audio-intl

Rare finds

Century Records


… has been founded by Keysor-Century Corp., manufacturer of vinyl compounds and one of the leading pressing plants on the West Coast.

“Only direct-to-disk albums will be produced,” says Glen Glancy, for many years a leading sound engineer in Los Angeles , who heads the new Keysor-Century division.

Direct-to-disk recording is precisely that – the music in the studio is piped to a 14-inch master disk in the control booth. No tape is used.

“The difference in sound quality,” says Glancy, “is remarkable. And the musicians are at their best. They are aware there can be no splices, no doctoring of their music. On direct-to-disc sessions one quickly separates the boys from the men.”

Glancy talked with Benny Goodman recently about the d-d process. The venerable clarinettist, who has been making records for almost 50 years, commented favourably on the new development.

“We are convinced,” notes Glancy, “that there is a large market for direct-to-disc LPs. A lot of folk want the ultimate in sound quality. The difference from tape recording is much more than marginal. It costs substantially more to record but the results are worth it, and customers are not hesitant to pay the premium price.”

Clarity

To produce the most accurate and natural sound, we record all of the instruments and vocals with only two microphones. While it is easier to record with a large number of microphones, there is a penalty to be paid in terms of accuracy, transparency, and purity of sound. When numerous microphones are used, there are problems with different frequency response characteristics, difficulty in maintaining phase relationships and, of course, the need for a multi-track mixing console which results in the introduction of numerous additional electronic circuits into the signal path.

Clarity Recordings

uses only two microphones and balances the sound of vocals and instruments “naturally” by moving the vocalist and various instruments in relation to each other, creating the desired balance. This preserves natural stereo images with correct phase relationships. The result is an almost three dimensional presentation of the musical performance.

In order to achieve the highest levels of technical quality, Clarity Recordings uses custom modified microphone electronics and power supplies as well as custom built microphone cables, interconnects, and AC power cords.

PREMIUM 24 KT GOLD COMPACT DISCS

Clarity Recordings is pleased to offer a series of Premium 24 Kt Gold Compact Discs that produce state-of-the-art sound from the compact disc medium. Gold is a non-oxidizing and non-corrosive metal that is noted for its durability. An Accelerated Ion Deposition Metalizing System is used to achieve the highest quality reflective layer. The result is an unusually high quality disc in terms of laser light reflectivity and strength. Gold CDs have an unequalled uniformity of metal deposition, highest reflectivity and absolutely no visible pin holes.

CMP

CMP RECORDS (Creative Music Productions) is an independent German label specializing in digital recordings of instrumental music by established and emerging artists and ensembles. CMP was initially conceived as a jazz label when it was formed in 1977 and documenting the work of innovators in this genre remains one of our priorities. Yet over the years, as we’ve followed creative developments in other contemporary music circles, we’ve broadened our stylistic perspective to a point where CNP now embraces many different aesthetics.

Several musicians and composers made their first recording for CMP, other found the label willing to provide the support required to realize a special project. Their work varies from straight-ahead jazz performances, to compositions that have as much in common with New Music as they do with improvisation. Various non-Western musical traditions are also represented in our catalogue: we’ve produced some of the finest acoustic World Music available today as well as several recordings that feature a new, global form of fusion. This progressive and electric sound merges rhythmic and harmonic influences from India , Africa , Indonesia and other cultures with elements of jazz and rock.

The immaculate sound quality of our recordings and the original art we commission for our covers have earned CMP a reputation as one of the world’s most adventurous and distinctive audiophile labels. The attention to detail and dedication to quality we apply to every phase of every production is part of our commitment to encourage, rather than inhibit, the ambition and vision of our artists. We hope that music on our CMP’ler inspires you as much as it does us.

Epiphany

RECORDINGS AS CONCERTS

Most music is recorded in a studio, a church, or possibly an auditorium, the performers playing solely for the microphones rather than for an audience in a live concert situation. Epiphany’s procedure merges the concert experience with the recording session by first allowing the musicians to play their program before an invited audience and then recording that indentical repertoire in the same setting during the next few days, this time however, without the audience and the distraction of any interfering noises. The recorded performance more closely recreates the spirit and feeling of the live event, as the players recall their recent interaction with the audience.

The Hall

The sound of a recording location must complement the chosen music in order for the intentions of the musicians to be completely revealed. This is as true for live concerts as it is for recordings. The tonal character and presence of each instrument, the interaction between instruments, and the acoustics of the hall are all of paramount importance. In a room with superior acoustics, the sound of the instruments and the hall merge, contributing synergistically to the music, the result being more pleasing to the ear of both performers and members of the audience. When captured by Epiphany’s single stereo microphone array, a performance within such an acoustic setting, gives the listener the impression of being in the best seat in the house.

The Microphone

Most recording are produced with a battery of microphones, each providing a different sonic perspective. Those separate channels are mixed together, often long after the recording session has been completed. The end result is analogous to viewing a variety of snapshots of the same subject, each taken from a different viewpoint, overlapping in a collage. In contrast, Epiphany uses only a single stereo microphone array designed to capture sound from a single point of view, a “first person perspective” (FPP), with no mixing being necessary. The quality of the sonic picture depends entirely on the skill of the producer/engineer in achieving a realistic balance at the actual time of recording.

