[Dixielandjazz] In mobile age, sound quality steps back-- NYTiems 5-9-10

Norman Vickers nvickers1 at cox.net
Mon May 10 15:38:31 PDT 2010

To:  Musicians and Jazzfans; DJML


Our listmate Jim Kashishian in Madrid comments.  AS most of you know, he's
both musician and sound engineer.  So, here are his authoritative comments
on the NYTimes article published 5-9-10


Thanks, Jim.  Keep those e-mails coming!




From: Jim Kashishian [mailto:jim at kashprod.com] 
Sent: Monday, May 10, 2010 11:56 AM
To: 'Norman Vickers'
Subject: RE: In mobile age, sound quality steps back-- NYTimes 5-9-10



 > Randy Merrill, an engineer at MasterDisk, a New York City company that
creates master recordings, said that to achieve an overall louder sound,
engineers raise the softer volumes toward peak levels.  

I have had to do that particularly on classical recordings that had to be
placed on a mixed-styles music cd for elementary school children's musical
appreciation schoolbooks (with CD).  That required pop tunes, jazz, rock,
classical, folk...all on one cd.  Naturally, on some of the classical music
the low parts are really low.  When I left the dynamics alone, the cd's were
rejected by the publishing company as the cd's were to be played in the
classroom on poor equipment.  


The only solution was to raise the quiet parts considerably, thereby
destroying some of the original dynamics.  Nevertheless, the reasoning made
sense.  I still maintained a difference between loud and soft, though,
trying to maintain the idea of the original differences of levels.  I
certainly never got close to peak levels on the soft bits!


I have run into the same problem when mixing sound to film.  Got to keep the
level up there!  Too low gets lost.


 > "Abnormality can become a feature."  

Finding the sound coming out of those tiny "earplugs" as normal, and
recording & mastering to that level, is akin to making tv programs for 12 yr
olds 'cause that's supposedly (or was?) the mentality of the majority
watching.  The best quality available (within budget) should always be the


Jim Kashishian


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