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 Posted:   May 22, 2020 - 7:20 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

Sure! It’s just interesting to me to think why this is.

Chris


smile

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2020 - 7:28 PM   
 By:   ZardozSpeaks   (Member)


People making generalizations about 1950s audio quality based on soundstage recordings.


Which FSM members are you referring to, Onya?

Speaking for myself, because I love film music from the 1950s (both on LPs from the era as well as 60+-year-old premieres on CDs) I rarely - if ever - complain about the variable sound qualities.

Seems to me that if people make generalizations about pre-1960 vintages, they likely do so as some sort of justification to NOT purchase any album offering such content. Either the stereo from the '50s doesn't measure up to their audio standards … or … monaural-only recordings remain unappetizing regardless of how well or poor they may sound. [i.e. mono = no sale]

Additionally, even if recordings made by record labels' studios during the 1950s are better than soundstage recordings made by film studio crews, the appeal of either (or both) continues to dwindle in marketplace demographics whose interests in such types of music are ever-shrinking.
When I sold a large percent of my LPs to a local record store, the millennials @ this store went gaga over my soundtracks from the 1980s and bought them all up proclaiming 'cool'. Quite a bit of my '50s soundtracks, though, were not purchased because they were 'not cool'. At this distance in time in the 21st century, almost all films and music from the 1950s recede into the margins as relics from an era dominated by the aesthetics of white male establishment.

Even if this wasn't the case, though, the current FSM membership is nevertheless greatly nostalgic towards 1980s film music. We are unable to count just how many people love Conan the Barbarian by Basil Poledouris and who rank it as their favorite or in their Top Fives. Out of all those folks, however, I daresay only a small percent also buy CDs of Italian peplum soundtracks from the early '60s (even though peplum offers similar types of sword & sandal fantasy music as Conan).

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2020 - 7:29 PM   
 By:   Chris Malone   (Member)

I guess going full circle on this, yes, a lot of those late 1950/early 60s albums of specifically recorded popular, jazz, and orchestral music still sound pretty amazing. Before the transistor got into everything, it was tube mikes, tube mixing console, tube tape recorder, tube cutting. And the miking was minimal, leakage was welcomed not a pestilence.

Later, transistors, more (close) miking, more and more tracks, more and more sources of hiss hence Dolby-A (which does come with some liabilities), more and more production and tweaking.

We kind of let that beautiful sound of someone like Nat King Cole or Frank Sinatra with an orchestra left and right mike and vocal up the middle, with that lush Capitol chamber echo, get away from us. Or those classical albums recorded in beautiful sounding churches and halls by people like Kenneth ‘Wilkie’ Wilkinson, Robert Fine, Bob Auger. Some of those modern reissues sound more engaging than their original LPs because they weren’t constrained by the cutting and playback requirements of the era and went back to the first generation recording. Sometimes, though, those constraints of that early LP age are part of the very charm and appeal of it.

Chris

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2020 - 8:55 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

Which FSM members are you referring to, Onya?

I don't remember. I can't keep track of every post by every forklift operator or drywall installer.

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2020 - 9:22 PM   
 By:   ZardozSpeaks   (Member)

Which FSM members are you referring to, Onya?

I don't remember. I can't keep track of every post by every forklift operator or drywall installer.


Do you remember any thread at all in which this topic surfaced?
Was it perhaps a Bernard Herrmann soundtrack, for example, about which some people made generalized blanket statements on 1950s sound recordings?

 
 
 Posted:   May 23, 2020 - 7:59 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

Which FSM members are you referring to, Onya?

I don't remember. I can't keep track of every post by every forklift operator or drywall installer.


Do you remember any thread at all in which this topic surfaced?
Was it perhaps a Bernard Herrmann soundtrack, for example, about which some people made generalized blanket statements on 1950s sound recordings?


I know it has come up in threads in which people assume that anything mono is by definition low-fi, even though the term hi-fi predates stereo.

