Monday, November 30, 2009

Caroling Caroling by The Gene Lowell Chorus

I've been slacking a bit, so it's time to show Hi-Fi some love.  Here's a new album:  The Gene Lowell Chorus' Caroling Caroling (that's right, no punctuation!)

Released on album in 1958 (Warner Bros. Records / WS 1233), this warm-sounding, yuletide fest for male choir is a great Christmas Eve mood-setting choice.

Consisting mainly of the aforementioned male choir, there is also occasional brass accompaniment ("Hark! The Herald Angels Sing").  Gene's singers carry classic tunes with a friendly, professional and inviting tone ("Silent Night").

Despite the age of the album, I managed to make a clean rip of this rich sounding stereo recording (listen to those deep bass tones in "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"!)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Christmas Voices of Walter Schumann - Walter Schumann

Woohoo, Christmas 2009 is fast approaching! Well, it's about three months away. But I can't wait, because I've recorded a handful of albums this summer that I need to share. NOW.

First up is The Christmas Voices of Walter Schumann, the Pickwick Records re-issue and electronic stereo-ification of 1951's Christmas In The Air.

The contents of this album have been shared out a few times on some great Christmas music-themed blogs, but the date of the recording, coupled with some cheap pressings has meant the sound was less-than-stellar.

This LP recording was a multi-step process that took several tries to get right. The first attempt was fraught with hazard. The stereo was phasing in and out. I tried recording it again, only to encounter the same problem. I then came back a few weeks later, tried once more, and miraculously, I scored a clean recording. There was some small stereo phasing, but it was manageable.

I then passed it through declick and denoise software (ClickRepair, still the best). However the left channel randomly cutting out began to knaw at me. So I mixed the stereo track ("electronically processed stereo" mind you) into a mono file. I then mixed it back to stereo and applied some light VST stereo effects using Bias Peak Pro. The results, I hope, are the best you'll hear this album (until someone remasters it and reissues it on CD).