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Article: A Recording Way Ahead Of Its Time


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Thanks, Chris for all those kind words and for spreading the word on this new HDTT release, which all of us who worked on it (Bob Witrak at HDTT, me, and the immensely talented recording engineer Jerry Bruck, with good contributions and assistance from Misha Horenstein and Jerry's wife Louise) are very proud of.  We are also very grateful to have the opportunity to follow upon the work of two towering musical geniuses, composer Gustav Mahler and conductor Jascha Horenstein.  And thanks to you, jrobbins, for posting the link to John Marks' excellent article in The Tracking Angle.  Another detailed review by Rushton Paul has appeared in the webzine Positive Feedback, here:   https://positive-feedback.com/reviews/music-reviews/horensteins-mahler-third/ . 

You are correct, Chris, that no content was added to the front L and R channels for the stereo version. We experimented with mixing in some of the reflected sound from the rear and/or "up" channels, but the result was a loss of clarity.  Much of the stunning clarity that Jerry achieved is due his mic placement scheme that maximized phase coherence in the sound that was captured by his four mics, and mixing in seriously out-of-phase reflected sound from one or both of the two "hall" channels degraded that clarity.  The big contrast here is with the multi-miked Unicorn recording, which was well recorded for its day by a leading engineer (Bob Auger), employing an unknown number of mics, perhaps 20, mixed into eight recorded channels, and from there further mixed down into two, with that result of course compressed for LP release.  

I applaud your experimenting with playback thru your immersive system, especially since you have an array of overhead speakers that most listeners will not have.  My suggestion is to set the levels such that the "up" and "rear" material never overpower what you are hearing coming off the stage in the front channels.  However, expect that at the huge climaxes the two "hall" channels will add quite a good volume of sound to the listening space, which is correct.  That is how this recording sounds. 

I would just point out that four channel playback of this recording still works remarkably well in a more traditional 4 channel set up, with the 4 channels all in one plane.  This aspect is discussed at greater length in my piece in the liner notes, which you have kindly linked.  

It is gratifying that you are enjoying this wonderful music and Jerry Bruck's splendid recording of it!  

 

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14 minutes ago, John H. Haley said:

Thanks, Chris for all those kind words and for spreading the word on this new HDTT release, which all of us who worked on it (Bob Witrak at HDTT, me, and the immensely talented recording engineer Jerry Bruck, with good contributions and assistance from Misha Horenstein and Jerry's wife Louise) are very proud of.  We are also very grateful to have the opportunity to follow upon the work of two towering musical geniuses, composer Gustav Mahler and conductor Jascha Horenstein.  And thanks to you, jrobbins, for posting the link to John Marks' excellent article in The Tracking Angle.  Another detailed review by Rushton Paul has appeared in the webzine Positive Feedback, here:   https://positive-feedback.com/reviews/music-reviews/horensteins-mahler-third/ . 

You are correct, Chris, that no content was added to the front L and R channels for the stereo version. We experimented with mixing in some of the reflected sound from the rear and/or "up" channels, but the result was a loss of clarity.  Much of the stunning clarity that Jerry achieved is due his mic placement scheme that maximized phase coherence in the sound that was captured by his four mics, and mixing in seriously out-of-phase reflected sound from one or both of the two "hall" channels degraded that clarity.  The big contrast here is with the multi-miked Unicorn recording, which was well recorded for its day by a leading engineer (Bob Auger), employing an unknown number of mics, perhaps 20, mixed into eight recorded channels, and from there further mixed down into two, with that result of course compressed for LP release.  

I applaud your experimenting with playback thru your immersive system, especially since you have an array of overhead speakers that most listeners will not have.  My suggestion is to set the levels such that the "up" and "rear" material never overpower what you are hearing coming off the stage in the front channels.  However, expect that at the huge climaxes the two "hall" channels will add quite a good volume of sound to the listening space, which is correct.  That is how this recording sounds. 

