God knows that some of those super-rarities sound as if the Civil Rights
struggles were fought over their surfaces. And yet... Even a heavy
background can be tamed with correct EQ and noise reduction strategies to
produce acceptable audibility and intelligibility. It takes time, expertise
and money, however, and some of these amateur-night operators just can't do
A Happy Thanksgiving to all.
On Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 12:57 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
> Hi Thomas:
> I agree with you on all scores. There were actually only a handful of
> sides, and even among the Son House and Patton only a few sides, that are
> just nearly inaudible. The very power that you describe is what cuts
> through the lousy recording and the damage done to the records before they
> were "discovered" in more recent times.
> Also agree that there is better and better transfer and cleanup available
> and (sometimes) used. Richard Nevins' MO seems to be that he keeps a
> certain amount of noise in rather than completely suck all top and bottom
> end out of it or use annoying pumping gates. What that should enable the
> listener to do is focus on what's not constant, the exception, which should
> be the music content. The noise becomes background, the brain ignores it
> like a fog. If you can get rid of the whole fog, of course that's best. But
> it's more annoying to remove the fog except when it's behind the music,
> because then the fog becomes more noticeable. You guys who go heavy the
> noise-reduction software, try what I'm saying and see which you prefer.
> Sometimes it's best NOT to get the "most noise removed," but rather to let
> the listener's brain perform its own noise-reduction.
> One thing I wonder about with these super-rare and beat-to-death 78's is,
> could there be a way, via the scanning technology being developed by Carl
> Haber and others, to get a 3D scan of the groove and then "photoshop" out
> things like pocks and chips, and then "rebuild" the walls and tops of the
> groove so that a "Virtual Needle" rides in them like the record is new? It
> would probably take a lot of manual labor right now, but in the case of
> one-known-copy records, it might be worth the effort, if for nothing else
> than proof of concept.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Thomas Stern" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 11:53 AM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] HIGHLY recommended - "The Return of The Stuff That
> Dreams Are ...
> "The problem there is that some of these sides are
>>> audible to fanatics only, some of the Son House and Charlie (Charley)
>>> Patton Paramounts, also some
>>> of the super-rare hillbilly sides. It is what it is -- there are one or
>>> few copies around and none
>>> of them are in good shape. I didn't feel ripped off having the
>>> barely-audible tracks on the CDs,
>>> but I certainly don't think they are collectable for their audio. It's
>>> the rare-artifact thing. "
>> Quite some years ago, Document (IIRC) issued an LP "for collector's only"
>> containing some
>> one copy known tracks of various blues singers. While taking a lot of
>> work to decipher the sound
>> above the roar of background noise, some of those performances were of
>> startling power. Better copies
>> of some have been found in the intervening years.
>> I get the same feeling listening to the Mapleson Cylinders - the set
>> issued by the New York Public Library
>> many years ago was beautifully presented. But many of the tracks were
>> also extremely hard to interpret. It
>> is still a delight to have them in an accessible format (time for them to
>> be made available on ROM perhaps???).
>> Don't think I would actually want to own the original artifact.
>> Who knows what future technology will be able to recover from these.
>> Maybe something quite listenable.
>> Proliferation IS preservation!
>> Best wishes, Thomas :-)
Dennis D. Rooney
303 W. 66th Street, 9HE
New York, NY 10023