Classical music volume buffer?

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PolskiKrol
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Classical music volume buffer?

Post by PolskiKrol » Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:31 pm

Sometimes classical music recordings have the louds too loud and the softs too soft. Anyone know where I could get a buffer for WMP or WinAMP that would make the louds a bit softer and the softs a bit louder?

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:11 pm

Sometimes music is written to be very soft in places and very loud in other places. Smoothing it all out distorts the piece and the composers intentions, IMHO. So I have no idea at all about an amp designed to warp the music, I'm afraid. Most stereo buffs of my limited acquaintance are more interested in reproducing and amplifying the original recording as clearly and cleanly as possible.

Haydnseek
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Post by Haydnseek » Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:34 pm

I used to have a stereo receiver that allowed one to compress the dynamic range with a button. This feature was designed for listening at low volume when you don't want to disturb the neighbors - late night in an apartment basically. It was good idea. Another situation in which such a feature would be useful is in a car stereo. Classical CD's don't lend themselves to this kind of listening - you miss the soft passages and the sudden loud ones cause you to jump in your seat.
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

Sporkadelic
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Post by Sporkadelic » Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:37 am

The Wikipedia article on dynamic range compression lists some plugins that should do what you need.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_level_compression

Where I really need some compression is in my noisy old Honda. Pioneer offers a trunk-mount CD changer that's compatible with my head unit, and it has compression (but the head unit doesn't!)

Ryan Laubscher
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Post by Ryan Laubscher » Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:21 am

The best bit about Classical music is the broad dynamic range and probably is the only genre left as well as Jazz that has any dynamics. In every other genre its a question who can get the loudest cut and it spoils the texture of the music that we listen too.

So enjoy the soft bits without a compressor or even invest in some high-quality headphones and get the full experience!

Haydnseek
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Post by Haydnseek » Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:24 am

I think PolskiKrol knows exactly what he wants. Some recordings have been engineered with extremes of load and soft. I have listened to CDs which required me to boost the volume so I could hear the very soft passages to a level that unfortunately made very loud passages painful. With headphones I might have damaged my hearing. The ability to compress the dynamic range a bit would have made for a more successful listening experience. That was my experience on my rig, in my listening environment, with my ears - someone else might have heard the same recording without my difficulties.

Recorded sound is manipulated at every stage - by the recording engineer, the designer of the stereo equipment and by the user with his volume, bass and treble controls or a graphic equilizer. Adjusting the dynamic range for a particular recording, or for a particular environment (such as where street noise is a problem) would be just one more use of a tool to help you enjoy music more.
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:36 pm

On the other hand, other amps such as mine has a button to bypass all bass and treble control circuitry so as not to distort the reproduction. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. Never once had to raise the volume in the soft passages to a point where loudness became a problem later. That's more an issue for Pink Floyd recordings. But if PolskiKrol knows exactly what he wants then I guess I don't get the issue anyway.

moldyoldie
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Post by moldyoldie » Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:37 pm

Ever wonder why a piece heard on the radio in your car sounds fine, but the exact same CD played on your car's CD player has inaudible pianissimos? Compression.

Broadcast audio goes through so much processing that the artist and recording engineer probably wouldn't recognize it. Pop artist Phil Collins once stated that he likes the way his recordings sound on radio; it sounds so "big".

I imagine the original poster wants something similar, but not necessarily broadcast quality.

Richard Mullany
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Post by Richard Mullany » Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:42 pm

I think it is safe to say that not all of those involved in producing and engineering a classical recording have real artistic and aesthetic ability.
I think producing a fine clasical disc is only remotely akin to producing a release for the non-classical buyer.
This is not musical snobbery, but using appropriate talent at every level of recording.
Classical releases usually list the names of engineers and producers. I don't buy anything else so I don't know if the same is true of popular music.
You may have bought a recording made by a seat of the pants engineer rather than a musically trained and credentialed artist.

PolskiKrol
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Post by PolskiKrol » Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:17 pm

Thanks, I think thats what I'm looking for.

Yea, I agree too much compression is a bad thing- I didn't want to replace all the volume in my music- just late at night here in my apartment and also when I'm studying to hear familiar tunes without jumping out of my seat or straining to listen.

PolskiKrol
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Post by PolskiKrol » Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:33 pm

Unfortunatly some of the music quality gets lost- it almost sounds like static when at very loud/soft spots. But not that bad.

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