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  #1  
Old 07-14-2017, 05:25 PM
CaryAudio CaryAudio is offline
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I don't understand audio quality.......AP Re-issues

Can someone explain hoe this record, recorded in 1960, sounds better than anything else I own?

By a pretty big margin, actually..........

Would it not make sense that new recordings would sound better, or at least sound on par.

I think the bean counters have run it for too long or something. This record is just startling in it's realism.

http://uberpilot.zenfolio.com/img/s/...19775416-4.jpg

http://uberpilot.zenfolio.com/img/s/...19775425-4.jpg

http://uberpilot.zenfolio.com/img/s/...19775417-4.jpg

Last edited by CaryAudio; 07-14-2017 at 06:21 PM.
  #2  
Old 07-14-2017, 05:48 PM
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Dave Brubecks Time Out is another one like that. Fantastic sound quality from an LP that was recorded very simply.


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Last edited by DaveInVA; 07-14-2017 at 07:02 PM.
  #3  
Old 07-14-2017, 07:27 PM
CaryAudio CaryAudio is offline
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Yeah, I have that one to. Totally different listening experience than any other format.

These have revived my interest in music. A joy to listen to!
  #4  
Old 07-14-2017, 07:50 PM
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Lance Lawson Lance Lawson is offline
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The Jazz records of the 50's and 60's are as often as not fantastic quality. Simple really. Great players on good instruments playing at reasonable volumes being recorded by great engineers. Also the studios tended to be larger so the players could be spaced better which cut down on mic bleed and gave cleaner sound.
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  #5  
Old 07-14-2017, 08:03 PM
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I just added that to my wantlist on discogs. Looks like Analogue Productions released it on reel-to-reel as well.

Last edited by Pacific Stereo; 07-18-2017 at 09:47 AM. Reason: Please don't quote unless absolutely necessary. Thirteen lines for a one-line reply... no.
  #6  
Old 07-14-2017, 08:22 PM
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Some if the mics they used, and how they were placed (or ceiling hung) really added to a listeners impression of space the artists recorded in. Some of those great sounding mics are still used today, but feel it's somewhat lost due to the number of recording tracks available today vs then. A couple of mics, a couple well integrated tracks, natural reverb... if done right, can be sublime. Just my two cents tho. Thanks for the album pic, gonna look it up.
  #7  
Old 07-14-2017, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawtooth View Post
Some if the mics they used, and how they were placed (or ceiling hung) really added to a listeners impression of space the artists recorded in. Some of those great sounding mics are still used today, but feel it's somewhat lost due to the number of recording tracks available today vs then. A couple of mics, a couple well integrated tracks, natural reverb... if done right, can be sublime. Just my two cents tho. Thanks for the album pic, gonna look it up.
Very true. Most people are not aware of this, but recording an orchestra is actually surprisingly simple. It seems like it would be this massive ordeal, but normally an orchestra would be tracked with three mics (not two) in a position called a "Decca Tree," a technique invented by Decca Records. Using three omnidirectional condenser mics gives an amazing blend of the hall and the orchestra. Bigger orchestral projects can use more mics however.

But that's it. Those old recordings from the 60's were done with fantastic mics (such as Neumann) through analog preamps straight to tape. No compression. It's a very pure signal path. As pure as it gets.

By the way, if anyone here hasn't ever been to a live orchestra -- go. It's unreal. If you want to hear what music sounds like in a way that words can't even describe, go see a live orchestra. It's just mind blowing. Bruce Swedien (the best recording engineer of all time imo, thriller, off the wall, lots of classical and jazz stuff) always told his apprentices to go see a live orchestra. Then and only then, will they understand music and sound. Without that foundation, they'll never reach their full potential in mixing a record. It was that essential in his mind.
  #8  
Old 07-15-2017, 12:43 AM
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Belafonte at Carnegie Hall was released 1959 and the sound of it is really breathtaking.
Recordings like this show me, that technically it was possible to do a brilliant recording even in the 50ies, so every bad sounding record, or CD is only because of the lack of efford, money or knowledge.
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  #9  
Old 07-15-2017, 03:10 AM
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Orchestral recording was perfected a looong time ago by using three mics in "The Decca Triangle". Recording of jazz trios, quartets and big bands was more often than not achieved in large studios with great acoustics, using a small number of mics where they were not placed very close to the instruments. Exceptions might be the main vocalist's mic and possibly a saxophone.

With such arrangements, players who know how to play together as a group, and a skilled recording engineer....you can really capture the feeling of a live performance.

