On the face of it, compilation is simply stringing a number of different recorded items together; something many people do for their own listening enjoyment. However, a more professional approach can lead to a more aesthetically pleasing and technically better product, with a higher perceived value. This can help a good compilation to stand out amongst many others.
It helps greatly if the engineer doing the compilation has some affinity with the type of music involved, so that he/she can make sensitive decisions regarding, for instance, excerpt fades and track gaps, and possibly offer some creative input, for instance regarding the most effective running order. This is particularly so with ‘classical’ music, which everyone at The Classical Recording Company is both passionate and knowledgeable about.
Artistic considerations combine with technical issues: how to balance the loudness of different pieces whilst retaining a sense of proportion, how to subtly alter the timbre of recordings so that they sit together more easily, how gap lengths might vary to suit the relative keys or tempi of pieces.
With a veritable mélange of playback machines, we can cope with a wide variety of source formats, including CD, DVD, DAT, cassette, reel-to-reel analogue tape, 33/45/78rpm discs, PCM701/Betamax, and a whole host of computer file formats. And if we can’t play your recording back, we almost certainly know someone who can!
Compilation is done in our acoustically-treated edit suites on the SADiE hard-disc editing platform, allowing quick and easy comparison of different options, in a completely non-destructive way. Super-accurate (audio) monitoring in a controlled and familiar environment allows decisions to be made with confidence. Clients are welcome to attend compilation sessions, perhaps enjoying an espresso in our light, air-conditioned edit suites.
Where required, we can also use our restoration skills to improve the perceived quality of a recording, for example to remove clicks and bumps, or to lessen noise - [RESTORATION]
The Classical Recording Company has a proven track record of compilation, having worked on projects from Beethoven Adagios for Warner Classics, to a CD supplement for a Yale University Press book on the ‘cellist Emanuel Feuermann, to promotional samplers for professional musicians.