[LAD] Digital Effects

Gene Heskett gheskett at wdtv.com
Fri Aug 22 17:36:32 UTC 2014

On Friday 22 August 2014 11:35:34 tom at trellis.ch did opine
And Gene did reply:
> On Fri, August 22, 2014 16:35, Fons Adriaensen wrote:
> > On Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 04:12:12PM +0200, tom at trellis.ch wrote:
> >> is it correct that the following two scenarios give the exact same
> >> result?
> >> 
> >> (digital audio signal) -> (record) -> (playback) -> (apply fx) ->
> >> (result)
> >> 
> >> 
> >> (digital audio signal) -> (apply fx) -> (record) -> (playback) ->
> >> (result)
> > 
> > In both cases the (record),(playback) pair cancels out, so the
> > result should be the same.
> Ok.. consequently if a mixing person says, "i'm recording the bass with
> compression and eq, it just makes a better overall mix compared to
> applying after recording" it can be looked at as rubbish (in the
> digital domain).
> Thanks,
> Tom
And there is nothing that assaults ones ears more than someone who thinks 
he has to have a room thumping bass line, sets it so the axe and drums are 
about +20 db, then runs it all thru a fast compressor, "ducking" the rest 
of the music in time with the bass.

I had the pleasure of mixing for KISS back in the later '70's, when they 
were fairly new, and had stopped into KIVA-TV on a steamy labor day and 
offered to do a few hours of music for Jerry's Kids as they weren't due 
for the next show, someplace in Texas till the next evening.  I purposely 
set the axe and drums to be maybe 3 db above the rest of it.  I taped 
about 5 minutes of it as it went to air and invited Gene to come listen on 
our cheap control room monitor when that set was over, which he did  
intently for about 4 minutes without a comment, but as the tune was 
winding down he said that was the best "amateur" recording he had heard so 

Our compressor at the time was one of the best, a CBS Labs Audimax.  It 
kept us legal, but it took a well trained ear to detect that it was 
actually doing anything.  I was so impressed by its general invisibility 
that every place I went for the next 30 years soon had one of those 
replacing whatever the latest sound wrecker was installed by some gung ho 
previous "engineer". When I took the position at WDTV, I was in the GM's 
office 2 days later pleading for money to go buy a used one, the then 
brand new DBX-165 that had been installed 3 weeks earlier pumped and 
breathed so bad I compared it to the bedroom sounds from the night before.  
The girl that did all the CG work said it reminded her of why they spelled 
sex es ee ex, because no one could spell uh, uh UH, UH ,UGH,UGHHHHaaaw.

Strange, the things an old fart remembers. :)

Today the only other compressor I'd bolt into the audio rack would be an 
Orban.  But weld a cover over the controls so the Program Director can't 
try to "make it louder".  He'll make it louder yes, and get you cited for 
overmod, and cost your station 5 points in the next ratings book because 
ears get tired of that crap quickly & the dial gets turned to something 
less obnoxious, a death sentence in a multi-station market.  BTDT.

Cheers, Gene Heskett
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
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Genes Web page <http://geneslinuxbox.net:6309/gene>
US V Castleman, SCOTUS, Mar 2014 is grounds for Impeaching SCOTUS

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