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Mario Martinez

PlayClassics master file giveaway for CA members

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Cheers Mario,

 

Interested in the Debussy Preludes

 

Thanks

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


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We have given out 99 gift codes so far: 50 for Iberia, 21 for Cabrera plays Debussy, 16 for Debussy Préludes, 8 for Chopin Polish Songs and 4 for Songs of Paolo Tosti.

 

I am sending the flamenco samples along with all the gift codes. I think listening to such a different instruments in different gender really gives you a feeling of what the hall can do. So far we have given out 21 of those.

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Just to say thank you to Mario.

Have downloaded just now 1 piano track and 3 flamenco tracks.

Will give my thoughts here after careful comparison with my favourite 24/352.8 piano tracks from 2L Norway a live recording of flamenco guitar by Blue Coast.

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The Iberia track I would say is a real gem and it rivals my all time reference 2L-049 tracks.

Its sound is transparent, crisp and sharp with impact. No edginess, strain or compression and has wide dynamic range—from pp to ff. The sound of the right hand high notes are impressive indeed.

Only one qualm: harmonics from the vibrating strings (as reflected from bottom and lid of the piano) when struck by the hammers are not as much as those in the 2L tracks. The pedal sustain at 7 minutes reveals this more apparently, though I would say they are good enough to most audiophiles.

A couple of questions to Mario to see if I am able to get a clue as to why that is so. Hope he is willing to divulge:

1. What is the make/brand of the ADC and its highest conversion rate? And why he chose 24/96 if there is a higher rate? Bearing in mind that Barry Diamont in these pages says 24/192 ADC conversion is nearest to the mic feed.

2. What are the make/brand of the microphones and how close they were placed to the piano? A sketch layout would be helpful. I could hear they were very close and the image was slightly large during loud passages.

3. What is the make/brand of the piano? This may be part of the answer. The 2L piano album used a Steinway and the house pianos offered to pianists by the two concert halls where I go frequently are Steinway grands. And I usually sit first or second row in centre, thus am used to hearing piano sound at close distance.

 

I have questions for the first flamenco track as well. Would see if Mario is happy to provide information before I post them.

Some owners refrain from giving out even basic info. For example, several months ago, I attended a demo of the Goldmund Apologue and gear. The CEO invited questions from the floor. As I thought there was upward sampling being used in the chain, I asked him whether there was an on the fly upward sampling function somewhere in the reproduction chain, or merely 16/44.1 was taken in from the CD player and the same rate was put out? He politely declined to give a yes or no answer, and hearing this I did not attempt to ask the second and third questions about the drivers hidden before the speaker grilles and the materials in the cabinets.

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I would appreciate the flamenco download too. Thanks!

 

Mario — a minor English tip: When "género" is used to mean "tipo", the English equivalent is "genre", not "gender".


Mac Mini (2012 i7) > HQPlayer or Audirvana > exaSound e32 > Parasound JC-1 > Thiel 3.7

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I would appreciate the flamenco download too. Thanks!

 

Mario — a minor English tip: When "género" is used to mean "tipo", the English equivalent is "genre", not "gender".

 

How is that?

 

Of course digital music has gender! 1 for the boys, o for the girls :)

 

Thanks Mario for the beautiful and well recorded music (Debussy Préludes)

 

Best,

 

Roch

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The Iberia track I would say is a real gem and it rivals my all time reference 2L-049 tracks

 

After looking for information about their piano solo recordings I found this video on youtube.

I can see a a couple of mics positioned low and very close and a spot mic peeking into the piano; the tonal balance (in the video) appears "brighter" than it should and a tad "over-detailed":

 

 

Have a listen at this recording by BIS for comparison: the overall tone is much "darker" and there's no exaggeration of "detail":

 

 

 

2L uses a very strange mic positioning in some of it's ensemble recordings and I didn't find the samples that I downloaded particularly pleasant-sounding:

 

Trondheim.jpg

 

R


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes

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After looking for information about their piano solo recordings I found this video on youtube.

I can see a a couple of mics positioned low and very close and a spot mic peeking into the piano; the tonal balance (in the video) appears "brighter" than it should and a tad "over-detailed":

 

 

Actually, they are using 6 microphones to make the recording on that particular video. There is one setup with two mics further back, another setup with three mics closer to the piano, and one more microphone inside the piano. Besides the number of mics, they are modifying the angle of the piano lid. They are using an extension to open the lid past its normal point. They are also using the wood on the floor. My guess is they are modifying the lid and placing the wood to avoid unwanted reflexions.

 

Our approach is completely different. We only use two mics and they are placed 12 feet away from the piano. And we do not modify anything on the instruments or within the stage. We do all the acoustic work outside of the stage.

 

Here is a picture of our setup. The proportions on the picture are real. The person in red represent the place where the mics are placed outside of the stage. The piano is a 7 foot Yamaha.

