Sinatra / Capitol Sound Quality and General Discussion: Come Fly with Me (recorded 1957)*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by MLutthans, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    None of the stereo LPs sound good to me.

    Interesting how much more closer the UK and Norberg CDs sound on "Let's Get Away From It All" (aside from the processing on Bob's), compared to how very different the two discs sound from each other on "April In Paris".

    I think Larry's CD mops the floor with all the other stereo versions. It's not 100% there, but overall its quite nice, and pretty honest sounding from what I can tell. Much better mix than the original one (though I don't care for how narrow "Around the World" is on it, and I think Frank needs to be balanced louder against the orchestra to varying degrees on some of the songs)...
     
  2. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    The only LPs that pass muster for me (of the ones posted thus far) are the MFSL and the 1984 UK reissue, and they sound very, very different from each other. To my ears, the MFSL has some EQ in the bass that lends Frank's voice a slightly wooly character that oddly I hear in only one other mastering: The Norberg CD! ....but I like the MFSL mastering, and don't care for the Norberg overall. The UK LP seems to present the orchestra in a similar fashion but with a slightly lighter sound to Frank's voice, more akin to the tone on the excellent Walsh CD.

    On CD, that Walsh mix really nails it, possibly Walsh's best remix of a "classic pop" Capitol LP. What's odd is that the vocal seems to be all over the map (in a track-to-track sense) in terms of reverb. Some tracks are surprisingly dry, and others are a bit on the wet side, but each track seems to work on its own terms.

    I'd be totally okay with any of those three versions -- MFSL, UK 1984 LP, Walsh CD -- being the only version available. They are all excellent, IMO, but all quite different from the other.

    I hope others will chime in, too. The samples are posted here: mono and stereo.
     
  3. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Two new additions, same page: http://www.11fifty.com/Site_108/1958_-_Come_Fly_with_Me_Stereo.html

    1. Roughly half way down the page, I post samples that demonstrate odd little quirks in the MFSL and 1984 UK pressings. I'd love to know what's going on there.

    2. At the bottom of the page, some "Segue"-style clips to help clarify differences between some of the masterings, including a look at reverb levels amongst three different mixes.
     
  4. rangerjohn

    rangerjohn Forum Resident

    Location:
    chicago, il
    Thanks for these, Matt. Surprisingly, the UK EMI Box CD is not bad at all. Perhaps not as good as the MFSL LP or the Walsh CD, but arguably just as good as the Dell LP that its sourced from?

    I still prefer the album in mono, in any case.
     
  5. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    The UK EMI 21-CD box is *not* sourced from the mid-1980s Alan Dell LPs, except for the liner notes.
     
  6. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Yeah, I seem to recall going round and round on this in some other Sinatra thread (or maybe this one), and more-or-less agreeing that the 21-CD case used the Alan Dell liner notes and was packaged in a way similar to the big multi-LP Alan Dell LP set from several years earlier, but that the sources were not identical. Dell was, in fact, deceased for 3 years when the CD set came out.
     
  7. rangerjohn

    rangerjohn Forum Resident

    Location:
    chicago, il
    Do we know that this is true for EVERY title? Matt's analysis seems to suggest that CFWM may be sourced from the Dell vinyl. I have no dog in this fight--I'm just saying......
     
  8. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    I think they both are sourced from some incarnation of the common stereo mix. Whether or not it's literally the same tape, or whether or not the 1998 CD is made from the same 1984 digital tape that served as the source for the 1984 LP, is anyone's guess as far as I can tell. Some titles, as you suggest, are definitely 100% different. Others? I dunno.

    Matt
     
  9. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    They probably weren't sourced from the Dell LP masters, as there was a big difference in digital technology from 1984 to 1998. Some of the titles are definitely the Larry Walsh mixes from 1987-91. Others may be taken from UK tape dubs of the original masters (before Capitol futzed with the tapes in the US). As Matt said, CFWM is likely in the latter category.
     
  10. rangerjohn

    rangerjohn Forum Resident

    Location:
    chicago, il
    Thanks guys. In any case, the CFWM CD is another reason to recommend the EMI box to Sinatra fans who want to get as much of the Capitol years in one place, on CD, and in relatively high SQ.
     
  11. apileocole

    apileocole Lush Life Gort

    That's my opinion as well.