 
 
 Posted:   May 23, 2020 - 9:03 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

I guess going full circle on this, yes, a lot of those late 1950/early 60s albums of specifically recorded popular, jazz, and orchestral music still sound pretty amazing. Before the transistor got into everything, it was tube mikes, tube mixing console, tube tape recorder, tube cutting. And the miking was minimal, leakage was welcomed not a pestilence.

Later, transistors, more (close) miking, more and more tracks, more and more sources of hiss hence Dolby-A (which does come with some liabilities), more and more production and tweaking.

We kind of let that beautiful sound of someone like Nat King Cole or Frank Sinatra with an orchestra left and right mike and vocal up the middle, with that lush Capitol chamber echo, get away from us. Or those classical albums recorded in beautiful sounding churches and halls by people like Kenneth ‘Wilkie’ Wilkinson, Robert Fine, Bob Auger. Some of those modern reissues sound more engaging than their original LPs because they weren’t constrained by the cutting and playback requirements of the era and went back to the first generation recording. Sometimes, though, those constraints of that early LP age are part of the very charm and appeal of it.

Chris


Have you ever compared mono and stereo versions of Capitol albums from that era? For several years, Capitol used different mic setups. Stereo generally used two overhead mics and a third mic for the soloist. The sound could be very natural and beautiful, but sometimes balances were off and details got lost.

Mono recordings of the same sessions used close miking, with as many as 7 channels mixed on the fly to mono. The overall effects are very different. In general, those mono albums always sound incredible. Stereo is hit or miss.

 
 Posted:   May 23, 2020 - 4:54 PM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

Have you ever compared mono and stereo versions of Capitol albums from that era? For several years, Capitol used different mic setups. Stereo generally used two overhead mics and a third mic for the soloist. The sound could be very natural and beautiful, but sometimes balances were off and details got lost.

Mono recordings of the same sessions used close miking, with as many as 7 channels mixed on the fly to mono. The overall effects are very different. In general, those mono albums always sound incredible. Stereo is hit or miss.




This is fascinating. It makes me want to dive into one of those 1950s audiophile mono albums, if I had any.

The only mono recordings "of note" in my collection are the complete-series box sets from STAR TREK and LOST IN SPACE. Quite a few of those episode scores, not all, sound pristine and highly detailed.

 
 
 Posted:   May 23, 2020 - 6:08 PM   
 By:   villagardens553   (Member)

Weird coincidence, but I've been listening to a lot of Afro-Cuban jazz (Gillespie, O'Farrill, Bauza, and so on) and just yesterday played Stan Kenton's Cuban Fire (Capitol Records), from 56 if memory serves. The first thing that struck me was how fantastic the sound quality was.

 
 
 Posted:   May 23, 2020 - 6:23 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

Weird coincidence, but I've been listening to a lot of Afro-Cuban jazz (Gillespie, O'Farrill, Bauza, and so on) and just yesterday played Stan Kenton's Cuban Fire (Capitol Records), from 56 if memory serves. The first thing that struck me was how fantastic the sound quality was.

That album was recorded 64 YEARS AGO TODAY!!! What a coincidence.

And that was recorded in New York! It would have sounded even BETTER if it was recorded at Capitol!

 
 
 Posted:   May 24, 2020 - 2:59 AM   
 By:   Chris Malone   (Member)

I do have four of those Analog Productions Nat King Cole SACDs and some of those have mono mixes. I also have an Ella Fitzgerald CD of mono mixes that sounds fabulous. I don’t have any original mono vinyl from (Capitol) artists of the era, but based on your description of the alternate miking setup, I can see how they would be more detailed and potentially better balanced. I don’t know why some listeners—including film music listeners—hate mono so much. Great mono can have all of the depth of the best stereo recordings.

Do you have any recommendations of mono vinyl to check out?

Chris

 
 Posted:   May 24, 2020 - 3:47 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

I know this is moving away from film music: I have little problem with Mono ... in my expansion of classical music I've bought box sets of mono recordings issued by Decca and Deutsche Grammophon and they are, for the most, better sounding than many stereo albums.

