draußen, drinnen, elektrisch

I. Landläufig werden die Wörter „Hall“ und „Echo“ gerne unterschiedslos verwendet, dabei  ist das das Echo ein Naturphänomen und meint die Wiederholung(en) eines Klangs („Wer ist der Bürgermeister von Wesel  -esel…esel“), der natürliche (Nach)Hall hingegen besteht aus Reflexionen in geschlossen „Räumlichkeiten“ (vom Auto bis zur Kathedrale).

II. Strom, Schallaufnahmen, Rundfunk – eine Collage*

>>…In the beginning of electric recording around the mid-twenties, recorded reverb was essentially the audible byproduct of a physical distance between a sound source and a microphone. Record companies sought out appropriate rooms for a desired effect. Right from the outset of early recording, those early pioneers were already working with mic placement and rooms for a desired effect<< (1)

>>But recorded music’s rise in popularity brought with it the question of how to recreate the sound of physical space.<< (3)

>>1928 schrieb die Times, dass aufgrund der neuen Forschungen die Konzepte von Sende- und Empfangsräumen neu überdacht werden müssten. Wegen der typischerweise kleinen Wohnungen der Rundfunkhörer könne da kein Hall erzeugt werden.<< (4)

>>One of the first documented uses of natural reverb to intentionally enhance a recording was by engineer Robert Fine, who introduced ambient mics on some of the early “Living Presence” recordings on Mercury Records.<< (2)

>>Countless methods emerged, some ingenious. That ghostly sound of Robert Johnson’s recordings? He sang and played guitar while sitting in a chair facing a corner of the room (the technique is called „corner loading„)<< (3)

>>Bill Putnam converted his studio’s bathroom to create one of the first purpose-built echo chambers, placing a speaker in one corner and a microphone in another, and mixing the sound with a live recording.<< (2)

>>Guitarist Duane Eddy used a 2,000-gallon water tank from a scrap yard, placing a speaker on end of the tank and a microphone on the other. Capitol Records built its concrete echo chambers 30 feet beneath its studio.<< (3)

>>None of those solutions are particularly portable, which in itself presents a problem that various contraptions sought to correct. There was the widely used EMT Reverb Plate [dt. Hallplatte] for instance, and much less-used oil can delays. Tape delay devices such as the Echoplex and the Roland Space Echo derived from the „slapback“ echo technique made famous by Sam Phillips at his Sun Studio. Essentially a tape machine with two playback heads, one that repeats milliseconds after the first, it defined the sound 1950s rock and roll. Along with Chet Atkins, it was Elvis’s guitarist, Scotty Moore who brought artificial reverb out of the studio and onto the stage<< (3)

>>Another technology that emerged during the ’50s was spring reverb (dt. Federhall).<< (2)


>>The advent of digital technology in the late ’70s and early ’80s changed the face of most things audio-related, including reverb. Digital reverbs made it possible to create “programs” that emulated the natural ambience of any space<< (2)

>>with artificial reverb, studio engineers could bend reverb to their will. Often they did so to mimic the sounds of great concert halls and cathedrals, but for some, artificial reverb allowed them to become the virtual architects of spaces that could never exist in the real world. They could create the aural equivalent of M.C. Escher drawings.<< (3)

III. Heute
>>Heute passt das Äquivalent eines Studios der vergangenen Jahrzehnte in einen einzigen Laptop hinein. So bemerkenswert praktisch das auch ist, es inspiriert das eigene Schaffen sich daran zu erinnern, dass die aktuellen Audioprogramme und Plattformen nur einen Teilschritt einer Entwicklung darstellen, die fast 100 Jahre zurückreicht.<< (5)

*
(0) = https://www.uaudio.de/blog/emt-reverb-history/
(1) = https://www.uaudio.de/blog/the-basics-of-reverb/
(3) = https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/06/how-humans-conquered-echo/258557/
(4) = https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nachhall
(5)= https://www.ableton.com/de/blog/studio-as-an-instrument-part-3/

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