What Goes Around Comes Around

AARP Magazine for Jan/Feb 2010 has an article on the current revival of interest in vinyl (long playing) records (How Records Got Their Groove Back, by Bill Newcott). (more…)

Published in: on 23 December 2009 at 06:11  Leave a Comment  
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The Orchestral Balance in Jascha Horenstein’s recording of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony

Jascha Horenstein

Jascha Horenstein

Given the vast number of examples, the survey that I did of recordings of Mahler Symphonies — “Mahler on Record: The Spirit or the Letter?” — in the book Perspectives on Gustav Mahler had to be restricted.

I decided to do this in several ways by considering only: (more…)

The Golden Age of Stereo


I am often asked why the older recordings are better. By older people usually mean the stereo orchestral and operatic recordings made between the late 1950s and early 1970s. I am not sure that I know the answer, but the observation is true in many respects, and recordings from the golden age of stereo continue to provide stiff competition to modern recordings. The venues and techniques used for some of these older recordings are documented and perhaps reveal the secret of their quality. (more…)

The future of Surround Sound

The Soundfield Microphone

The Soundfield Microphone

The July 2009 issue of the U.S. Stereophile magazine contains a leading editorial by Steve Guttenberg in recognition of the tenth anniversary of the launch of Super Audio CD (SACD). He begins:

“I love stereo, always have, always will. A great stereo recording can produce such a full-bodied, three-dimensional soundstage that surround sound seems superfluous. Multichannel is just peachy for home theater, but good ‘ol stereo suits music just fine, thanks very much.”

Recording music today

Recording the old-fashioned way

Recording the old-fashioned way

Nowadays one can purchase all the equipment necessary to make a professional-sounding recording. But it was not always so. Before about 1970, equipment of this quality was to be found mainly in the hands of the large studios — like Abbey Rd, where I worked. (more…)

Published in: on 10 June 2009 at 17:58  Leave a Comment  
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The CD, the LP and the human being

LP : 45 single : CD : cylinder

LP : 45 single : CD : cylinder

Some things are human-sized and some things are scaled and shaped appropriately for the task that they perform: others are not.

An example of something that is human-sized is the analog long-playing record (LP) which, like the 78 rpm record that it replaced, has a diameter of 12 inches. Now the CD is a wonderful medium: (more…)

Published in: on 7 June 2009 at 15:57  Comments (1)  
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