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> Poor-quality audio restoration on CD, Mildred Bailey's "Hot-cha Medley #1"
hhp1928
post Jan 31 2006, 02:13 AM
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Dear All,

Recently I heard Mildred Bailey's recording of "Hot-cha Medley #1," backed by Paul Whiteman's orchestra, on Radio Dismuke. I liked the recording so much that I bought the CD, only to find when it came in the mail that there was so much surface noise as to make the song hard to listen to. It is really a shame - I don't recall that much surface noise when I heard the recording on Radio Dismuke, and it is an excellent version of the song.

The CD was put out by the "Old Masters" label - generally, does that label feature poorly restored recordings? Also, is there an easy way to digitally "clean up" the song?

Best,
Henry
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bob
post Jan 31 2006, 03:41 AM
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Hi Henry

They probably sent you a bad Cd. I'd send it back to wherever you bought it from and tell them to send you a good disk. I own the same Cd Midred Bailey Vol One mb103 " Sweet Beginnings" on The Old Masters lable. It plays crystal clear as a bell. No surface noise at all. It is a great cd. Really like Midred.

smile.gif Bob


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hhp1928
post Feb 1 2006, 05:46 AM
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Hi Bob,

It appears that it's just those two tracks - Hot-cha Medley #1 and #2. Could you give your CD a listen for me and tell me if there is surface noise on those songs? If not, I'll send my CD back.

Thanks!
Henry
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bob
post Feb 1 2006, 05:52 AM
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Hi Henry

Give me a few minutes and I will double check the track.

I'm playing them right now and they sound just great. Send that cd back.

smile.gif Bob


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dismuke
post Feb 5 2006, 07:01 PM
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I just now got around to testing that CD.

A lot of times, the particular machine you play it in makes a big difference.

I first tried a really cheapo boom box that I rarely use because of its poor sound quality. Those two tracks had a high pitched squeel that runs all the way through the recordings and makes it very difficult to listen to. I might add that the machine does that as well when it plays mp3 files I have burned to CD.

I next tried it on a computer that has good quality speakers. The high pitched noise was not there - but the audio seemed "blurred" when compared to the other tracks and, if I listened closely, I could hear the surface noise you speak of.

It is possible that a bad batch of CDs was made - one with rejected audio restoration takes - and that Bob got a CD from a subsequent batch. Or it is possible that Bob is listening to it on a really nice sounding sound system which works to forgive this particular issue.

The reason you do not hear it when it plays on Radio Dismuke is because I compress the audio files down so that they can run at 24 kpbs and be heard by listeners on dial up. I have noticed that the compression does result in a certain amount of noise reduction.

One of the great frustrations I have when it comes to my audio restoration efforts is the fact that, I can get a recording to sound GREAT on the computer I happen to be working with - but when I later play it back on other CD players, I will hear suface noise that I did not hear before. Had I heard the surface noise, I probably would not have gotten rid of it, but I would have turned the noise reduction down a bit so that the surface noise sounds more "natural" without that awful metallic sound that too much noise reduction can result in. Unfortunately, it is simply not possible for me to try an audio file on different machines WHILE I am working on it - and all I can do after the fact is start over again from scratch.

As to the quality of The Old Masters CD reissues in general - I have been very pleased with the ones I have. But I would hardly consider myself to be an audiophile. They certainly are not in the category of Swing Time records which is notorious for putting out really horrible sounding reissues. I read lots and lots of complaits about Swing Time on the 78 rpm forums I look at - but I don't recall seeing others complain about The Old Masters. Indeed, it seems to be quite well respected.

Unfortunately, I am not sure if the label will continue to be around. It was owned by George Morrow who passed away a few years back. Morrow was actually quite famous - you can read an article about him here: http://news.com.com/2100-1008-1000732.html

The article says that he had a collection of 70,000 78 rpms. That's definitely a big collection.
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80rpm
post May 29 2006, 03:03 PM
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I have this CD and these tracks sound just fine. Generally Old Masters CDs are excellent. George Morrow put out about thirty of these, they were a real labor of love. It is unfortunate that he passed away, he was planning many more.
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RichConaty
post May 29 2006, 04:58 PM
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George gave me a CD of some Seger Ellis selections, enough for a second volume, that he didn't use on the TOM release. Later I got copies of what would have been the next releases: Volume 3 of the Six Jumping Jacks and a volume of Ben Pollack. The transfers are exceptional!
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Doc Savage
post May 29 2006, 05:57 PM
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QUOTE
Later I got copies of what would have been the next releases: Volume 3 of the Six Jumping Jacks and a volume of Ben Pollack. The transfers are exceptional!


A few months ago I obtained Vols. 2 &3 of the Tram series at Virgin records and the sound quality was crystal clear. The booklet accompanying them was an added treat (loved the cover photos especially the one w/Whiteman by Tram's airplane!)



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