Sinatra / Capitol: General Purpose Sound Quality (and more) Discussion Thread*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by hodgo, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. Bob F

    Bob F Senior Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts USA
    Evidence is mounting that the British MFP 16-track version is even better, and that it is NOT the Larry Walsh remaster as everyone has assumed (because it carries the US liner notes which credit Walsh).

    A Sinatra Family Forum member who owns both CDs has just commented, and he claims the MFP version is totally dry, without the extra stereo reverb which may have been added to the Walsh remaster. (See here.)

    Looks like I'll be adding a seventh version of these titles to my CD collection.
     
  2. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

    Location:
    .
    On my 1987 Walsh disc, there's no 'stereo' reverb. However, I agree that there may be some subtle extra reverb added, with the end result still being a mono CD.
     
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Robert,

    Haven't been following this thread but the master tapes for both SWING EASY and YOUNG LOVERS were recorded wet. There is no "dry" version in existance... Are you talking about extra verb added to the already wet masters?

    1952 was the last dry year for Capitol recordings.
     
  4. Bob F

    Bob F Senior Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts USA
    Hi Steve,

    Yes. Apparently, there are different degrees of "wetness" for these two albums (SONGS FOR YOUNG LOVERS and SWING EASY!). Still talking about the pre-1960 masters (NOT the ones which were messed up for the later Capitol reissues), there is a British CD issue on the EMI MFP label which sounds "drier" than the 1987 US remaster by Larry Walsh.

    Bob
     
  5. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    OK, I see.

    FYI to all others, the Capitol 1952 "echo memo" was a touch of chamber starting in late 1952 and continuing until the very end of 1956. The new echo memo from the start of 1957 dictated that a lot more than a touch of verb was to be added to everything. So, recordings from 1957 (like COME FLY WITH ME) are drenched.

    In 1961 or 62 Capitol redubbed a lot of pre 1957 stuff with triple the reverb to bring the older stuff up to the drench level of the post 1957 stuff. These newly drenched tapes were confusingly marked "master" and the older, dryer original tapes were taken apart and stored on other reels.

    (We are talking MONO, of course.)

    John Kraus told me that there was a second tape machine that recorded the 1953-59 mono sessions bone dry but those tapes were mostly destroyed in 1959.

    The three-track tapes from 1956 to around 1961 were of course bone dry and echo was added in reduction mixing to two-track.

    The late Pete Welding told me that the Larry Walsh mono stuff on CD from the 1980's used the correct dryer masters from the pre-1957 Frank stuff but added digital reverb to the songs! I think it was Pete's idea. Yikes.
     
  6. Bob F

    Bob F Senior Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts USA
    Exactly! I'm betting that this particular British CD we've been discussing uses the correct "drier" masters WITHOUT any extra digital reverb. (I haven't heard it yet, but I'm going by reports of others.)

    The confusion about the origin of this CD stems from the fact that it comes with the identical liner booklet as the US version, which credits Walsh as the mastering engineer. However, this CD is likely NOT mastered by Walsh.

    I'm sure we'll get some listening samples posted soon, so that we can put this discussion to rest once and for all.
     
  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Bob,

    I don't think so, or the Brit. version uses the copy tapes that Capitol made for them in the 1950's. That might be possible.

    I once asked Pete W. if there were digital backup files of the original tapes without the added digital echo and he said "No, why should there be?"

    In other words he thought the sound of the old tapes sucked or something. In fact, they sound so wonderful it's a shame that no one can actually hear them. Makes me scratch my head.

    It's so confusing. I guess 1962 was the year that Capitol decided to do a giant reissue project and mucked around with all the old albums and their sound. I ran into the same problem with the Nat King Cole stuff. Wading through the redubbed tapes marked MASTER to finally find the real original tapes marked DO NOT USE drove me nuts (and I guess I drove the nice folks at EMI nutsy as well).:D
     
  8. Bob F

    Bob F Senior Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts USA
    Makes us all scratch, Steve. :)

    BTW, I'm assuming the British CD DOES use dub tapes, not the first-gen masters. I.e., as good as it sounds, it could be even better.
     
  9. fortherecord

    fortherecord Senior Member

    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Why were some of the current remasters redone in 2002 after having been issued in 98 or 99? Was it simply to redo them in 24 bit as opposed to 20 bit? Did Norberg do both the 20 and 24 bit remasters?
     
