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2 thoughts on “The Golden Age Is Now!

  • June 19, 2013 at 3:26 pm
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    Mark,
    sorry to dig up again this three weeks old blog post of yours for my comment; I could have made the same comment on a couple more of your posts, but I think it fits best here.

    I do appreciate how you strive for perfection in your recordings, and I wholeheartedly agree that the technical possibilities that are available today for recording music are the best there have ever been. I do prefer a recording made in the digital domain with 96/24 (or more) over one that was made on analog tape and in that technical aspect I agree that the Golden Age is now.

    However, there are a lot of great performances of great musicians out there which have been captured long ago and which just cannot be repeated for various reasons (not the least of which is that the artist might no longer be alive). I have bought the HDAD disc of Muddy Waters’ Folk Singer, which was recorded in 1964, I’ve bought a few 96/24 downloads of old Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong records, and even though all of the recordings I mentioned are only in mono, I think they are simply wonderful! They have captured unique performances by exceptional artists, and I am very thankful that I have access to those recordings and can listen to them in the quality they are in. Could you do a better recording today? I’m sure of it! Will I ever be able to hear Ella & Louis in a better quality? I doubt it! Sadly, we cannot travel back in time to do the recording all over again digitally and in 5.1.

    If some really talented artists would record the same music again today, we might get a very good performance with a state-of-the-art recording. Would I stop listening to Ella & Louis or Muddy Waters and only listen to the modern recording from now on? Definitely not!

    So from my point of view, the Golden Age of recording is now. But the Golden Age of performance is whenever an exceptional artist performs an exceptional piece of music in such a way that I want to listen to it over and over again! Some of them happened over 50 years ago, some maybe just last week…

  • June 19, 2013 at 3:35 pm
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    Oliver, I couldn’t agree with you more. There are artists, ensembles and conductors that made recordings over the history of recorded sound that shine for musical reasons…I think Mississippi John Hurt, Stravinskky conducting the NBC Orchestra and Pablo Casals among lots of others.

    However, there are really fabulous performers and performances that are happening now. I absolutely love my John Gorka recording as well as the one by Albert Lee..give them time and they make the grade in the opinion of history too.

    But if I could time travel back to the “Golden Age” with my gear and recording style, I’m convinced that I could contribute the spectacular sound of HD-Audio and multichannel mixes to those great recordings!

    You get no argument from me.

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