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Phenomenal article about Mercury Records
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RobAnderson
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2nd January 2013
Old 2nd January 2013
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Phenomenal article about Mercury Records

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"Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense." - G. Stein 1946

The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour. - Japanese Proverb

"Look into his face and hear the music of the ages. Don't pay too much attention to the sounds--for if you do, you may miss the music." - George Ives
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2nd January 2013
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Bob Fines truck contained over10,000 valves
They shipped it to the UK to record the London Orchestras
Bob Auger, Britain's first freelance Recording Engineer recorded many great sessions with Bob Fine and Wilma.
Valves were always going down,Wilma could spot em...
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2nd January 2013
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awesome!
thanks for the link
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2nd January 2013
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I am glad those days are over. All that noise and distortion and spitty valves.
Music recording is a hi-tech business.
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Great recordings though
Especially the 35MM 3 track sep mags
I used to be in a record room with 2x Westrex 3 track Mag
Noisy as hell from sprocket 'tic', no erase head, False Start or break down of performance ,reload.
Bob Fine was in the truck with the Mag and 2 Ampex recorders
Bob Auger was in the hall on cans or speakers ,if possible
True pioneers.
It was cutting edge then David.
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2nd January 2013
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Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
It was cutting edge then David.
Yeah, acknowledged and respected.

But still glad its all over. Those recordings were good for their day, but they don't compare with today's top recordings.
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2nd January 2013
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The performances do
The technology is almost immaterial
Roger
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3rd January 2013
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Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
The performances do
Oh very much so, yes, no question.

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The technology is almost immaterial
I don't agree with this. The old recordings have a nice "bloom" but its fuzzy, mushy, distorted and noisy. Listen to Solti Ring, there are glottal stops in various parts (mics), terrible tape editing, a bit of a mess really.

But compared to the clarity, dynamics and air in this:
Wagner: Götterdämmerung / Dalayman · Rattle · Berliner Philharmoniker - YouTube

Give me 2013 any day.
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3rd January 2013
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Culshaws Ring Cycle on Decca was very popular in its day
More popular than the 39,681 people who have viewed that UTube clip
(And Birgit is distorting in it)
I like modern day solid state kit and the ability to tinker at home with more precision than the Decca Boys ever had
But I really admire those 50s pioneers in studio and location,we live on Giants Shoulders imho.
Roger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
Culshaws Ring Cycle on Decca was very popular in its day
More popular than the 39,681 people who have viewed that UTube clip
It's only a sampler.

Quote:
(And Birgit is distorting in it)
YouTube artifacts. I have heard the full res of this recording. Its superb, no distortion. The recording team is first rate at the BPHO.
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3rd January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
Culshaws Ring Cycle on Decca was very popular in its day
More popular than the 39,681 people who have viewed that UTube clip
(And Birgit is distorting in it)
I like modern day solid state kit and the ability to tinker at home with more precision than the Decca Boys ever had
But I really admire those 50s pioneers in studio and location,we live on Giants Shoulders imho.
Roger
I think this sums it up really well. Good to see a thread where we are not getting the usual "silly" quotes about how the recordings in those days were so much better than they are now.

Of course the performances contained some legendary artists, most who are unfortunatley long gone. I love the different approach from a performance aspect and it is truly remarkable that they got results as good as they did, a lot of that is down to (I suspect) a lot of hard work from the likes of Bob fine, et al.

With the remastering that they have done, you can now hear as close to what they originally had with the recording, unfortunately it also show's up the odd bits of distortion, poor edits and the slightly "peaky" nature of some of the old valve microphones they used.

All that being said, if the performance is there, I don't mind the slight lack of fidelity compared with the best today.
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3rd January 2013
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I liked seeing that the engineers wore ties as they worked the consoles and tape machines!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy-boy View Post
I liked seeing that the engineers wore ties as they worked the consoles and tape machines!
18 years ago when I was recording the Coldstream Guards band, they were required to wear Jackets and ties for rehearsals, that, however, was stopped about 6 years ago.

I think that the practicalities of laying out cables and multicores across dusty and dirty floors makes it more sensible to wear more casual clothing, though suits look better in photographs.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
I think this sums it up really well. Good to see a thread where we are not getting the usual "silly" quotes about how the recordings in those days were so much better than they are now.
Some of the old recordings were great but there were a lot of dreadful ones.
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