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Marco
17-11-2009, 19:46
...this could possibly be the best recorded CD I've ever heard! :)

What is it, then? Sting's new album 'If On A Winter's Night'.

I love it in a folky, 'pensive' and relaxing kind of way (the tracks are all simple acoustic-based vocals and real instruments), but the recording quality is quite something else, with a clarity and resolution that on a good system is simply breathtaking.

The only criticism I'd make is that the recording level is occasionally slightly too high (especially on track 2 'Soul Cake'), and the sound over-modulates a little, but apart from that it's stunning.

I'd love to know what the process used was (I suspect that its simplicity is the reason for its sonic success) and whether there was anything of an analogue nature in the chain? ;)

Anyway, for those looking for the perfect demo disc to show off their system's prowess with voices and acoustic instruments, then this is it!

And if you happen to like the music and relate to Sting's sentiments about winter (i.e. you love 'Winter Wonderland' snow-covered landscapes, the Christmas season, and watching coal fires glow in the dark) contained in both the song lyrics and enclosed booklet (count me in), I suppose that's a bonus! :eyebrows:

Marco.

Themis
17-11-2009, 19:59
Recording Info:
Clinton Recording Studios, New York;
Manhattan Center Studios, New York;
SevenSeas Studios, New York;
Steerpike Studios, Il Palagio, Italy;
The Source, Malibu

Well, these are no "amateur" studios... ;)

hifi_dave
17-11-2009, 20:08
Marco,
Is it really that good a recording ?

I really can't stand Sting but I'm a sucker for good recordings and I don't want to have to buy this....:doh:

Marco
17-11-2009, 20:12
I wouldn't know, Dimitri. What's 'special' about those studios, then? :)

You know the funny thing about this album was after I bought it in HMV I popped it into the car CD player and it did nothing for me whatsoever - I mean NOTHING! I thought it was shit.

I said to myself as I was driving home 'this is going back for exchange tomorrow as an 'unwanted gift''... ;)

However, when I got home and played it on my main system, the superior resolution on offer, which thus allowed significantly more insight into the music and the subtleties in the recording, for me, transformed the merit of this CD. And that isn't the first time this has happened either with other CDs I've bought.

I still wouldn't rave about it, musically, (it does a job for a certain mood), but it shows the value of having a good hi-fi system and just how important it is to one's true enjoyment of music :cool:

...A veritable raison d'Ítre, I feel, for owning a good system in the first place, if ever there was one!

If anyone else buys this CD I'd be curious to know their thoughts, mainly on the recording quality, as the music is nothing really to write home about, although for me it's fast turning into a bit of a guilty pleasure.

Marco.

Marco
17-11-2009, 20:16
Marco,
Is it really that good a recording ?

I really can't stand Sting but I'm a sucker for good recordings and I don't want to have to buy this....:doh:

Yes it really is *that* good, Dave - perfect hi-fi demo material for your shop! ;)

I'm not particularly a Sting fan myself (although I liked The Police), but it was the winter theme that hooked me. I'm a bit of a sucker for the Christmas season and all things wintery.

However, after a few plays (if you remotely like this sort of music) it's quite addictive. The folk backing group, if nothing else, are rather good.

Marco.

DSJR
17-11-2009, 20:24
If I hear "Soul Cake" one more time I'll SCREAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!

Ten Summoner's Tales weren't bad as a recording as I remember, but this one would have to be bloomin' amazing for me to fork out any more on this man (and this, from an owner of the Police "Message In A Box" CD set.....)

Mike
17-11-2009, 20:24
Oh... a bit sad really! :(

Buying music to 'show off your system' even if you don't particularly like it? Tut Tut! :violin:

Alex_UK
17-11-2009, 20:35
Spotify it first if you need to know if you could "live with" the music - the recording won't shine through as well on 180kbps (or even 320kbps, for Premium users) but you can at least check out the music...

http://open.spotify.com/album/3t3vhSEof0FS23aVfnhy4u

Covenant
17-11-2009, 20:36
Why do lots of people dislike Sting? I think he has done some brilliant albums and love Dream of the Blue Turtles. I like the way so many of his songs have a story or a meaning. I like the use of instruments like the clarinet.
He is just popular so knock him-unfair in my book.

Marco
17-11-2009, 20:42
Oh... a bit sad really! :(

Buying music to 'show off your system' even if you don't particularly like it? Tut Tut! :violin:

I hope you're not including me in the above observation. I bought it primarily because of the Winter theme. I hated it when I played it in the car, but at home I and played it and liked it, recording quality aside - that was a bonus :)

You know that your system is good when it makes average music sound interesting! ;)

Marco.

