Sam Cooke: Portrait Of A Legend 1951-1964

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MK
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Postby MK » Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:46 am

I won't be able to listen to that clip until tomorrow night, but listening to the track off the box set and Portrait on my computer (which, BTW, may have the speakers backwards....I realized an hour later, but whatever, just flip left with right, etc.) I recall the voice sounding more isolated in space. The part I remember most is right after that deep voice sings "Well don't you know..." That's when Sam and the background singers sing "That's the sound of the men..." and on the box set I recall the background singers further down in the mix and placed further away in space, away from Sam's vocal. I'll listen to the clip tomorrow though.
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lukpac
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Postby lukpac » Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:55 pm

MK wrote:I'll listen to the clip tomorrow though.


Let me know when you do. The difference in mastering is really striking.
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MK
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Postby MK » Mon Sep 04, 2006 11:16 pm

Ah, I think I get it now. I think we're hearing the same differences, but I think we both have different ideas on why they're different. The mastering is definitely different, but I feel like the mix has a bigger role in why these sound different. That electric guitar part comes in pretty clear on the BMG mastering, but it sounds buried in the ABKCO portion. Also, the echo sounds really different. At first, I thought the ABKCO had more echo, but now I'm thinking it's really the 'character' of the echo that's different. Listening to the background vocals, the echo on the BMG set sounds more open and airy, but on the ABKCO set, it sounds boomier. It's hard to put into words, but on the ABKCO set, it's like the echo's bouncing around in a smaller space, and on the BMG set, there's the illusion that the echo has more room to travel and ends up dissipating further from its source.

I should add that I'm listening to this on a set of computer speakers 2-3 feet away from my face and about 1-2 feet apart from each other, so that probably plays a role in some of the spatial differences I'm hearing. For example, Sam's voice really blends in with the background vocals on the ABKCO set, but on the BMG set, it stands out more by itself.
"When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war." – Dwight D. Eisenhower



"Neither slave nor tyrant." - Basque motto

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lukpac
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Postby lukpac » Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:34 am

The lead guitar does feel a bit lower in the mix on the ABKCO. Don't know if the level is actually lower, or the EQ just brings it out on the BMG.

I think I understand what you're saying with the echo (although I wouldn't describe it the same way), but I'm really thinking the difference is due to the processing on the BMG. That is, the echo is the same, but you hear it continue more on the ABKCO due to the lack of NR and crazy EQ.

I'm still amazed at how much better the mastering is on the ABKCO. Too bad they felt the need to narrow most things.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD