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This is a comments thread about FSM CD: BUtterfield 8: Bronislau Kaper at M-G-M, Vol. 1
 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2010 - 5:04 PM   
 By:   TerraEpon   (Member)

Listen to the samples. Most of the mono still has a pretty wide spread (and I said said, it's not true mono, someone was done as the wave forms clearly show), though there's a couple tracks in the first score that seem to be mono despite what it says (I think it's only the non-Kaper stuff though).

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2010 - 10:02 PM   
 By:   Turntable   (Member)

Yes, manderley, I DID buy the BUtterfield 8 boxset, mainly for the BUtterfield-8 soundtrack alone. Much of the music on the set will be new to me from what Lukas calls "the low hanging fruit" that he grabbed for this set. Too bad he couldn't get a ladder for some of the "higher hangs" from Kaper such A FLEA IN HER EAR, which I have on vinyl and would LOVE to have on CD. KISSES FOR MY PRESIDENT is a great comedic score also.

Because Kaper was late in coming to stereophonic sound soundtrack manufacturing, I am gathering that any future Kaper boxsets will be in monaural sound, which is terrific for those who long for those scores. I simply will listen to the stereo CD's available.

Gerhardt and John Morgan both spoiled me with their luminous re-recordings of glorious Golden Age soundtracks in full-bloom stereo. I cherish those recordings of classic Golden Age scores.

By the way, what was the incredible rush to grab "low hanging fruit." Were other producers grabbing "fruit" at the same time? Can we expect other record producers to come forward with "fruit"? (This is beginning to sound like Betty White's "muffins" on Saturday Night Live!)

 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2010 - 10:55 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)


I have a huge problem with monaural CD sound.... it makes the music boring.



Out of interest, do you invariably find any mono recording of a solo instrument boring, regardless of the music being played?

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2010 - 12:01 AM   
 By:   Turntable   (Member)


I have a huge problem with monaural CD sound.... it makes the music boring.



Out of interest, do you invariably find any mono recording of a solo instrument boring, regardless of the music being played?


Basil, a solo instrument is a completely different experience, and I would have no problem with listening to a solo instrument in monaural. But, nearly all Golden Age soundtracks of a certain age never rely on a solo instrument, but full orchestration. The full orchestration instruments are all mushed together in monaural sound, so it is like eating a blended soup of 7 ingredients where no one tasty treat sticks out and is impossible to find even though you know it's there.

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2010 - 1:06 AM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)


I have a huge problem with monaural CD sound.... it makes the music boring.



Out of interest, do you invariably find any mono recording of a solo instrument boring, regardless of the music being played?


Basil, a solo instrument is a completely different experience, and I would have no problem with listening to a solo instrument in monaural. But, nearly all Golden Age soundtracks of a certain age never rely on a solo instrument, but full orchestration. The full orchestration instruments are all mushed together in monaural sound, so it is like eating a blended soup of 7 ingredients where no one tasty treat sticks out and is impossible to find even though you know it's there.


So maybe it's not mono as such that is the problem, but rather how the recording is miked. Well-recorded mono can provide excellent differentiation of various elements of an orchestra. I know of mono classical recordings that surpass any versions of the works subsequently recorded in stereo. You are, of course, entitled to your blanket dislike for anything mono, but to me it sounds similar to saying one can't enjoy Ansel Adams' magnificent photographs of Yosemite because they aren't shot in color.


 
 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2010 - 2:25 AM   
 By:   Turntable   (Member)

Just for the record, Basil, Ansel Adams also shot photographs in color and for a reason. If you simply want to be defensive here about monaural, then you win. My point is that in SOUNDTRACK recording, you have a different experience than with other musical genres. I remember the terrible monaural classical recordings, mostly from the Columbia label, that washed out most of the sound for the sake of melody only. In soundtrack recording, underscoring is incredibly important to a good composition. Listen to the monaural recording of Alex North's monaural A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, and then listen to Jerry Goldsmith's gorgeous re-recording of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE. As North himself said in Roy Prendergast's book FILM MUSIC, to understand his score is to understand his underscoring as it marks internal from external music. And, unlike with classical music, remember that soundtrack music is used with moving images, actors, color, framing and the like. In very old classic soundtracks, such as ALEXANDER NEVSKY, attention was only paid to the composition of the music, not all of the elements of the film art. That wouldn't happen until the 1930's. NEVSKY has little to no underscoring of the film, as say individual themes for Blanche, Stanley, Stella, and the jazz hall down the street in STREETCAR. Goldsmith's STEREO re-recording of STREETCAR finally did the score justice and both the scoring AND underscoring could be heard for a change.

