Getz / Gilberto 80's-90's compact disc mix Question

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by RnRmf, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. RnRmf

    RnRmf Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    I've been listening to the different versions I have of Getz/Gilberto and I'm not sure I've read any information about the common mix that was on the majority of Verve compact discs through the 80's and 90's.

    I’ve read most of the info on the forums about this title and most of Steve Hoffman's posts as well. @Steve Hoffman has written, “The album was recorded in 1963 at A&R in NYC on a three channel machine and a mono machine, simultaneously. The left channel had piano, A's vocal, the center had Sax, Gilberto's vocal, guitar, usually slightly left and the right channel had percussion and bass but sometimes the bass was centered. Late 1963, The three channel tape was used to do a reduction mix to two channels (basically splitting the center channel of the three track tape to both channels of the two track tape.) The mix was made by A&R right after recording and editing the three track reel. Phil Ramone made the reduction mix and the three track tape was FILED AWAY, not touched again until 1997. Got that?”

    Note that I have no experience with vinyl of this title. But I do have a number of CD and SACD versions and my questions are about the mix presented on the pre-remix, and second version of the Verve cd’s sold through the 80’s and 90’s.

    The very early (84-85?) black faced Verve compact discs, pressed in W Germany, have what I gather is the reversed channel mix presented on vinyl over the years with hard panning (Astrud on the right/high hat on the left).

    That version was quickly replaced (upgraded?) by what came to be the ubiquitous version on Verve cd until the remix in 1997. This 2nd version reversed the channels, correcting L/R orientation to what's on tape, but NOT ENTIRELY. For instance, Astrud’s vocals on “The Girl From Ipanema” are panned mostly to the left but with a small amount on the right. The illusion is that she is on the left but if one listens to the right channel, she’s clearly there at a low volume. It’s also worth noting that this version is also more transparent than the black faced German Verve (better tape source?). I suspect the 2004 Japanese SACD (UCGU-7031) used this same tape/mix because there is bleed between channels - BUT the channels were swapped so they are opposite to what they are on the Verve cd, described above (this makes it the only version like this that I know of ie.with bleed and this L/R orientation).

    When and where do you think the mix with the channel bleed, used for most of the Verve cd’s up to 1997, came from?
    Is it possible that it was an undisclosed mid-eighties re-mix to correct the channels and the somewhat clearer sound suggests the earlier tapes 3 track tapes were used?

    *Although I don't have vinyl, I'm led to believe that the panning is hard and without bleed. If that's not the case, please correct me. That would probably answer the questions, too.
     
  2. Devin S

    Devin S FS36999?

    And down this sonic rabbit hole we go yet again. A very interesting and tricky topic indeed.

    According to Steve Hoffman the actual three track master has Astrud's vocals hard left. Somehow the channels got switched on the very first stereo mix and that's how it went out on LP for decades. The original three track reduction mix was used on all stereo albums and some CD's from 1963 to 1997, except for later pressing Verve CD's (06 Matrix and above) which used the newer soft left mix.

    So why was this soft left mix created? Why change things after all those years? Honestly I have no idea. All I do know is that any mix which doesn't have Astrud's vocals hard left is wrong. But because the original LP had the channels flipped (whether by mistake or on purpose) the wrong way became the right way to most everyone.

    I've read every thread on this topic here at SHF and on several other forums. But I've never found out why the soft left mix was made and why. Hopefully some new info will be forthcoming on this rather confusing subject.
     
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  3. RnRmf

    RnRmf Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Exactly. How did that mix come to be? It was purposely used to replace the very first Verve issue of the title, as I note in my first post. But the who/why/when about this replacement is elusive.
    Also I'm not sure that first reduction mix is common. It's on the black face Verve cd from around 83/84/85, but I have three other early Verve copies, a W. German with an 07 matrix, a US full silver with an 02! matrix, and the Japanese J33J, and they are all the "soft left" mix as you refer to it.
    Do you recall if the reduction mix is available on any other Verve 810 048-2 issue besides the early Verve German black face issue?
     
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  4. Devin S

    Devin S FS36999?

    Not sure. Over the years I've had three different early CD copies of it and they were all Astrud hard right. Then I had one soft left (the 06 matrix).

    This won't be easy to figure out.
     
  5. RnRmf

    RnRmf Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Very interesting that you think you had 3 reduction mix cd's. I've not come across another Verve 810 048-2 with the original reduction mix besides my black face Verve. Perhaps it was more common than I thought...
     
  6. Devin S

    Devin S FS36999?

    Just went through my CD's and I still have my Verve 810 048-2 US silver face with the hard right mix. I recall once owning the black face disc.

    This is one of my all time favorite albums so whenever I used to come across a used copy for a decent price I'd grab it just find out which mix it was. Haven't done that for quite a while now though.
     
