Author Topic: Modern recording technique  (Read 946 times)

walyfd

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Re: Modern recording technique
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2019, 07:04:44 PM »
I've had copies of this album with the Concert Grand on the cover.  Each recording on it is credited to either a Command or Grand Award release which was Enoch Light's subsidiary label.  In any case, it would not be impossible to track the artist based on the album I'd on the back.

Of course, no argument matters as the material was top notch, the recording technology was groundbreaking and the artists were TRUE musicians who played instruments that didn't plug into amplifiers. 

I've listened to some of these Command tapes and you can hear the musicians breathing and turning the pages on their stands. 

To some, the material may be corny or dated but the technology that went into these early records is amazing.  It's not Arthur Lyman, Martin Denney or Less Baxter...  Enoch Light created this whole new technology and orchestration...

electra225

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Re: Modern recording technique
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2019, 10:56:16 PM »
Agreed.  I'm thrilled to have a Concert Grand record.  I'm sure I'll enjoy it as much on the CG as I have on my Symphony.  I'm also glad to have my first Command record.  Perhaps it will not be my last.
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ed from Baltimore

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Re: Modern recording technique
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2019, 05:51:38 AM »
         Hi,everyone. This is a great discussion, and I have to confess that I don''t always look at new "Music" posts as I thought they were all about certain artists and records that I haven't heard of but I have some thoughts to contribute about recording techniques and such.
         At a "fancy" music store  (NOT E. J. Korvettes !!) I wandered into off of Falls Road and Greenspring Valley Road, the kind that had all these unknown (to me) and limited production super-expensive amplifiers and speakers, (but no tube revival stuff yet, this was the early 80s) I bought a couple of "direct-to-disc" records.  These recods were done right from the microphone to the master record cutter amplifier with no tape recorder, no compression, no gain riding, etc. The recording band had to play an entire record sides songs one after the other because once the record cutter was started, it couldn't stop between songs. If the orchestrra made a bad note on the last stanza of the last song, they had to scrap that disc and start all over The groove spacing was always being adjusted so that loud passages didn't have to be clipped or compressed, the spacig just got wider during that passage. The realism was unbelievable

ed from Baltimore

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Re: Modern recording technique
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2019, 06:27:37 AM »
        It is a shame that these direct to disc records started to get popular just before the compact discs came out, so it was sort of like 6EU7s and nuvisters coming out at the end of the tube era--just when it would have caught on, another technology took over. 
           Although the direct-to-disc-ness of it all was the big advertising feature, lots of other quality improvements were done too, because the segment of the music-loving public that went for it would go for the other expenses too. (My record cost $ 20)  The stampers and pressers and whatever were all low number counts. You always got an early pressing, and not just because very few people bought these records, because they limited the number of copies each stamper would press before another stamper was created. (I don't know the real terms, just guessing). The microphones preamps, recording cutter amplifiers and cutters were highest quality, operated by seasoned experts, and minimum designs---no compressors, limiters, mixing boards, etc. I think they even used old equipment restored to perfect condition. There is a huge difference in complexity of equipment with lots of unused features with the switches set to "bypass" and equipment that never had the features to begin with. The entire concept was a slap in the face to the "I don't care how you think it sounds, it has better specs so it must be better" group of engineers with tin ears. Weren't they the same ones who claimed tubes are out transistors in, vinyl is out, digital is in ?  Of course they had to eat their words when they came out with improved digitizing techniques (oversampling and such) and CD players, (one bit converters, separate isolated digital and analog circuit power supplies, low time jitter pulses, etc) but the new CDs and CSD players did rally sound noticably better, especially on real music, orchestra and such
          When playing back these records you could hear the musicians flip pages and shift around in their seats between songs. There were usually only four or five songs per side.   

Bill

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Re: Modern recording technique
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2019, 06:51:27 AM »
I have one such record.  It's Lena Horne live in concert.   "A lady and her music."  Which I actually attended.  My mother wanted to go, so I purchased tickets and took her.  It was performed at the high end theater in Grand Rapids.  It was an incredible show.  Just her, with full orchestra.  It was basically her life, and all the songs she had sung.  They announced at the concert that there would be a record available at a certain music store in Grand Rapids.  Of course the store was the high end store.  They sold the most expensive audio equipment in town.  Including this record.  It was over $30.00.  And, worth every penny.  It is unbelievable. The first time I played it the tone arm skated across the record.  I had to go out and buy longer cables to get my turntable farther away from the speakers.  Everything was there, just like I was still at the concert.  Everyone needs to experience one of these records sometime in their lives.  I did not leave Mom out, I purchased her a regular copy of the record.  And I have that one now as well.

