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Old 5th Mar 2020, 12:51 am   #61
'LIVEWIRE?'
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Default Re: "Technically augmented stereo"

Whatever happened to the idea, if it ever existed, of simply recording a performance, and issuing the recording as the most faithful reproduction of a live performance as was possible at the time it was made? IIRC, other than what was then described as 'double tracking', few, if any 'gimmicks' were used back in the 50s/early60s, the only other common one being the 'pinky & perky' idea of recording at one speed, then playing back at a higher one to produce 'Pinky & Perky', and also 'The Chipmunks' ('Alvin-stop shooting that gun!)
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Old 5th Mar 2020, 1:30 am   #62
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Default Re: "Technically augmented stereo"

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Originally Posted by Electronpusher0 View Post
I thought I was the only sad seekers fan, I have most of their releases and was lucky enough to see them live 3 times (one was their world tour when they got back together as "Judith Durham and the Seekers".
Nothing at all sad about being a Seekers admirer. They played some excellent stuff.
A little like Peter, Paul and Mary, very similar type music.



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Old 5th Mar 2020, 3:10 pm   #63
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Default Re: "Technically augmented stereo"

Ref post #61. I think it all depends on the performance. A crossed pair of microphones in front of a choir or orchestra has much to recommend it - after all the balance of a symphony orchestra has been perfected over years of live performances.
However, in the world of pop music things are different. You could argue that Spector's work in the Sixties was a faithful reproduction as he tended to have the majority of the 'wrecking crew' in the studio at once, though of course different tracks were used. The same could be said of the classically trained George Martin, though he was quick to embrace new techniques.
Then producers like Joe Meek came along and treated the mixer and recorder as instruments in their own right experimenting with sound processing. So there then came the problem in the seventies of recreating the studio sound for an expectant live audience, which could prove difficult. Tony Banks of Genesis, for example, found it almost impossible to play Forth of Fifth live - not because of any lack of aptitude on his part, but because it was so difficult! Then came the 'what if....we used the recording of a certain instrument and the others play over the top?' That all led to the miming that's prevalent even today. To their eternal credit, Jools Holland and Bob Harris would never have anyone on his show that weren't able to play live, and this ethos perpetuated in the BBC live performances.
Some years ago I was involved in a large concert (not performing, you understand!). Topping the bill was a certain member of a very famous girl band. She came in by limousine, stepped on stage, mimed everything, then jumped back in the car and was gone. But the fans loved it!
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Old 5th Mar 2020, 10:09 pm   #64
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Default Re: "Technically augmented stereo"

Yes sometimes a simple stereo mic is the best. Multiple mics are great for highlighting / balancing particular instruments or voices in an orchestra, but unless set up well can make things worse. Live performances can be unpredictable and recording them difficult. Many things can go wrong but there's an immediacy before a live audience which can't always be matched by a studio recording. The Beatles were always a great live band but there's not a lot of good recordings of their live shows especially hearing the band, or the band hearing themselves, above the screaming...
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Old 6th Mar 2020, 10:54 am   #65
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Default Re: "Technically augmented stereo"

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Originally Posted by Welsh Anorak View Post
However, in the world of pop music things are different. You could argue that Spector's work in the Sixties was a faithful reproduction as he tended to have the majority of the 'wrecking crew' in the studio at once, though of course different tracks were used. The same could be said of the classically trained George Martin, though he was quick to embrace new techniques.
Then producers like Joe Meek came along and treated the mixer and recorder as instruments in their own right
As a matter of history Joe Meek did not come after Phil Spector. He was ten years older than Spector and had his first hit with Humphrey Lyttelton's "Bad penny blues" in 1956 in which he did things to the sound which Lyttelton thought "unnatural". He was, of course, the producer of "Telstar", only the second British no. 1 hit in the US charts (the first was Acker Bilk's "Stranger on the shore", believe it or not).
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Old 6th Mar 2020, 1:20 pm   #66
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Default Re: "Technically augmented stereo"

Sorry - I was aware of that (but not Bad Penny Blues - thanks for that!)
but my post certainly didn't make it clear. There are many apocryphal tales of Spector coming to see Meek and being thrown out, but in reality it could just have been a phone call.
Ah - Humph. His idea of a sound check was to blow a few notes on his trumpet then say "That's fine - off to the pub, lads!"
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Old 6th Mar 2020, 1:49 pm   #67
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Default Re: "Technically augmented stereo"

As there is no real stereo information, it isn't really stereo.