DSJR
17-11-2009, 20:45
He gives the impression of being so seriously up himself though... Apologies to the man, but this latest outing appears to me to be "Sting *does* folk..." A bit like James Last does Trumpet A-go-go..... We've even grown a beard in an attempt to look authentic...

All rather sad really IMO...

Marco
17-11-2009, 20:49
I can't disagree with that observation! You'll either love it or loathe it, musically.

However, what can't be disputed is that the recording quality is quite superb (almost reel-to-reel or master tape-like in its astonishing stage depth and clarity), which is of course another matter entirely :)

Marco.

Themis
17-11-2009, 21:03
I wouldn't know, Dimitri. What's 'special' about those studios, then? :)
Well, lets take the first one in the list: Clinton Studio

Studio A boasts incredible acoustics and seats up to 85 players. It is known worldwide as one of the last "big" rooms on the East Coast. Studio A is also equipped with flexible acoustic wall paneling and has been the choice location for many feature films. The main room (50' x 55' x 24'h) features our cherished Steinway "D" Concert Grand Piano, the classic vintage instrument from the CBS 30th Street Studio featured on many landmark recordings including Miles Davisís Kind of Blue and Glenn Gouldís Goldberg Variations.
http://www.clintonrecording.com/images/img_studioa.jpg

Studio B is Clinton Recording's large "small" room, offering superb acoustic properties with ample isolation abilities. The main area measures 40' x 35' x 12'h, and can accommodate up to 35 musicians.
http://www.clintonrecording.com/images/img_studiob3_thumb.jpg

It looks a 'serious' environment for recording, doesn't it ? ;)

Marco
17-11-2009, 21:10
Very interesting... You're a mine of information sometimes, Dimitri :)


It looks a 'serious' environment for recording, doesn't it ?


Indeed - and it shows, big time, in the final result!!

I just wish all music (yes, better stuff ;)) was recorded in this way. However, I guess that Sting can afford it!

Marco.

Mike
17-11-2009, 21:14
Ya big cheeky 'sea-nut'! :eyebrows:


I hope you're not including me in the above observation. I bought it primarily because of the Winter theme. I hated it when I played it in the car, but at home I and played it and liked it, recording quality aside - that was a bonus :)

You know that your system is good when it makes average music sound interesting! ;)

Marco.

That ain't quite what you said before you 'invisibly edited' your original post ya daft jobbie! :ner: :lol:

Themis
17-11-2009, 21:29
Very interesting... You're a mine of information sometimes, Dimitri :)
It's not me, it's Google ! :o

(I wish I could listen to some music in a place like this one day...)

BTW, how about a thread about famous recording studios and studio engineers ? Are there some people who know a bit in this domain in AoS ?

Marco
17-11-2009, 21:31
That ain't quite what you said before you 'invisibly edited' your original post ya daft jobbie!


LOL! I dunno wot you mean, though. I only changed it slightly to reflect how I feel about this album, which is represented by what I've written so far :)

How can I buy a CD solely for its recording quality if I don't know what it sounds like in the first place, ya double-daft wee jobbie? :lol:

It was a spur-of-the-moment purchase at HMV!

Hi-fi Dave was the one who seemed willing to buy it purely on the grounds of its recording quality, but as a dealer you can understand exactly why! ;)

Marco.

Mike
17-11-2009, 21:35
LOL! I dunno wot you mean, though. I only changed it to reflect how I really feel about this album, which is represented by what I've written so far :)

How can buy a CD for it's recording quality if I don't know how it sounds, ya double-daft jobbie? :lol:

It was a spur of the moment purchase at HMV!

It was Hi-fi Dave who seemed willing to buy it purely on the grounds of its recording quality, but as a dealer you can understand exactly why! ;)

Marco.

Pfffft!.... what's that smell? :lol::bum:

Marco
17-11-2009, 21:36
Your nose too close to yer arse!!! :lolsign:

Marco.

Mike
17-11-2009, 21:38
Someones arse!.. no doubt! or yer heed! :lol:

Themis
17-11-2009, 21:41
BTW, how about a thread about famous recording studios and studio engineers ? Are there some people who know a bit in this domain in AoS ?
With all this laughing, your eyes might have missed this... :lolsign:

Marco
17-11-2009, 21:42
Someones arse!.. no doubt! or yer heed!


It's "heid", actually - get it right! :eyebrows:

Wow... Can you feel the love in the room? :lol:

Marco.

Mike
17-11-2009, 21:46
It's "heid", actually - get it right! :eyebrows:

Not in 'Geordie' it ain't! :upyours:

Marco
17-11-2009, 21:53
I thought you were a Yorkshireman, not a Geordie? :lol:

Get it right, or make up yer mind at least!

