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Sunday, November 14, 2010

In Dan's Garage...#47

The theme of this post is "Better Living Through Mono". In all my infinite wisdom as an "audiophile", I have in the recent past overlooked so many minute details of what makes digital transfers sound good. In the old days I had a component stereo system with a nice cassette tape deck (which I still own and still serves me well), and a turntable to play my records. I would make tape mixes and play the crap out of them in my car until they snapped. In this "digital age" we live in today, those practices have gone by the wayside. We now do everything with the PC or Mac including archiving our precious vinyl records, and sharing them with music lovers across the globe. We make CD-Rs to listen to in our vehicles, or better yet load a couple thousand songs on an mp3 player and shuffle our way to musical nirvana. All this is great, but there is a price to pay. In all that transfer from 20th to 21st century technology we lose that nice warm and fuzzy tone that we got from listening to a "real" sound system. Somewhere along the way, they become harsh and brittle and sometimes offensive to the ears. There's nothing you can do about a scratchy record, but most of the time I'll live with the pops and crackles as opposed to the digital versions of most of my favorites. I'll take the Beatles' "Please Please Me" in mono on an old Vee Jay 45 any day as opposed to some of the horrid mixes that have been released claiming to be an improvement. This all relates to recordings of the 50s and 60s mind you. I'm not suggesting you put on a pair of headphones and listen to "Dark Side Of The Moon" in mono, but some things were meant to be listened to that way. Like scratchy old 45s from the 60s. So, with the advice of some of the very helpful people who read this blog, I've decided to do a little extra work, and post these songs they way they were meant to be listened to. In mono. The result (IMHO) is a more robust sounding file with less noise and a little better bottom end. The files are also smaller. They are only at 128k BUT since they are a mono file it is like listening to half a 256k file. As I try to expand my horizons here with my recording system, I will eventually (at the suggestion of followers Mike and EXPO 67, a fine blogger in his own right) set my turntable up with a mono cartridge. In the meantime, I'm working at making the best sounding files possible. Not an easy task, but I'm getting there. For now I'm using the cleaner half of the file and doing minimal cleanup. Let me know what all of you think. In the meantime, I'm re upping a few of the recent posts from #42 to #46. It seems that much of the fizzy crackle present on these posts are not due to records, needles, and the combinations thereof, but some weird thing going on between my turnable and my sound card. If any of you out there know what might be causing this dilemma, let me know.  Your input (no pun intended) will be valuable. Thanks again to all for the great suggestions on improving this little project. I'll let you know when all have been re upped.

I recently have had several requests for copies of some of my records. I would love nothing more than to have multiple copies of everything, but alas this cannot be. I am planning on putting some of my duplicates on Ebay in the near future. I do have doubles on a few things, and I also have a few 70's punk 45 that I will be auctioning off also, not to mention some musical instruments. I probably wont get to it till early next year, but I will give everyone a heads up. Also, I will be on a road trip from Nov. 17 to the 24th so you wont see another post till after the Thanksgiving holiday. I hope everyone enjoys theirs. Enough banter already. Let's get on with it!

Jim Doval & The Gauchos - Mama Keep Yo! Big Mouth Shut / She's So Fine (1965)
Yo! Jim Doval and The Gauchos were a Chicano group out of Fresno, Ca who were a lot like the Premiers, Thee Midnighters, etc. They appeared quite often on Shindig! and almost made it to The Ed Sullivan show. This is a great version of "Hey Mama" and the flip was redone on ABC as "Annie Ya Ya".

Berrys - Midnight Hour / Sand And Sea (1966)
This was one of Lindy Baskey's productions from Albequerque, NM, along with The Striders and The Burgundy Runn. They were formerly known as the Viscount V.

Earl Royce & The Olympics - Guess Things Happen That Way / Sure To Fall (1965)
Earl Royce & The Olympics' claim to fame was their appearance in "Ferry Cross The Mersey", doing a spirited rendition of "Shake A Tail Feather", easily one of the best songs on the soundtrack. They were along with the Pacemakers and The Beatles, one of several beat groups to come out of Liverpool that were produced by George Martin, who in fact plays piano on this 45. Not as good as "Tail Feather", but a decent representation of hat was going on in Liverpool at the time.