Maybe 'Mucked-up Mono' would be a better name.

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Old 6th Mar 2020, 2:00 pm   #68
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Default Re: "Technically augmented stereo"

Electrola were more open than most - they called theirs "Breitklang" - loosely translated, "wide sound".
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Old 6th Mar 2020, 7:29 pm   #69
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Default Re: "Technically augmented stereo"

Some lovers of analog tape boast that only analog tape "automatically widens the stereo soundstage", which is true, if one of the tape heads happens to be misaligned...
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Old 6th Mar 2020, 8:03 pm   #70
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Default Re: "Technically augmented stereo"

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Originally Posted by Electronpusher0 View Post
I thought I was the only sad seekers fan, I have most of their releases and was lucky enough to see them live 3 times (one was their world tour when they got back together as "Judith Durham and the Seekers".
No I also like The Seekers and this coming from a heavy metal and prog rock fan (but then I have a very wide taste in music). In fact I just bought their 'Future Road' CD which only seems available in Australia. Lucky you seeing them live. I have a DVD of their 50th anniversary concert....brilliant.
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 2:57 am   #71
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Default Re: "Technically augmented stereo"

Speaking of the Seekers and fake stereo, the US compilation THE BEST OF THE SEEKERS is one of the worst sounding albums from a major label (Capitol) I've ever heard. Quite a number of songs on it that are in true stereo on albums in other parts of the world appear in Duophonic (their name for fake stereo), phase-shifted, time-delayed, compressed and washed out sound.* I found a circa 1980 budget reissue of it that omitted one song from the original track lineup a few months ago and was appalled at how bad it is. If the Duophonic rubbish wasn't bad enough, the record also sports uneven volume levels from one track to the next, and even severe azimuth misalignment on one track.

*Starting around late 1966, Capitol stopped using such a brutal method of creating fake stereo, and simply used mild EQ (more highs on one side, more lows on the other) instead. This fared much better for mono compatibility for broadcast purposes.
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Old 27th Mar 2020, 12:43 am   #72
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Default Re: "Technically augmented stereo"

So after reading EMI BTR 3's seekers and fake stereo, I dug out my boxed set and find that there are a few "Electronically processed to give a stereo effect on stereo equipment".

I have always thought that the sound quality on these LP's was excellent and didn't remember that some were mangled with. As it's raining and I can't do my bees I will spend the day listening, although five LP's might be a tad too long, and give my opinion on how it does sound. I must admit I don't often play this set. Photo of back cover shows the few tracks modified.

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Old 27th Mar 2020, 7:44 am   #73
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Default Re: "Technically augmented stereo"

So I had a critical listen today. Well I asked for it I guess. Mono tracks are excellent, and as we all suggested the "electronically processed" tracks really are horrible. Apart from added distortion that is plainly obvious, trebles are non existent. Bass is muddy and for want of a better word, farty. It sounds like there is a large tear in the woofer cone.

Anyone reading these posts will have seen that the records are pressed by EMI, who mostly got their recording right. First LP is entitled "Folk Songs with the Seekers" and is totally mono and quite good quality all the way through. Record two has four tracks "enhanced". They jump out at you without listening carefully, and sound like the aforementioned five transistor geranium wireless with a 1 1/2" speaker.

Oh well.

Joe
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Old 27th Mar 2020, 9:12 am   #74
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Default Re: "Technically augmented stereo"

I'm going to have to go through my collection of Seekers albums now, funny thing is I have always enjoyed listening to them but I suspect that I will be more critical now.....

