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Distortion on Side One of the Hugh Masekela tapes?

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  • Distortion on Side One of the Hugh Masekela tapes?

    Been playing these 2 tapes a number of times recently for friends and am noticing distortion on side 1. Can't remember the specific cuts but heard it especially on the trumpet and flute. Don't notice this on side 2. Any one else experience this or am I "hearing" things?

    Charles

  • #2
    Sure you aren't hearing things. But I don't remember hearing any distortion. Will check again.
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

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    • #3
      Hi Charlie,

      I believe my Tape A (Side 1) sounds like it has higher output than Tape B. I haven't measured but subjectively it seems that way here.

      Tape A is every bit of 355 nWb/m on average, IMO. That's +6 above 180nWb/m. So it's got a lot of clean signal on the tape. Additionally, the output easily hits peaks (usually not seen on the meters because they are short in duration) of over +15dbm on the output. This seems, regardless of the REF Flux setting relative to the 0 dB setting of the meters.

      I was finishing up a tape session when I saw your post. So after, spinning Duke's Big 4, I went to the deck and spooled up Tape A to see if I noticed anything due to your post. I played all 6 tracks and listened to them carefully for distortion. I didn't hear any on my tape.

      A couple things I did notice that may or may not be helpful were: Tracks 2,3,4,5 all have doubled up winds during most of the horn playing with track 5 including the flute. On track 5 just before the singing, the flutter from the flute and horn doubling is offset in the left channel with cymbal hits that may get masked as distortion. On the 6th track there are guitar and keyboards in left and right channels during some of the flute playing that could be masked as distortion.

      I'm not sure if this helps but it's what I observed on short notice.

      Dre
      **************************************************
      Every day is a good day to play analog.
      12" 33.3/45rpm vinyl or 10.5" 15/30ips tape
      **************************************************

      Comment


      • #4
        Dre,

        thanks VERY MUCH for taking the time for your critical response. Am going to go back and listen again. Now where are those Q tips....

        Charles

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        • #5
          Originally posted by stellavox View Post
          Dre,

          thanks VERY MUCH for taking the time for your critical response. Am going to go back and listen again. Now where are those Q tips....

          Charles
          No problem. Hope it helps.

          Dre
          **************************************************
          Every day is a good day to play analog.
          12" 33.3/45rpm vinyl or 10.5" 15/30ips tape
          **************************************************

          Comment


          • #6
            OK, I screwed up. Wasn't LISTENING as I should have.

            As Dre mentioned, on side 1 in addition the doubled winds, I believe that a number of the cuts (3,4,5) have "seamless" duets with/between Hugh on trumpet and Ngenekhaya on Sax. The duets are SO well executed that the two instruments sound as one - and the "distortion" I thought I heard was in the blend. Individually, everything is FINE.

            AND IMMENSELY ENJOYABLE.

            Thanks for your comments!

            Charles

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by stellavox View Post
              OK, I screwed up. Wasn't LISTENING as I should have.

              As Dre mentioned, on side 1 in addition the doubled winds, I believe that a number of the cuts (3,4,5) have "seamless" duets with/between Hugh on trumpet and Ngenekhaya on Sax. The duets are SO well executed that the two instruments sound as one - and the "distortion" I thought I heard was in the blend. Individually, everything is FINE.

              AND IMMENSELY ENJOYABLE.

              Thanks for your comments!

              Charles
              I'm glad you had a second listen and enjoyed the tape.

              Dre
              **************************************************
              Every day is a good day to play analog.
              12" 33.3/45rpm vinyl or 10.5" 15/30ips tape
              **************************************************

              Comment


              • #8
                Charles, glad to hear it was the performance. I had a similar experience a few years back. I was working on my Decca book for Winston Ma, and Michael Bishop was doing the remastering of the CD's for the book. Normally, Winston and Michael would go back and forth with various versions of the CD until Winston was satisfied. In this case they sent me a copy of the CD which included the Grieg Piano Concerto with Radu Lupu and Andre Previn and the LSO, which had much earlier been an Absolute Sound Super Disc. I had the vinyl and was very familiar with the recording. I was listening very carefully to the CD and in the second movement (the slow quiet movement) during a beautiful flute solo, I heard some extremely faint clicking sounds. I went back to listen again and they were there again, for a few seconds, but not earlier or later in the movement. I couldn't hear them in my vinyl version, but they were very faint, probably under the noise level of the vinyl. I contacted both Michael and Winston to tell them what I had heard - some defect or interference in the recording - was it in the master tape or just in the remaster?

                Michael checked it out and emailed me a couple days later. Yes, there are very faint clicks, and they are in the master. But not distortion or interference, they were the clicking of the flute keys playing during the movement! Too faint to hear from the vinyl, but picked up by Wilkie and the other Decca engineers in the recording. I told John Dunkerley the story and he told me that he was one of the engineers working with Wilkie on that recording. He didn't remember anything about the flute keys, however.

                Larry
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                • #9
                  WOW Larry - Great Story!

                  THANKS

                  Charles

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