If all one is interested in is melody or listening to Doris Day in music, monaural is fine. It is like Muzak to my ear, and our great film composers deserve great sound recording for every note they wrote.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2010 - 5:18 AM   
 By:   jonathan_little   (Member)

Monaural sounds flat. I can't hear individual instruments in the orchestration very clearly. And it makes the music boring.

So take the Prelude or The Death Hunt from On Dangerous Ground. The orchestra is whipped into a frenzy by Herrmann with a recording that is very clear given the era (typical for Herrmann) and the acetate medium. That is "boring?"

I can see how mono for an orchestra recording can possibly be less engaging to the listener, but I've never thought of it making the music boring. To me, that's more a result from a bad performance and/or lousy recording. I've found there are plenty of "boring" stereo recordings out there.

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2010 - 2:45 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

If all one is interested in is melody or listening to Doris Day in music, monaural is fine. It is like Muzak to my ear.


You're right. I just found an original poster for The Sea Hawk. It says "Muzak by Erich Wolfgang Korngold"

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2010 - 10:29 PM   
 By:   Turntable   (Member)

I am speaking of monaural sound levels, not composers and not art, when I refer to boring.

Monaural sound: hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm and hmmmmmmmmmmm and hmmmmmmmm and more hmmmmmmmmmmm at level hmmmmmmmmmmm and hmmmmmmmmm hmmmmmm and more hmmmmmmmm at level hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Coda hmmmmmmmmmmm and hmmmmmmmm and more hmmmmmmmmmm at hmmmmmmmmm. Clarinets: hmmmmmmmm Violins: hmmmmmmmmm Full Orchestra: hmmmmmmmmmm and more hmmmmmmm and big finish with crescendo: hmmmmmmm.

Why did companies such as Deutsche Grammophone re-record nearly their entire monaural catalogue to sterephonic sound? Certainly they realized the sound differential. And certainly everyone on this website applauds when John Morgan, for example, re-records classic soundtracks in stereo with elements we only thought we heard in monaural. Why would John Morgan spend a small fortune to re-record classics in stereo if monaural was sufficient? I'll put my money on the Morgan re-recordings before I will spend twice as much on insufficient monaural taped recording transfers that do no justice to great music in this day of technical advancements.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2010 - 11:30 PM   
 By:   TerraEpon   (Member)

Why did companies such as Deutsche Grammophone re-record nearly their entire monaural catalogue to sterephonic sound?

That's really not an argument. Classical music gets recorded over and over. Especially when the album is push an artist over the rep. And I'd be willing to bet a good amount of money that not 'everything' that was recorded by DG was ever recorded by them in stereo.

 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2010 - 1:05 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

I am speaking of monaural sound levels, not composers and not art, when I refer to boring.

Monaural sound: hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm and hmmmmmmmmmmm and hmmmmmmmm and more hmmmmmmmmmmm at level hmmmmmmmmmmm and hmmmmmmmmm hmmmmmm and more hmmmmmmmm at level hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Coda hmmmmmmmmmmm and hmmmmmmmm and more hmmmmmmmmmm at hmmmmmmmmm. Clarinets: hmmmmmmmm Violins: hmmmmmmmmm Full Orchestra: hmmmmmmmmmm and more hmmmmmmm and big finish with crescendo: hmmmmmmm.

Why did companies such as Deutsche Grammophone re-record nearly their entire monaural catalogue to sterephonic sound? Certainly they realized the sound differential. And certainly everyone on this website applauds when John Morgan, for example, re-records classic soundtracks in stereo with elements we only thought we heard in monaural. Why would John Morgan spend a small fortune to re-record classics in stereo if monaural was sufficient? I'll put my money on the Morgan re-recordings before I will spend twice as much on insufficient monaural taped recording transfers that do no justice to great music in this day of technical advancements.



You've really gotten your knickers twisted in a bunch over this. To my ears, monaural sound can be every bit as revealing as stereophonic sound if the score is well performed, properly miced, etc.

That little sample you entertained yourself with above is equally applicable to stereo recordings.

