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#2181686 - 11/13/13 03:17 PM Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2
BruceD Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17825
Loc: Victoria, BC
Recorded 13 November, 2013;
Estonia 190, Zoom H4, "Normalized" on Audacity.

Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2181732 - 11/13/13 04:02 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: BruceD]
Damon Offline
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Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6063
Loc: St. Louis area
Great work, Bruce! I wouldn't mind hearing the pre-normalized version, though. This sounds a little bass-heavy to me.
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2181799 - 11/13/13 04:58 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: BruceD]
Vid Online   content
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Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 794
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Thanks Bruce, I enjoyed it! I too wonder what the pre-normalized version sounds like.

Nothing beats hearing it live on your Estonia however.
_________________________
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#2181863 - 11/13/13 06:15 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: BruceD]
Louis Podesta Online   content
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Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 670
1) I have played this piece since 1975.

2) The reason everyone teaches this piece is to convey the concept of tempo rubato.

3) As previously stated, the premier theoretician Robert Ottman spent have of his Harmonic Analysis course using this piece.

Why?: Because, among other things, the composer inverts melodies and also switches them to the left hand. That is why when you listen to the Glenn Gould recording, you hear these various compositional elements.

So, why, in God's green earth would you pick this piece to "Normalize?"

It sounds mechanical, dull, and very few, if any of the compositional nuances of this great piece can be heard.

One mo time. And, listen to it sing! And, once again (I DO NOT PLAY IT THIS WAY!!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JwKDzPlYQs

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#2181894 - 11/13/13 07:03 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: BruceD]
Vid Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 794
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Mr. Podesta - I realize the is an obsession for you but please you have to stop.

1) "normalize" is what Bruce applied to the recording software and has nothing to do with his performance.

2) You show complete disrespect to the OP and frankly to the rest of the members when you post another recording on a personal recording thread implying that one should "play it this way".

Again, please stop doing this.
_________________________
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#2181912 - 11/13/13 07:55 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: Louis Podesta]
BruceD Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17825
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
[...]So, why, in God's green earth would you pick this piece to "Normalize?"


For the uninformed, in Audacity, "normalize"

Use the Normalize effect to set the maximum amplitude of a track, equalize the amplitudes of the left and right channels of a stereo track and optionally remove any DC Offset from the track.

You may not like my performance, that's your taste, but your rant about "normalize" is totally out of place because you don't know what the term means in the context in which it was used. It's simply a function that optimizes the volume in each channel and balances the two channels in a recording. Without using the effect, volume levels on many host sites are often too low to be sufficiently heard.
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2181930 - 11/13/13 09:09 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: Louis Podesta]
stores Offline
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Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta


2) The reason everyone teaches this piece is to convey the concept of tempo rubato.




Is that right? Everyone? I'm sorry, but you have no clue.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#2181933 - 11/13/13 09:20 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: BruceD]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Nice job, Bruce. It sounds as if you put a lot of work into this. I would like to hear you take a little time (stretch things) in different spots. I'm not talking about rubato, but stretching the line. Think and breathe as a singer would. I think this has the potential to be very, very good. I wish I could work with you on it.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#2181934 - 11/13/13 09:23 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: BruceD]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4752
Loc: USA
Good job.

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#2181990 - 11/13/13 10:55 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: BruceD]
Cinnamonbear Offline
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Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3841
Loc: Rockford, IL
Very nicely done, Bruce. Authentic and convincing. I listened twice, in fact, and enjoyed it both times! grin Thank you for sharing. This is one of my favorite Brahms pieces to listen to! smile

--Andy
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#2182007 - 11/13/13 11:17 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: BruceD]
AnneJ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/10
Posts: 48
Loc: Toronto, ON
Very nice Bruce. Thanks for sharing; I enjoyed listening to you.

Anne

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#2182127 - 11/14/13 07:00 AM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: BruceD]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 777
Loc: Michigan, USA
Great job, Bruce. What is it that draws so many of us to this piece? I was inspired by Pogo's recording of it some time ago, and have been working on it for months with only minor success. The middle section is most problematic: How to maintain that purity of tone in the right hand while keeping those left hand triplets subdued. You did it beautifully. Thanks for sharing.

