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OT - re: Roy & HG / vinyl

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  • Duncan
    Frank I think we all knew this was coming, but it s still a really sad day for me. There d been speculation for some time that they d move to the commercial
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 2, 2008
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      Frank I think we all knew this was coming, but it's still a really sad day for me. There'd been speculation for some time that they'd move to the commercial field, and unfortunately the ABC is notoriously terrible at holding on to talent, which is one of their biggest faults IMO.

      In the case of TSL, these guys have had 22 years(!) to hone their act and build up a faithful audience. It would seem only fair to me if Triple M ought to pay some sort of dividend to the ABC in recognition of this -- a notion I seem to recall that John Doyle canvassed in his famous Andrew Olle Memorial Lecture a few years ago.

      Nevertheless (and my apologies to any Scarries who are not TSL fans) this is a really sad day for me and thousands of others. I've been listening since the very first show in early 1986 and have many, many cherished memories of listening to the Sunday shows and the various calls -- the Melbourne Cup, State of Origin, Grand Finals. Who can forget the spignificance (thanks very much, Sir Zelman Cowan) of the Bicentennial, with Kay Cottee sailing through the heads in her barnacle-encrusted sloop .... Roy winning the Cup on Rooting King ... Roy helping Cher with her Chronic Fatigue problems (by dragging her behind the car for seven kilometres), their fabulous idea for turning Kim Basinger's hometown into an international sewerage technology showplace ... Gough Whitlam peeling grapes for Jaun Antonio Samaranch during the Sydney Olympic bid ... Prince Phillip presenting The Queen with a Jatz biscuit ... ahhh, memories ....

      My only consolation is that I finally managed to win The Fat a couple of months back after 22 years of trying to get through. I'm really gonna miss this wonderful show -- it's been the highlight of my week for more than two decades and nothing can replace it. They are wizards of the Australian language and humour and two of the funniest people on the planet.

      -------------

      Ahh the good old vinyl debate again. I love this topic ... kinda ...

      I think Mark makes the most cogent point -- at 50, my ears are waaaay to old to tell these fine differences anymore. It's an established physiological fact that the upper frequency hearing range hearing drops off dramatically after about 40, so any questions of "clarity", "coldness", "warmth" and the like are purely academic for people like me who have spent 30 or 40 years listening to loud music.

      I would venture to say that at the root, it's totally subjective -- people hear and see different things in different ways. What's "warm" to you is "muffled" to me. I always argued (politely) with customers when I worked in record stores that the "coldness" they perceived in CDs was really that they were at last hearing the high-frequency sounds that normally got gouged out of the vinyl after a few plays.

      Another factor is that only a select few listeners from the heyday of vinyl could claim to have heard vinyl records at their best. Most people owned stereo systems that were at worst very ordinary indeed and at best only pretty good. Only that tiny cadre of hi-fi fanatics could really extract the full potential of what was on the vinyl.

      I am sure some older CDs left a lot to be desired in terms of mastering -- I vividly recall getting the first CD edition of 'Electric Ladyland' and being appalled to discover that Polydor had obviously just transferred it from old LP masters; the four sides weren't even programmed in the right order -- they followed that funny old system where double albums were programmed to play on record players with automatic changers, so that you could put both LPs on the spindle and play Side 1 and Side 2 sequentially, then turn over and play Side 3 and Side 4. Polygram's engineers clearly didn'yt even check this, so that crappy version ran Side 1-3-2-4.

      Another "classic" example that bugged the hell out of me was Traffic's 'John Barleycorn Must Die' -- on the LP version you could hear really clearly that (Festival's?) mastering engineer had swtiched on a compressor or something during the mastering. On Track 3, "Empty Pages" on the Festival issues, you can hear the song start off and then suddenly some kind of filter cuts in just after the first line, making it sound like someone had thrown a blanket over the whole band. Just terrible ...

      I think David does raise an interest point about digital vs analogue. There is a lot of debate about the relative merits, and personally I think digital works so much better in most ways that it's really a matter of taste. However, I recall an old work colleague of mine who used to talk to customers about the remastering of 78s, declaring that there was in fact still a lot of musical information that could be extracted.