:ner:

Marco.

Mike
17-11-2009, 21:56
Well you seem to think I'm a friggin Geordie, so who's counting? :mental:

Marco
17-11-2009, 21:58
LOL - I'll give up now before you resort to violence! :chainsaw:

Marco.

aquapiranha
17-11-2009, 22:19
Why do lots of people dislike Sting? I think he has done some brilliant albums and love Dream of the Blue Turtles. I like the way so many of his songs have a story or a meaning. I like the use of instruments like the clarinet.
He is just popular so knock him-unfair in my book.


I have a feeling that nobody dislikes Sting as much as Stewart Copeland!

Rumour has it he wrote a naughty four letter word, one letter atop each drum when they were on tour, and this word was meant for Sting! (it begins with c...)

I don't mind some of Sting's stuff, but not sure this would be my cup of tea so I will check out the spotify link first, thanks guys.

Marco
17-11-2009, 22:24
I can't see you liking it much Steve, but I could be wrong...

Marco.

webby
17-11-2009, 22:25
I'd never buy a cd based on the quality of the recording. The music is of most import.

You said you didn't like it in the car and was going to return it. Can you do that nowadays? On the flip side, imagine returning a cd to HMV and saying "love the music, awful recording!". A bemused expression is what I think you'd see.

aquapiranha
17-11-2009, 22:29
I can't see you liking it much Steve, but I could be wrong...

Marco.

A quick scan reveals that the music is great. It just falls apart when he opens his gob.

:lolsign:

Jonboy
17-11-2009, 22:30
I saw the Police in conceret on there invisable sun tour in the Brighton centre way back when and loved it, i still have a selection of singles and albums from that time, but now i have to agree that he comes over as being up himself although i want to like him i just can't seem to be able to buy one of his solo albums, some of his live tracks on some of my compilation albums are enjoyable, fields of gold being one that i love, it's a funny thing though when you here a well recoreded album you get drawn in,:scratch:

Themis
17-11-2009, 22:45
A quick scan reveals that the music is great. It just falls apart when he opens his gob.
Another "classic" Sting album... :doh:

Marco
17-11-2009, 22:51
Hi Jon,


it's a funny thing though when you here a well recoreded album you get drawn in,


What's most impressive about the recording is the sheer clarity and purity of Sting's voice - it's spookily 'real' in a way I've seldom heard before.

I'd love to know what kind of microphone he used.

The only thing which spoils the recording is the occasional over-modulating/'saturation' effect due to over-zealous use of recording level by the engineer(s) involved. It's the same thing one hears when recording to tape and allowing the levels to peak too much into the red.

Fortunately this only occurs now and then and only for a few seconds on the relevant tracks.

Hey, you'll probably be too fast asleep to notice! :eyebrows:

Marco.

Marco
17-11-2009, 23:01
I'd never buy a cd based on the quality of the recording. The music is of most import.


I agree; same here. Like I said, I had no idea how good or bad the recording was before I bought the album...


You said you didn't like it in the car and was going to return it. Can you do that nowadays?


Yep, sure - providing that the cover and CD inside are mint, and you have your receipt. I do it quite often, although I never ask for a refund; merely a swap for another CD. Just say that someone bought it for you but you don't like it.

It's a great way of discovering new artists (although clearly Sting doesn't come under that category), as you can 'take a punt' on stuff you think might be good but are unsure, without being left with a 'lemon' :)

Marco.

webby
17-11-2009, 23:06
I think the sad thing about this is that not all album's recording's sound great.

Joe
17-11-2009, 23:09
Why do lots of people dislike Sting?

Because he's second only to Bono in the knobhead stakes, that's why.

Reminds me of the exchange between Cameron Macintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber:

Lloyd Webber: ' People seem to take an instant dislike to me. Why is that?'

Macintosh: 'Saves time, I suppose'

Mike
17-11-2009, 23:15
Because he's second only to Bono in the knobhead stakes, that's why.

Reminds me of the exchange between Cameron Macintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber:

Lloyd Webber: ' People seem to take an instant dislike to me. Why is that?'

Maintosh: 'Saves time, I suppose'

:D

Marco
17-11-2009, 23:20
A quick scan reveals that the music is great. It just falls apart when he opens his gob.

:lolsign:

What did you think of his version of the Cara Dillon track 'The Snow it Melts the Soonest'? ;)

Haha - good one, Joe! You might want to fix the typo, though...

Marco.

symon
17-11-2009, 23:45
Cara Dillon? Nae lad, John Renbourn has been doing it for years, and I'm sure he got it from someone else.

