Sinatra / Capitol Sound Quality (and general discussion): Singles, Soundtracks, Etc.

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by MLutthans, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Well, it's kind of an apples/oranges thing. The *recording* of the 12 tracks for Point of No Return is extremely high-quality. IMO, there are three Capitol albums that could strongly benefit from a tastefully-done remix: Come Dance with Me, Nice 'n' Easy (heresy, I know), and Point of No Return. The tone on the 12 POINT album tracks on that Walsh CD from 1987 is passable, but the vocal tone sounds fat and tubby to my ears.

    The 1953 bonus tracks are kind of the opposite. I think the recording of those four initial Capitol/Sinatra tracks is among the worst in the entire Capitol/Sinatra run. The problem? I think it's "too much band" (in terms of decibels and microphones placement, not necessarily human body count) in too small of a space. On the other hand, the mastering of those tracks on the Walsh CD seems to be really well done and "hands off," with only the very minor caveat of a stereo machine being used to play back mono tapes. The dynamics are good, the tone is good (for the recording), and reverb isn't added (at least not on the first two -- the only ones I've listened to thus far for comparison).

    I guess that I'd have to answer "yes" to your question!
     
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  2. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Odd little piece of minutiae on "I'm Walking Behind You." The 1987 Walsh "Point of No Return" mastering and the 1998 UK "Rarities" CD use the same digital transfer, as they run precisely in sync, start to finish. Here's the odd part, though:

    •The 1998 disc is very slightly more dynamic than the '87 (so slight it doesn't really matter)
    •The polarity is reversed (which doesn't matter)

    Another oddity: The 1990 Collectors Series disc (Furmanek/Walsh) runs in sync with the above two versions, except for an odd splice/fix/tweak/goof (whatever) that would not be noticed under normal circumstances. At 0:50, there's about 1/10th of a second that just disappears on the Furmanek/Walsh CD. Once re-sync'd after that point, the track continues to stay in sync with those two other versions.

    You can hear the odd little jump here: https://app.box.com/s/0tvg29412atr5q4837ri

    That's the 1987 Walsh disc on the left, and the 1990 disc on the right.

    Of those three versions, the Furmanek/Walsh "Collectors Series" is the most dynamic, plus it runs in 100% true mono, not the virtually-indetectable "mono tape on a stereo head" situation of the other two. Then again, those two don't have the virtually-indetectable edit (?) that's on the Collectors Series tape.

    Not that any of this matters! Just sharing!
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013
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  3. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    Matt, does "Lean Baby" sync on THE CAPITOL YEARS with the bonus track from the '87 POINT OF NO RETURN?
     
  4. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    No.

    (I also clarified parts of post #27, and fixed a glaring typo. Sorry.)
     
  5. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    I hadn't played that "wet" version in years. It sounds foreign to me...like a different song.
     
  6. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    re: I'm Walking Behind You

    By the way, on Sinatra 80th: All the Best, it's a recycle of the Collectors Series mastering, with that 1/10th of a second missing for some reason. So odd....
     
  7. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    re: I'm Walking Behind You
    You know....now that I'm aware of that little goofy edit, I notice it as I listen, and it bugs me!

    The edit is right at the start of the phrase "I'm walking behind" in the clip below. (It's around the 0:50 mark on the CD.) Listen to the start of the word "I'm" in the two versions. First up (in each instance) will be the "uncut" Larry Walsh mastering (on which Frank "scoops" the start of "I'm", then the "cut" version (with the scoop missing). I wonder if this was completely unintentional, i.e., a glitch in the editing/authoring process.

    Listen here: https://app.box.com/s/n39pis0fm2maiegd04to

    On an unrelated note, but from the same recording session, I notice that the premiere release of "Don't Make a Beggar of Me" was on the 1966 LP, Forever Frank, yet the front cover lists "Five Hundred Guys" in its place. Oops! Is the rear cover correct, or is the error repeated there, too?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013
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  8. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    The back cover is correct, Matt - FOREVER FRANK has "Don't Make a Beggar Out of Me", not "Five Hundred Guys".
     
  9. jtaylor

    jtaylor Forum Resident

    Location:
    RVA
    I'm with Bob. However, the Ted Nash pictured is the son of trombonist Dick Nash and the nephew of saxophonist Ted Nash.

    This is the Ted Nash we want:

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    I wonder what make of automobile they drove.
     
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  11. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    Thanks, Jordan. It occurred to me, when I found that poster image, that he was a bit too young-looking. :D I see now that his uncle Ted died in 2011, at age 88. His father Dick was six years younger (and still alive?). Strong family resemblance of all three. The two Nash brothers who played with Sinatra look like twins.
     
