[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: [ARSCLIST] Vanguard Classics reappears in 2 cd sets
On 10/06/06, Tom Fine wrote:
> Uh, no no and no.
> First of all, the RCA's are selling very well for SACD's, as I
> understand it. In other words -- niche product but doing very well in
> the niche. The family that controls BMG is in love with the RCA
> catalog and classical music, so there's corporate support beyond
> dollars and cents analysis there.
I saw an interview saying they were pleased withn the sales.
> The CD layer of the Mercury's is the digital master made by my mother
> from a 3-2 mixdown right to the A-D converter. The 2-ch version on the
> SACD version is made in Germany. The whole point of the discs was to
> keep the original 3-2 mix beloved by critics and fans (and sold
> literally millions of units in the 1990s and continuing where in print
> to this day) and add the SACD element.
That is what I said. But most of the potential customers already have
the CD version, and would not buy it again on the off chance that they
may get an SACD player one day.
> I personally think the SACD is much better suited to new original
> recordings. Listen to some of the 5.1 SACD stuff being made in Europe.
> On the best, it's truly like you're there in the room with the
> orchestra or ensemble. Using SACD to do reissues runs into these
Any particular examples you have been impressed by?
> -- bright spotlight on the original medium, where all the flaws and
> distortions are front and center -- spreading the signal too thin just
> to get sound out of 5 speakers. For instance the Columbia 3-ch
> reissues of Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck, in my opinion, thin the
> sound out so it's much less pleasing than the original 2ch stereo or
> even the mono mixes. -- remixing multi-track sources in a way probably
> not intended by the artists or original producers. Hokey effects like
> flying solos around the circle or overhead come to mind. On the other
> hand, the remix of "Layla" spreads the muddy sound out so you can more
> clearly pick out all the individual parts. Still very poorly recorded,
> but a little bit clear in 5 channels. No earlier-era multi-track remix
> I've heard holds together as cohesively as the stereo mix, but like I
> said sometimes a bad/crowded/muddy recording can benefit, although it
> then suffers from the first problem listed.
Yes, a recording should always be issued with the original number of
channels. That means three for the Mercuries and LSs.
> On the other hand, making SACD's from scratch -- with the intention of
> surround mixing from the start, and using the DSD digital system from
> the start -- yields a very fine product. The big downside is cost and
> there is little justification to run up much cost doing this since the
> business is moving inextricably to iPod type devices.
> Here's my bottom line on all of this. I would like as much good
> material (good being a matter of opinion) that never saw a CD release
> to see a CD release before that medium submerges.
I disagree. I can't see the point of making CD-only releases in 2006.
For example, Universal just reiisued the Monteux "Daphnis". Better sound
than on a previous CD, but it could have been so much better still on an
SACD layer. A wasted opportunity.
I feel the same about Mosaic issues. Listening to their Gerry Mulligan
Concert Band CDs, my thought is that this is exceptionally good sound
for a CD, but why not SACD, when the tape quality would easily justify
> I believe the
> iPod/MP3/AAC format is a very big step backward sound-wise and that a
> well-mastered CD can finely reproduce the good work of past engineers.
> So I don't want the record companies to bloat limited budgets with
> fringe formats for niche markets. That includes LPs and SACD's.
But SACD should not be a fringe market. So far as I am concerned, it is
the first digital sound that is good enough to equal the best analogue.
It simply has not been marketed. And probably most consumers don't have
good enough speakers to hear the difference.
> much rather they concentrate on the mainstream product and keep it
> healthy until the download model starts allowing for full-quality
> digi-files (Apple Lossless Format comes to mind, and a copy-protection
> wrapper layer should be doable for it just like it was doable for
> MP4/AAC). Indeed, I believe that a niche market may emerge for
> Higher-Quality downloads, even 96/24 files (assuming the original
> transfer was made that way, which is not true of most material that
> was released on CD).
A very large amount was made on analogue tape.
> A person would pay, say, the same $20 they pay
> for a premium CD or 180g LP and download the audio, which they might
> play thru their hifi soundcard or burn to a DVD-A disc. But, again,
> that takes the focus off getting as much back-catalog released on CD
> as possible.
> I wonder if there's enough market for the old classical stuff -- the
> great old recordings and performances, not a whole lot of forgettable
> old stuff just because it's old -- for someone to form a classical
> version of Mosaic.
To some extent, Testament fill that niche. High price licensed reissues.
> Do box sets with beautiful packaging, careful
> remastering and informative books lush with photos. You'd have to go
> back and see what parts of an artist or orchestra's work is the real
> gem. You'd have to mercilessly pair it down and you'd have to fight
> with notoriously snipey critics and chat-room-regulars about your
> choices. Hmmm, maybe not a good business plan after all.