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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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