More on topic. Until recently I've always disliked the Gillian Welch studio CDs because the production sounded so odd and empty in my ears when played on my Walkman. I played one on my main system the other and suddenly it all made sense. Sounded completely different and very good.

And Sting definitely has a very silly beard!

aquapiranha
17-11-2009, 23:47
Cara Dillon? Nae lad, John Renbourn has been doing it for years, and I'm sure he got it from someone else.

More on topic. Until recently I've always disliked the Gillian Welch studio CDs because the production sounded so odd and empty in my ears when played on my Walkman. I played one on my main system the other and suddenly it all made sense. Sounded completely different and very good.

And Sting definitely has a very silly beard!

Eliza Carthy too! it is I think an old trad song.

And how dare you mention Cara and Sting in the same sentence Marco! How very dare you...


:steam:

symon
17-11-2009, 23:48
Yes, I thought it was, but I can't find it at the moment so couldn't be sure.

Marco
18-11-2009, 00:04
Cara Dillon? Nae lad, John Renbourn has been doing it for years, and I'm sure he got it from someone else.


I didn't say that she originally released it; merely that it was a track on one of her albums ;)

I agree with you though about Sting's face tuft (and last year's Christmas jumper)!

Marco.

symon
18-11-2009, 00:08
Fair enough.

It is, apparently, a North Country Ballad, collected in 1821.

Marco
18-11-2009, 00:50
Thanks, Peter... Interesting to know :)

Marco.

Covenant
18-11-2009, 08:55
Because he's second only to Bono in the knobhead stakes, that's why.

Reminds me of the exchange between Cameron Macintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber:

Lloyd Webber: ' People seem to take an instant dislike to me. Why is that?'

Macintosh: 'Saves time, I suppose'

I take it you dont like Phil Collins either? :lol:
Why is he a knobhead though? Because he is a serious person concerned with world issues and tries to preach to the rest of us? Should musicians simply entertain and not influence politics?
Should this be a separate thread?

Jason P
18-11-2009, 11:14
wAumSpIz0Kc


Classic!!:lol:

Marco
18-11-2009, 12:27
I take it you dont like Phil Collins either? :lol:
Why is he a knobhead though? Because he is a serious person concerned with world issues and tries to preach to the rest of us? Should musicians simply entertain and not influence politics?
Should this be a separate thread?

Nah, keep it here and let it run its natural course... I agree with your sentiments, Jerry.

I know where Joe's coming from, but personally I don't agree. What is it about 'us Brits' that we enjoy knocking and often taking a dislike to confident, intelligent, successful and wealthy people who happen to have a bit of an attitude?

I don't have a problem with that at all – far from it; in fact, I respect it! :)

I much prefer people like that to moaning, bland, boring, wishy-washy types who blunder through life without ever achieving anything really worthwhile, that's for sure... "Whinging underachievers", as Mick Parry rightly refers to them.

I think we should learn from Americans, in this respect, and applaud the achievements of successful and wealthy people, rather than, if we’re honest, allowing the 'green-eyed monster' to cloud our judgement just a teensy-weensy little bit ;)

Marco.

Joe
18-11-2009, 12:54
I know where Joe's coming from, but personally I don't agree. What is it about 'us Brits' that we enjoy knocking and often taking a dislike to confident, intelligent, successful and wealthy people who happen to have a bit of an attitude?

It's because we prefer people who, successful or otherwise, are modest and not too 'up themselves'. The plus side is that we don't end up with dictators, because we can't stand people who are too big for their boots.

Marco
18-11-2009, 13:10
That's your opinion, Joe, and you're entitled to it. I however, disagree :)

I don't see people such as Sting, Bono or Phil Collins as being "up themselves"; merely as naturally confident people who are content with life and rightly proud of their success.

I wish we had more like them!

Marco.

DanJennings
18-11-2009, 13:32
OK, I'll admit Sting's a bit of a cock, but I must admit I own at least 4 of his albums, plus a few by the police...
Dream of the Blue Turtles is a very fine album, I'll be giving this one a try, cheers for the heads up. Nice to hear of a well recorded album in this time of over compression and brash sloppy production and mastering

Alex_UK
18-11-2009, 13:52
I'd much rather see a Sting or a Bono using their status to try and improve the world rather than the complete wastes of oxygen most celebrities are, mentioning no names. (Oh all right, Robbie Williams & Jordan are my two most hated!)

Marco
18-11-2009, 16:00
I'd much rather see a Sting or a Bono using their status to try and improve the world rather than the complete wastes of oxygen most celebrities are...


Hear, hear, Alex - too bloody right!

The word 'celebrity' is so devalued these days, it's almost meaningless...

