Existential Crisis: Mono or Stereo Kind of Blue HDTracks?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by huge logo, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. huge logo

    huge logo Well-Known Member

    Kind of Blue is an album most have heard many times before in a wide variety of formats. Now, you can hear it as if you were right there in the recording studio with the musicians! After many years, Sony finally decided to remaster Kind of Blue hi-res at 192kHz/24bit with the brilliant engineer Mark Wilder and the dedicated and knowledgeable producer Steve Berkowtiz (who has spent more time with and knows this album better than anyone out there). The quality of sound on this recording is unparalleled—listening to this release is like being IN THE STUDIO with Miles.

    Kind of Blue Becomes Digital, by Engineer Mark Wilder

    "Since the Kind of Blue mixed masters are multiple generations from the original (due to excessive play/wear), we decided to go directly to the original session reels. Not only does this put us at the original session as a starting point, but it also allows us to deal with the pitch issue as well.

    The three, 3-track half-inch tapes are in good condition, but age has force them to “scallop” a little, meaning that the edges curl away from the tape head. This changed the initial focus from mixing from the originals to archiving them before mixing and working from the archive files. This allowed us to gently guide the tape against the playback head to get optimal contact and fidelity.

    The archiving was done at 192kHz/24 bits, played from a modified Ampex ATR 104, and hard-wired to HDCD Model 2’s directly patched to a Lynx 2 sound card.

    An upside to working from the archive files was the ability to chase the original fader moves done during the mix in 1959. We constantly compared to an early pressing - mono and stereo - and worked bar by bar to duplicate the level moves on the three tracks to match as well as possible.

    Each channel was converted to analog and passed through a GML mixer, bussed to stereo or mono - depending on the release format - and converted once again to 192Kc/24 bits. At the GML, we inserted processing where needed.”

    – Mark Wilder, Battery Studios

    -----------------------------

    Mono intrigues me. I am a big fan of mono recordings but sonically I would think stereo would be more pleasing to the ear. I am guessing I am like you -- I already own multiple copies of this record. Vinyl, CD, vinyl rip of a six eye etc...

    But I have a sickness and kind of think I need this to. Why work for a living if you are not gonna buy stuff with the money right??
     
  2. rcb30

    rcb30 Well-Known Member

    For what it's worth: I had both in the cart. I applied some discretion and took out the mono.
    I started playing the stereo FLAC's, and before the intro to "So What" was over, I was thinking, "Hmm, it sure would be nice to hear Evans more over here in the middle ..."
     
  3. jlc76

    jlc76 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Austin, TX, U.S.A.
    Is the mono just a fold down of the stereo? If so you can probably do that with software and get the same result.
     
  4. Doug Sclar

    Doug Sclar Forum Legend

    Location:
    The OC
    I bought them both last night. I've not gotten through them yet but bits and pieces of each sounded wonderful.
     
  5. huge logo

    huge logo Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the replies so far

    Okay I took the plunge and went with stereo and am listening to it now --- I am honestly blown away. Evans piano is so rich and clear. The drums are really well represented as well.

    My favorite thing about it tho is that the levels of the horns are PERFECT to my tastes. Sometimes I think Miles horn is pushed so far up in the mix it is not pleasant to listen to. Maybe that is just me.

    In any case this is on the high end of the HDTracks I have. Really enjoyable listen.

    And of course I want to hear the mono now -- and I know what you are saying rcb30 re the sound stage they went with. That is pretty common in most of my recordings to put the keys on one side or another for the most part. It is as if they are on stage and you have a front row acoustic seat. Cuz the horns do appear to come from where they would be standing to record. I have no complaints tho.

    I would recommend this to anyone on the fence. also I should have included this in the first post:

    Discount code

    10% Off with ~ HDBLUE10
     
  6. rburly

    rburly I know What I Like

    Location:
    Orlando
    I'll buy them both. I just saw the email this morning, but didn't get a chance to fully read it.

    I'll still buy both though. :)
     
  7. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    I have both just finished listening to them. They both are great sounding.
     
  8. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    I think they both sound great. Worth the money IMO.
     
    rburly likes this.
  9. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    Could you tell me how you became aware of the discount? I paid full price for the mono and stereo. Thanks.
     
