Choose Your Reality
The next question, however, is which 'reality' is it that you want to present to the listener? Sure, you want the listener to think it sounds real, but there are really two kinds of reality, and a whole spectrum in-between. One reality is the actual truth: good, bad or ugly. The other end is an enhanced or idealized version of the truth.
Veritas - The Absolute Truth - A Perfect Reproduction
On one end, we have what we might call the Absolute Truth, the Absolute Sound, Sonic Veritas, or a Perfect Reproduction. This is the reality that gets as close to the actual truth as possible. For example for a recording of a live concert, this would include all of the great aspects of the performance, but it would also include performance mistakes, all of the audience noises, all of the air conditioning and traffic noises from outside, etc. There is no 'doctoring' of the sound. No sweetening. No filtering. If a sound was recorded, the listener would hear it exactly as it was recorded. In other words, you really are hearing the 'truth'.
Enhanced - Virtual Reality - An Idealized Reproduction
At the other end of the reality spectrum is what we might call a 'virtual reality'. These are recordings that sound real, but might actually be 'enhanced' to create an idealized version of the recording.
With our goal of making recordings that sound "real", we have to be careful when we contemplate modifying a recording. It is certainly possible to go too far with this, and create a virtual reality that is 'hyper-real' or 'artificial' sounding. So much processing may be done to make it 'better' that it actually becomes obvious that its been doctored. That's certainly the case with most pop music recordings - in fact many of them doctor the sound with the intent of creating an artificial sound. But, as stated so many times before, we want to make recordings that sound absolutely "REAL". So when Lucid works on a 'Enhanced' Recording, you can be sure we only 'enhance' things to create an 'idealized' recording that still sounds as real as possible.
Enhanced/Idealized productions will use a variety of techniques to provide the enhancements that produces the 'virtual real' final recording. For example, if there are multiple takes or performances, these can be 'cut and pasted' to produce an 'idealized' performance. Lucid will often utilize "Audio Detailing" to reduce audience/traffic/air conditioning noises. Lucid may also use conservative amounts of equalization to add air, clarity, and the proper 'weight' to the sound. Very judicious use of compression may be performed to provide for good sound levels without getting too loud. And finally, high quality convolutional artificial reverb may be used to improve the apparent acoustics of the performing venue.
Veritas or Enhanced
Veritas recordings are the easiest, and the least costly. They are a good idea when recording without an audience, and when the artist can perform basically flawlessly, or when the artist doesn't mind a few mistakes (adds character).
Enhanced recordings take more work and cost more. But for most groups, a certain amount of 'enhancement' is needed if you want to make a recording for public consumption.
Lucid offers both of these options, and everything in-between. Often, the decision as to how much 'enhancement' is needed doesn't happen until after the recording takes place. Somewhere in-between is where most Lucid Recordings come from.
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