  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    Guys, you're making too much of this. The original mix tape was done using unstable tape stock (thank you SCOTCH) and was getting shot really early and they made an EQ dub with echo from it that made AG's vocal bleed a bit to the right. Nothing sinister. The original two track tape exists but it has rough spots. The replacement tape was easier to work with in disk cutting. That's all there is. No plot.
     
  8. Devin S

    Devin S FS36999?

    Thanks for commenting Steve. Interesting though, why would they add echo to the EQ dub? Do you think it was just a mistake? And why did they switch from the hard right to a soft left mix? Why not just correct the channel swap so that it matched the master?
     
  9. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    No, they didn't add echo to the dub, the made the dub while cutting a set of replacement lacquers. They added a bit of reverb probably because they always did it in that era and it got picked up by the safety dub as well. I would say about 50 different sets of lacquers and tape copies of this album were made in the first 5 years. It was a giant worldwide hit. The original tape on those old Ampex machines couldn't stand up to the constant pounding.
     
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  10. Devin S

    Devin S FS36999?

    Fascinating. So that's when they first corrected the channels, only with some added reverb which would account for the soft left sound.

    Your input is appreciated and invaluable Steve. I think at this point no one knows more about the details of this particular recording than you. You esoteric knowledge of these matters is nothing short of astonishing.
     
  11. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    We came close to issuing it on a Gold CD but MoFi beat us to it. I thought MoFi (by the way) used the original two-track tape. But they added too much air up there, drives my dogs crazy, so I cannot remember, does the MoFi Gold CD have her on the right or left? That could be telling..
     
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  12. Devin S

    Devin S FS36999?

    The MoFi Gold CD (1994) has Astrud hard right.
     
  13. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    Really. They probably used an old pressing as a guide. There is no AG leaking, is there? If not, it's the original battered and bruised master tape, with treble added for all the older crowd.
     
  14. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

    Not sure about added reverb but they severely narrowed the stereo mix for that old Verve CD (pre '97 but not the earliest pressings). Particularly the left channel, bringing Astrud close to the centre (all the way for Astrud and the piano on the opening of "Corcovado" - mono for the intro perhaps?). Maybe some compression too - things get weird when there are peaks.

    Seems like they tried to "improve" the master :unhunh:

    Then, in 2004 this futzed version was used for the Verve 60th Anniversary SACD in Japan!
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
  15. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    So nobody has ever gone back to the 3-track and performed a new mix? They simply copied the original (and dying) two-track mix.

    Might make a nice 3-channel SACD someday.
     
  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    Let's not start this again!

    In 1997 they did. The Verve/MCA thing. Too much bass.
     
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  17. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    I gathered from reading that there is a narrower stereo tape copy (not remixed), and sometimes the channels are revered.
    OP seems confused about how there can be a narrower stereo spread (called leakage), and that a stereo tape can be L&R flipped, while no remix is performed.
     
  18. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    And that a later SACDs has too much "air" (treble boost), I read that here, or there, or somewhere. :agree:
     
  19. Devin S

    Devin S FS36999?

    Why narrow the original stereo spread? For what reason? Does narrowing the spread cause the AG leakage? This point is unclear to me.
     
  20. RnRmf

    RnRmf Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    OP isn't confused. OP doesn't have much information about it, other than what's been espoused in these forums over the years.
    In fact I'm fairly clear on the different digital versions, and own or have owned most of them.
    OP asked a question that really hadn't been asked before and I'm pleased that there's a possible answer in the info our host provided.

    The question regarded how and why this other version with leakage came to be used on Verve 810 048-2 after Verve went through the trouble of making a cd that adhered to the reduction mix and accidental channel swapping, which, according to much of the info on the forum, including from Steve Hoffman, was how many (most? all?) vinyl copies were made from the beginning.
     
  21. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    Often overly strong separation is not always ideal, and does not make for a smooth stereo field across the L&R spread. So we see wide-stereo mixes are narrowed slightly in many cases. It can sound more realistic this way. Ultra-wide stereo can also be fun, and let the bleed happen in the room you are listening in.
     
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  22. RnRmf

    RnRmf Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    None of my copies are what I'd call "severely narrowed." It amounts to more like what Steve Hoffman said about echo being in the other channel.
     
  23. Devin S

    Devin S FS36999?

    My old vinyl pressing sounds ultra-wide. Same with the two CD versions I still have.
     
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  24. RnRmf

    RnRmf Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Thanks for taking the time to answer how echo/reverb on the EQ dub can be the reason for the Astrud's vocals in the other channel.

    Why do you think Verve used this tape after a digital version on compact disc that adhered to the reduction mix was already manufactured and in circulation? Sound Quality? Perhaps multiple digital masters were prepared at different locations from different tapes and it was a coincidence that the tapes used were different?
     
  25. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    They probably pulled it by mistake, or because the original had "Do Not Use" on it. The EQ dub is marked "master" as well. Can get confusing.
     
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