      Back then it was all done with filtering, but now of course with digital noise reduction, and it's pretty much proved what Peter used to say -- "Just because it was 1925 it doesn't mean that the cutting head was going move any less than it would in 1985." He was right in a lot of respects and the amazing results that can be obtained from old shellac records is pretty staggering to hear (cf. the Robert Johnson recordings).

      However, I have to say that, for me, the single greatest advantage of CDs was finally getting rid of the "snap, crackle and pop" that was an inescapable part of listening to vinyl and such an egregious nuisance. I was never really sad to say goodbye to vinyl except in regard to the covers.

      This also makes me think about recent things I've read about the purported stability of the various formats and the crucial question of preservation. The simple fact is that, no matter what medium is used, almost all of the original master recordings made in the 20th and early 21st century are only going to last a couple of hundred years at best. Unless we can find some kind of information storage medium that is physically stable for periods of 500 years or more, the vast bulk of this stuff will be lost over the long term.

      The reality that many tapes recorded over the last 50 years are already moving into a preservation 'danger zone' or are already beyond repair -- it's well established that tape stock from the late 60s and early 70s has proven highly unstable and is deteriorating much more rapidly than stock from the late 40s and 50s.

      This is a critical preservation issue and unless something is done really soon, huge amounts of material will be lost. I predict (with immense regret) that we will very likely be looking at losses on a similar scale to that of the silent film era, where as much as 90% of films from that era have either been destroyed or have deteriorated beyond repair.

      Another critical issue is the speed of change in formats and technology. This is of course commercially driven and admittedly has offered consumers some startling increases in fidelity. However it carries with it a concomitant risk issue, one that is now being confronted by NASA with the shuttle. It was designed and built in the earliest days of the PC and the chips used to power its onboard computer systems are no longer made, and replacing them is becoming increasingly problematic.

      The same applies to domestic audio and video. In sound, apart from the introduction of electric recording in the 1920s and tape in the late 40s, the basic reproducing technology didn't change for the better part of 80 years. Since the 60s, however, we've seen scores of different systems come and go. It's inevitable that things will be lost unless there are concerted efforts to preserve these technologies.

      This might seem an academic question, but in audio it's a critical issue. Martin Erdman recently told me that he was fortunate to discover that ScreenSound had a compatible 8-track machine for transferring the Rolf Harris recording he mentioned earlier -- needless to say, the Opera House had long since disposed of the machines Martin used to record it.

      Same applies to Festival recordings, for example -- unless one has access to the machine used to record these master tapes -- which is luckily in the Powerhouse Museum -- or an identical copy, there's a good chance that you're not going to get a really faithful transfer.

      This becomes even more serious when you look at recordings made on custom-built equipment. Once that particular machine dies, how do you get a faithful reproduction without having to spend vast amounts of money building a copy of the original recorder?

      OK I'll leave it there and see what size hornet's nest I've stirred up this time.

      Dunks



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Paul Close
      At 10:57 AM 3/12/2008, you wrote: I m inclined to agree with you Duncan, on the TSL points, a sad loss to the ABC and it s listeners. Long Live HG and Roy.
      Message 2 of 6 , Dec 2, 2008
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        At 10:57 AM 3/12/2008, you wrote:
        I'm inclined to agree with you Duncan, on the TSL points, a sad loss
        to the ABC and it's listeners.
        Long Live HG and Roy.

        Also on the vinyl/CD side of things. Yes, some LP's have a 'warmth '
        to them still, if they're in great condition. The clarity of digital
        recording I don't think is the cause of the 'coldness', in
        retrospect, as Martin pointed out (I believe), it's in the hands of
        the mastering engineer at the time.
        Any musical product worth mastering needs a mastering engineer with
        'musical' ears as well as the knowledge. Too many good products have
        been subjected to having any real sense of warmth or 'being there'
        taken out at the mastering stage by using the wrong filters.
        I remember a 'live' recording of a band I was working with in
        Melbourne. It was pre-recorded in the studios as an ensemble piece
        for transmission to air a day or so later. I was able to oversee the
        mix on the day of recording (a rarity in 1976). The band all heard
        that mix, and liked it, the mix that went to air had all the lows
        taken out at the insistence of the radio producer because she didn't
        like any bottom end in music. This also happens sometimes in the
        mastering of discs, someone will pull the lows, mids or highs out on
        personal preference usually without the knowledge of the artists. Bad
        call, the mastering engineer is not the buying public the disc is made for.

