[LAU] OT: Dynamic range compression on classical recordings
Jonathan.Gazeley at bristol.ac.uk
Wed Oct 8 20:15:44 UTC 2014
This isn't strictly Linux-related but I hope someone here will have some
I regularly make classical and choral recordings in my local church. I
use a pair of omnidirectional small condenser microphones in an A-B
layout and after much trial and error, I am very happy with the sound.
However, I'm struggling a bit with dynamics processing on the recording.
Naturally, choral music has an extremely wide dynamic range. If you
normalise the infrequent loud parts to 0dB, the rest of the recording is
too quiet, and people have complained that the CDs are "too quiet"
compared to their other CDs. I know that people listen to these
recordings on their iPod or in the car and if the quiet parts are too
quiet, then they simply can't hear them.
We all know about the loudness war and I certainly don't want to
compress the crap out of these delicate and beautiful recordings. But I
think some subtle compression would help bring up the average amplitude
without clipping the loud parts. I've experimented a bit but I'm
struggling to get a "natural" sound. After compression, it sounds fine
in the quiet parts but in the louder parts it sounds "lumpy" and the
reverb sounds unnatural.
Does anyone here work with classical and choral recordings? I could use
some advice on how to add compression with a light touch to make these
recordings more practical for playback, without spoiling the natural
More information about the Linux-audio-user