I would just point out that four channel playback of this recording still works remarkably well in a more traditional 4 channel set up, with the 4 channels all in one plane.  This aspect is discussed at greater length in my piece in the liner notes, which you have kindly linked.  

It is gratifying that you are enjoying this wonderful music and Jerry Bruck's splendid recording of it!  

 

 

Hi John, thanks for the additional details! you are 100% correct that this recording works very well in "just" a four channel setup :~)

 

I listened quite a bit to the four channel version as designed versus my re-routed version. So much fun to do, without any right or wrong answers. 

 

Thank you for all the hard work that went into putting this together. 

Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems AudiophileStyleStickerWhite2.0.png AudiophileStyleStickerWhite7.1.4.png

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Just bought the stereo version.

Yes, it has unusually good sense of hall, space and depth.

 

Just another example of what we all know: it's not the equipment, it's the skill of the engineer. Maybe it's a dying skill, but guys who know how to place mics always get really good recordings. There is stuff from the mid 50's on (where the equipment wasn't nearly as good as later stuff, especially the tape recorders) that sounds fantastic, even today. 

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protectors +>Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Strip/Protection>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three BXT (on their own electric circuit) >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Path: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Cayin iDAC6 MKII (tube mode) (XLR)>Kii Three BXT

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Well this recording certainly does have incredible DR.

Went from this straight to playing a modern pop album and had to turn down the volume by about 10db because it was deafening otherwise.....

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protectors +>Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Strip/Protection>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three BXT (on their own electric circuit) >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Path: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Cayin iDAC6 MKII (tube mode) (XLR)>Kii Three BXT

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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When we talk about classical music we actually mean western art music, a term which hasn’t really caught up in most music circles. But when contemporary classical music comes to play, we understand why art music makes more sense.  

Say NO to ROON

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15 hours ago, firedog said:

Just another example of what we all know: it's not the equipment, it's the skill of the engineer.

In this case, it is an engineer who knew the music intimately and then knew "how to place mics."  I have and prize some of Jerry Bruck's other recordings:

MAHLER:  Symphony No.3
redball.gif Mignon Dunn (Mezzo soprano), Columbia/Barnard Chorus, Riverside Women's Choir, Manhattan School of Music Children's Chorus, Manhattan School of Music Symphony Orchestra and Chorus Conducted by Glen Cortese (Live performance) redball.gif Titanic Records Ti-252 (Two CDs) 

MAHLER:  Symphony No.6
redball.gif Manhattan School of Music Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Glen Cortese (Live performance)
redball.gif Titanic Records Ti-257 (One CD)

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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2 minutes ago, austinpop said:

Wow, this is a truly stunning release. I am a sucker for Mahler 3rd's, but when it's done with this combination of performance and recording quality, it becomes more than just a listening session, it's an emotional experience.

 

While all the praise for the recording is justified, I must in fairness add that you still have to add "for the period" to every accolade. Some limitations of the period are just hard to overcome. There is that telltale tinniness in the upper treble which is evident especially in the massed violins, trumpets, french horns, and especially cymbals. On the other hand, the woodwinds sound absolutely glorious here, as do tympani.

 

 

That said, every recording makes compromises, so you have to look at the totality of the experience. And on that score, this recording stands as one of the great Mahler 3rd's and is a vital addition to any collection. It certainly is to mine.

 

I was eagerly awaiting your comments @austinpop. I'm happy you like this one as well, because I know how much you know and love Mahler. Keeping perspective is always important. Thanks so much for the comments. 

Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems AudiophileStyleStickerWhite2.0.png AudiophileStyleStickerWhite7.1.4.png

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  • 1 month later...

Quick question only tangentially relevant… does Music Media Helper work with dsd files?

Eloise

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...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Thanks Chris.

 

looks like I need to dig out a Windows computer and see what it will do (primarily reallocating channels is my desire). Trying to get some 5.1 SACD rips to work.

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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