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Old 16th May 2004, 04:30 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally posted by Christer

I think this difference in opinions between us is very interesting,
since it may, perhaps, indicate what I have suggested several
times before, namely that ones preference in music may also
affect ones preference in sound. Do I as a classical listener
like the same speakers and amps that you, as a non-classcal
listener, like? I am not so sure about that, which is why I
insist that is interesting to say something about the test
music when relaying listening impressions of equipment.
I never noticed we ever exchanged opinions regarding amps or speakers. This disc was also never used by me to evaluate equipment. I still believe that no matter what your listening choice is, you know when the equipment sounds right or not.

So far I found ony few classical recordings, that allow me to listen to them repeatedly, over again. Well, it happened that Naxos CD was one of them. Saying "impressive" doesn't really have to mean that it is quality recording. It may also mean that it is interesting recording, and for me, without any classical experience, it's still is. I wasn't at classical concert in 20 years and frankly, I don't feel a need for that.

But recently, I somehow started noticing that this type of music takes some share of my regular listening material and I will try some of your suggestions as well.

However, I find comments like this a bit snobish:

Quote:
Originally posted by Christer

I thought it might be worth finding out what you consider audiophile sound. Well, let's say I am happy not to consider myself an audiophile.
I can't say I consider myself an audiophile either. I used this word from lack of other description, but I also find your comment a bit discriminating. Does that mean that the recording has to be made in a certain, specific way to be enjoyable? I don't think so. While you might not like it, some others may still find a similar reaction that I have experienced.

It seems that whole high end is dominated by that type of attitude. Only certain approaches are considered to be valid and everything else is just not serious enough.

Here are my other pics of what I find enjoyable classical material:
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakow: Scheherezade; Giacchino Rossini: Sonate per Archi; Paganini For Two: Gil Shaham Und Goran Sollscher. I hope you'll be easier on me this time
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Old 16th May 2004, 04:30 PM   #72
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Default Re: Christer

Quote:
Originally posted by Nickolas K.
In the list you posted in the thread "Great Vocalist" please allow me to add:

Apollo Granforte, Karl Erb, Heinrich Schlusnus, Irene Minghini Cattaneo, Erna Berger, Maria Reining, Leonie Rysanek, Ferdinand Frantz, Josef Metternich, Rudolf Schock, Benno Kusche, Johanna Blatter, Lisa Otto, Sieglinde Wagner, Birgit Nilsson, Josef Greindl, Annelies Kupper, Wolfgang Windgassen, Ernst Haeflinger, Fritz Wunderlich, Beniamini Gigli, Maria Caniglia,.............. this list could be very vast.
Yes, I know of most, bot not all, of those singers and agree.
As I said, my list was sadly short and incomplete.

Quote:

Reiner's performance of Also sprach Zarathustra is one of the finest and the specific recording is the finest indeed.
But my favourite performance is that of Dimitri Mitropoulos with the Concertgebouw in 1958 in Salzburg (Originalaufnahme des Oesterreichischen Rundfunks - Grosses Festspielhaus 10. August 1958 - Herausgegeben von den Salzburger Festspielen).
If you are well aquainted with the work, I think it's worth buying the CD, Orfeo C 458 971 B, and you will be rewarded with one of the finest ever performances of Brahms' Symphonie Nr. 3 as well.
Yes, I have heard also the later recording by Reiner, but it is
so long ago that I cannot remember more than that it was
very very good, so I couldn't say which one is better. I'll
make a mental note about the Mitropolous recording and hope
I'll remember it the next time I go to Stockholm or order CDs.

While my list of recommendations was for sound quality only,
all the recordings are IMHO also very good to excellent from
a musical point of view, but there taste differes even more
than for sound, I guess. The music is always the most important
for me, but I don't mind good sound quality too, if I can have
both.


Quote:

My favourite Symphonie Fantastique is that of Igor Markevitch and my favourite cellist is Gregor Piatigorsky but unfortunately he is not available in NAXOS.

