Cleaned up Robert Johnson

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Cleaned up Robert Johnson

Postby houndog » Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:18 pm

Hello,
this from The Blindman's forum.

adios,
Lovat

Hi

I am an award-winning music restoration and remastering engineer who normally specialises in historic classical music recordings. Earlier this year I developed a remarkable new process ("XR") for improving the sound of older recordings and have employed this to great critical success on a number of classical recordings.

For the first time I've used the process on a non-classical release, bringing out incredible sound quality from a number of recordings by Robert Johnson. You can hear for yourself what I mean by listening to "Ramblin' On My Mind" which is streamed on our website.

The initial release includes 19 of Johnson's songs, with plans afoot to rework the rest and produce a second release very soon.

Initial response from our usual clientèle of classical music lovers has been tremendous. Now I'd like to reach the blues fans who've kept Johnson's flame burning all these years. The sound quality on these releases will revolutionise people's appraisal of Johnson's playing and singing and potentially bring many thousands more to appreciate his genius.

I hope you find this of interest and can take a moment to listen to what I'm doing:

http://www.pristineclassical.com/LargeW ... ABL001.php

Best regards

Andrew Rose

---------------------------

Very briefly, the XR system uses high resolution computer frequency analysis to effectively reverse-engineer out the tonal flaws of original recording systems. It's been used on dozens of classical recordings, from the mid-50's back to the earliest Caruso records of 1902.

Once the harmonic deficiencies of those early recording systems are determined it's a pretty straightforward job to re-equalise the recordings and iron out those flaws. The main reason this hasn't been done before is that the resolution and accuracy required to achieve acceptable results is simply beyond the abilities of any human sound engineer or regular EQ system. When I put the recordings into the XR re-equalisation system I neither know what the results are going to sound like nor use any personal prejudice to influence or tailor the sound to my own liking.

What does normally then happen is a dose of quite intensive regular restoration, as the degree of re-equalisation used brings up all sorts of previously buried noise, as well as musical sound. The challenge, having corrected the sound, is to retain it whilst suppressing this noise - again, only the most powerful modern digital noise reduction systems can do this with any reasonable degree of success.

The pricing of these recordings therefore is based on the amount of work I have to do in the preparation of the recordings. I'd love to have big sales of my work (as would my accountant and my bank manager!) but right now, working in the classical field, this hasn't happened. I live and work in France (although I'm English) and I'm afraid therefore we price in Euros, a currency unfavourable to the US dollar, as an old friend of mine who lives here on his US pension, which gets smaller every month, keeps telling me.

Anyway, I'm glad you're enjoying what you've heard. The second volume is currently in the process of being remastered and should be available soon.

Andrew

P.S. I've just put together a free 5-minute sampler which puts together excerpts from the first eight tracks. It's encoded as a very high quality LAME MP3 - you can download it here http://www.pristinestorage.com/force_do ... ampler.mp3
Try burning it onto CD and listening on your regular hi-fi system to get a better idea of the sound quality than your computer speakers might give.
Last edited by houndog on Tue Dec 04, 2007 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ricochet » Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:29 pm

Speaking of revolutions, I wonder whether Andrew's harmonic analysis can shed light on the question of whether Poor Bob's discs were cut at a speed different than the standard playback speed?

(I think I'm still a member at Blindman's, but I don't think I've been there in a couple of years...)
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Postby De Ferre » Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:17 pm

The sample offered sounds really well, but I would like to compare with the previous releases. Some before-and-after kind of comparison would be nice. I didn't bother to do it right away. Anybody did?
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Postby rustyslide » Mon Dec 03, 2007 12:34 am

I've got the Complete Recordings, and the samples here are just stunning in comparison.
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Postby jamesfarrell » Mon Dec 03, 2007 1:00 am

I listen to some RJ. I just can't get into it much I'm sorry. I don't get it I guess. But perhaps with the updated recordings I will become a fan like you guys. It's mostly probably the quality of the recordings that attributes to my not really liking it that much.