Peter
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Old 11th Apr 2020, 2:13 am   #75
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Default Re: "Technically augmented stereo"

As the originator of the term "Digitally Extracted Stereo" (DES), let me invite you to visit my website, monotoSTEREO.info. I started the website just over five years ago to provide a collection of resources for individuals interested in upmixing older mono source material to stereo through the use of spectral editing, sound source separation, and related processes. In that time the website has been visited over 35,000 times by individuals in 154 countries! Be sure to check out the many examples on the MEDIA pages of the website! Also, be sure to check out the links to numerous commercially released CDs making use of this technology on the LATEST RELEASES, RELEASED 1, and RELEASED 2 pages! Those wishing to delve deeper should check out the more than 1,500 links on the RESEARCH pages for research papers, presentations, etc. in the field. It is my sincere hope that you find the website interesting, useful, and thought provoking! There is also a companion Facebook page where I post updates and related content. Be sure to "Like" the Facebook page to follow the updates! ~ Christopher Kissel
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Old 11th Apr 2020, 8:14 am   #76
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Default Re: "Technically augmented stereo"

Without two channels of information you cannot produce stereo. It doesn't matter how many people agree with an incorrect statement. If it's wrong it's wrong.
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Old 11th Apr 2020, 9:04 am   #77
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Default Re: "Technically augmented stereo"

I agree.
The only possible exception is if the original multi-track master tapes exist and you can mix a new stereo recording.
Having said that, my wife is a big beatles fan and we bought the re-mastered box set (we already have most of the original vinyl). The remastered set is stereo re-mixed from the masters.
As an experiment I re-merged the left and right on Rubber soul to produce a mono re-mastered album. And you know what, it sounds much better.
My opinion is that if the original release is mono that's the way it's meant to be heard.

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Old 11th Apr 2020, 3:40 pm   #78
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Default Re: "Technically augmented stereo"

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Without two channels of information you cannot produce stereo.
Well, not always

Modern "music" usually consists of something like a multi-track tape with a track for each instrument. The sound field is completely artificial, created by the mixing engineer panning instruments to wherever he feels like. In that respect, if you can extract individual instruments from a mono recording then you can do the same thing. Would the result in that case be any less stereo than "real" stereo?

The problem is how to extract the individual instruments. I can imagine that say a double bass and a piccolo would be quite easy whereas two trumpets might be a bit more challenging. Anyway, thanks Christopher for the link to your interesting site. One day when I get around to it I'll play with my Bar Trio records and see if I can separate a piano, an accordion and a guitar.
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Old 11th Apr 2020, 4:26 pm   #79
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Default Re: "Technically augmented stereo"

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Originally Posted by mono2STEREO View Post
As the originator of the term "Digitally Extracted Stereo" (DES), let me invite you to visit my website, monotoSTEREO.info. I started the website just over five years ago to provide a collection of resources for individuals interested in upmixing older mono source material to stereo through the use of spectral editing, sound source separation, and related processes. In that time the website has been visited over 35,000 times by individuals in 154 countries! Be sure to check out the many examples on the MEDIA pages of the website! Also, be sure to check out the links to numerous commercially released CDs making use of this technology on the LATEST RELEASES, RELEASED 1, and RELEASED 2 pages! Those wishing to delve deeper should check out the more than 1,500 links on the RESEARCH pages for research papers, presentations, etc. in the field. It is my sincere hope that you find the website interesting, useful, and thought provoking! There is also a companion Facebook page where I post updates and related content. Be sure to "Like" the Facebook page to follow the updates! ~ Christopher Kissel
Looks like those with the following comments have not bothered listening to your work.I say it is quite remarkable how a once crackling 78 of a 1936 Jack Hilton can sound like somebody standing in the studio listening with all the instruments in their positions ..and so made it sound very modern indeed.
..and somebody had to do something wonderful with that remarkable record Telstar which most people thought impossible due to the master tape being long gone.

Great work

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Old 11th Apr 2020, 7:44 pm   #80
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Default Re: "Technically augmented stereo"

I have, as a matter of fact. I stick to my opinion, and I have more experience of fake stereo than most. See post #5.
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