        I have since found a live show tape I did of that band, recorded from
        the desk masters ( a Soundcraft Series 2 from memory). It took a bit
        of FF (that's Fast Forward you foul minded degenerates :-) ) and
        rewind etc. to free it up ( a 1976 cassette), but I eventually got it
        to a workable stage. I was able to drop about 75% of the tape into
        the computer, and used Sequoia 7 to fix what needed fixing, including
        the inevitable tape drag to a certain extent. Towards the end of the
        second side, the tape drag got so bad I had to stop recording.
        Sequoia has some very good stuff in it, and you can use it
        judiciously to remove the pops and crackles from vinyl recordings.

        PC

        <snip>
        ><
        >Frank I think we all knew this was coming, but it's still a really
        >sad day for me. There'd been speculation for some time that they'd
        >move to the commercial field, and unfortunately the ABC is
        >notoriously terrible at holding on to talent, which is one of their
        >biggest faults IMO.
        >
        >In the case of TSL, these guys have had 22 years(!) to hone their
        >act and build up a faithful audience. It would seem only fair to me
        >if Triple M ought to pay some sort of dividend to the ABC in
        >recognition of this -- a notion I seem to recall that John Doyle
        >canvassed in his famous Andrew Olle Memorial Lecture a few years ago.
        >
        >
        >-------------
        >
        >Ahh the good old vinyl debate again. I love this topic ... kinda ...
        >
        >I think Mark makes the most cogent point -- at 50, my ears are
        >waaaay to old to tell these fine differences anymore. It's an
        >established physiological fact that the upper frequency hearing
        >range hearing drops off dramatically after about 40, so any
        >questions of "clarity", "coldness", "warmth" and the like are purely
        >academic for people like me who have spent 30 or 40 years listening
        >to loud music.
        >
        >
        >OK I'll leave it there and see what size hornet's nest I've stirred
        >up this time.
        >
        >Dunks >
        >

        Paul Close
        Freelance Sound Engineer
        Perth
        Western Australia
        Mob: (+61) 0417 945 063
        Email:<mailto:paulcl@...>paulcl@...

        Web: http://www.paulclose.iinet.net.au

        http://www.jeffreystjohnandtheembers.iinet.net.au

        Views expressed herein are not necessarily those of Jeffrey St John &
        The Embers.

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Tony Jaggers
        But Dunks the upside is that now a much larger percentage of the population will be able to enjoy their unique brand of humour......also think of Roy and H&HG
        Message 3 of 6 , Dec 2, 2008
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          But Dunks the upside is that now a much larger percentage of the population
          will be able to enjoy their unique brand of humour......also think of Roy
          and H&HG who will no doubt earn a much better income, better facilities and
          probably their own parking space PLUS...publicity....an area the ABC is not
          renowned for.....as an example I offer some of the fantastic musical Sundays
          I have enjoyed courtesy of ABC2......never a hint of promotion and not in
          many of the TV guides but I'm now wise enough to check the onlibe schedule
          every Sunday

          TJ
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Duncan" <dunks58@...>
          To: <rocknroll-scars@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2008 12:57 PM
          Subject: [rocknroll-scars] OT - re: Roy & HG / vinyl