Ron Dels - Lose Your Money / Picture Of You (1965)
The Ron Dels were the duo of Ronnie Kelly and Country star Delbert McClinton. They were a long standing group out of Fort Worth, TX and released a bunch of 45s in different styles. This cover of an obscure Moody Blues tune is a gem though. They give it a real Tex-Mex treatment and the flip is no slouch either. A great up tempo pop ballad.

Revelles - Little Girl / Somethings Good About Living (1966)
A real good poppy folk rocker from Chicago. A couple of members would end up in The New Colony Six and The Flock. Can't you tell????

Mark Markham & The Jesters - I Don't Need You / Marlboro Country (1966)
From Fort Lauderdale, FL comes this garage classic. Why does Fuzz, Acid, and Flowers call Marlboro Country "country influenced"???? Because they never listened to it that's why. If they had, they would have known that it's a bona fide "Louie Louie" rip off. Not exactly "country" if you ask me.

Sonics - Cinderella / Louie Louie (1966)
 Two good reasons for having ears.

Mor Loks - Looking For A New Day / What My Baby Wants (1966)
 Another great punker from Fort Lauderdale. One of the members ended up in a band called The Truth. I wonder if it's the same Truth featured on IDG #43??????

Out Of Order - Lonely Sentry / It's Alright (1967)
 A mystery group from what looks to be Providence, R.I., although they could be from anywhere.......Here's a great two sider with a "protest" tune on the A side, and some great fuzzy garage on the flip.

Scepters - Little Girls Were Made To Love / Love You Baby All The Time (1966)
 A one shot deal from a Memphis, TN group. Both sides are pretty cool, but the title of the A side kind of gives me the creeps.

Subconscious Mind - On The Way Home (1967)
 A nice, lightweight take on the Buffalo Springfield hit. From Cleveland, OH.

Royal Ascots - Just The Wind / Things We Did Together (196?)
 A laid back, two sided folky pop 45 from the Ft. Lauderdale / Miami area. I can't find anything on this one.

Sir Douglas - She Digs My Love / When I Sing The Blues (1966)
The last 45 on Tribe records credits only Sir Doug himself and is a bit on the blues side, but you still have that "She's About A Mover" riff going on with the help of a horn section.

Troggs - Evil Woman / Heads Or Tails (1969)
In my opinion, The Troggs were perhaps one of the most underrated and overlooked British groups of the 60s. They were also one of the most long lived and prolific as they continued to perform and release records well into the 80s. This one from '69 is one of my favorites, and shows them getting a little heavier, but still retaining all the attitude that made them great.


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13 comments:

  1. One of the worst CD reissues I recall was the first Cream LP. It was probably recorded on a 3-track machine and the "live" basic track was mixed down (and heavily compressed) onto 1 track leaving 2 open tracks, 1 for vocals and 1 for Clapton's solo's and fills. When they made the CD master from the 3-track analog tape they put the compressed, almost muffled, track on 1 channel and the 2 blaring overdubbed tracks on the other side which made one of the strangest sounding recordings I had heard and immediately sent me in search of a very good + mono LP copy.
    A wav editor can be a lot of fun in making your own mixes too. CD versions of a lot of Irma Thomas' great 1964 soul/pop recordings recently surfaced that were obviously made from the original 2-track mixdown masters and 3-track masters. The "creative" engineers doing the release simply made them "stereo" by putting the music track in 1 channel and the vocals in the other, which sounds way out of balance and awful. It sounds like the band is in the next room and Irma is right in front of you. I brightened up the compressed music track by restoring the high and low frequencies and then took her vocal track, brightened it up a little by increasing her vocal frequencies by about 5 db and added a little echo to it. Then I combined the 2 wavs into a single mono recording and the end result sounds much better than the "stereo" CD "remaster" (lol).