 

piano.png

Edited by Mario Martinez

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Hello Mario,

 

I think that they are using 5 mics for surround and a spot mic to pick-up that extra "detail" (that no one hears in real life).

The 3 mics you've mentioned are apparently already too close, why add a spot mic on top of that?

 

R


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes

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The "secret" to our sound is not on the equipment we use. It is on the "recording setup". By "recording setup" I mean the relationship between stage, hall and mics.

 

Our "recording setup" (Stage-Hall-Mics) is a fixed setup. This setup has been developed over years of trial and error. Now that the setup is working you can practically put any instruments within the stage area and the results are always the same.

 

You are listening to recordings of "piano solo", "voice and piano" and "voice and guitar". They all could have been recorded on the same take. Nothing changed from one recording to another. We do not alter anything in the stage, the hall or the recording gear from one recording to another. This is what we are trying to say on our explanation of the Truthful Recording Technology:

 

In addition, all recordings are made in exactly the same conditions. It's like listening to all these artists from the same chair of the same auditorium. This allows the listener to establish objective comparisons on the ability of artists based on the result of the different recordings.[/Quote]

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Here are the sketches to all the recordings: The proportions are real. The blue area represents the stage. The person in red represents the microphones.

 

"Albéniz Iberia", "Cabrera plays Debussy" and "Debussy Préludes":

piano solo.png

 

 

 

"Chopin Polish Songs" and "Songs of Paolo Tosti":

voice and piano.png

 

 

 

"Flamenco samples":

voice and guitar.png

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Mario

Thanks again for this beautiful music. I now have Iberia, Debussy Preludes, Polish Songs, and the three flamenco tracks. They are all outstanding. I also greatly appreciate the openness with which you describe your approach to recording. Whatever it is you are doing, please keep it up!

 

Recordings of small trio jazz and of acoustic guitar music would also greatly benefit from your approach, so I hope that you will arrange some new artists in these areas for your sessions.


You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star

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Thank you Mario for providing the information.

I think there are three reasons for lesser string harmonics from the piano as compared to the 2L-049 track.

1. without the mic "inside" the piano

2. the Yamaha 7' vis a vis a Steinway

3. the slanting angle of the piano in relation to the pick up microphones (I normally hear it in concerts with ears [in place of microphones] PERPENDICULAR to BODY OF the piano.

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Hi Mario,

I made a donation on the web site to thank you for your great recordings and your generosity.

But I must admit I'm a little confused about how the site works. I assumed that when I made a donation from an album page, that I'd also get a download code for that album. I donated from the Debussy Preludes page, but don't see any download/gift key.

 

Is that not how the site works? Or is the key only sent manually and not automatically?

 

Thanks


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS >SOtM Lan Isolator>Bricasti M5 Network Player >Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Hi Mario,

I made a donation on the web site to thank you for your great recordings and your generosity.

But I must admit I'm a little confused about how the site works. I assumed that when I made a donation from an album page, that I'd also get a download code for that album. I donated from the Debussy Preludes page, but don't see any download/gift key.

 

Is that not how the site works? Or is the key only sent manually and not automatically?

 

Thanks

 

 

Hi Danny,

 

PayPal is supposed to bring you back to the album's page showing the download buttons. Something must have gone wrong, I am sorry for the inconvenience. I just sent you a PM with a code so you can download the album. Please let me know if it worked so I can help.

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Thank you Mario for providing the information.

I think there are three reasons for lesser string harmonics from the piano as compared to the 2L-049 track.

1. without the mic "inside" the piano

2. the Yamaha 7' vis a vis a Steinway

3. the slanting angle of the piano in relation to the pick up microphones (I normally hear it in concerts with ears [in place of microphones] PERPENDICULAR to BODY OF the piano.

 

 

Thank you Francis,

 

the purpose of our fixed recording setup is to produce a "consistent" sound across all recordings. We are not trying to record the sound of the instruments, we are recording the sound of the hall. That is the reason why we do not use spot mics.

 

When you listen to several recordings this way you learn how the hall sounds. You know what to expect. Then you can easily recognize the ability of the artist depending on what he is able to do with it.

 

All these recordings are done in exactly the same way, nevertheless they all sound different. You talked about the "right hand high notes" on the Albéniz. Luis voiced it that way, we just picked up what he was doing. If you listen to Cabrera playing Debussy you might not hear that at all. You might like one thing better than the other but you can be sure that whatever it is you are hearing they are purposely playing it that way.

 

About the piano. Our auditorium is a chamber music hall. We had to choose a piano that could play chamber music without overriding other instruments. We tried several pianos on our hall to try to find one with just the right amount of power. A full size grand and two 7 foot pianos. Full size grands are way to powerful for this kind of setup. So we chose one of the 7 foot pianos.