          > Frank I think we all knew this was coming, but it's still a really sad
          > day for me. There'd been speculation for some time that they'd move to the
          > commercial field, and unfortunately the ABC is notoriously terrible at
          > holding on to talent, which is one of their biggest faults IMO.
          > mailto:rocknroll-scars-digest@yahoogroups.com
          > mailto:rocknroll-scars-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com
          >
          >
        • Joe Murray
          From: rocknroll-scars@yahoogroups.com [mailto:rocknroll-scars@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Duncan Sent: Wednesday, 3 December 2008 12:58 PM To:
          Message 4 of 6 , Dec 2, 2008
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            From: rocknroll-scars@yahoogroups.com
            [mailto:rocknroll-scars@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Duncan
            Sent: Wednesday, 3 December 2008 12:58 PM
            To: rocknroll-scars@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [rocknroll-scars] OT - re: Roy & HG / vinyl



            >Frank I think we all knew this was coming, but it's still a really sad day
            for me. There'd been speculation for some time that they'd move to the
            >commercial field, and unfortunately the ABC is notoriously terrible at
            holding on to talent, which is one of their biggest faults IMO.

            As Vicky Pollard would say "Yeah but, yeah but, yeah but.." two people I
            know went to their ABC exec producers, one said, "go for it Wendy, we can't
            afford to keep you", another said "sure, Dylan, you can be the yoof face of
            Telstra for a six figure sum, but if you do you can't host the show" Both
            EP's gave good advice, but in a different way.

            Joe M.









            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Frank Calabrese
            So why is it that people like Red Symonds can host a breakfast show on ABC Local Radio, and is still allowed to appear in TV ads for a well known Hardware
            Message 5 of 6 , Dec 2, 2008
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              So why is it that people like Red Symonds can host a breakfast show on ABC
              Local Radio, and is still allowed to appear in TV ads for a well known
              Hardware Chain, and appear as a Judge (along with James Valentine) on Ch 7
              as well as appear on Dancing With The Stars ??

              Frank

              -----Original Message-----
              From: rocknroll-scars@yahoogroups.com
              [mailto:rocknroll-scars@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Joe Murray
              Sent: Wednesday, 3 December 2008 2:43 PM
              To: rocknroll-scars@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [rocknroll-scars] OT - re: Roy & HG / vinyl





              From: rocknroll-scars@yahoogroups.com
              [mailto:rocknroll-scars@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Duncan
              Sent: Wednesday, 3 December 2008 12:58 PM
              To: rocknroll-scars@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [rocknroll-scars] OT - re: Roy & HG / vinyl



              >Frank I think we all knew this was coming, but it's still a really sad day
              for me. There'd been speculation for some time that they'd move to the
              >commercial field, and unfortunately the ABC is notoriously terrible at
              holding on to talent, which is one of their biggest faults IMO.

              As Vicky Pollard would say "Yeah but, yeah but, yeah but.." two people I
              know went to their ABC exec producers, one said, "go for it Wendy, we can't
              afford to keep you", another said "sure, Dylan, you can be the yoof face of
              Telstra for a six figure sum, but if you do you can't host the show" Both
              EP's gave good advice, but in a different way.

              Joe M.
            • David.Kent
              Hi all, me again, It s not like its the end of the world, or that they have died. They have done commercial work before. remember The Dream Roy & HG at their
              Message 6 of 6 , Dec 2, 2008
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                Hi all, me again,

                It's not like its the end of the world, or that they have died.

                They have done commercial work before. remember "The Dream" Roy & HG at their near best thru several olympic games.

                Roy & HG is dead! Long live the Roy & HG!!!

                Besides Triple J has lost its youthful zest, and become bloated, and dare I say it, PREDICTABLE. No more playing all of TubularBells and getting stoned in the studio

                Cheers
                David

                >Frank I think we all knew this was coming, but it's still a really sad day
                for me. There'd been speculation for some time that they'd move to the
                >commercial field, and unfortunately the ABC is notoriously terrible at
                holding on to talent, which is one of their biggest faults IMO.

                As Vicky Pollard would say "Yeah but, yeah but, yeah but.." two people I
                know went to their ABC exec producers, one said, "go for it Wendy, we can't
                afford to keep you", another said "sure, Dylan, you can be the yoof face of
                Telstra for a six figure sum, but if you do you can't host the show" Both
                EP's gave good advice, but in a different way.

                Joe M.









                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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