Bloody talent-less non-entities creaming off the dim-witted and brainless public's insatiable appetite for banal gossip and 'celebrity lifestyle' culture; I hate everything to do with it with a passion!!! :steam:

The idiots who buy the magazines, watch the programmes, and those who promote and support all this bullshit nonsense, occupy the real "knobhead stakes"! ;)

{Rant over}, so as you were, chaps... :eyebrows:

Marco.

Peter Galbavy
18-11-2009, 17:27
I think what irritates me most about Sting, Bono and that whole genre is the hypocracy. Here we have multi-multi-millionaires crying into their hands in the media about the starving, the poor, the uneducated children ("think of the children!") and "climate change" and yet they are very much part of the glitteratti, attending lavish conspicuous-consumption events, riding around in private jets and huge entourages of gas-guzzling Rnage Rovers (for security, of course). I don't see them giving up their vast wealth to help the subjects of their publicity seeking tirades, they don't live on a meagre amount like they are trying to get us developed-country inhabitants to do, to help "the poor".

While their publicity probably helps raise awareness I am always in doubt - no, make that cynical disbelief - of their true sincerity.

The music they produce is usually great, but the it's the whole package that makes me cringe.

I would like to think I am not simply envious, but hey, who knows :)

DSJR
18-11-2009, 17:34
If any of you ever get to own "Message In A Box," take a look at the booklet that comes within and read some of the band-member's comments on the making of some of the later tracks and the totally childish antics that went on - Sting refusing to sing on other band-member's compositions for example.

Marco, it's not that the man is successful, it's the "attitude" that goes with it and the "holier-than-thou" vibe that can surround these sorts of people - Bono "saving the world" while reportedly using every tax loophole he can to keep a few extra pennies for himself (as if he needs them...). On audio forums, I don't appreciate the sometimes condescending "online Mick Parry" persona either, although like you Marco, the reality of the man may well be something different to what we read online, as I'm informed he's a bit of a wind-up merchant on the side :)

When I worked in the West End a million years ago (it seems), we had clients from Belgravia who were charming, genuinely friendly people, who used expensive antiques as furniture and who NEVER EVER spoke down to you. They radiated something that often warmed you to them as people and not once did they ever demand discounts.....

When I then moved on to a home counties dealership not far from St Albans, the B&O crowd were the snootiest of snooties, wanting the engine driver and regarding all else as the "oily rags," even though we knew more than the engine driver at that point. Any antiques in their homes were almost behind glass and woe betide you if you didn't take your shoes off when entering their show-homes to set up or take (for service) their precious B&O set. There were a few exceptions though, but they were exceptions on the whole.

I know the kind of wealthy people I'd rather have dealt with - and it wasn't always the "electrician made good........."

Perhaps in milder areas of the country this is different, but around London and the M4 corridor, the second type I referred to did used to exist and perhaps still does...

Jonboy
18-11-2009, 17:59
The word 'celebrity' is so devalued these days, it's almost meaningless...

Bloody talent-less non-entities creaming off the dim-witted and brainless public's insatiable appetite for banal gossip and 'celebrity lifestyle' culture; I hate everything to do with it with a passion!!! :steam:

The idiots who buy the magazines, watch the programmes, and those who promote and support all this bullshit nonsense, occupy the real "knobhead stakes"! ;)

{Rant over}, so as you were, chaps... :eyebrows:

Marco.

I though this was called the X factor but it makes Simon Cowell a lot of money, but i still watch it with the family every week:lol:

Joe
18-11-2009, 18:06
Hear, hear, Alex - too bloody right!

The word 'celebrity' is so devalued these days, it's almost meaningless...

Bloody talent-less non-entities creaming off the dim-witted and brainless public's insatiable appetite for banal gossip and 'celebrity lifestyle' culture; I hate everything to do with it with a passion!!! :steam:
.

Are you sure you're not just envious of their success?

Joe
18-11-2009, 18:08
The music they produce is usually great, but the it's the whole package that makes me cringe.

I would like to think I am not simply envious, but hey, who knows :)

I dislike their music almost as much as their attitude!

Marco
18-11-2009, 18:14
Are you sure you're not just envious of their success?

Absolutely, because I'm a serious underachiever and a total failure. Jealousy permeates my whole being.

Guys, I'll come back to this intriguing discussion later after din-dins! :)

Marco.

Joe
18-11-2009, 18:19
Absolutely, because I'm a serious underachiever and a total failure. Jealousy permeates my whole being.
.

At least you're honest about it.

Ali Tait
18-11-2009, 19:51
Was it Sting who did that album of 16th century lute music or similar? Supposed to be very good SQ too.