Originally Posted by GregLee
If we agree that feasibility is the only problem, we can seek plausible ways to simplify the task. Since we needn't worry about inaccuracies that no one ever notices, we can begin by allowing differences between the original sound and the reproduced sound which are imperceptible to humans.
I guess what I thought was obvious wasn't obvious. Unless you're going direct with a bass or other electronic instrument, to record sound you have to use a microphone. Maybe not plain to all, but it's reasonably safe to assume folks won't spend multi kilobucks on an old mic from the 1960s if it sounds indistinguishable from something less expensive and potentially more physically robust. Heck, you can have a brand new (reissue, kinda) Neumann U87 for under $4000. So the first device in the recording chain is un-flat, i.e. not accurate. And for cardiod mics the degree to which they depart fromflat depends isgnificantly on the distance of the mic from whatever you are recording. They SOUND DIFFERENT right from the get go. If it sounds different going to tape or to hard drive, it'll still sound different after its mixed. You can't undo it. And if I mic vocals with a mic that has a 4 dB boost in the presence region (let's say from 2500-4000 Hz, and mic an acoustic guitar with a mic that is recessed by 4 dB in the same region, and mix them both to the center of the mix, there is no compensation you or I or anybody else can apply to "take away" the frequency response inaccuracies built right into the initial recording. I need a 4 dB boost at 2500 to 4000 Hz to "fix" the guitar, and that will make the vocal mic 8 dB "hot" in that same region. And vice versa.
If I didn't post this before you can hear the effects of different approaches to micing here: http://www.soundsonline.com/Symphonic-Orchestra
. When you pull the page up, there's a short piece that plays over and over. Scroll down a bit and you find a mixer that lets you play, adjust volume of and pan from left to right, only the close mics, only the mics from the conductor's position, or only the hall mics (called surround on the mixer), or any combination. To my ears, the close and hall mics don't sound like they're recordings of the same thing. Yet all the recordings (sampling, for purposes of this instrument) were done simulteneously so that they can be mixed. You can get pretty close to the conductor mics by mixing together just the close and "surround" mics.Edited by JHAz - 3/28/13 at 8:42am