  12. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    I'll likely be making some alterations, as I still have a few more versions to post/compare, but here's the start of an overview of the very first Sinatra session at Capitol, April 2, 1953: http://www.11fifty.com/Site_108/1953_-_SinglesEtc.html

    Screen shot 2013-08-14 at 3.15.57 AM.jpg

    Any input/suggestions/corrections are welcome, as always.

    Next up will be the April 30, 1953 session that produced I've Got the World on a String, Don't Worry 'Bout Me, I Love You, and South of the Border. Sinatra nuts, please PM me if you can provide any mono clips, and I'll let you know which versions I/we already have. Thanks for all the help on this stuff!
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013
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  13. rangerjohn

    rangerjohn Forum Resident

    Location:
    chicago, il
    Great work Matt. Thanks.

    Very strange that there's only one suitable option for "Beggar," though.
     
  14. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    It was not a very "popular" song.

    BTW, there is an official MP3 release of FOREVER FRANK (http://amzn.com/B002A6V5R4). I have no idea where it came from or what it sounds like, and I'm not about to spend $9.49 to find out. Perhaps someone else has some Amazon MP3 credits they're willing to sacrifice in the name of knowledge? (The other MP3 singles albums at Amazon came from the UK 21-CD box set.)
     
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  15. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    For both "Day In, Day Out" and (especially) "Don't Make a Beggar of Me," I think we're fortunate to have even one GOOD (dry) version!

    Minor updates on the webpage: Lean Baby from Come Fly Away re-uses the Norberg Complete Capitol Singles mastering, and Amazon's Capitol-licensed Forever Frank LP download uses reverbed tapes.

    Come Fly Away mastering info: "Tape Review & Mixing: Larry Walsh & Charles Pignone"; "mastered by Dan Hersch at DigiPrep."

    (Thanks for the help, Oldcoder and Bob F.)
     
  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    The A TAKE master of I've Got The World On A String is on the THIS IS SINATRA album.
     
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  17. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
  18. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Minor update to the webpage again:

    The 2010 Dance with Me Warner/Reprise CD contains "Lean Baby," licensed from Capitol. Credits:
    <<Tape Review and Mixing: Larry Walsh & Charles Pignone
    Mastering: Dan Hersch at DigiPrep & Nick Dofflemyer at Universal>>

    It uses the already-"processed" Complete Capitol Singles Norberg track, but adds considerable compression, with distortion in some spots.

    (Thanks, Bob F.)
     
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  19. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    It may be that the only "mixing" performed on those Selections From... CDs for the Twyla Tharp "dance-icals"—Come Fly Away: A New Musical Love Affair (on Broadway and national tour) and Sinatra: Dance with Me (the Wynn Las Vegas version)—were for the two "alternate version" tracks, "I've Got the World on a String" and "I'm Gonna Live Till I Die."

    Those came from multi-track taped television sources owned by the Sinatra family. They did not need to be licensed from Capitol (but were never explained officially as TV recordings), and they would have had to be mixed anew for CD releases. The other Capitol and Reprise tracks on these discs were probably taken from existing masters.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013
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  20. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    There are a few clips we'd still like to learn about. Anybody have these?

    •Lean Baby:
    Capitol WCO-1762 — Sinatra - The Great Years (1962 mono)*
    Capitol LP 12": Swing Easy! (1962 mono)*
    Capitol/Pickwick LP 12": PC-3457 — Just One Of Those Things (1969 mono)*
    Capitol (EMI Music Special Markets) CD: 72438-19688-2-6 — Frank Sinatra's Perfect Ten (1997)
    or any other mono sources not yet checked.

    *My guess is that these use "wet" source tapes. Can anybody confirm?

    •I'm Walking Behind You
    Capitol LP Various Artists 10": H-9115 — Today's Top Hits By Today's Top Artists, Vol. X (1953)

    I think we can safely say that for the Sinatra/Stordahl April 2 session, just pick up Larry Walsh's 1987 "Point of No Return" CD and life is good!
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013
  21. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    I should have made clear that only the isolated TV vocal tracks were used. New studio orchestrations were recorded for these, presumably conducted by Frank Sinatra, Jr. (uncredited for apparent legal reasons).
     
  22. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    I'd imagine so...I only have the "stereo" set, and it has the pre-stereo stuff in Duophonic. :(
     
  23. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

  24. paulmock

    paulmock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    Thank God you do, Steve...Thank God you do!!!!
     
  25. Don't ever stop, Steve...we love it when you're in full-out music nerd mode and learn a lot from when you are!!!
     

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