SH Spotlight By request: How I mixed Nat King Cole multi-tracks into stereo for SACD & 45 RPM LP.

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    I dunno, I've found a bunch on eBay. Basically Capitol/EMI UK vinyl from the 50's and early 60's.. Cheap, sounding great. Maybe I'm just lucky?
     
  2. paulmock

    paulmock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    Steve,

    So you approve of the early Capitol UK pressings? I've never heard one as I'd been shy to try one out. Good to know!:thumbsup:
     
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Depends. Has to be from around 1958 to 64 or so. Mono only.

    I've only heard the Nat Coles, not Sinatra so I don't know about those.

    In fact, now that I think about it, I've seen the notations where "tape copy for EMI, UK, 12-4-58", etc. were written on the mono tapes. Those are the ones I trust and found them used on eBay for not much. Nothing earlier than '58 for a cutting though...
     
  4. Ere

    Ere Senior Member

    Location:
    Silver Spring MD
    When dialing in the echo on the stereo tracks - did you consult any pressings for reference or do you have a target level in your mind and shoot for that?

    Is the echo on the mono tapes printed on them from the get-go?
     
  5. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Yes, added live during the session.
     
  6. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    In this case I played the mono original for reference (it was, after all, a #1 album) and backed off the echo about 25% because stereo echo is always more noticeable. If you compare track 5 and 6 (remix and mono) on the SACD or 45 RPM vinyl version, pretty close in the wetness department but not overpowering and detail obscuring like the original stereo reduction of 1958.

    I know, too much information. You did ask..
     
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  7. hodgo

    hodgo Tea Making Gort (Yorkshire Branch) Staff

    Location:
    East Yorkshire
    Steve I remember you saying at the time that everyone, Capitol, AP, yourself and Nat's family included wanted to make this happen, you also said that everyone took a lower cut and possibly AP may not even break even on this project.

    Do you know how all this came about, whose idea was it and how hard was to achieve the end result, do you know if the project managed to break even.

    For my part I think what you all achieved was incredible and a lasting tribute to Nat.
     
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  8. Ere

    Ere Senior Member

    Location:
    Silver Spring MD
    Not at all, Steve. This aspect of your method and the sources fascinates me musically and professionally. Thanks!

    This is one of those albums I consider a national treasure and deserving of the word timeless.
     
  9. vonwegen

    vonwegen Forum Resident

    This album has gorgeous sound, both in stereo remix and the original mono. Love reading details about the recording of it.

    Wish we could get info like this about the Stones in the studio...
     
  10. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Chad Kassem of Acoustic Sounds. His idea. He wanted to do Nat, he wanted to do the vinyl at 45 and have it be cut from the three-tracks directly with no intermediate mix, he wanted the surround version on SACD, he also wanted to reproduce the box set "Nat King Cole Story" complete.

    I suggested the monos be included, also to do the downer "Where Did Everyone Go" album (to be able to tie the three Nat Cole/Gordon Jenkins albums together) and to include the often overlooked "St. Louis Blues" album with Nelson Riddle.

    After those were in the works, we convinced each other that a strictly mono SACD would work and needed to be included in the series, that was "After Midnight", Nat's masterpiece. Chad even made it a THREE vinyl album so we could include the amazing bonus tracks at 45 RPM.

    Chad was the mover & shaker on this giant project.
     
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  11. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Glad to hear it. Sometimes I feel like I'm talking to an audience of none.
     
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  12. Chris Malone

    Chris Malone Forum Resident

    Location:
    Australia
    Fascinating stuff, Steve, and top-drawer productions that deserve to be part of any fine music collection. Many thanks for sharing these informative peeks behind the curtain.
     
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  13. paulmock

    paulmock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    OH MY! Is that really true, Steve? Those of us (and you KNOW who we are) attempt to carry on lively and informative conversations with you because you have actually HEARD the session tapes of some of the most important music created in the USA in the 20th century. Sometimes we (I speak for myself) back away from barraging you with questions so as not to keep harping on the same old minute issue in question of the moment of one of our favorite recordings. You ain't talkin' to the air, believe me!

    You're a treasure!:love:
     
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  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Thanks, Paul. I love talking about recording details, especially if it's a great recording...
     
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  15. Grant

    Grant Just me

    Location:
    United States
    Unfortunately, it only helps if the reader is familiar with the material being discussed. I just don't have this particular recording in my collection.:(
     
  16. Beech

    Beech Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Thanks for sharing Steve. :thumbsup:

    Your technique for making the verb longer is intriguing and the idea of the LA2a on the output also.
     
  17. Steve, thanks for taking the time sharing with us, I love this recording. The whole Nat SACD series is a dream come true.
     
  18. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Sure, my pleasure.

    I have even more endless tidbits about the other Nat King Cole albums I worked on!
     
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  19. paulmock

    paulmock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    WONDERFUL! I mean...look how we are disecting the Ella Fitzgerald Verve mono vs. stereo in another thread. We're all insane here!;)
     
  20. Nobby

    Nobby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    If ever we meet, I dread to think how long our conversation would last! :)
     
  21. jtaylor

    jtaylor Forum Resident

    Location:
    RVA
    No need to limit it then to Love is the Thing. All seven of the AP albums need a thread like this one.
     
  22. wcarroll

    wcarroll Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    No, It's me that has bad luck! I recently found a mono "Made in England" copy that appears near mint visually, but plays with lots of popping and clicking. The music sounds good though! Will give it a good cleaning and try again...
     
  23. Ere

    Ere Senior Member

    Location:
    Silver Spring MD
    If I understand, you used different sources on the DCC version of the album?

    The liner notes to the DCC cd reference "Mx" numbers, is that short for "mix"? In other words, for the DCC you used contemporaneous stereo mixes (2 track) and for the Analogue Productions versions you worked directly from the three tracks?
     
  24. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    No, not at all. Both the DCC from 1996 and the AP from 2008 were remixed by me from the same Capitol ZD-11/3.
     
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  25. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    they are out there...

    great thread Steve, I have most of the 45rpms and SACD's...reading this makes me want to grab the last bits I've been dragging my feet on...

    these are all...:love:
     

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