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A great jazz album for the Harbeths

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  • A great jazz album for the Harbeths

    I just bought a great contemporary jazz album. It's by Matthew Halsall - 'When the world was one'

    After seeing them live earlier this year, I have been eagerly awaiting the new album since.

    http://matthewhalsall.bandcamp.com/a...-world-was-one

    It's absolutely amazing, and nicely recorded too. Sounds amazing on my M30.1.

    Alan, after hearing your insightful views on recording techniques at KJs yesterday, it would be good to hear what you think in terms of how this is recorded. Seems very nice tonally, and the sound staging is very good in my current set up.

  • #2
    Deconstructing recorded sound

    Originally posted by Novak View Post
    ....It's absolutely amazing, and nicely recorded too. Sounds amazing on my M30.1.

    Alan, after hearing your insightful views on recording techniques at KJs yesterday, it would be good to hear what you think in terms of how this is recorded. Seems very nice tonally, and the sound staging is very good in my current set up.
    Drat! Another secret lurker at KJ who didn't make themselves known!! You should have - I for one would have really liked some feedback from you! Oh well, next time?

    I didn't realise when I was at KJ that there was any interest in discussing recordings. I just happened to mention in the pause between changing-over CDs some things I'd learned about recorded balance over the years. That's probably a distillation of hanging around professional sound engineers for 40+ years, not that my own pathetic attempts at sound recording have come to much. But I am aware of the issues, and the most significant issue of all is not the technical equipment but the producer's remit. I'm not sure if you were there when I played Britten's Noah's Flood, but as I mentioned, that was a 53 year old recording, and there is a good chance that the children therein are now grandparents, like me. Technology has changed beyond all recognition, but the producer's intent to reproduce the experience of the church for us at home has endured. His vision of how it should sound when he sat with the engineers in 1961 is perfectly valid today, to my ears.

    I did, at one point, mention that a classical performance was unbalanced, in that, to my ears, the pools of reverberation, the sonic halos around the performers, didn't match across the orchestra. So we heard that the cellos were extremely dry and thin, but the violins sounded normal with a bloom and a sense of air around them. That lead to my comment that multi-track recording (which lead to multi-mic recording) was an accountants dream in that sound an individual performer fluff a note, it could be accessed on his individual track and edited. But that mandated that his sound was sufficiently isolated (i.e. he/she was very close miked) that it had not bled onto adjacent performer's mics, in which case it couldn't be remedied. In turn that lead to me giving an example of what was, and I refer to generically as "a BBC-style recorded balance" where the air or bloom, the ambience or reverb is generally at a higher level than a 'commercial' recording - as I demonstrated - and is common to all the performers.

    Were you there when these points were being mentioned and demonstrated?

    Lesson learned for me is that I didn't realise you were interested in the subject. Had I known (and I'll remember this for the future) I'd have prepared many more examples, and we could have meandered through them at our leisure. Next time?

    As for your CD, I admire the artist for providing the entire album on-line for auditioning, and listening on my wonderful Blackerry Playbook's inbuilt speakers, the recording does sound fantastic. I'll be ordering it; thanks for the recommendation. As to why, technically, it sound so good, that'll take a little more critical listening, but again, what I heard is that the performers are in a nice, clear, fresh, airy pool of reverberation. That allows the music to 'breath' and gives us a more satisfying illusion that we are conveyed out of our listening room into a completely different and cavernous space - the sonic Tardis effect.

    BTW: if, like me you are not a big fan of huge corporates like Apple and Google, and you value your privacy, then the Blackberry Playbook may be the answer. I love it, and bought one, then another - cheapest one shown on this link. An absolute steal.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

    Comment


    • #3
      Yo Blackberry!

      Originally posted by A.S. View Post

      BTW: if, like me you are not a big fan of huge corporates like Apple and Google, and you value your privacy, then the Blackberry Playbook may be the answer. I love it, and bought one, then another - cheapest one shown on this link. An absolute steal.
      As a Canadian I am chuffed by the shout-out to Blackberry, though it remains to be seen whether they will be able to drag themselves back from the edge of the abyss that they very nearly fell into (and may yet). There are some very smart engineers in Waterloo, Ontario - too bad the company's business and marketing teams didn't seem to be on the same level, and up to the ferocious competition from the likes of Apple and Google.

      Speak of the latter two, I'm not sure it's fair to put Apple and Google in quite the same box. Apple wants your money; Google wants your information. The former at least gives you a choice - if you don't like Apple's products, image, brand, etc. for whatever reason, you're free not to buy them, and they really don't have anything on you apart from that. Google as an information aggregator par excellence is in a wholly different category, it seems to me, in that you may not be free of them even if you don't do business with them, and certainly not if you do.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks

        I was there when you explained 'the BBC sound' and found it very interesting and informative. I could have stayed all afternoon listening to your explanations on sound recordings.