    As do I. For the first 2 tracks, I really don't like the balances on the stereo to begin with. Add the distortion and ick. Unfortunately I don't feel any cut of the LPs to date have particularly shined on this one. O for an excellent mastering of the mono.
     
  12. john lennonist

    john lennonist There ONCE was a NOTE, PURE and EASY...


    And, FWIW, I have a D6 / D11 (Gray Label)
    .
     
  13. Arkoffs

    Arkoffs sitting in the back of a car

    I just picked up a D12/D19 mono points LA pressing ...
     
  14. scotpagel

    scotpagel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tucson, Az
    I have a grey label that I finally got around to cleaning. My mom found it in a yard sale. The echo on the album is the natural echo of Studio A or B at Capitol correct? Sounds better than my Capitol from the vaults.
     
  15. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Regarding that mono version: It's the natural echo of one (or more) of the echo chambers beneath the studios, piped in in whatever amount the mixer (engineer) deemed appropriate in October of '57. It's totally dialed in, "seasoned to taste." (Waaaaaay too much for my personal taste.) There was virtually no naturally-occuring reverb in the Capitol studios.

    Matt
     
  16. scotpagel

    scotpagel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tucson, Az
    Thanks for the info and you're right it is very echo heavy I wished they toned it down a little it sounds like its recorded in a canyon.
     
  17. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    This is a definite "pick your poison" title. Mono: Closer mics; more detail; sea of reverb; bad tone. Stereo: Wide-range tone, two mics on the orchestra; drier vocal recording (almost totally dry on some tracks of the Walsh remix); distortion on 5 of 12 tracks.

    To me, the mono is an interesting listen, but I'll take the stereo, despite its defects. Different strokes!

    Matt
     
  18. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Now posted here: Sample from a December 1957 acetate "proof" of the mono LP, presumably cut straight from the session tapes (as were the "D" cuts, of course).
    CapitolCFWMProofJacket.jpg

    Also, I'm still curious if anybody has any thoughts on the little quirks in the MFSL and UK pressings, here.

    Matt
     
  19. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    The acetate sounds the best of the monos now, which is what I would expect. Very nice, without that bit of a bump somewhere in the upper midrange that the D7 has.

    The "jumpiness" on the '84 UK sounds like tape damage/dropouts, if we're listening for the same issue.

    Is the hum on the MoFi around 120hz? It might be a 60hz electric leak somewhere in the chain, then doubled once the half-speed mastering is brought up to normal speed.
     
  20. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    What strikes me so odd about the MFSL "rill" clip (the file titled RillUK-MFSL-UK-MFSL.mp3 <--- click to hear, but it's best if heard in context about two-thirds of the way down this page) is that the hum runs throughout that first track of side two, then it fades out right at the end of the first track, then does not appear at the start of the second track. If the "original master" mixdown tape were being used, it seems to me that either:

    •The hum would run continuously through side 2, if it were an equipment problem on MFSL's part introduced at the cutting stage;

    or

    •The hum would appear on the same track on other editions of the LP, which assumedly used either that same master tape or a dupe made from it.

    (In other words: If the stereo mixdown for that song had the hum on it in the 1960s, it would be audible on other [non-MFSL] pressings, presumably, but....it isn't. On the other hand, if it were introduced at the cutting stage by MFSL, it would be audible during the entire length of side two, unless they were 1.) cutting that song from one tape, then switching sources on the fly for the rest of that LP side; or 2.) Dare I say it? Using digital mastering? Let the rock throwing begin! ...or suggest another cause.)

    I don't get how that hum is ONLY on the MFSL release, and ONLY on that one track, but not on any other releases, unless there is some sort of tricker-pokery going on.

    Inquiring minds want to know....
     
  21. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    All I remember with anything that has related to this is a member here (I think Doug Sclar) complaining about a hum on the MoFi Beatles LPs that was around 120hz. I had a few of those (which I've now sold), and I can swear at least hearing it on PLEASE PLEASE ME (whether it was throughout or not, I don't remember).
     
  22. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Matt, a lot of +2 @ 5k on your acetate!
     
  23. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Yeah, I was wondering what all that label stuff was. I knew it was some sort of EQ marking. (Referring to the acetate photo a few posts back.)

    Matt
     
  24. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Could have been worse, those empty spots could have been filled as well!
     
  25. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    I thought some of those marks could indicate two-and-a-half dB boost at a given frequency, too. :confused:
     

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