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  2. I'm not sure what you mean about the strange things happening between your turntable and sound card (can you cite a specific example?) but you have to watch your recording levels and make sure the crests of your wavs are round and not square.
    If the levels are too high the wavs get squared and can result in a "popping" sound (for lack of a better term). Enlarge the wav all the way to 1:1 and make sure all those babies are nice and rounded and not off the graph.

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  3. Always excited to hear a new installment of IDG. Thanks in advance for what looks like another great volume.

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  4. I won't have a chance to listen to this 'til monday but it sure looks promising.Thanks for another great volume. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thankgiving! Mike

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  5. It seems to me that it's advantageous to use a stereo cartridge when making digital conversions of mono vinyl recordings, because you get that opportunity to delete one of the channels---and lose all the surface noise (crackles and pops) unique to that channel. If you used a mono cartridge, you wouldn't be able to that...

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  6. Hi, I discovered your blog last week, and have been having fun finding some songs that were missing from my collection, and label scans. Sorry, but I disagree with you about mono vs. stereo. If a song was issued only as a mono 45, and I don't have it, I will take mono. But if it was issued as a stereo single, that's the way it was intended to be heard. Please don't fold it down to mono. Also, I think 128 kb/s MP3's sound crappy, and I try to avoid them. I have been collecting records since the 50's. I don't care as much for the music since the 70's. Sorry, but I will have to post this as "anonymous" because I don't have a Google account. I don't trust their privacy policies.
    "vidman"

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  7. hello
    serious
    it's possible to listen the 2 versions of this song ?
    thank you in advance mike
    & for sure 1000THX to dan
    RV

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  8. I have only just come into your garage and I have enjoyed it so much - I am now in the proces of downloading all your compilations. Thank you. Any Australian singles creatly appreciated. Paul

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  9. http://theegarage.blogspot.com/2009/01/obscure-60s-garage-vol-5-australian.html

    hello mr dan
    FABULOUS !!!!!

    try too
    http://www.midwest45s.org/MichiganSoulPage.html

    all the bests
    RV

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  10. This is the kind of blog I like as I wrote lately on mine, even though up until now I didn't stop here long enough...but I will.
    All the best from the end of the world....

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  11. Hi Dan
    I am working my way through your "back catalogue" and in #23 you included the Loved Ones. They were quite popular and considered rather original in the Australian sixties scene. They had another, better single called "The loved One" and also released a whole album. In October, they were included in the Australian Hall Of Fame. I thought you might enjoy this news, given your dismay at Abba being included in the US Hall Of Fame. Paul, Australia

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  12. Hi Dan,


    I've been an avid downloader on your blog for several months now, and if I haven't done so yet, I'd like to say 'thanks very much' for all the great music you bring every few weeks. I've been in the garage for 20 years (half my life) and have, in the intervening years witnessed the changeover to the colder, less personal sound of digital.
    It'a too bad that, even though I have a cassette deck and a record player, it's so much more practical to cue it up on itunes or winamp. But once in a while, I will make the effort to dig out an LP and play it right, and is it ever rewarding.
    I'm not an audio expert, but perhaps you might know: is there such a thing as a plugin (for, say Audio Hijack) that will emulate the warmness of yesterday's audio? I know you can mess with the controls of the equaliser and add filter, but I just end up making it worse. Any ideas?

    Cheers!

    Pascal

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  13. Pascal,
    Thanks for the compliments, I appreceate them. I'm not familiar with audio hijack so I can't say if there are any plugins for it. There's a DSP plugin for winamp that works fairly nice, but aside from that I don't know of anything else. I've been trying real hard to warm up and beef up the latest crop of songs posted here, and I've had mixed results. I will say one thing though. If you listen to your music from your PC or Mac I HIGHLY recommend you go out and find a pair of Bose "Media Mate" speakers. They're now called the "Companion 2" system. They sit on your desktop and really sound incredible for their size. Honest, I'm not kidding! They blow away just about every PC/Mac speaker I've ever heard.

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