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Re: [ARSCLIST] Pristine Audio (?!)
If you belong to the Google classical recordings group,you have been able to hear some very good digitizations of 78s,by so-called ameteurs,that are far superior to many commercially-issued CDs out there.The people who do this,have gone into great detail,about what they believe are the ways the people who put out historical classical CDs,do things wrong.I'm not technically inclined enough to reiterate what they say,but you can go through the messages,and read them yourself.These people put a lot of time,work,and love into what they do,perhaps moreso than those who do it for a living.
If you spend any time at all looking around YouTube,you know three things
1)There is a lot of great stuff people have uploaded that has not,and will never be, issued on DVD,or CD.
2)Some of this is uploaded from non-digital sources,like vinyl,VHS tape,and in the case of at least one guy I know of,open reel video tape.
3)Some people put a lot of effort,into professional quality "remastering" of their stuff,some do not. I have seen some remarkable transfers of Soviet,, and Japanese television concerts from the 70s,and 80s that have never been issued commercially.In the 'about this video",many users will state they are sourced from VHS.Some examples:
(Incredible performance.WHY was this never released ?)
Get a load of Mravinsky's hands. I have NEVER seen anybody conduct like this !
There are others,who have done equally fine transfers of very obscure 60s 45s,that have never made it to CD,with a photo of the group,or record as the "video".Far too many to seek out now.
I must admit that,in the past year,I have had my mind changed about digital.It wasn't digital I had hated all these years,it was the CD.I still think it's perhaps the worst consumer electronics format ever unleashed on the world,and I will be very happy when it dies an overdue death.I may have a wake for it.
I still dearly love my vinyl,and shellac,and will never stop buying it,but I must admit,I have finally been won over.
Does anybody know if those iTube Fatman amps will work plugged into a computer,rather than with an iPod ?
If not,I betcha somebody will come up with one that will.
Tom Fine <tflists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote: The more transfer work I do, the more I'm convinced that the vast lion's share of attention and
effort must be paid in the analog domain. Get it right there and you will need few digi-tools and
digi-tricks. It's the age-old reality of garbage in = garbage out, and there are no digital tools
that trump reality.
The other reality is that computers are dumber than any human. The "decisions" made in automated
processes are often harmful to audio quality. So the fewer "judgement calls" left up to software,
the better the outcome in the hands of a skilled engineer with good ears.
Over-use of automation is usually triggered by laziness, ignorance or unrealistic time/money budget
expectations, or a combination of all three.
As I see it, the really big plus that digital audio technology brings to the table, after a couple
of decades of steady improvement against the backdrop of much hype and over-promise, is that we now
have many options, ranging from simple to vastly complex and affordable to massively expensive, that
get us very near if not at the nirvana of input=output. No previous technology came anywhere as
close, each impressing numerous distortions and inaccuracies (some considered very euphonic by some,
but let's call them what they are -- distortions and inaccuracies). But, as good as it is, the
present technology still requires knowledge, skill and taste on the part of its users.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Marcos Sueiro Bal"
Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2007 8:37 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Pristine Audio (?!)
> Tom & Doug,
> It amazes me how professional mastering engineers can be lured into over-processing. A couple of
> years ago I consulted for a major box-set re-issue and the original mastering (from a reputable
> house) on Cedar was full of digi-swish. I believe that they had just gotten the system and were a
> little knob-happy (something that I admit to be susceptible of when using a new piece of gear). I
> convinced them to back off a bit (although, alas, they never fixed the pitch drift).
> As these tools become more commonplace and we learn to use them, we can only hope that these
> artifacts will be a thing of the past.
> Doug Pomeroy wrote:
>>> Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2007 06:02:58 -0500
>>> From: Tom Fine
>>> Subject: Re: Pristine Audio (?!)
>>> That sample track of Robert Johnson is full of digital hash in the treble, especially around the
>>> slide guitar but also the upper notes of the voice. It sounds very bad, to my ears. I'll take
>>> record surface noise in the early 90's Sony reissue set over the digital hash any day. One man's
>>> opinion ...
>>> -- Tom Fine
>> Indeed. And the 5 minute MP3 file which contains excerpts from 8 tracks is even worse,
>> with painfully obvious misrepresentation of the timbre of the voice and guitar. It's is not
>> the result of MP3 compression, but an artifact of heavy-handed noise removal processing.
>> How could any engineer, who claims to work with classical music, possibly accept such
>> degraded audio?
>> More emperor's new clothes.
>> Doug Pomeroy
>> POMEROY AUDIO
>> Audio Restoration & Mastering Services
>> Transfers of metal masters, lacquers,
>> shellac and vinyl discs & tapes.
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