Actually, I don't find that symphony very good, but it has some
sonic spectaculars which are interesting for testing sound and
to impress non-classical listeners. However, Munch makes
an unusually good verision of it, I think. He was french after
all. I haven't heard Markevitch's version, though. unless he is
exceptional, I don't think that symphony is worth another
version for me. The RCA was one of the rare exceptions where
I bought a CD primarily for the expected sound quality rather
than the expected musical quality, but I got both.
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Old 16th May 2004, 04:58 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally posted by Peter Daniel


I never noticed we ever exchanged opinions regarding amps or speakers. This disc was also never used by me to evaluate equipment. I still believe that no matter what your listening choice is, you know when the equipment sounds right or not.
I didn't mean that we two in particular had exchanged such
opinions on equipment. Contrary to what you seem to think,
however, I do think that what type of music one listens to makes a
difference to what type of sound from equipment one prefers.
That is why I wish people would make some short note about
what type of music they used for evaluation.


Quote:

So far I found ony few classical recordings, that allow me to listen to them repeatedly, over again. Well, it happened that Naxos CD was one of them. Saying "impressive" doesn't really have to mean that it is quality recording. It may also mean that it is interesting recording, and for me, without any classical experience, it's still is. I wasn't at classical concert in 20 years and frankly, I don't feel a need for that.

But recently, I somehow started noticing that this type of music takes some share of my regular listening material and I will try some of your suggestions as well.
Be warned, there is no refund on my recommendations either.
You may have a different sound preference.

Maybe I have misunderstodd this thread. I thought it was about
techically excellent recordings? Of course, there is a difference
between what is good technical quality and what is enjoyable.
The musical quality is always the most important for me. OTOH,
it happens that all the CDs I recommended for sound quality are,
IMHO, also very good musically. However, musical taste most
probably varies more than sound preferences.

Quote:

However, I find comments like this a bit snobish:
...
Please, Peter, it was only a joke. I am sorry if I hurt somebodys
feelings or sounded snobbish. I didn't mean to do either.

Quote:

I can't say I consider myself an audiophile either. I used this word from lack of other description, but I also find your comment a bit discriminating. Does that mean that the recording has to be made in a certain, specific way to be enjoyable? I don't think so. While you might not like it, some others may still find a similar reaction that I have experienced.

It seems that whole high end is dominated by that type of attitude. Only certain approaches are considered to be valid and everything else is just not serious enough.
<joke>
Not admitting it is the first symptom of audiophilia, but wait,
then I might suffer from it too?
(Do your pills come in gold-plated stereo pairs too?)

</joke>

Of course, my suggestions were only according to my opinion
and other people may perhaps prefer a different type of sound
even when confronted with the recordings I suggested. Some
people are allergic to the tiniest bit of noise. I know, I was like
that long ago. When I started listening to classical music some
20 - 25 years ago, I fell for the advertisement and magazine
reviews and believed that DG recordings were the ones that
sounded best and that Karajan was the greates living conductor.
Those (in my opinion) misconceptions delayed my advances
into enjoying classical music by many years. I now regularly
listen to recordings done in the 78 rpm era and often have
no problem at all with the technical imperfections of those
recordings, but there are many exceptions. I often find a
recording from 1930 to sound more enjoyable than most
modern recordings, since despite all the limitations, I think
they often sound more natural. I did exclude that type of
recordings from my list, though, since I think there is a
difference between technically good and enjoyable.

Quote:

Here are my other pics of what I find enjoyable classical material:
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakow: Scheherezade; Giacchino Rossini: Sonate per Archi; Paganini For Two: Gil Shaham Und Goran Sollscher. I hope you'll be easier on me this time
Don't worry, I haven't heard any of those recordings and I have
bought far to many CDs recently to buy any more. I have quite
a backlog of newly bought, hardly-listened-to-yet CDs, including
a few extra Naxos I just happened to buy when shopping for
the one you suggested. I mean, I couldn't let a Carmen with
André Cluytens from 1950 remain in the shop, could I?


Edit: Of course, the only rule for music and sound is: If you
like it, then it is good for you, whatever others think.
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Old 17th May 2004, 05:38 AM   #74
Jay is offline Jay  Indonesia
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I don't like most of audiophile albums. To me, most of them are good only in recording. The music is probably good, but the vocal quality and the song itself is not that good (may be because I'm not fond of jazz in general).