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#2182199 - 11/14/13 09:34 AM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: BruceD]
Tim Adrianson Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 1020
Hi, BruceD -- first time I've heard you play! IMO, a beautiful presentation -- I thought you did an especially nice job of shaping the singing line, and providing exquisite voicing of the considerable harmonic subtleties throughout. You projected a very natural, unmannered sadness as the "song" unfolded, and there were no inconsistencies in the flow. Actually, I do recommend listening to the Gould recording that Louis Podesta provided, just to get a taste of possible alternative voicings and movement, particularly in the left hand. Both Gould and Horowitz were especially good at projecting shapes and lines typically left unexplored; and, while I prefer your interpretation of this piece to Gould's, I find his conception quite refreshing to listen to, not willfully eccentric.

Thanks for sharing this!

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#2182360 - 11/14/13 03:22 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: BruceD]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5279
Loc: Philadelphia
I finally got a chance to listen to this. Thank you for sharing, Bruce. It was very nice to listen to, and like Tim said, I have the same preference. smile


The only comment I have actually has nothing to do with your playing. Something in the recording makes it sound just a little muffled (very minor). I think, as a result, some of the tones die a little too quickly, but clearly that's not how you played it. Unfortunately, I'm not enough of a sound expert to offer a guess as to what may have caused that. The noise removal feature, maybe?
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2182376 - 11/14/13 04:02 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: BruceD]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2402
Bruce thank you for sharing. Very well played. You have really put some considerable effort into this piece.

As for the normalize thing, it is no secret that I strictly object it being used on classical music. Never in fact.
Especially this piece is built on contrasting dynamic levels and fine nuances. With normalize almost all of this is lost.
So please if possible post a not normalized natural recording.
It is the industry standard for single track classical music recording.

On a last note, your playing would sound better if the piano was tuned.

I enjoyed listening to your performance and had it not been normalized I would have been able to give more feedback.
_________________________
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#2182401 - 11/14/13 05:15 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: Hakki]
Cinnamonbear Offline
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Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3841
Loc: Rockford, IL
Hakki--

I am curious. Are you perhaps confusing "normalization" with "compression"? It is my understanding that compression can kill dynamics when used improperly, while normalization does not.

--Andy
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#2182437 - 11/14/13 06:27 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: BruceD]
Louis Podesta Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 670
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
[...]So, why, in God's green earth would you pick this piece to "Normalize?"


For the uninformed, in Audacity, "normalize"

Use the Normalize effect to set the maximum amplitude of a track, equalize the amplitudes of the left and right channels of a stereo track and optionally remove any DC Offset from the track.

You may not like my performance, that's your taste, but your rant about "normalize" is totally out of place because you don't know what the term means in the context in which it was used. It's simply a function that optimizes the volume in each channel and balances the two channels in a recording. Without using the effect, volume levels on many host sites are often too low to be sufficiently heard.


1) I was giving you the benefit of the doubt because other posts requested an un-normalized version.

2) There are dozens of Carl Friedberg, Adelina de Lara and Etelka Freund recordings which illustrate the essence of the elasticity and the voicing of Brahms piano music. And, all of these people were personally coached by Brahms! For them, it was not a matter of "taste."

3) Hey, Pogo, no guts no glory.

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#2182441 - 11/14/13 06:47 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: stores]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6063
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: stores
Nice job, Bruce. It sounds as if you put a lot of work into this. I would like to hear you take a little time (stretch things) in different spots. I'm not talking about rubato, but stretching the line. Think and breathe as a singer would. I think this has the potential to be very, very good. I wish I could work with you on it.


There's always Skype.
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2182451 - 11/14/13 07:11 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: Louis Podesta]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
[...]So, why, in God's green earth would you pick this piece to "Normalize?"


For the uninformed, in Audacity, "normalize"

Use the Normalize effect to set the maximum amplitude of a track, equalize the amplitudes of the left and right channels of a stereo track and optionally remove any DC Offset from the track.

You may not like my performance, that's your taste, but your rant about "normalize" is totally out of place because you don't know what the term means in the context in which it was used. It's simply a function that optimizes the volume in each channel and balances the two channels in a recording. Without using the effect, volume levels on many host sites are often too low to be sufficiently heard.


1) I was giving you the benefit of the doubt because other posts requested an un-normalized version.

2) There are dozens of Carl Friedberg, Adelina de Lara and Etelka Freund recordings which illustrate the essence of the elasticity and the voicing of Brahms piano music. And, all of these people were personally coached by Brahms! For them, it was not a matter of "taste."

