The "Show Music" Thread

JackD201

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#24
Anything released by Rhino in the early 90s pretty much fits the bill. The LPs from the 80s were pretty nasty too so I'm not blaming the CD per se. Squashed down in FR to 192kbps somehow they are less objectionable. Go figure.
 

fas42

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#25
Anything released by Rhino in the early 90s pretty much fits the bill. The LPs from the 80s were pretty nasty too so I'm not blaming the CD per se. Squashed down in FR to 192kbps somehow they are less objectionable. Go figure.
Now that's rather telling ... I'm not into genre naming, so I have a reasonable amount of that material without realising what you meant, and I'm aware of what you're talking about. They can be "difficult" recordings, because they have been mastered to have a very big, intense and complex sound which can be difficult to unravel. Luckily, they are the very recordings that benefit most from fully sorting out a system, and form quite mammoth and intricate soundscapes.

In one sense they are the ideal recordings to demo a system's capabilities, firstly because they demonstrate that you know what you're doing, and secondly because they are quite astonishingly impressive and overwhelming ...

Frank
 

garylkoh

WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)
#26
Anything released by Rhino in the early 90s pretty much fits the bill. The LPs from the 80s were pretty nasty too so I'm not blaming the CD per se. Squashed down in FR to 192kbps somehow they are less objectionable. Go figure.
I find that with a lot of modern pop music as well. I hear something that my wife's playing on the iPad and like it - and then I get the CD or even the vinyl, and end up preferring the mp3. I've got the Adele 21 in mp3 and CD and prefer the mp3. I've got the vinyl on the way, and I'm hoping that it will be better than the mp3. Same thing with the album Lungs by Florence & the Machine. Loved what I heard on mp3, disappointed on CD, and managed to find the vinyl.

If I can get hold of a Burmester Ph100 before RMAF, I'll rip the albums to 24/96 for demo :) If they are better than the mp3's.....
 

garylkoh

WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)
#27

fas42

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#28
I find that with a lot of modern pop music as well. I hear something that my wife's playing on the iPad and like it - and then I get the CD or even the vinyl, and end up preferring the mp3. I've got the Adele 21 in mp3 and CD and prefer the mp3. I've got the vinyl on the way, and I'm hoping that it will be better than the mp3. Same thing with the album Lungs by Florence & the Machine. Loved what I heard on mp3, disappointed on CD, and managed to find the vinyl.
Again, interesting. Because new wave and later pop has been mastered to take no prisoners the slightest problem with a high end system is highlighted with a searchlight, so there are three solutions: never play this material; soften the edges using mp3 or cables and room treatments; or completely eliminate all audible weaknesses from the system ...

Frank
 

JackD201

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#29
Now that's rather telling ... I'm not into genre naming, so I have a reasonable amount of that material without realising what you meant, and I'm aware of what you're talking about. They can be "difficult" recordings, because they have been mastered to have a very big, intense and complex sound which can be difficult to unravel. Luckily, they are the very recordings that benefit most from fully sorting out a system, and form quite mammoth and intricate soundscapes.

In one sense they are the ideal recordings to demo a system's capabilities, firstly because they demonstrate that you know what you're doing, and secondly because they are quite astonishingly impressive and overwhelming ...

Frank
Actually it's the opposite. The recordings are limp and lifeless. This is pretty much a garage band genre chock full of one hit wonders. No surprise then that recordings themselves are amateurish from the get go. The music also used lots of synths. To frame this properly, multi-voice polyphony was in it's infancy and I could swear a lot of these guys were using very basic MIDI. Some General MIDI even. Yikes.
 

JackD201

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#30
I posted a thread on my disappointment with the Adele 21 LP Gary. :(
 

fas42

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#31
The recordings are limp and lifeless. This is pretty much a garage band genre chock full of one hit wonders. No surprise then that recordings themselves are amateurish from the get go.
We're obviously talking about 2 different lots of recording: I was thinking of the artists on the Just Can't Get Enough series. If this is not the people you're thinking of, name half of dozen of the worst "offenders" ...