These are my favourites (you may probably have never heard of them but they are popular in Asia)...
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Old 31st May 2004, 12:59 PM   #75
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Jay,

I have same copy of the left one. I do use it to compare equipments too. It is good for soundstage, focus, image placements, vocals but does not have enough messy loud passages for complicated signals evaluation..also nice and relaxing lsitening

Chris
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Old 31st May 2004, 03:25 PM   #76
tcpip is offline tcpip  India
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Default Who's Bob Ludwig?

I find his name in a lot of well-produced albums as the mastering or re-mastering chap. I think all my Dire Straits albums have his name, and they are some of the best-sounding, most smooth-sounding (I think people call it "analog sounding") CDs of rock that I've heard. I think he also did the recent Abkco SACD releases of the Stones albums. Is his involvement a sign that one should pick up an unfamiliar album to try out?
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Old 31st May 2004, 03:36 PM   #77
tcpip is offline tcpip  India
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Default Re: Audiophile recordings

Quote:
Originally posted by Thunau
Here is my 5c. I used to run a “real” recording studio and have a good understanding of audio production techniques. One thing that should be established in this discussion is whether we’re talking about “well recorded” or “well produced” albums...
Good post, thanks. I learned a lot. Like most others, I too can now begin to see which albums are probably just intelligently produced and which are simply well recorded.

Can you explain, briefly, what is exactly happens during "mixing" and "mastering"? I know that the first stage is recording of the singers and musicians on multi-track tape (well, may not be physical tape, but at least it's multi-track, whatever it is). And the last stage is when the multiple tracks are put through a "mix-down" to get two tracks, for L and R. (Let's pretend for this discussion that surround-sound music doesn't exist.) I'm unclear about what happens between the first multi-track recording session and the last mix-down. What is mastering and what is mixing? I presume the recording engineer is in charge of the actual live recording sessions, capturing the "source." What does the mixing engineer do? And what is the meaning of phrases like "re-mastered from the original master tapes?" Does this imply that the multi-track tapes with the raw takes were re-processed and put through a fresh mix-down? In that case, does the term "master tape" refer to the raw multi-track tapes or the tapes which are generated after some (mysterious, to me) process called "mastering?" I'm quite confused, and just carefully reading liner notes doesn't seem to be helping.
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Old 31st May 2004, 03:53 PM   #78
tcpip is offline tcpip  India
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Default Some albums I've liked a lot

Just a small set, from among those which a non-Indian audience will recognize easily:
  • B B King: Reflections: SACD
  • Diana Krall: Live in Paris: CD
  • Patricia Barber: Cafe Blue: CD
  • All the Rolling Stones Abkco SACD re-releases that I've heard
  • All the Pavarotti and Friends tracks that I have heard. The "Holy Mother" track, Clapton and Pavarotti, is amazing both musically as well as in terms of natural sound.
I bought "Jazz Me", a CD available from Dick Olsher, containing Lesley Olsher's voice, apparently wonderfully natural and well recorded. I couldn't stand the music; it sounded soul-less. I am not even sure whether it was well recorded and natural --- it may very well have been. It's just that I found it so difficult to relate to the album's musical content that I couldn't really listen to it.

Would those of you who understand the music publishing process please comment on any of these albums I've listed? How much artificial processing or dynamic range compression or any other artifice is there in any of these? I presume there's a lot of processing in the Stones albums? I'm quite ignorant about such stuff....
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Old 31st May 2004, 05:24 PM   #79
Thunau is offline Thunau  United States
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Default Re: Re: Audiophile recordings

Quote:
Originally posted by tcpip
Good post, thanks. I learned a lot. Like most others, I too can now begin to see which albums are probably just intelligently produced and which are simply well recorded.