  10. Doug Sclar

    Doug Sclar Forum Legend

    Location:
    The OC
    I got an email from them yesterday with the code. Not everybody seems to get the same emails all of the time.

    Unfortunately they only took off 10% for one of the discs. It was such a pain to deal with their site that I just gave up and took the single discount. I couldn't see getting all worked up for $2.50.

    Luckily I could also still use the 20% code which expired last night, but I had to do multiple purchases to use them both. I bought Ella/Kern Songbook with the 20% and it's a great purchase.
     
  11. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    Thanks. I will have to check into it. I am spending a lot of money on HD Tracks but every album I have ordered has been great to amazing sounding.
     
  12. Doug Sclar

    Doug Sclar Forum Legend

    Location:
    The OC
    Good to hear.

    I think it's important for people like you who are happy to post about your impressions because there sure are a lot of people whining about HDTracks. I imagine that's inevitable because some people here seem to whine about just about everything.
     
    mindblanking and saundr00 like this.
  13. Terry

    Terry Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee
    What is the 20 percent code?
     
    Rose River Bear likes this.
  14. Doug Sclar

    Doug Sclar Forum Legend

    Location:
    The OC
    Just use code HDNEW20 to save 20% on one or more of the titles listed below. This code can be applied to multiple orders and expires 11/18/2013 11:59PM PST. Note: While we continue to optimize the checkout experience, we recommend splitting up large purchases of more than six albums into multiple orders.
     
    Rose River Bear likes this.
  15. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    That is surprising that some people are whining. I will have to read the posts. I have ordered around 7 albums since I got my Oppo BDP 103. Machine Head by Deep Purple from HDT is now my go to version. Same with Relayer and The Yes Album by Yes.
    I am listening to the Mono Kind of Blue now and it is stunning.
     
  16. Doug Sclar

    Doug Sclar Forum Legend

    Location:
    The OC
    Mostly they whine that they don't always provide mastering information, but also many claim that albums are upsampled and couldn't possibly sound as good as some of us seem to think they do. Of course all it takes it listening to determine all I need to know. If it sounds good to me that's all I am concerned with. Others have different perspectives.

    You know that many suggest that if it doesn't look 'right' on a graphic display it's probably not worth listening to. :shake:
     
    mindblanking and Rose River Bear like this.
  17. Leroy Bad

    Leroy Bad Member

    Location:
    Chula Vista, CA
    Sorry for this amateur question, but if I buy the Stereo version, and set my stereo system to mono output...well how different is that from the actual mono recording?
     
  18. huge logo

    huge logo Well-Known Member

    Subscribe to their email list and also once you buy something you should get some VIP codes and chances to buy stuff a day or two early sometimes.

    Also if you go to their Facebook page their is a code that can pretty much always be used. It is supposed to be for people who like the page but it should be good whenever. I have used it. I forget how much off it is.
     
  19. GroovinGarrett

    GroovinGarrett Sounds Great in STEREO

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    The MONO mix is a reduction from the three-track, three tracks to one.

    The stereo mix is a reduction from the three-track, three tracks to two.

    The results from folding the stereo mix would not be the same as Mark Wilder's new MONO mix. Different balance.
     
  20. Paul K

    Paul K Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada

    You mean that this mono mix is a reduction from the three track. The original mono mix was mixed right there at the time of recording as it happened direct to monaural tape recorder.
     
  21. SteelyTom

    SteelyTom Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, Mass.
    Funny Sony would choose to promote a hi-rez PCM version of KofB, after Wilder mastered it via DSD for (5.1 J)SACD.

    I suppose PCM makes sense from a conservative, archival point of view.
     
  22. GroovinGarrett

    GroovinGarrett Sounds Great in STEREO

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Correct. The MONO mix on HDTracks is a new mix from the three track master.
     
    Paul K likes this.
  23. wgb113

    wgb113 Active Member

    Location:
    Chester County, PA
    Can't wait to download both versions. Looking forward to the MoFi monos as well.

    Bill
     
  24. rbbert

    rbbert Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Reno, NV, USA
    I'm not all that thrilled with the new stereo mix. Besides that, it seems to me that there has been some tape deterioration (tiny high frequency dropouts, esp on So What) compared to the SACD.
     
  25. Terry

    Terry Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee
    HDBLUE10 is not working. Is this the correct code?
     

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