Experiment 41 - Presented in HDR Audio*.
So this experiment has a story behind it. It comes from an instrumental orchestral work I wrote back in 2003. You can here the original version here. At the time, I was writing a cycle of pieces based on dreams, and this first one tells a story.
It starts off with a boy gazing at the sky and wishing he could fly. So he has an idea to build a flying machine, and he starts going about assembling the parts and constructing it. For his first launch, in dramatic fashion, he launches himself and the awkward machine off a cliff, only to have it stutter in mid-air and come crashing down in the valley below.
Disheartened but not deterred, he sets about to build it again, sturdier, bigger, and lighter this time. After considerable effort and a bit of imagination, he launches the machine off a cliff again. This time though, the strong wings catch a breeze and lift the craft and the boy soaring into the sky, where the piece ends.
For the second piece in the dream series, the hand-built flying machine descends down into the middle of a volcano, where the boy encounters lucid monsters from which he must escape.
The third piece I never wrote, but in my mind there always deserved to be a finale. Perhaps this is where my experiment project comes in. I haven’t decided whether or not to bring the other existing piece into the Will Post catalogue, but perhaps I should.
* HDR Audio. So here’s something I’m trying out, and I’d be interested in your feedback. Especially if you notice a difference.
——- What is HDR Audio? ——-
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. The term is most often used in photography to denote the display of a wider range of dark light and bright light than would appear in a normal photograph. In the case of audio, and specifically this song, it means that there is a greater dynamic range between the loud and soft sounds. Thus, the loud sounds are louder and the soft sounds are softer, resulting in a greater detail in dynamics.
——- How is it made? ——-
Most commercially available recordings these days undergo a process called ‘mastering’ where compression and equalization are used to increase the overall volume of a track. While this is good for radio broadcast and, say, listening in a car, the process intrinsically also reduces the overal dynamic range of a track. This makes the soft stuff louder, and generally creates less detail between volume levels of different instruments or sections.
This track was mastered with the intent to maintain a greater overall range of dynamics. This is accomplished by simply keeping the average volume lower than that of most ‘pop’ recordings, resulting in more of an overall dynamic range, not unlike what you’d expect from a recording of classical music.
——- What do I need to do to hear it right? ——-
Simply turn it up. The overal average volume will be lower than what you’re used to hearing, so turning up your volume a few notches will allow you to more fully experience the intent of the work.