Philosophy


The Analog Concept

Donar Audio works exclusively with analog technology. Even with the arrival of digital technology, which speeds up and simplify the process of recordin,. we remain faithful to analog process wich is more truth than digital because we can record  sound in a closer way to the original instruments, capturing  its harmonics in a  more natural way. A growing number of musicians are now getting back to analog recording, mainly in the U.S.
Besides using analog technology, we use a set of different panels in our recording, panels that Wout builds himself and which allow to modify some aspects of the sounds and "tune" it according with the characteristics of the instruments and the room. This vintage way of recording was often used in the old days by great musicians. There is no EQ in the recording process, the work is all done by the microphones, the preamp's and the tape, and of course the musician.


Forgotten Knowledge

We`ve all stopped some time in our existence and wondered about the importance of  music  in our lives, how we feel it and how  it becomes part of us.At “Forgotten Knowledge”, we understand music as a very significant aspect of our lives, seeng it as something unique. Why Forgotten Knowledge? Simply because we believe that the art of recording is slowly being lost. The never ending need of louder sounding records suppresses its artistic contents.  We do not want to discuss about analog vs. digital. We just went back to the basics of truly high quality analog recording gear combined with a will to make your music sound as it sounds in your head.
With a huge respect for recording as a unique process with each and every artist, song, sound... makes us believe we can achieve.


The Level-War and the Lost Dynamics

I have been recording music from the age of 16 and have been working as a professional sound/mastering engineer since 1972. The Loudness-War has been with us for as long as I can remember. However, over the last couple of years it has grown completely out of proportion. So far that today's music is really suffering from this hyper-compression and so is the listener.
Over-compression, as we hear on many CD's today, takes the life and excitement out of the music and only gives the listeners a headache. It takes all depth and detail out of the mix and just puts it "in your face".
"...this effect can obscure sonic detail, rob music of its emotional power and leave listeners with what engineers call ear fatigue."(David Bendeth/Rolling Stone).
The sad thing is that this loudness-war not only affects pop- and rock-music, but is starting to affect jazz- and even classical music. True, we need compression, some form of dynamic control is needed.
Pop and rock vinyl albums had an average dynamic range (difference between peak and RMS) of 14 to 16 dB, so did the early CD releases.
Digital dynamic control with preview option offered the possibility to reduce the dynamics further without the disturbing artefacts present in the analogue world. Then somebody invented the digital compressor/limiter as a computer plug-in and made it affordable. This is when the record companies discovered that everything could be louder and decided that "louder is better". So today's music ends up on CD with hardly any dynamic range at all, heavy metal or intimate ballad, all the same! Some recent rock albums I have measured only had a DR2.
Another argument is that radio programmers only listen to the first few bars and decide only on the impact this makes. Just make sure your song is musically interesting and they will listen beyond the first bars.
Radio Ready.
Radio is the great leveler. The argument that your CD will not be as loud on the radio than others just does not hold. All radio-stations use 5-band compressors that will make sure all songs to be broadcasted equally loud; radio is the great leveler. All will depend on the way your song has been recorded and its frequency content. By the very nature of the radio compressor an hyper-compressed song might sound less loud on the radio than a well balanced, open and moderately compressed one. A hyper-compressed track might even start to distort. Tests have shown that different degrees of compression on the same title makes hardly any difference to the loudness on the radio, they all sound equally loud. Hyper-compressed CD's even sound less loud and start to distort after passing through the radio processors. The fact that these days all CD's are converted to some form of data-reduction before being broadcasted makes matters worse than ever before: http://pleasurizemusic.com/en/why-do-dynamic-songs-sound-better-over-compressed-songs-radio
Numerous times I have been hearing this sentence: My song is not as loud on the radio as the others! It is all in-between the ears!!

FOON Mastering Center Belgie. 

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