Friday, November 19, 2010

Better Living Through MONO part 2

I hope everyone is enjoying the most recent post, and what I perceive to be improvements on the overall sound of the files. I would like to make some clarifications though....
When I say "that's the way they were meant to be listened to", I speak specifically of MONO records. Perhaps I should have elaborated on my "Dark Side Of The Moon" comment. There are several 45 from the late 60s that were recorded and released in stereo. The Californians "Nausea Beast" is a fine example, or better yet, all the Seeburg 45s which were released ca. 1966. If that's the way they were released, that's the way I'll keep them. But the vast majority of these records are in mono, and the ones recorded and released in stereo are few and far between. As far as the recording of the files, I am using Adobe Audition 3. A fine peice of software in my opinion. I use it because I was able to get my hands on an affordable copy, and I'm very familiar with the interface. In saving files to mp3 though, it only allows 128k max when saving to mono. I believe it's because when saved to stereo, it's actually two mono files side by side so to speak, and it's not necessary to keep the files "split". Much of this is pure mumbo jumbo to me, but there are forums on the web that explore this topic. The bottom line is, let your ears decide, and remember, we are dealing with an old technology here. There is only so much sprucing up you can do before you start messing up the original product. Thanks to all for the comments and support. I'm enjoying some sunny weather here in Florida till next monday, and will start working on a new batch of records next weekend. In the meantime, I'm keeping my eyes open for cool records down this way. I wish you all a great Thanksgiving and a nice weekend. Cheers!

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 Buffalo, NY.

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.

Get it HERE