As much as I like the RCA Living Stereo Collections (I bought all three box sets) and, to a lesser extent, the Mercury Living Presence collections (I failed to get set 3 before the price rocketed), both Decca and DG are better listens.

Similarly Archiv Produktion's 1947-2013 55Cd set contains many mono recordings and these are all superb.

Few of the CDs I've bought of 1950s' film scores, despite being stereo, come anywhere close to such fidelity. Often my wife and I will discuss the date of a recording being aired, saying we can't believe it's older than us!
Mitch

 
 
 Posted:   May 24, 2020 - 4:01 AM   
 By:   Nono   (Member)

I do have four of those Analog Productions Nat King Cole SACDs and some of those have mono mixes. I also have an Ella Fitzgerald CD of mono mixes that sounds fabulous. I don’t have any original mono vinyl from (Capitol) artists of the era, but based on your description of the alternate miking setup, I can see how they would be more detailed and potentially better balanced. I don’t know why some listeners—including film music listeners—hate mono so much. Great mono can have all of the depth of the best stereo recordings.

I listen to classical music so I am used to hear great mono recordings.

And I have always thought that film music which wasn't recorded (or preserved) in true stereo could better sound in mono. But I actually don't know if the configuration of the instruments recorded and grouped together on the different tapes could allow good mono mixes, especially with the lack of ambience due to dry recordings.

On the other hand, stereo mixes which such tapes are not completely satisfying either. So I would be really curious to hear them mixed in mono.

 
 
 Posted:   May 24, 2020 - 6:01 AM   
 By:   ZardozSpeaks   (Member)


Do you have any recommendations of mono vinyl to check out?

Chris


Back in 1990, when I was purchasing most of the then-rare LP soundtrack titles according to published price guides, the one whose monaural sound impressed me the most is Elmer Bernstein's 1957 Men in War on Imperial Records.

I realize that there is no reason to hunt down a copy of this Imperial LP since Mr. Kimmel issued the contents of Men in War on a Kritzerland CD edition, but I'm offering my 2 cents since you asked. smile

 
 
 Posted:   May 26, 2020 - 1:32 PM   
 By:   finder4545   (Member)

I see no mention of this:

https://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=106380&forumID=1&archive=0

Onya, do you remember yourself six years ago?

 
 
 Posted:   May 26, 2020 - 2:25 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

I see no mention of this:

https://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=106380&forumID=1&archive=0

Onya, do you remember yourself six years ago?


I do, but the search feature doesn't work for me. I'd ask a moderator to merge the threads, but they don't do that here.

 
 
 Posted:   May 26, 2020 - 9:35 PM   
 By:   finder4545   (Member)

I see no mention of this:

https://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=106380&forumID=1&archive=0

Onya, do you remember yourself six years ago?


I do, but the search feature doesn't work for me. I'd ask a moderator to merge the threads, but they don't do that here.

However, thanks for these wonderful threads

 
 
 Posted:   May 27, 2020 - 5:20 AM   
 By:   TerraEpon   (Member)


I do, but the search feature doesn't work for me. I'd ask a moderator to merge the threads, but they don't do that here.


Have you tried google? Just do site:Filmscoremonthly.com with whatever you want to search,

 
 
 Posted:   May 27, 2020 - 5:30 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

I see no mention of this:

https://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=106380&forumID=1&archive=0

Onya, do you remember yourself six years ago?


I do, but the search feature doesn't work for me. I'd ask a moderator to merge the threads, but they don't do that here.

However, thanks for these wonderful threads


At least I'm consistent! wink

 
 
 Posted:   May 27, 2020 - 5:31 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)


I do, but the search feature doesn't work for me. I'd ask a moderator to merge the threads, but they don't do that here.


Have you tried google? Just do site:Filmscoremonthly.com with whatever you want to search,


That has been hit-or-miss for me, but thanks!

 
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