You can hear splendid detail in monaural recordings. In fact, given the way scores are written today and blasted at us in the full fury of digital stereophonic sound, I have to say I hear LITTLE detail at all....just this huge mish-mash of overpowering digital stereo NOISE. In fact, I have heard some CD recordings of scores that were brilliant on stereo LPs but suddenly were very different because all the isolated instruments were remixed into an orchestral whole.

All I can hope for you is that some day you'll be listening to something truly wonderful and won't know until you're hooked that you've been listening to a monaural recording.

And John Morgan isn't spending a fortune recording in stereo because monaural is INsufficient. Nobody records in monaural any longer...stereo is the standard. BUT many monaural recordings, when they were being done for LP --and in many cases, recorded onto movie soundtracks -- were state-of-the-art artistic achievements in sound recording back in the day.

Don't be so quick to throw it all out. I bet John Morgan wouldn't!

 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2010 - 1:13 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Monaural sounds flat. I can't hear individual instruments in the orchestration very clearly. And it makes the music boring.

So take the Prelude or The Death Hunt from On Dangerous Ground. The orchestra is whipped into a frenzy by Herrmann with a recording that is very clear given the era (typical for Herrmann) and the acetate medium. That is "boring?"

I can see how mono for an orchestra recording can possibly be less engaging to the listener, but I've never thought of it making the music boring. To me, that's more a result from a bad performance and/or lousy recording. I've found there are plenty of "boring" stereo recordings out there.


Just as people are "color blind", there are also people incapable of hearing what is plainly heard by others. It's not "really" an issue with monaural BEING all those things Turntable says it is...it's only an issue that Turntable hears it that way.

It's not good for him, so he presumes to say it's not good for anyone.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2010 - 1:20 AM   
 By:   Turntable   (Member)

I personally like "I" statements, Ron, rather than flaming rants. There is no need to refer to me here. State your case about yourself and what you believe and leave it at that. I have no need for anyone, including you, to worry about my knickers.

When I WAS a boy in the 1950's, my grandfather had a hearing aid, what was then state of the art. He would turn it on and still continue to say, "Speak louder! I can't hear you!" So we would speak louder, and he claimed that he still couldn't hear us. The family all piled in the car and went to the audiologist with grandpa, who had spent a small fortune on his hearing aid.

What the audiologist told us was that Grandpa's state-of-the-art hearing aid was essentially like a monaural vinyl record. EVERYTHING, including traffic, footsteps, wind, the television... everything audible reaching grandpa's hearing aid and the detail is gone.

Stereo recordings today indeed run the gamut, and some scores are so bad they don't even deserve to be printed for anyone to hear, stereo or not.

As far as I know I have a vote on this website the same as everyone else. I don't attack other posters here either with "you should think this" and "you should think that. My initial response simply stated clearly that this customer, myself only, is not buying any monaural recordings. That's my vote, I stand by it, and by the look of sales figures, I am not alone. A lot of those monaural recordings are still sitting on the shelves for years and not selling... and they certainly are not on my shelves.

 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2010 - 1:40 AM   
 By:   shicorp   (Member)

I get your point. Listening to a stereo mix can be plenty of fun - and I guess I would prefer a stereo mix over a mono mix if true stereo elements exist. It's true, however, that a properly balanced mono mix can be miles better than a stereo mix. Remember, that many of the recordings that are issued today were NEVER intended to be listened to in stereo. Many of the Fox/MGM multi-channel elements were not meant to be mixed to stereo at all, but were recorded to create balanced mono mixes.

So, to me mono is no problem (especially if the performance is better than on the re-recording). The things that really drive me nuts are tampering with the original mono sound, over-use of digital noise reduction and compression. These are things that are killing the listening experience for me...

 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2010 - 2:34 AM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

A lot of those monaural recordings are still sitting on the shelves for years and not selling... and they certainly are not on my shelves.


In a few years, judging by the way 3D TV and 3D movies are now being developed and promoted, there might be a whole new generation of young people with a similar mentality to yours, refusing to buy or watch anything that's non-3D.

Those same people will care nothing about the artistic ways a dimensionality was created in "flat" images by creative use of depth of field or other innovative techniques. In the same way, people like yourself discount the brilliant work of recording engineers whose great mono recordings have enabled us to hear and cherish performances that are often unmatched by alternative productions, by different performers, whether in stereo, or SACD surround, or whatever other format.