Frank
 

JackD201

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#32
I'm thinking 80% of who's on there were one hit wonders. Dexy's Midnight Runners anybody? ;) Mostly small bands playing simple melodies and rhythms. Some so small like Echo and the Bunnymen that didn't even have drummers. Nothing complicated at all about this genre. The recordings were just bad to begin with. So bad dumbing them down isn't such a bad idea. I never played the CDs anymore so I did what Gregg said to do. I ripped 'em all (actually Keith did) and listen to this music in the car. Before I left for Hawaii I pulled out some LP stragglers. Same as the CDs, thin, devoid of energy, lumpy down low, screechy up top. Sometimes it just isn't the gear OR the medium's fault.
 

fas42

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#33
Agreed, most relied on synths to create a their tonal structure. But they still added echo and other effects to the sound to create complexity which can be brought to life. I have mentioned "bad" recordings on many occasions, and these are an excellent examples of material for fine tuning a setup. As a starting point, the vocals on these are "real" and should come across as being completely natural, well and truly distinct in their own acoustic, separate from the instruments.

The "screetchiness" is a result of the intensity wrought by the mastering, any high frequency distortion in a system is pushed out hard by this material. I certainly know that for these recordings if a system is 98% there, they will be unbearable, it's the getting the last 2% right that suddenly turns everything on its head, and they are transformed.

I never said this process was easy, I certainly have come close to chucking it all in many times ...

Frank
 

JackD201

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#34
Have you spent time recording Frank? If the distortion is in the recording, no scrubbing on playback will sort it out. Ask our resident mastering engineers, there really is only so much you can do. Take an electric guitar. It can never be "sorted out" not that one would even want to. I have made the sound sound more like they are coming from a mic set in front of guitar amps rather than guitars appearing out of nowhere as if they could actually make those sounds by themselves. The distortions stay though. I fully understand what you mean by removing distortions at playback, what I'm saying is that same cumulative degradation happens in recording chains too, and when it's on there, it stays there.
 
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#35
This is an interesting aside, and I'm usually not one to object to thread drift, but given that Gary's thread was soliciting very specific input, Frank, perhaps you could start a thread about bringing bad recordings to life and describe for us the studio mastering techniques that result in a "big, intense, complex sound" and tell us what it is you do to unravel it. I'm sure many members of the board would love to know precisely what sins created the compromised recordings in their collections and how to reverse them. Please, though, use recording and engineering terminology if you would. Big, intense, complex, unravel, brought to life and other terms like them can mean anything and are, therefore, uninformative to your readers. If you use more precise terminology, some of us may have to look it up, but at least we'll have the ability to sort it out.

Tim
 

jazdoc

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#37
Gary,

If you are looking for well recorded jazz clarinet I have a few suggestions:

Evan Christopher "The Remembering Song" Arbor Records, 2010.
Definitely a top 10 jazz release from last year www.clarinetroad.net

Anat Cohen "Clarinetwork: Live At The Village Vanguard" Anzic 2010
Another top 10 jazz release from last year. A live tribute album to Benny Goodman. I've heard her live with this band and this really captures the experience. An amazing band featuring one of my favorite pianists; Benny Green. www.anatcohen.com

Don Byron "A Fine Line: Arias & Lieder" Blue Note 2000
Byron is an amazing musician with wide ranging tastes. He's done an entire CD of Mickey Katz's Klezmer music and a tribute CD to Junior Walker (both excellent). A highlight of the this CD is "Nessun Dorma". www.donbyron.com

Finally some vinyl....

Benny Goodman "Together Again" 1964 RCA LSP 2968/LPM 2968
Reunites his original quartet of Teddy Wilson (p), Gene Krupa (d) and Lionel Hampton (v). I prefer the mono over the stereo but both are sonic gems and the music is amazing!
 

jazdoc

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#40
Well I'm certainly not a country connoisseur but I do have a couple suggestions:

I'm a huge Johnny Cash fan:

"The Fabulous Johnny Cash" Columbia CL 1258, 1959 and "American III: Solitary Man" American Recordings 2000 are real creative and sonic highlights.

Jamey Johnson "That Lonesome Song" Mercury 2009. Won CMA album and song of the year ("In Color"). Some people consider this the country album of the decade. Other highlights include: "High Cost of Living", "Between Jennings and Jones" & "Mowin' Down The Roses" HT MikeL for this one.

Shelby Lynne "Tears, Lies and Alibis" Everso Records 2010. (She's at the Triple Door the week after RMAF!)

Not a big Prog fan but how about some funk? These are all well recorded:

'Strawberry Letter 23' by The Brothers Johnson
From "Right On Time" A&M SP-4644 1977

'Word Up' by Cameo
From "Word Up" Polygram 1986

'Burn Rubber On Me' by Gap Band
From "Gap Band III" Mercury 1980

'When You Were Mine' by Prince
From "Dirty Mind" Warner Bros 1980

"Every 1's A Winner' by Hot Chocolate
From "Every 1's A Winner" Glam 1978