The more modern way of recording small groups where musicians never actually play together simultaneously and where sometimes many individual instruments in an orchestra are miked....actually doesn't help. OK so the method of recording rock bands has enabled more complex music to be laid down. Sgt Pepper, Close To The Edge...countless other great records needed this.

But really...miking every instrument in an orchestra is dumb. The classical/symphony orchestra was specifically designed for the sound to meld together into a whole. Decca got it right 60 years or more ago. For jazz, again often what is missed if every instrument ins miked or electric instruments are recorded by "direct injection" the experience of hearing the band live is lost.

While a recording from the 70s onwards might technically be better in terms of mathematically measurable quantities.....sometimes the methods used end up reducing the overall experience.

To my mind, the techniques needed to record and produce a complex piece of music which is made up of chunks recorded at different times/locations (see "Good Vibrations"...any progressive rock..."Sgt Pepper") is totally different from capturing what is effectively a live performance in the studio (most jazz, orchestral, baroque).

With Jaques Loussier's Play Bach trio, for example, the most difficult thing was miking up Loussier's piano properly and capturing the double bass accurately. There's tons of natural reverb on the drums because they are not close miked, what you hear is the real reverb of the studio they recorded in. And it sounds utterly brilliant, even the material from the late 50s made on quite primitive equipment.
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  #10  
Old 07-15-2017, 05:55 AM
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One more for Dave Brubeck and time out! I have a second run pressing from 1959 and it is beyond belief! Another I have is Artie Shaw in 1968 title is recreates his great 38 band.

I do believe this time period was analogs greatest time. The records of the seventy's were good BUT not that good! The 80's were OK and most new pressings for me are depressing!
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  #11  
Old 07-15-2017, 06:21 AM
john from seattle john from seattle is offline
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Totally agree on Time Out! as well, though I have the 1961 Columbia 6-eye mono pressing, it's still an amazing recording.

Yes, when that LP was recorded, at best studios had either a 2 track stereo machine, or a 3 track machine at best and neither could do multi-tracking, which came with the 4 track machines and that is where things I think in many ways went downhill is that at least most rock/pop LP's anyway were multi-tracked.

I'm sure there are still those that do the Decca Tree type of recording for orchestral and Jazz material even today, but the pursuit of "perfection" has lost a lot of the soul of what we hear in music today.
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  #12  
Old 07-15-2017, 06:32 AM
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Here is a write up on how the Take Five LP was recorded.


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  #13  
Old 07-15-2017, 10:41 AM
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This spectrogragh of TakeFive (CD version) shows that you don't need flat response to 20K for a great-sounding recording. It shows pretty much nothing beyond 15K.
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File Type: jpg 16 Take Five.jpg (145.9 KB, 13 views)
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  #14  
Old 07-15-2017, 10:50 AM
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A lot of those Columbia recordings from the late '50s thru the '60s sound fantastic. Dave Brubeck, Percy Faith, Andre Kostelanetz, the Brothers Four, Tony Bennett, etc, etc..., sound very good. I'd heard one of the reasons for that was that Andre Kostelanetz (sometimes called the Father of Easy Listening) was one of the first people in the recording industry to realize the importance of recording engineers and making good sounding records. That's why so many of those Columbia Records recordings from back then sound so good.
  #15  
Old 07-15-2017, 11:24 AM
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In the old days sometimes 1 2 or 3 mics were used. Groups, musicians and orchestras were well trained, played well, and usually played a track from start to finish, not in pieces that are stitched together in post or heavily edited like today. Mic'ing and recording in general was as much an art as a science,.. engineers held production values higher. There was little bouncing of tracks which I feel contributed to a cleaner sound. Some level of limiting was used but not to aggressively, nor were other tricks. Keeping things simple, properly employing the available fundamental techniques of the day, such as the mentioned Decca Tree, as well as utilizing the best of the recording space kept the recording quality high.

If You listen to many of the early releases from Sun, Atlantic, Decca, EMI Columbia etc. ( think Elvis, Buddy Holly, Ray Charles, John Cash, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, etc), from the 50's and early 60's, the sound quality is usually very good to excellent, standing the test of time, even if the material isn't your bag... Unlike what came later on, after recording technology fully matured, up until today. The better recording technology made performers lazy in many cases, and it wasn't about the music, so much as becoming self indulgent, gaudy, over produced musical garbage that the loudness wars mixed with cut and paste technology has taken most of the magic out of.

