Originally Posted by Ugly1
Interesting take on things as usual Arny.
Thanks for the encouraging words, I guess. Is this interesting as in crazy or interesting as in good depth? ;-)
I agree however would argue this is solely due current trends dictating the properties of said "music" be artificailly engineered to be useable by Joe public, ie a lowest commn denominator solution.
Temporary threshold shift is independent of how the music or other sound is made or recorded. It is dependent on spectral content and intensity, whether the source is acoustic or electronic. It can happen in factories and symphony halls as well as with a home stereo.
If the software were instead to be engineered to be realistic, ie closely resemble reality, it's possible there would be no more threshold shifting occuring while listening to it than which were naturally occuring from listening to actual event if the engineers were reasonable succesful.
I agree with that, and that is one of the point's I'm trying to make. The OP I'm responding to says that the ear is capable of a 120 dB dynamic range. Because of TTS that doesn't happen, even at live acoustic concerts because if you get loud enough above ambient noise to be 120 dB above it (that would be like 150-160 dB), you've changed the ears of the listeners and performers to the point where they can't even hear the ambient noise. Actually, you may have injured or even killed some of them, depending.
We know what 140 dB broadband noise does to people, because it happens on the deck of aircraft carriers all the time. People who are subjected to this sort of thing wear protective equipment and clothing, or they will become injured. When suited up, their perception of ambient sounds probably starts around 50-60 dB SPL.
If you perform music in say the Carlsbad caverns where the ambient noise level (without people) is actually 0 dB SPL or below, just bringing in enough musicans to play at 120 dB with typical acoustic instruments will raise the ambient noise to at least 25-35 dB SPL. All of a sudden your potential for 120 dB dynamic range is gone.
If you try to do 120 dB electronically, then your typical electronic instruments will raise the ambient noise level, maybe a little less.
If you do it with lab equipment, then your demonstration is not real world.
A big part of the problem is popular softwares dynamic range for example: recording trends have gone in the opposite direction from trying to achieve realistic reproduction to truly catering to the absolute lowest common denominator playback systems by becoming increasingly more and more dynamically compressed over time.
I'm a recordist. I can make recordings any way that I want to. If I have to do things a certain way to meet the needs of the customer, I can slip in any reasonable number of additional mics and recorded tracks to suit my own purposes. Things like TTS are independent of commercial software. It happens with jet engines, punch presses, symphony orchestras, rock bands, or football games. It also happens with any recording regardless of source, as long as you have sufficient SPL and spectral content.
I admit I honestly have no idea what SOTA recording technlogy is capable of.
I do, and the BIS/Minneapolis symphony recordings I previously mentioned are probably about it. A piece of background - before the BIS recordings the previous record holder in my hall of fame was a studio pop recording that was made in the middle 1980s. It was the eponymious recording by Rickie Lee Jones.
I'm not counting my own entries which I made in 2002 under very carefully controlled conditions which have dynamic range that was maybe a little better then the BIS recordings.
However, realism in reproduction seems a worthy goal to me worth striving for, regardless of current or past trends developed to satisfy Joe six pack.
In this case, Joe Six Pack is irrelevent except that he has ears that start out about the same as those of the rest of us.
I should probably also mention that as much as I try to introduce high culture to my cro magnon sensibilities I am just not primarily interested in reproducing live symphony music. My interests in realism stems from a desire to be able to have it when I want it for movies, video games and that stuff.
Movie music and dialog is probably the most highly produced media in the world. If you think it is realistic it is because it was cultured and pruned and nurtured and even fluffed up to seem to be realistic to you. How much is dubbed in on a sound stage? If not, why do movie producers work on sound stages? How much came out of the 21st century Foley department? If not, why do movie producers have so much of those kinds of resources employed?
Mentioning movie sound tracks and actual realism in the same sentence except as a contrast is actually an insult to the people who work so hard to process what they record into something that is as realistic as it may seem!
I would also say though while a capability for realism may not ever be embraced as necessary by the community creating the music I am most interested in, typically studio created rock, I can't imagine that having the possiblity of utilizing high dynamic range systems available is going to hurt the studio recording rock communities feelings.
In the studio, the dynamic range goes out the door, but in different ways. First off, a lot of recording studios don't themselves have good ambient dynamic range in the context of 120 dB dynamic range.
Secondly, there are two basic ways to make music in the studio. You either have a large studio and record with everybody playing together, in which case dynamic range gets hurt by bleed from ambient noise, the other instruments and people who are working together. Or, you set up a musician or a few musicians in a smaller room or a corner of the big room, and you have them play along with music they listen to with monitor speakers or headphones. In either case, bleed from ambient noise, monitors and headphones remain a limiting factor.
Who knows? Perhaps highly capable systems becoming popular would spawn a new variant of artist who rejects current ultra compression and embraces and strives to achieve realistic dynamics via their recordings.
Those artists always exist, and those recordings are always being made, its just that they are often niches. The sort of producer or engineer who claws his way to the top and is working with say Brittney isn't interested in serving a bumch of geeks with high end stereos who sit around just listening to music.
They say things like "I've got (pick one or more number) (pick one or more from Grammy, Oscar, Gold record, etc.,) and I made them all with close micing, lots of compression and EFX from the following boxes. Nobody who (Records/Produces, pick one or both) at this level does clean recordings with minimalist micing."
As I have mentioned my interest is in studio recordings mostly. I believe in a near enough proximity at least certain percussive events must be approaching 120dB SPL peaks for short durations.
Yes, but those things always happen in environments that are relatively noisy compared to a 0 dB SPL cave. For one thing, there has to be a living, breathing, blood pumping human near by to operate the percussion instrument.
I am wondering if using recording tricks such as recording in near anechoic environments with close mics might allow one to keep recorded noise floor low enough to at least exceed whatever high mark we are currently shooting for, perhaps your 85dB SACD example.
That works, which is exactly how I beat my 85 dB SPL example. But, it wasn't a real world performance/recording enviroment. How many musicans are willing to freeze all motions but one, and hold their breaths for the duration? Working in anechoic chambers is very weird, and flies in the face of common wisdom for setting up environments where musicans can do crazy things like stay in time and on pitch with each other.
Whatever the case, get the worlds garage bands interested in this goal, and techniques for pushing currently existing limits are bound to be developed. Unfortunately, at the moment anyway, garage bands I am familiar with are unanimously headed in the opposite direction.
Believe it or not, people are interested in listening to and making music, not so much breaking records for dynamic range. If you have this sterile lab project made by musical nobodies working poorly in figurative strait jackets, the world won't beat a path to your door, not even enough for the lot of you to live on bread and water.
I agree CD may very well achieve maximum live musical event capture/playback realism. Instead my interest is in what the engineers can do with studio recordings were they to set their minds to it.
If you check out your typical audiophile recording which pays lip service to that sort of thing, you'll find that the dynamic range numbers are typically not all that great.
And if you do all that, none of what I said about TTS goes away. You've just made the world's greatest recording of one hand clapping! ;-)