Glenn Miller - The Popular Recordings (1938-1942)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by tomcat, Apr 26, 2003.

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  1. tomcat

    tomcat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Switzerland
    I have a 3 CD set "Glenn Miller - The Popular Recordings (1938-1942)" on RCA Bluebird ND90412(3) from 1989. The booklet says that this set uses tapes compiled by Frank Driggs in the mid-1970's and original metal parts. Producer John Snyder also claims in the booklet: "We did not attempt to remove surface noise. We found that this made for dull recordings, lacking the spark and flair that must have characterized the original recording sessions. We transferred our sources to the Sony 1630 digital mastering system, using the Sony Digital Audio Editer ("e" as in the booklet) 300 and the Harminium Mundi ("Harmonia"?) digital equalizer. We clarified the bass somewhat and the high-end as well, but in general the changes were minimal. (...)"
    Another statement from the booklet: "...to present the music as accurately and clearly as possible, avoiding "filters" and the overuse of technology. (...) The surface noise may remain, but so does the music - all of it."

    I have briefly compared some tracks with their equivalents on the highly praised "Unforgettable Glenn Miller" CD. I think the "Unforgettable" tracks sound a little more "crisp", while the "Popular" tracks are a bit darker sounding, respectively. Additionally, the recording sessions do not seem to be identical, i.e. there are different takes or versions of the tracks on the two sets.

    Any comments by the forum fellows about these "Driggs tapes" and Frank Driggs as a collector? producer? engineer? and the recordings or about sound quality?

    Greetings
    Thomas
     
  2. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

  3. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    BTW, Tomcat, do you have the 1985 version of Unforgettable or the 2001 version? pdenny has stated in another thread that the 2001 version of Unforgettable has been fiddled around with and agrees with me on the 1985 version.
     
  4. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    This is a case where you have to keep both sets no matter what. BTW, according to AMG, the version of Little Brown Jug on Popular Recordings times at about 3:01 while the version on Unforgettable Glenn Miller times at 2:51. In between the 2 collections, you have St. Louis Blues March on Unforgettable and not on Popular Recordings. Interesting they use different recordings or takes of some of these tracks on the 2 sets. I know you are happy to have both of these sets in your collection.
     
  5. tomcat

    tomcat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Switzerland
    Yes, I have the 1985 version, but as a German pressing. I guess it is still available at amazon.de (Germany). The only difference between this and the US version is the missing colour RCA logo on the cover. I have no idea why they left it off (maybe they wanted to keep the cover black and white to save cost...), but I am quite sure that the disc itself is identical (soundwise) to its US counterpart.

    And thank you very much for the Driggs homepage! I had no idea who this guy is. I have to read that page first...

    Thomas
     
  6. tomcat

    tomcat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Switzerland
    Actually, I have 3 Glenn Miller CD sets. But I would speculate that the GRP "In the Digital Mood: Gold Limited Edition" doesn't count as "historically accurate", does it?
     

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  7. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    The Glenn Miller In The Digital Mood set consists of 1983 recordings with a modern version of the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Tomcat, you have the good version of "Unforgettable Glenn Miller."
     
  8. M.L. Kaufman

    M.L. Kaufman New Member

    Location:
    USA
    The transfers on "The Popular Glenn Miller" derive from two sources: old transfers done in the analogue days under the supervision of Frank Driggs (he was sort of an Orrin Keepnews-type producer, not an engineer, per se) for the "Complete Glenn Miller" LPs, and several new transfers accomplished for the set in question from metal parts. I haven't heard these in awhile, and can't recall every instance, but I do remember that the first cut, "Moonlight Serenade," was one of the new, metal parts transfers. The older ones have less treble and are in general less immediate-sounding. I recall that most of the cuts were sourced from the old tapes, and just a relative handful were newly-done.

    I haven't heard the "Unforgettable" set, but by chance I recently came across a set issued in February called "Platinum," and even judging by the low-quality clips at Amazon's website, these appear to be very crisp transfers, no doubt newer ones from metal parts. Ever since the big Ellington Centennial box set, RCA/BMG has been upgrading the sound of their '78 back catalog, albeit mostly in piecemeal "greatest hits" collections. In general, I'd guess the newer the better when it comes to these things, though I'm sure there are exceptions.

    MK
     
  9. M.L. Kaufman

    M.L. Kaufman New Member

    Location:
    USA
    I thought I'd post this follow-up. I've now had a chance to hear the aforementioned "Platinum" Glenn Miller 2-disc set on my home system. The transfers, by Doug Pomeroy, are exceptionally good: they sound as if they derive from metal parts (a characteristic openness and lack of the distinctive commercial 78 surface crunch). These sound as if Cedar has been very conservatively applied, purely to eliminate transient noises--clicks and pops. The high frequencies of the recordings--such as they are--appear to have been left fully intact, as evidenced by the continuous (but not in any way obtrusive) background surface hiss, and the bottom end is full and apparently un-goosed. Oh, and pure mono, with no added reverb whatsoever.

    Great job. I haven't heard "Unforgettable," but given the improvements that have been made in recent years in the best of 78 disc transfers, I can't imagine these recordings sounding much better than this.

    Very, very highly-recommended.

    MK
     
  10. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    I did pick up the Disky Golden Greats comp of Glenn and I like the sound of it although this was transferred from commercial 78s even though the clicks and pops are left intact. I'm glad to read from you that they actually did a good job on "Platinum" although I am satisfied with the sound of "Unforgettable" and the sound of the Disky Golden Greats comp and if necessary, I can record the rechanneled vinyl into mono on my MD deck.
     
  11. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    Does anyone know if they redid the Complete Glenn Miller 13 Cee Dee Boxset?
     
  12. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    they did not redo the 13 CD boxed set to my knowledge
     
  13. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Florida
    I just picked up the Bluebird Glenn Miller Popular Recordings 1938-1942 on eBay. The 3-disc jewel box and discs themselves are mint; however, it's missing the booklet. Does anyone have a scan of the booklet, or link online to the liner notes/info? I know that cassette owners could mail in a request to get the liner notes. Surely those days have passed! I'm very satisfied with the sound quality.
     
  14. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Florida
    Oh well, too bad it's missing the booklet, what a shame.

    Look what I found!

     
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