I'll take simple and clean any day. Some of the best recordings, and my personal favorites are basic 1 2 or 3 mic mono's from the 50's and 60's, made on machines with 4 tracks or less.. They sound as good to my ears today as the first time I heard them better than most modern recordings and certainly better than logic would make one think they'd have any right to sound...Many folks that are old enough to remember hearing these recordings when new tend to agree ...
  #16  
Old 07-15-2017, 04:32 PM
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Lance Lawson Lance Lawson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johns82 View Post
One more for Dave Brubeck and time out! I have a second run pressing from 1959 and it is beyond belief! Another I have is Artie Shaw in 1968 title is recreates his great 38 band.

I do believe this time period was analogs greatest time. The records of the seventy's were good BUT not that good! The 80's were OK and most new pressings for me are depressing!
There's another reason why Time Out sounds so good. It was recorded at Columbia's 30th street studio C AKA The Church. The Church was exactly that a Church Columbia bought in the late 30's or 40's. It was huge 100 feet long 60 feet wide and had ceilings 90 feet high. I was able to actually step foot inside of it briefly in 1980. I met my brother in town who was doing a recording with a big NJ band at 30th St. Studio. I wanted to go inside and see but they had strict security. He had his horn and a briefcase with the music and he handed me the briefcase and I was now official for the session......we hoped. Inside we went straight into the big room where they were setting up. There were 6 or 7 Columbia techs setting up mics and seats there was a lot of activity. I went and walked a lap around the room. Man in one corner there was a forest of Neumann U47, U67 and U87 mics. Last thing I did was walk to the center of the room and clapped my hand once to hear the acoustics. The room of fairly lively but the echo it returned was clean and maybe slightly warm. It has been said that it was the best sounding recording space ever created. I was inside for about 20 minutes but then we figured I'd used up my luck and I exited. A few years later Columbia sold the premises and now there's condos or stores where the Church once stood.
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File Type: jpg Columbia-30th-St.jpg (82.7 KB, 21 views)
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  #17  
Old 07-15-2017, 06:42 PM
john from seattle john from seattle is offline
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I have read about the Church that Columbia once had and yes, a great story in and of itself.

Another great place was the old movie theater that Stax/Volt had in Memphis where they took out the seats to the theater and set the recording space in the lowest part and the sloping floor made some of the best bass, all nice and phat if you will and thus some of the best sounding Soul music came out of that place in the 60's and Booker T and the MG's, most of them session musicians who worked there did a bunch of their recordings there, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Sam and Dave among some other acts of the day.

I was going to say Aretha recorded at the Stax/Volt studios, but instead, she recorded at the Muscles Shoals studio known as FAME studios with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section during her huge rise to fame in the late 60's.

All of this was of course, was all analog and sounded good. I don't have any Aretha on vinyl, but do have Booker T and the MG's, Wilson Pickett on Atlantic vinyl pressed back in 1967 or so and they all sound good.
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  #18  
Old 07-15-2017, 10:00 PM
Dude111 Dude111 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaryAudio
Can someone explain hoe this record, recorded in 1960, sounds better than anything else I own?

By a pretty big margin, actually..........
Yes analog is gorgeous and a record from 1960 would indeed be straight pure analogue


Im glad your able to enjoy it Cary!!!
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Old 07-15-2017, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveInVA View Post
Nice. The microphone placement diagram in that article demonstrates how much control the musicians would have to have in order for the engineers to get it right, too. As someone who has played in amateur jazz ensembles, I can say all it takes is one blow-hard to ruin the whole show or throw off the groove... which would, of course, translate to the recording
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Old 07-16-2017, 01:31 PM
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As the article says...."I think we overdo close miking".

There are occasions when a specific effect may be desired, and close miking or some other technique. Se the mics placed *inside* the piano for Radiohead's "Codex". But they were not trying to capture how the piano sounded to an observer. They were creating a special effect, much like Phil Collins and Hugh Padgham accidentally discovering the gated drum sound while recording with Peter Gabriel in 1980.

The mania for close miking, effectively "because we can nowadays" is ruining recordings across genres. There's detail there, but the soul of the music is lost. It doesn't sound anything like listening to music.

What I do accept is that complex rock music does need to be stitched together from pieces. "Good Vibrations" could not have been made any other way, nor Sgt Pepper or any number of albums which I love. Even if the music was later reproduced live.

Also the point of a large studio....today most recording studios are small. Motown got over this by introducing electronic reverb. But many wonderful recordings were created by using large spaces...witness The drum break at the beginning of Zeppelins's "When The LEvee Breaks"....Bonham set his drums up at the bottom of a tall staircase/hall with the mic dropped down from the ceiling.
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