, notice the huge difference in the SOUND of the recordings. Not the songs themselves....I have ZERO argument over the power of the songwriting there.....Then consider, if you will, what basis there was for anyone to ever begin to listen to something they had never heard before? This is a first impressions sorta thing....before anyone would have had time to flesh out the lyric, groove to the backbeat, become enamoured with the vocalists, become a member of a fan club etc etc etc.....
What brought them to want to hear it again?
Maybe, like me, you caught the end of a song on the radio, but the SOUND of it so intrigued you , you couldnt wait to hear it again in whole. Yeah....I'm that old. Real time listener and all.As it happened. I was there.
It was a sound like nothing before . And very little after.
Your point was they could have achieved this with a standard sound of the times or even a live show recording.....It would have taken a lot longer.
People bought those records in the beginning for one reason only. It was like nothing they had ever heard before and a BIG part of that was the production at that time.
So, in a way, people did buy records because of the reverb. The inherant quality of the establishment it was recorded in. Most records of the day were like that. There werent ten thousand recording studios with cookie cutter rooms and cookie cutter gear. You want to tell me that producers and engineers didnt put out a definable sound?
Just like the Maestros and the Principles John spoke of.
Yeah. I always serve the song in my work. You betcha. I dont want stuff hanging out there that doesnt belong....who does?? Good-on-ya that you work that way too....but to think for a minute that the old school producers and engineers didnt have a sound that people bought the records because of, is ludicris. Or misinformed.
Its the main reason that so much music todays sucks ass. It all SOUNDS the same.And you can make it sound alike on yer home computer with a few decent pieces of gear.
Last edited by Davedog; 12-21-2010 at 04:42 PM. Reason: schpelling nazi
da moderAtor....proprietor of droolindoggrecords.com....everything in moderation including moderation...Pythagorean Number-Cult Acoustics Deriver #1158
So when people ask questions like do you need to use reverb to make a successfully Artistic song, I'm upset because this person has been told in some way to restrict their art, and it almost takes away power from people. Many of the professionals in our industry are upset, because now anybody can buy a Pro Tools rig and start recording. Its frustrating, I took the time and spent lots of money to educate myself, network, and invest. Now some guy who would normally have to seek a professional, can do it on their own. I feel discredited, like my skills have no value. So now, I am looking for a fast food job, while I work for a music company for free, because I believe in what they are doing, and they can't afford to pay me, because people don't value music in the same way anymore.
I feel this mentality in our field, and I sense this backlash, of using the "right gear" so to speak. Don't get me wrong quality equipment helps make better music, but its not necessary to sell records. People have bought millions of recordings, on 8tracks, casset tapes, CDs, Vinyl, and more recently we went down in quality to MP3s, so how important is sound? Ultimately its about the music, and everyone agrees that the music industry is not in the best place right now, and everybody is trying to blame everybody else, and the problem is everybody is right. We are all to blame for the state of the music industry. One part of the problem is Producers and engineers putting to much thought into everything but the music itself, and this allows bad music to be created. An example I would like to use is a real test question that my professor wrote,
"Which of the following will yield the best music recording?"
a. High Sample rate, low bit depth
b. Low Sample rate, High bit depth
c. High Sample rate, High bit depth
d. recording with Good Musicans
The answer was d, I got it wrong, as did most of the class.
So how can we complain about bad music, we support bad music in the way we record. The drummer was sloppy, but I'll edit it, beat detect it, quantize it, because the drummer can't drum, autotune the voice because the singer can't sing, I have 30 playlists of a guitar track, because the guitarist can't play guitar, and so on and so forth. So we spend all this time trying to make bad music sound good, and we support technology that does so, and we wonder why the music industry is generating less revenue.
I thinks its important to have these kinds of discussions because we are one of the few people that can help make a direct change. I hope thats what this website is ultimately for; if we can't make mistakes, and get our viewpoints changed and adapted through this website, then it has no purpose. If we want better music, then we have to help make better music, by any means necessary, even if that means working on a laptop in a bedroom, and recording a hit record.