Kevin
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Postby grady » Mon Dec 03, 2007 1:36 am

Sounds good.
I'll get a copy when it comes out.
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Postby houndog » Tue Dec 04, 2007 7:05 pm

Hello,
one thing I did notice on these cleaned "Ramblin' On My Mind" was that his voice tails off beautifully after some phrases , previously it sounded like he just finished the phrase by shutting his mouth.

I see the first url is incomplete , Ill dig it out and post it above + here as the author writes about what I thought was boosting Poor Bob's performance with modern sampled music...I'll read it again.

adios,
Lovat
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Postby houndog » Tue Dec 04, 2007 7:15 pm

Aye,
here it is;
http://www.pristineclassical.com/LargeW ... ABL001.php

And from the bottom of the first paragraph of description on that page.
However, the music of Robert Johnson has been widely recorded, and it was possible to find modern equivalents of many of these recordings, from which I was able to derive further equalisations for the remaining tracks.

Now musketeers, does this mean he;

1/ Sampled other tracks and added em in?
2/ Heard how later players phrased Poor Bob's tune's and used this as a guide to boost/amend certain levels on the original ?
3/ Used all the Poor Bob's tracks and took a guess as to how they went, and added music ie played over the trax?

Interesting eh.

adios,
Lovat
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Postby txslide » Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:37 pm

The thing I have always wondered is how did he get such a great slide tone from a standard acoustic guitar (Gibson, Stella?).

I have all his recordings as well and these cleaned up versions sound fantastic.
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Postby Reverend Mojo » Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:32 am

txslide wrote:The thing I have always wondered is how did he get such a great slide tone from a standard acoustic guitar (Gibson, Stella?).


Um, crossroads...devil...you know the rest of the story.

I thought the cleaned up version sounded pretty good, but I kinda dig the old ones for the nostalgia of poor sound quality...if that makes sense.
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Postby ricochet » Sat Dec 08, 2007 5:05 pm

Heck, modern guys often apply a filter to their recordings to give them the old scratchy record sounds. "Relicked Records."
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Postby zhyla » Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:27 pm

jamesfarrell wrote:I listen to some RJ. I just can't get into it much I'm sorry. I don't get it I guess. But perhaps with the updated recordings I will become a fan like you guys. It's mostly probably the quality of the recordings that attributes to my not really liking it that much.

Kevin


I'm with you on this. Most of the RJ tunes I've heard I haven't had an urge to learn how to play. He's growing on me but I find other guys from that era more interesting (Son House, Miss. John Hurt, etc).

I think I would buy this but I'm confused how much it would cost.
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Re: Cleaned up Robert Johnson

Postby eldergreene » Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:24 am

Update, in case anyone doesn't know - I see from Blindman's Blues that there are remastered Tampa Red & M J Hurt available, as well as work-in-progress samples of Patton & Lemon...worth checking out..
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Re: Cleaned up Robert Johnson

Postby boogiechillun85 » Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:04 pm

Good, remaster Charlie Patton. That's something I can get behind. 8)
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Re:

Postby owmmusic » Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:20 pm

houndog wrote:Aye,
here it is;
http://www.pristineclassical.com/LargeW ... ABL001.php

And from the bottom of the first paragraph of description on that page.
However, the music of Robert Johnson has been widely recorded, and it was possible to find modern equivalents of many of these recordings, from which I was able to derive further equalisations for the remaining tracks.

Now musketeers, does this mean he;

1/ Sampled other tracks and added em in?
2/ Heard how later players phrased Poor Bob's tune's and used this as a guide to boost/amend certain levels on the original ?
3/ Used all the Poor Bob's tracks and took a guess as to how they went, and added music ie played over the trax?

Interesting eh.

adios,
Lovat


It looks like he meant that he replicated eq settings from other recordings, and applied them to Johnson's original recordings. No indication that any new music or tracks were created or added.
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