Bill


ed from Baltimore

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Re: Modern recording technique
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2019, 08:33:41 AM »
      In Baltimore, the original hi fi shop I would frequent was called House of Sound in Catonsville. It's where my aunt's psychiatrist friend bought his original stereo in the early 60s---Klipschorns, Marantz tube power amps and stereo pre-amp, Garrard manual turntable and I forgot what tone arm and cartridge. He had records only (lots of them too) all classsical, no tapes, tuners or (horror of horrors) TV set. No reverb unit, no audio filters, never were the tone controls set at anything but flat. A total purist.
           He gave me (I was 8 years old when I met him) a Concert Disc stereo demo record. He had played it a few times so he didn't want it any  more, too worn out. One of the cuts actually had a ping pong game between two guys and you could close your eyes and hear the ball move back and forth between the speakers. The original ping-pong effect !! The record jacket had instructions that helped you determine if you had the stereo and channels set up right. There was also the jet aircraft roaring from the left, swelling in volume as  it roared overhead, then fading to the right. There was one of everything on that stereo demo disc, choir group, 4 piece jazz, organ selection of Bach, string quartet, they at least were "normal" stereo,without the exaggerated left-only right-only effect like the jet plane and ping pong effect.
         At the time we only had my parents original Symphonic mono hifi with VM 1200 series turntable, 4 tube amplifier, 12" and 10 " speakers and 4 " tweeters in small wood cabinet with lift up lid. Later, after my mother got the Magnavox Astrosonic 100, we could hear it as real stereo.

electra225

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Re: Modern recording technique
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2019, 09:33:59 AM »
I assume "Concert Disc" was the label, right?  Did any other label do direct-to-disc recording.  Would any direct-to-disc recordings be available in other than classical music?

I never could understand setting tone controls "flat".  I have listened to too many jukeboxes in truck stops, I guess.  I like a little boom once in awhile.  Listening to Magnavox bi-amps breaks that habit after awhile.
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ed from Baltimore

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Re: Modern recording technique
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2019, 10:16:03 AM »
          I agree. With the speaker, speaker location, room acoustics, and everything else, the only thing in the entire hi-fi system that is anywhere near flat would be the power amp anyway. That's why those controls are provided anyway, to be adjusted to sound right. Also to get noisy and scratchy over the years, ha ha.
          I have heard that the Beach Boys used to have a playback system that duplicated the frequency response of the average car's AM radio and dash speaker. The song had to sound good over that system before they would release it. Some music, such as songs with super deep super pure bass notes, and high tinkly tones like snare brushes and triangles and brass percussion simply doesn't come through at all the 6 by 9 radio speaker period. But reverberation and echo effects did come through, so all those sound effects could be inserted and the fact that they sounded horrible on a decent hifi didn't matter if they sounded good on the living room Muntz TV stereo combo with 50L6s driving 6 inch speakers in a cardboard cabinet.
          I jumped from topic in midstream in my haste to post before this crazy computer logs me out and I lose twenty minutes of thinking and typing.  Concert Disc was the label of the early 60s stereo demo record I had as a child. I can't remember the label of the direct-to-disc records I bought a few of that came out in the early 80s. I think it was Real Time and I know te album title was For Duke, a bunch of classic Duke Ellington songs played by  the aging members of his original band who were still around in the late seventies. They must have been in their late seventies too, for the pace was a little slower than the old 30s 40s era, but the sound quality was a revelation. That album, and the Saturday night public FM radio broadcasts of live unrecorded jazz music became my standard of comparison to check out speaker changes, different amplifiers etc. I guess now, a good quality CD and later than earliest CD player would be a good standard. Playing a favorite record over and over definitely isn't good for too many playings. 

firedome

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Re: Modern recording technique
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2019, 04:12:14 PM »
Ed, that store at Falls & Greenspring was called The Grammophone. I went by it every day commuting from Towson to Westminster at the time.  Bought a pr of small ADS L-10 speakers there around 1980-81. Interestingly it was run by a guy named Brian (last name?) who had started it as a high-end store - it was in NW Baltimore ie: the wealthiest suburbs - after working at House of Sound.  My wife is from Catonsville, and I bought my large ADS L-710 speakers at the House of Sound on Kent Ave. around 1976, after auditioning some Dahlquist DQ-10 speakers that I couldn't afford!  I remember Brian being there at HoS at the time, he had really long hair then. Both were great stores, and there was also a place on Reisterstown Rd. that sold Audio Research and Magneplanar stuff, you talk about pricey. 

I bought most of my LPs at EJKorvette on Perring Pkwy. And I got a lot of heavily discounted stereo equipment, including a complete Dynaco tube system (Mk IIIs and PAS-3), Teac cassette, and Thorens TD-145 at Stereo Discounters in Timonium, and got a Sansui AU-717 at Stansbury Sound in Dundalk.

BTW your Aunt's friend had good taste! That would be a Garrard 301 TT, Marantz 2, 5 or 8b tube amps, and Klipschorns, those were the best you could buy then. I had all of those 20+ yrs ago when they could be had cheap, but no way could I touch any of them today!
Happy Motoring! from Roger in NY