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ARSCLIST  August 2012

ARSCLIST August 2012

Subject:

Re: New-ish EMI set

From:

Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 8 Aug 2012 21:26:15 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (162 lines)

Hi Carl:

Bob Auger was a great engineer, a real giant in British audio production. Do some googling on him,
he was a major force over there. He was a staff engineer for Pye Records when Mercury and Pye worked
together, and he and my father became good friends. Auger engineered many Kinks recordings for Pye,
among many other things. He also taught Eddie Kramer engineering, and Kramer said in at least one
interview that his drum mic technique was a varient on the 3-spaced-omni approach, taught to him by
Bob Auger who learned it working with the Mercury crew. If I'm recalling Bob Auger's obit correctly,
he also went on to be a major force in sound-for-TV engineering in the UK.

I would say, if a Barbirolli recording was made for Pye Records after 1957, it was an
Auger-originated recording. If it was made for EMI originally, it was probably not engineered by
Auger. EMI's approach to classical recording in the stereo era varied from relatively few mics to
many mics, at least that's how I interpret what I've read and seen in photos. And there was a whole
different approach taken by Carson Taylor for U.S. sessions, but that's another discussion for
another time. I've seen photos are Abbey Road where you can count 40+ mics, but I've also seen
photos from Kingsway where there seem to be a dozen or fewer mics.

If/when UMG acquires EMI, it's possible that the combined vaults will straighten out the Barbirolli
master tapes and we may one day get a complete box set, using both Pye first-generation tapes and
Mercury 3-track masters, plus later EMI masters. I suspect one issue with the Mercury/Pye stuff is
that all the documentation may not be together in one place, which would be solved by a consolidated
UMG/EMI vault.

-- Tom Fine

PS -- I agree abouit the V-W 8th, which was dedicated to Barbirolli and premiered just before the
recording took place. There was all kinds of excitement surrounding that session and the performance
was electric.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Carl Pultz" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 8:38 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] New-ish EMI set


> Tom, I've been curious about that situation, too, as another of my treasured
> discs is the Pye/Mercury V-W Sym #8. I have both the Mercury LP and the
> Testament/Barbirolli Society CD reissue. The neighborhood is too quiet now
> to put either on (at the right volume!) to refresh my memory, but I'll do
> that tomorrow.
>
> Did Auger work for Pye? He engineered the Halle 'A London Symphony" session
> the next year, 12/1957. It appears on the same CD.
>
> I was actually referring to the V-W sym 5, made in Kingsway in 1962. I've
> only heard the Angel LP and the ca. 1994 CD versions. Sonically, they're
> quite a disappointment, sounding rather muted and cloudy. Surprising for
> both the team and location, and the fact that the session was the return to
> EMI for Sir John, after a long absence from the label. You'd think they'd
> have pulled all the stops. Is there a Barbirolli maven out there who has an
> EMI LP pressing of this session? Does it sound woolly to you?
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
> Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 7:45 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] New-ish EMI set
>
> Regarding the Barbirolli material that was recorded by Mercury and Pye, I am
> pretty sure that EMI
> used the Pye 2-track masters for their early-era CD reissues. I think those
> digital masters were
> later leased to the Barbirolli Society, which put out some of the same
> material. According to the
> Mercury tape logs I've seen, all of the Halle/Barbirolli 3-track and mono
> masters were sent to EMI,
> many of them in the early 60's and the rest by 1971. I am not clear exactly
> what the Pye 2-track
> master were. I was told by one first-person participant that they were made
> by Pye from the feeds
> of the left and right mics, which would explain what I perceive as a
> non-Mercury-like weak center in
> the EMI CD reissues. Another first-person participant told me that Bob Auger
> did his own on-location
> 3-2 mix and recorded to a 2-track master. A more logical explaination, based
> on other Mercury
> operating procedures, is that Pye would have gotten a 2-track made during
> the first American LP
> cutting, so it is a "first generation 3-2 mix" tape. However, as I said, the
> EMI CD reissues do not
> sound the same as the original Mercury LPs or mass-duped 2-track tapes.
>
> -- Tom Fine
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Carl Pultz" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 7:23 PM
> Subject: [ARSCLIST] New-ish EMI set
>
>
>>I was happy to find that the 'Sir John Barbirolli: The Great EMI
> Recordings'
>> box set contained a mix of transfers from across the digital era, the
> newer
>> ones excellent. A few tunes that had been the subject of earlier issues
> are
>> updated. One example is the famous Tallis Fantasia session, which Bernard
>> Herrmann had a hand in. The 2000 remastering in the box is dramatically
>> different than the 1980s reissue and just clobbers the Angel LP.
>> Unfortunately, the V-W 5 is not updated, but the glory shines through
>> anyway.
>>
>> As someone here recently said, much of the EMI catalog has lagged somewhat
>> behind the state of the art. With such a huge catalog, that might be
>> understandable, even without all the corporate drama.
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
>> Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 3:06 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] New SONY sets
>>
>> Mike, do you know if there's a policy as to WHICH digital transfer to use?
>> In the case of both
>> Columbia (Sony) and RCA (BMG), there were many not-so-good attempts before
>> good remasters were
>> obtained. For Sony, I'd put the ones that Dennis Rooney oversaw in the
> late
>> 90's as their best. For
>> RCA, the CD layer of the SACDs done by Soundmirror are vastly superior to
>> earlier attempts.
>>
>> For their box set, Decca went back and re-did some material that had been
>> previously remastered,
>> with good results. I think DGG did new transfers for some of the material
> in
>> their budget-priced
>> boxes, for instance the Kubelik Mahler cycle seemed to have all been
>> remastered in the late 90s as
>> opposed to some of the earlier remasters of some of the symphonies (I
> don't
>> think all were
>> previously released prior to the box set). I believe everything was
> brought
>> up to the era and
>> quality of the "DGG Originals" series, so circa late 90's.
>>
>> -- Tom Fine
>>
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Gray, Mike" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 2:47 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] New SONY sets
>>
>>
>>> As a rule, no new transfers are made from analog originals save where no
>> prior digital transfer
>>> has already been
>>> made.
>>>
>>>
>>> Mike Gray
>>>
>>
>

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