3) Hey, Pogo, no guts no glory.


Dear Lord, are you still talking about this "pupils of Brahms" poppycock? Give it a rest, for everyone's sake! Music is free to be interpreted as one wishes - nobody cares for your rhetoric anymore.



I enjoyed your perfomance, Bruce. Thanks for sharing.
_________________________
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

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#2182460 - 11/14/13 07:27 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Louis Podesta Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 670
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron


Music is free to be interpreted as one wishes - nobody cares for your rhetoric anymore.


Do you even read what you are writing? Your philosophy, as is mine, was that of the 19th century, i.e. Brahms, Chopin, and Schumann.

That is why, unlike today's interpretation, they translated the composed piece along with the performance work.

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#2182616 - 11/15/13 02:35 AM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: BruceD]
carey Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6198
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
A well thought out and very musical interpretation of this beautiful work. You do so many things extremely well here. I did miss hearing several notes in the LH (could be the recording or whatever). Also - the polyrhythms in measures 49-56 and 65-72 could still use a little more work. I'm sure you are aware of this, however. smile

Thanks for sharing !!
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#2182618 - 11/15/13 02:37 AM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: Cinnamonbear]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2402
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Hakki--

I am curious. Are you perhaps confusing "normalization" with "compression"? It is my understanding that compression can kill dynamics when used improperly, while normalization does not.

--Andy


No I mean normalizing.
The stereo image is formed by the pressure differences of the xy mics of the Zoom H4. It is crucial to preserve the balance between channels.
Since Zoom is a quality device no DC offset is expected. Bruce should simply use an amplify effect to increase the levels of both channels exactly the same preserving the balance.
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

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#2182684 - 11/15/13 07:56 AM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: Hakki]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11410
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Hakki
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Hakki--

I am curious. Are you perhaps confusing "normalization" with "compression"? It is my understanding that compression can kill dynamics when used improperly, while normalization does not.

--Andy


No I mean normalizing.
The stereo image is formed by the pressure differences of the xy mics of the Zoom H4. It is crucial to preserve the balance between channels.
Since Zoom is a quality device no DC offset is expected. Bruce should simply use an amplify effect to increase the levels of both channels exactly the same preserving the balance.


I agree that normalizing isn't necessary or desirable in classical recording. In fact, there should be very little needed when using the Zoom if you have the placement where you want it. I have found putting the unit on a mic stand and placing it above my head gets the best sound, but experiment with having it in different areas to see what sounds best for your instrument and room.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2182830 - 11/15/13 01:22 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: BruceD]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17825
Loc: Victoria, BC
These are all interesting observations about "normalizing" or not "normalizing."

Funny how we - should I just say "I"? - sometimes get into a rut that works without experimenting to see if stepping out of the rut works better. I had always been told that, when using the Audacity program, one should normalize the recording primarily for satisfactory playback volume, particularly for transfer to CD. Accepting that as the norm, I've not experimented with doing anything else.

I'll listen to the "non-normalized" version and, apart from drop in volume level, if I hear any marked difference in sound quality I may post that version.

Thanks for all your input.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2183001 - 11/15/13 06:11 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: BruceD]
Louis Podesta Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 670
Here is another recording of someone who was not coached by Brahms. I just heard this for the first time, and it very similar to the way I play this piece, arpeggiation and all.

Please listen to the "Bel Canto Aria" approach this pianist takes to the work. That means, it sings and it has the elasticity of movement the OP's recording does not.

It is called Brahms!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u9P2WO9Ok0

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#2183044 - 11/15/13 07:32 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: Louis Podesta]
Vid Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 794
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
Here is another recording of someone who was not coached by Brahms. I just heard this for the first time, and it very similar to the way I play this piece, arpeggiation and all.

Please listen to the "Bel Canto Aria" approach this pianist takes to the work. That means, it sings and it has the elasticity of movement the OP's recording does not.

It is called Brahms!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u9P2WO9Ok0


_________________________
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#2183294 - 11/16/13 10:21 AM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: Louis Podesta]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 777
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
Here is another recording of someone who was not coached by Brahms. I just heard this for the first time, and it very similar to the way I play this piece, arpeggiation and all.

So why must we put up with a cheap imitation of your playing from Gieseking? Post!

