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Dynamic Perspective

Discussion in 'Recording' started by realdynamix, Feb 3, 2003.

  1. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    :) Hey folks! Since you have a limit to the dynamic range of digital recording, and wanted to stay somewhat true to power and the relationship of various instruments and orchestra, same for POP and R&B etc. ...
    how would you plot out the dynamic curve using a level of 50 to 55db spl as a reference?
    How would this all fit into a maximum of about 100db? The technique I wish to employ is performance dynamics as opposed to compression.

    Examples, (within the limitations), Voice vs. Piano or AC guitar, drums vs. String bass, Rock guitars/amplified vocals vs. drums, etc.
    Any idea's?

  2. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Ok, I will bite.

    This is hard because each has a dynamic range within the perspective.

    I cannot limit this to 100dB

    All instruments will be a 6 feet distance.

    Then after this, point out specifics and I will address it.

    Basically, I know where this is going..but let us establish a reference to begin with.

    All instruments will be considered acoustic, in a freespace area as in a wheat field.

    Piano 54 to 97
    Pedal Harp 47 to 88
    Bassoon Bb 59 to 85
    Bassoon Contra 64 to 90
    Oboe 63 to 92
    Trumpet 61 to 122
    Trombone 63 to 118
    Cello 51 to 95
    Violin 49 to 98
    Flute 52 to 97
    Picc, flute 67 to 112
    Tuba 70 to 113
    Sousaphone 74 to 118
    Sousaphone (blatted) 127
    concert bass drum 48 to 121
    Tympany 53 to 119
    French horn clean 66 to 103
    French horn dirty (no hand, blasted) 68 to 119
    Bass Vio. 55 to 88
    Bowed 61 to 91
    Clarinet 58 to 97
    English horn 62 to 94
    Guitar 57 to 85
    Hard strummed 89
    Snare brushed 49 to 99
    Snare stick (2B) 51 to 121
    Snare shot rim 124

    Slapsticks (one shot) 124

    Pipe organ (in hall) 42 to 145 (64 foot pipe full bordo)

    This is based on my actual measurements in my notes from ppp to FFF (FFFFF when noted as in "blatting the horn of the sousaphone)

    any others?
  3. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    ;) Ok getting a better picture, I knew it was tough, you know what I am after..So like a teeter-totter these levels will have to be controlled, but not compressed. In the old days, before a VCA existed, even before gain riding was practical, dynamics were handled in real time by performance. Orchestra, was set back, conducted in a special way, singers would approach the mic, and other instruments, background singers too, were made to fit by space. It is interesting that all this fit into a dynamic range of less than 50db. Many great 40's, 50's, and early 60's recordings were done in this manor. No, you won't be able to enjoy this wide range music at a dinner party, or in your car, but will need a nice hefty system. But your ranges are helpful in calculating a perspective that will allow them to fit, I suppose amplified rock will be at the -.5dbfs range eh? Oh, got the bottom covered, sorta like the sizzle of a riveted cymbal, trickling brook, or ocean surf. You bit, now chew, no close micing here. Learned it from a guy who did a great recording at Ark Tech U. No I am not that old, re: 40's.
  4. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    When recording full scale symphonic, the conductor (that usually has a hard time with this) will try to make the performance "recording friendly".

    An idea of this is that Bassoons simply cannot at FFF balance with a 22 piece clarinet section. At most you may have 3 bassoons and 1 contra. They will be masked always when the rest of the band goes to mezzo forte' or forte'. Mezzo Piano the bassoons can deal (band wise) they have to be at mezzo Forte'. When the band is at mezzo forte', bassoons to balance would need to be at Forte' fortissamo...(FF) hence if the conductor tries to make the performance "recording friendly, the authenticity of the performance will be a stake. It was clear to me that this was unacceptable quickly. I had a meeting with the conductor and he invited me to conduct. I actually rearranged the seating so that the contra bass clarinetist that had a solo in the full register of the horn, could be audible at all times during said solo. The highest note of the contra bass clarinet is like smashing balls to perform. Most difficult to get it to even play. Takes a huge diaphram and tons of wind to get the note to propagate at all. (Most people that play the contra bass clarinet are very large people...that it what it takes) Seating arrangement modification was a must. I had to put the bones on a riser and make them point into the stands, I changed a few things, most memorable was the concert bass drum and the proportion of the head to rear wall and to the corner to transduction. I had to retune this instrument to 36hZ for one work, 37.8 for another. We wanted an authentic reproduction as to the score. When I read the score, I could see what needed to be done and I has a very willing conductor to work with. HE would not have been so forthright except, not only I spoke his language, I could play 70% of the instruments on stage at a level of compentance that he respected. I also knew the works and the one I did not know, the actual composer was on site!

    It was a fun experience and I look forward this spring to doing it again.

    The recording received many rave reviews. I am most happy with it.

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