 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2010 - 2:44 AM   
 By:   shicorp   (Member)

In a few years, judging by the way 3D TV and 3D movies are now being developed and promoted, there might be a whole new generation of young people with a similar mentality to yours, refusing to buy or watch anything that's non-3D.

Time for a re-issue of "Kiss Me Kate" and "Dial 'M' For Murder" thenwink That is, if Warner still have those prints in their vaults...

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2010 - 1:03 PM   
 By:   Ed Nassour   (Member)

In a few years, judging by the way 3D TV and 3D movies are now being developed and promoted, there might be a whole new generation of young people with a similar mentality to yours, refusing to buy or watch anything that's non-3D.

Time for a re-issue of "Kiss Me Kate" and "Dial 'M' For Murder" thenwink That is, if Warner still have those prints in their vaults...


I predict 3D TV will end up fading away, being merely another fad just as it was back in the early part of the 1950s when motion pictures turned to the process to lure people away from TVs and back into the theater.

Two reasons.

First, people don't like to wear the glasses needed for 3-D to work. The technology to make 3D images that are lifelike without the use of glasses hasn't been perfected nor will it ever be as long as we're limited to a conventional viewing screen. One day 3D will become the norm once holographic projectors can be made cheap and cost effective, and so far that appears to be something many of us won't live to see or if we are still around, too old to enjoy.

Second, unless people are watching TV on huge screens, any object that's large that crosses over the image plane out into the room will look relatively small. I learned this while studying the possibilities of producing TV series for the Fox network to be shown in 3-D. We did some tests using digitally produced spaceships for the series "Space: Above and Beyond." Just as soon as they crossed over they appeared to be just a few feet long, not the gigantic ships they were supposed to be. It was like you could reach out and grab them with one hand. This phenomenon diminishes as the screen becomes larger.

I was around for 3D in theaters back in the early 1950s. It always gave me a headache caused by eyestrain.

Many years ago when the Tiffany Theater in now what is West Hollywood had a 3D festival, I went and saw a 3D version of "Dial M for Murder" along with several other 1950s 3D titles. That film utilized 3D better than any other motion picture I saw. The reason was Hitchcock totally ignored it by setting up his shots just as he would have had it been filmed in 2D. But I still ended up suffering eyestrain and a splitting headache.

 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2010 - 2:56 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)


First, people don't like to wear the glasses needed for 3-D to work. The technology to make 3D images that are lifelike without the use of glasses hasn't been perfected nor will it ever be as long as we're limited to a conventional viewing screen. One day 3D will become the norm once holographic projectors can be made cheap and cost effective, and so far that appears to be something many of us won't live to see or if we are still around, too old to enjoy.


I have to disagree with you on this part. At E3 recently, Nintendo announced the release of the 3DS, which essentially gives you glasses-free 3D gaming on a small screen that also has the capability of playing 3D movies. I also heard (through the latest episode of the Bonus-Round on Gametrailers.com) that they also showed off various 3D TVs that are able to give the 3D effect without the use of glasses. I agree with your basic idea that the general public will not likely accept 3D if that means they have to wear glasses [even moreso for someone like myself who is already wearing glasses every day to have to put on a second pair for a movie, although I put up with it in the movie theater].

I'm also curious with all this talk of mono, if someone could provide a good example of a proper mono recording that sounds great. I know the two most recent examples of Mono soundtracks I purchased were The Spiral Road and George Washington. I think perhaps hearing proper Mono might make some people change their minds.

 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2010 - 5:08 PM   
 By:   soop.broth   (Member)

I'm also curious with all this talk of mono, if someone could provide a good example of a proper mono recording that sounds great. I know the two most recent examples of Mono soundtracks I purchased were The Spiral Road and George Washington. I think perhaps hearing proper Mono might make some people change their minds.

The entire Beatles catalog.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2010 - 5:13 PM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

I'm also curious with all this talk of mono, if someone could provide a good example of a proper mono recording that sounds great. I know the two most recent examples of Mono soundtracks I purchased were The Spiral Road and George Washington. I think perhaps hearing proper Mono might make some people change their minds.

The entire Beatles catalog.


Ah, but the new stereo CD's of A Hard Days Night & Beatles For Sale just sound sooo good!

 
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