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#2183438 - 11/16/13 03:09 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: Old Man]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6063
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
Here is another recording of someone who was not coached by Brahms. I just heard this for the first time, and it very similar to the way I play this piece, arpeggiation and all.

So why must we put up with a cheap imitation of your playing from Gieseking? Post!


laugh
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2183440 - 11/16/13 03:11 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: BruceD]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6063
Loc: St. Louis area
Again, great work Bruce!
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2183540 - 11/16/13 07:08 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: Old Man]
Louis Podesta Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 670
Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
Here is another recording of someone who was not coached by Brahms. I just heard this for the first time, and it very similar to the way I play this piece, arpeggiation and all.

So why must we put up with a cheap imitation of your playing from Gieseking? Post!


Another recording, which has no arpeggiation whatsoever, however he is asynchronizing his bass line, just like Philippe Entremont has done for 50 years, but I digress.

Please listen and learn, if you want to know what Brahms is supposed to sound like, in terms of the aforementioned elasticity, in regards tempo rubato.

Part of the genius of this composer is that he fit the philosophy of Romanticism into a strictly Classical Period format.

Billy Idol's guitar player, who is a graduate of the "La Guardia School For The Performing Arts," did the same thing. Go figure.

And, remember: no arpeggiation!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxYlyZ3j3Ok

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#2183990 - 11/17/13 03:44 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: BruceD]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5210
Loc: Europe
Bruce,

Just ignore Louis. There's absolutely no reason why to even consider him worthy of replying to! frown

As far as normalizing goes: It was always my thinking that what normalizing does is to spot the loudest spot, get it to 0 db and the rest relatively louder... Which is not destroying anything. If anything it's like tempering the gain, until you reach the same result, but just easier.

Recently people have been advising me that if a work is to go to a professional mastering level, then I should leave the normalizing bit to them (who might do it in a different way).

If you consider that a 9 minute classical work may, after all, not have a 0db point (loudest part), then it seems very sane to NOT normalize anything. This lovely intermezzo by Brahms has very few loud points, none of which is one that would "qualify" exactly for reaching that 0db point. In which case it seems to me that you did turn some low volumes into a bit louder than it should be.

But that's all irrelevant really, especially for a home recording...

I won't go into any details about your performance, unless you want me to. Are you looking for feedback of your performance, or just sharing?

In any case I will admit that I enjoyed your performance and had it playing twice (and now on the third time listening in a row).
_________________________
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#2184082 - 11/17/13 06:06 PM Re: Brahms: Intermezzo, Op 118, No 2 [Re: Nikolas]
Louis Podesta Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 670
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Bruce,

Just ignore Louis. There's absolutely no reason why to even consider him worthy of replying to! frown

As far as normalizing goes: It was always my thinking that what normalizing does is to spot the loudest spot, get it to 0 db and the rest relatively louder... Which is not destroying anything. If anything it's like tempering the gain, until you reach the same result, but just easier.

Recently people have been advising me that if a work is to go to a professional mastering level, then I should leave the normalizing bit to them (who might do it in a different way).

If you consider that a 9 minute classical work may, after all, not have a 0db point (loudest part), then it seems very sane to NOT normalize anything. This lovely intermezzo by Brahms has very few loud points, none of which is one that would "qualify" exactly for reaching that 0db point. In which case it seems to me that you did turn some low volumes into a bit louder than it should be.

But that's all irrelevant really, especially for a home recording...

I won't go into any details about your performance, unless you want me to. Are you looking for feedback of your performance, or just sharing?

In any case I will admit that I enjoyed your performance and had it playing twice (and now on the third time listening in a row).


One can say whatever they want to, however, Bernard Sherman, Charles Rosen, Carl Friedberg, Etelka Freund, and Adelina de Lara all thought it very important to write, play, and record in the style Brahms or as one of their students taught them.

That is the same message I have been trying to get across on the rest of the classical music composers. Accordingly, hey Mark C., I will leave you with a link to a news article that I am currently trying to post as a visual copy.

It regards the applied musicologist/pianist Robert D. Levin's research into the only composer/student written copy of Mozart's style of playing, which comes from the composer's own hand. If you think I am shaking it up in regards the composer's of the 19th century, you ain't seen nothing yet.


http://www.theguardian.com/music/2011/sep/30/embellished-mozart-manuscript-uncovered

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