        I left with much more knowledge than when I arrived and thank you for that. And thanks for taking the time.

        Comment


        • #5
          Next time!

          Sorry Alan, I didn't think to merge the virtual and real worlds! Will be along to another event in future.

          Yes, I was there for most of it, I sat furthest away at the end from around 12-1:30. Didn't quite get the stereo image but they still sounded great!

          KJ have been my most regular dealer, having bought two pairs of P3 and some M30. I have since owned C7 and now own M30.1. I'm a bit of a regular!

          Interesting stuff regarding recordings, but only properly pondered it when I was on my way home. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Halsall. He's very good live, too.

          Comment


          • #6
            More recommendations

            I will try that one...

            The most exciting jazz performances for me are:

            Dave Brubeck trio & Gerry Mulligan ( 2cd, listen to -new orleans-)
            or
            Stravinsky (Sony box) chamber music&hist.rec. Vol.1 Track -ebony concerto- with benny goodman

            Recording and performance is amazing!

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks!

              Thanks for the recommendation! I'm listening to the album via my streaming subscription service. Very nice!

              As far as recent jazz releases, I can heartily recommend Aaron Diehl's "The Bespoke Man's Narrative."

              Comment


              • #8
                Re-rediscoveries

                Perhaps not recent, but recently discovered gems and again, Harbeth does them full justice:

                Chiaroscuro - Paolo Fresu and Ralph Towner
                Easy Living - Enrico Rava
                Rosslyn - John Taylor and others
                Saturday Morning - Ahmad Jamal
                Suspended Night - Tomasz Stanko

                Comment


                • #9
                  Nice recordings

                  If you like classical sampler, the "TUTTI!" and the "30th ANNIVERSARY SAMPLER" would be interesting: http://www.referencerecordings.com/SAMPLE.asp

                  Generally spoken, my finding is that Reference Recordings are producing some nice recordings. In this moment I listen to the "The HOT CLUB OF SAN FRANCISCO, Yerba Buena Bounce" -> http://www.referencerecordings.com/JAZZ.asp

                  Very nice piano: "Nojima Plays Liszt", played by Minoru Nojima -> http://www.referencerecordings.com/B...amb.asp#Nojima
                  ////////////

                  Best, Alex

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Blackberry - forever!

                    As another Canadian living in Waterloo I appreciate the shout out as well. It will be a sad day when they close their doors. Also, thanks for the heads up ! Looking forward to hearing this album.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Late night jazz

                      For late night jazz listening i would recommend:

                      Paul Motion - "I Have the Room Above Her" with Bill Frisell and Joe Lovano

                      and

                      Jacob Bro "Balladeering" with Lee Konitz on sax playing some amazingly beautiful solos

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Late night jazz

                        For me I enjoy late listening on my Harbeths (7ES3 Cherry):

                        Bill Evans- Waltz for Debby
                        Bill Evans and Jim Hall - Undercurrent
                        Gerry Mulligan - Night Lights

                        (not Jazz but I'll throw in Nick Drake- Pink Moon for late night listening experience)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ex-Krall fan

                          I prefer John Zorn to Diana Krall, but I think Diana Krall - All for you album sounds great in my P3's.

                          I dont care if her new albums sounds good or not, cause i think she moved into super commercial bad music after that album.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Magical SHL5+

                            A pal of mine whose been in the audio business for 40+ years popped round and was blown away by the SHL5+

                            He had a few samples delivered from Pure Pleasure Records for reviewing and a radio show he does and we gave them a spin. Must admit the quality was absolutely superb (especially Charles Mingus: East Coasting)

                            Quite pricey, but compared to jazz re-releases that are cut from digital or CD ?!

                            http://www.purepleasurerecords.com/index.html

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Mega sound for extra bucks.

                              Originally posted by ssfas View Post
                              A pal of mine whose been in the audio business for 40+ years popped round and was blown away by the SHL5+

                              He had a few samples delivered from Pure Pleasure Records for reviewing and a radio show he does and we gave them a spin. Must admit the quality was absolutely superb (especially Charles Mingus: East Coasting)

                              Quite pricey, but compared to jazz re-releases that are cut from digital or CD ?!

                              http://www.purepleasurerecords.com/index.html
                              How can you be sure that mono East Coasting of 1957 was "remastered" by Ray Staff at Air Mastering not digitally. Most of pros use 24 or 32bit technique for "stabilizing" the sound of to-be-restored old tape today. Then they make it a bit more "spicey" for analogue cut. The dynamics you noticed comes just from "mono" recording, compare early mono recordings of Jimmy Smith. His attack on keyboard is really astonishing, also when listened to via SHL5s ....

                              ATB.

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