Friday, 21 November 2014

Cutting Contest

With a street date of 9 December, 2014, a new  
200 gram vinyl pressing and an SACD of the album Masterpieces by Ellington are being released, mastered by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound. Here is a little film about the audio engineer:

P.S: Flub you Madly...
The following exchange took place on Steve Hoffman's Music Forum with regard to an error made by vocalist 'Yvonne':

A: Masterpieces By Ellington was released only as a 12" LP back in the Spring of 1951.

There are two masterings of Side 1 of that LP:

The -1 cuttings for Side 1 has a vocal flub in Sophisticated Lady just as the female vocalist started singing. That vocal flub was edited out in the -2 cuttings for Side 1 and on subsequent reissues (on both LP and CD). In addition, the -2B/-1E cutting (cut back in the Fall of 1952 during the green label's final months) was used for several years, through the blue-label re-pressings of 1953-55 and into the 6-eye era.

B: Hmmmm. My green label is 1E for side 1 and 1B for side 2. I had never noticed a difference between that one and my CSP issue, but I'll have to listen closely again to the green label (I've listenened mostly to my needle-drop of the CSP). She really does rush the timing of the intro on Sophisticated Lady and then catches back up with the band by the third line or so. I wonder if the CSP uses the old cutting, or if that is the "fixed" version.

That music is so sensitive and delicate -- the amount of concentration required to pull it off live-in-the-studio with songs that long . . . the whole thing must've been pretty intense. And the recording is so accurate -- you can hear musicians shifting in their chairs and bumping their music stands. There's another technical issue with Sophisticated Lady as well. Duke takes a long solo in the middle of the song and at the end of it, the brass comes blasting in. Well, the recording engineers must've been sneaking the levels up for his solo and when that brass comes in you can hear the faders get pulled down in a panic!

They were flying by the seat of their pants back then. Makes the record all the more fun to listen to.

C: My recently purchased green-label copy is also 1E/1B - with the wacky-looking script numbers in the deadwax. However, my early 1955 blue-label copy and my 6-eye CL 825 reissue copy are both 2B for Side 1 and 1E for Side 2. The 2B side is of the "fixed" version.

 B: So after closer listening my green label does have the flub. Man, you learn so much from this forum

The full discussion thread is here...

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