Can you explain, briefly, what is exactly happens during "mixing" and "mastering"? I know that the first stage is recording of the singers and musicians on multi-track tape (well, may not be physical tape, but at least it's multi-track, whatever it is). And the last stage is when the multiple tracks are put through a "mix-down" to get two tracks, for L and R. (Let's pretend for this discussion that surround-sound music doesn't exist.) I'm unclear about what happens between the first multi-track recording session and the last mix-down. What is mastering and what is mixing? I presume the recording engineer is in charge of the actual live recording sessions, capturing the "source." What does the mixing engineer do? And what is the meaning of phrases like "re-mastered from the original master tapes?" Does this imply that the multi-track tapes with the raw takes were re-processed and put through a fresh mix-down? In that case, does the term "master tape" refer to the raw multi-track tapes or the tapes which are generated after some (mysterious, to me) process called "mastering?" I'm quite confused, and just carefully reading liner notes doesn't seem to be helping.
You do have the right idea about multitrack recording. It has to be said that recording is partially science and partially art. Therefore there are no set rules beyond some basics. Every producer and engineer have their own approaches that get tested and used in real life. A lot of variables are at play.
That said, usually a production will take shape over extended periods of time. It will consist of:
1. arranging, orchestrating and recording basic tracks (rhythm section, basic harmonic instruments, scratch vocal tracks etc),
2. overdubs (all melodic instruments, leads, vocals) where you play the finished basic tracks and lay individual instruments on the multitrack recorder separatly, while paying a lot of attension to detail.
3. Editing, where all the tracks you have recorded get 'fixed up '. Many different ways to do it- from cutting and pasting to equalizing, to pitch correction, to compression and volume riding to stereo image manipulation etc. Countless tools exist to process audio.
4. Additional arranging and overdubs as ideas pop up during production.
5. Mixdown, where all the individual tracks (which could count in hundreds, but usually it ends up below 50 ) are combined in a stereo (or MC) mix. In this stage a lot of sweetening takes place- reverbs, echoes, chorusing, compression, etc. One single song mixdown session can easilly take 12 hours.
6. Mastering, where all the songs that go on the album are put in the proper sequence, their perceived levels are adjusted ( or just pumped up mindlessly) to flow, the final mixes are equalized for a pleasant presentation, and a master tape (DAT, CD-R, DVD-R etc) is created. That master tape is what is used to manufacture the final product you buy in the store.

A true recording is done a bit different. All the arranging, instrumentation and practicing takes place in advance. The act shows up in the studio and set up. The engineer/producer has to make the crucial decisions before the tape starts rolling. Which microphones to use (there are hundreds in every decent studio- all sound a bit different and some match up with given instruments better than others), which microphone preamps to use, how to setup the act for recording (all in the same room, isolation rooms and heaphone mixes- all have pros and cons), do we use compression to tape or not, etc.
Then a lot of takes are recorded. We are trying to capture one single perfect take. If that's impossible on a given day, you try to come back another time, or if the money/will/ability is not there you just go for editing and splice together the best parts from different takes.
During recording the producers try to capture as much of the natural ambiance as possible. Thats why a lot of cool acoustic recordings take place outside of a studio- in concert halls, churches etc. Some very elaborate and expensive studios have wonderful sounding rooms- those get used a lot if the budget is there.
There is minimal overdubbing during true recording. Mixdown is simple with only basic equalization and levels riding taking place. Some compression might be applied, depending on the producer's taste and quality of actual performances. Sometimes all the microphones are combined to stereo during actual recording and that is the final mix. That approach is used for top notch performers. Nobody can fix anything later, other than trying to splice multiple takes. This can be successful only if the act played different very consistently and nothing changed in the microphone positioning and levels from one take to another. Of course computer software can do a lot these days so even problematic splices are accomplished, but that kind of goes against the concept of true recording and is usually avoided.
Mastering for true recordings is mostly EQ and level matching. Some compression is used, but guys are trying to keep it on the sensitive side. It helps the lesser loudspeakers carry the message over, but if overdone it makes the very good loudspeakers sound less enjoyable.

I could go for pages talking about this and would still not cover a portion of the topic. I hope I gave you a bit of an insight.
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Old 31st May 2004, 09:26 PM   #80
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Default Re: Who's Bob Ludwig?

Quote:
Originally posted by tcpip
I find his name in a lot of well-produced albums as the mastering or re-mastering chap. I think all my Dire Straits albums have his name, and they are some of the best-sounding, most smooth-sounding (I think people call it "analog sounding") CDs of rock that I've heard. I think he also did the recent Abkco SACD releases of the Stones albums. Is his involvement a sign that one should pick up an unfamiliar album to try out?

Yes, Bob Ludwig is one of the best mastering engineers. He works here:
http://www.gatewaymastering.com/


In general I don't buy an album just because it has been remastered. Most times levels have been pushed up and dynamic compression applied too much.
But if I find out that Bob Ludwig has done the job, that's almost a guarantee for good sound.


IMHO the remasters of David Bowie records (1999 remasters by Peter Mew at Abbey Road) are very good.
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