  10. Bob F

    Bob F Senior Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts USA
    They weren't redone in 2002. The CDs that were released in 2002 were actually remastered earlier. The identical discs were in the 2000 Concepts box set. Norberg did both the 20-bit and 24-bit remasters. The first seven CDs, released in 1998, were labeled "20-bit"; the other nine CDs in 1999-2000, "24-bit." There was no duplication of titles.
     
  11. bgiliberti

    bgiliberti Will You Be My Neighbor?

    Location:
    USA
    I don't doubt you, but you need to check this out. I have the MFP EMI from Amazon UK. Maybe just the merest touch of wetness on the SE tracks, but if you hadn't said that I would have thought it was normal recording studio room/booth ambience, not anything that's been run through the Capitol Records Tower echo booth or anything. I hear even less -- if any -- echo on the SYL tracks. Quite apart from that, this is the great Sinatra sound, better I feel even than even Collectors's Series disc.
     
  12. Bob F

    Bob F Senior Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts USA
    These were recorded at Melrose Avenue. The Capitol Tower hadn't been built yet.
     
  13. bgiliberti

    bgiliberti Will You Be My Neighbor?

    Location:
    USA
    Oh....
     
  14. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

    Location:
    .
    As a point of reference, FYI, the stuff prior to 'Tone Poems Of Color' is at Melrose/KHJ.

    Then the move to The Tower.
     
  15. Sean Keane

    Sean Keane Pre-Mono record collector In Memoriam

    But considering that Sinatra was singing four feet lower than the band in that space, there may have been a bit of natural echo.
     
  16. Bob F

    Bob F Senior Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts USA
    Not necessary. There were echo chambers on the roof at the Melrose Avenue studios. Not quite as sophisticated as what were built underground beneath the parking lot at the Capitol Tower, but they produced beautiful sound.
     
  17. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    I don't remember saying that. Larry didn't add echo to the '87 issue disc - it comes from the dub tapes that already have additional echo.
     
  18. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey

    Steve, do you know who made the decision on these?
     
  19. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    I think this is being mixed up (not by you, Martin) with comments made that were specifically in regards to the Walsh issue of IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS.

    Matt
     
  20. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    added echo


    http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showthread.php?p=2923338&highlight=#post2923338

     
  21. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showthread.php?p=2721503&highlight=#post2721503
    As far as I can tell with Frank's regular Capitol albums, the '87 YOUNG LOVERS/SWING EASY disc is the only time dubs were used by Larry, and all the stereos he did were (then) newly mixed.
     
  22. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey

    That setup sometimes used was for Melrose Studio A (and possibly B) - the one time "radio theatres", used as such before Capitol took over the building. Studio C, often used at Melrose, was a more conventional room, with no stage facilities.
     
  23. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey

    Thanks Steve. I never knew if they messed with other artists stuff like this as well.
     
  24. nickelz24

    nickelz24 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Honolulu,Hawaii
    In the Wee Small Hours - "Glad To Be Unhappy" (British CD Boxset Mono) Sounds like no EXTRA verb...

    www.computer-bud.com/03GladToBeUnhappy.wav

    I don't have the Larry Walsh version for comparison. Hopefully someone here does. Maybe I should go buy it..it's been sitting at the record store for months for 7 bucks. Or I could just goto the library and borrow it just to give it a listen. Heard the Bob Norberg version and it had some funky echo, but I'm sure everyone knows this by now.


    And just for kicks...

    Songs for Young Lovers - "My Funny Valentine" (Grey Label Vinyl Mono)

    www.computer-bud.com/myfunnyvalentinevinyl.wav

    Nice copy (I have 2). Needledropped with very very poor equipment.

    This is my friend's server by the way, so I won't leave this up here too long. Be gentle :).
     
  25. nickelz24

    nickelz24 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Honolulu,Hawaii
    Oops! Just read further back, Bob is talking about Songs for Young Lovers/Swing Easy British CDs eh? I can post that up...give me a few!

    Update: I started reading from the beginning and I'm lost and lazy haha. I'll leave the previous clips up for the hell of it. If anyone needs clips of something let me know. I have some british box set stuff, a bunch of capitol grey labels, a few walsh stereo versions. So just say the word.
     

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