 

About the position of the mics. They have been placed at the same height a real person would have his ears on if he was sitting at that spot listening to it live. They have been purposely placed that way because that is your usual listening height when you attend a concert on a chamber music hall.

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Thank you Mario for providing information on the recording venue, the choice of piano, placement of the two microphones and your recording philosophy. With such background I am sure listeners are able to appreciate more.

I have only listened to the first of the three flamenco tracks. Since you are here, may I ask whether the female voice is jaleadore. She appears at a plane behind the guitar in my system whereas as seen from the setup you provided, she should be in front. Jaleadores usually stand behind during performance giving cheers to singers and dancers. On the other hand, positioning of her and the guitarist in my system conforms with your sketch, with her slightly off centre to the left and guitarist, slightly to the right.

If what you hear during subsequent monitoring in regard to the relative positioning planes of the two performers are the same as in your setup, then I need to check my system and see what I should do to redress that. The fact that you use only two microphones and obviate mixing various tracks during mastering provides a useful tool for audiophiles to check their systems.

By the way, did you turn down the recording volume for her? She sang so much louder than the guitar and didn't overload the mic. This may be the reason explaining why she appears to stand behind the guitarist.

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did you turn down the recording volume for her? She sang so much louder than the guitar and didn't overload the mic.

 

The recording chain from microphones to master is a fixed setup too. We always use the same gear with the same settings. Both microphones have the same amount of gain, and we use the same gain for every recording. I hope that helps :)

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Mario

Thanks again for this beautiful music. I now have Iberia, Debussy Preludes, Polish Songs, and the three flamenco tracks. They are all outstanding. I also greatly appreciate the openness with which you describe your approach to recording. Whatever it is you are doing, please keep it up!

 

Recordings of small trio jazz and of acoustic guitar music would also greatly benefit from your approach, so I hope that you will arrange some new artists in these areas for your sessions.

 

 

Thanks!

 

I am looking into it. I will record some samples first and, if everything goes as expected, we will go for the albums :)

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Thank you Mario for providing information on the recording venue, the choice of piano, placement of the two microphones and your recording philosophy. With such background I am sure listeners are able to appreciate more.

I have only listened to the first of the three flamenco tracks. Since you are here, may I ask whether the female voice is jaleadore. She appears at a plane behind the guitar in my system whereas as seen from the setup you provided, she should be in front. Jaleadores usually stand behind during performance giving cheers to singers and dancers. On the other hand, positioning of her and the guitarist in my system conforms with your sketch, with her slightly off centre to the left and guitarist, slightly to the right.

If what you hear during subsequent monitoring in regard to the relative positioning planes of the two performers are the same as in your setup, then I need to check my system and see what I should do to redress that. The fact that you use only two microphones and obviate mixing various tracks during mastering provides a useful tool for audiophiles to check their systems.

By the way, did you turn down the recording volume for her? She sang so much louder than the guitar and didn't overload the mic. This may be the reason explaining why she appears to stand behind the guitarist.

 

Mario will correct me if I'm wrong but I think the singer and the instrument were recorded playing together in a single musical event.

That's how it should be done both from a musical and from a sound perspective (unless you are recording pop or rock).

 

In my system I didn't get the impression that the singer was behind the guitar so my guess is that your speakers are not flat in the upper midrange / lower treble.

What speakers are you using and with how much toe-in?

 

R


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes

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Hi Danny,

 

PayPal is supposed to bring you back to the album's page showing the download buttons. Something must have gone wrong, I am sorry for the inconvenience. I just sent you a PM with a code so you can download the album. Please let me know if it worked so I can help.

 

Worked, thanks a lot.


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS >SOtM Lan Isolator>Bricasti M5 Network Player >Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Mario will correct me if I'm wrong but I think the singer and the instrument were recorded playing together in a single musical event.

That's how it should be done both from a musical and from a sound perspective (unless you are recording pop or rock).

 

In my system I didn't get the impression that the singer was behind the guitar so my guess is that your speakers are not flat in the upper midrange / lower treble.

What speakers are you using and with how much toe-in?

 

R

 

Hi Semete,

Thank you for your response in regard to the positioning of the two images in the sound field. I have listened to Mario's track again two times and found the female voice still behind. Have also compared with two other flamenco tracks and found the jaleadores cheering from behind as well. Because Mario's tracks were recorded with two microphones and did no subsequent tampering and even no adjustment of gain for left and right, I posted the question to him.

Based on the setup sketch, the correct audio reproduction should have the voice in front, positioned at the speaker plane (she is standing at the edge of the stage) and the guitar some two feet behind. I have them the other way round, voice behind and guitar in front.

I use multiple quasi ribbons for the midrange and multiple ribbons for highs, all flat facing with no toe-in. Not commercially available.

By the way, do you find the sound of the track not left and right balanced, that is, voice and guitar to one side and not in centre of the soundstage? I need to adjust the gain when listening to it, but not necessary for the Iberia piano track.

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