And, for the technically minded:

24-bit Digital Recording

The resolution of sound and photographic images, when represented digitally, is determined by two factors: the size of the digital sample (a sequence of bits called a word) and the number of samples recorded per second. The size of the digital audio word is akin to the number of dots per inch (dpi) of a printed image. As the number of dots per inch increase, from 300 dpi in newspapers (where individual dots are obvious and fine detail not possible) to the sharpest 2400 dpi professional printing (where the dots are barely detectable and details quite sharp) the viewer can see more clearly what is depicted. The size of the digital audio word likewise determines the clarity and detail of the recorded image. Recognizing this, Epiphany records 24-bit words rather than 16 bits (the current CD standard) or even 20 bits and therefore is able to capture more of the live microphone feed. The listening experience is consequently more detailed and realistic.

88,200 Samples Per Second (SPS)

The sampling frequency is the number of digital audio words recorded every second. It is exactly analogous to the number of frames per second shot by a motion picture camera. Silent films were generally shot at 18 frames per second, resulting in rather jerky motion, especially in fast action scenes. Sound films increased the rate to 24 frames per second and improved upon the unrealistic motion of the silent era. In digital audio, the number of samples (frames) per second also determines the realism of the sonic image, particularly with regard to high frequencies and the overtones of musical instruments. Compact disc digital audio has been standardized at 44,100 samples per second, limiting the frequency bandwidth to 20kHz. Epiphany Recordings uses 88,200 samples per second, doubling the industry standard. This enables us to master a frequency bandwidth of 0Hz-22kHz onto conventional CDs, allowing previously unrealized high and low frequency extension.

Glass Optical Disc Masters

Instead of using magnetic tape, as the recording industry has done for the past 43 years, Epiphany records directly onto glass Optical Disc Masters (ODMs) during its recording sessions. By employing a high-powered laser to write 24-bit digital audio words onto glass discs at 88.2 kHz and using the original glass recordings directly to create the finished CDs, Epiphany avoids the jitter distortion introduced by other digital recording systems. The finished copper CD is the third generation digital copy of the glass ODM and is manufactured to the most exacting CD-ROM standards. This achieves the closest reproduction of the microphone feed currently possible from compact disc.

Klavier

DIRECT MASTER RECORDINGS

All of the records in the Klavier catalogue are DIRECT MASTER recordings. That is to say they are recorded directly from original recording sessions. All recording is done under concert hall conditions with no artificial ambience (no echo chambers). This is the recording session in it’s purest form. No peak limiting or compression has been used in either the original recording session or the mastering, thereby retaining all the dynamic range present in the performance. The “master disc” (the first process in making the actual pressings of these records) is made without dubbing, artificial reverberation or any other means which could change or color the character of the instruments or performance. No more than 1000 discs are produced from each “stamper”, thus each record is of “test pressing” quality. Many Klavier discs are used by stereo and audio specialty shops for the purpose of demonstrating their equipment.

EXPERIENCE

Hal Power has been an audio engineer for over 30 years. When it comes to recording techniques and the ultimate in audio quality, he is a perfectionist. His goal, and that of Klavier Records Co., is to produce the finest record available anywhere.

HEARING IS BELIEVING

The Klavier Records catalogue offers interesting and unique repertoire, featuring artists of true virtuosity, and always superbly recorded and processed with the utmost care. Hearing is believing!

M&K

The RealTime Recording Process raises direct-to-disc recording to its ultimate in realism. First, the use of tape, compression, limiting and transformers are totally eliminated. Out go hiss, wow and flutter and distortion.

On location and in RealTime Records’s own direct-to-disc studios, live sound passes unscathed through specially modified transformless condenser microphones and state-of-the-art D.C. coupled electronics to the 600-watt per channel cutter driving stage of our highly modified lathe. So music goes straight onto the lacquer master in realtime – simultaneous with its live performance. There is absolutely no overdubbing or even editing possible. All of the spontaneity and excitement of the movement are captured intact. Then, the lacquers are flown directly to Germany for plating and pressing on the finest pure virgin vinyl.

The result are recordings that literally mirror the original performance, with all their dynamic range, detail, steep transients, stereo imaging, tonal balance and ambience preserved intact for your repeated enjoyment. On pressings totally free from pops and clicks so you hear realism you never realized your audio system could produce.

OM

No one could accuse Jonathan Wearn, director of, well, everything at Opus Magnum records, of bowing to commercial pressures. “My first job in this business was with Philips. I made nineteen records back in the 60s of organists playing their own music. I always liked things that don’t sell. That was an award-winning series that sold thirthy-five-forty copies. It was the first job I was fired from.” Accepting an offer from Carlos Chavez, Wearn travelled to Mexico city and began making the first international recordings of local orchestras and artists. “One of the very first discs was a collection of Mexican orchestral music issued by Vox, called Huapango. It was one of the first recordings made on the old Soundstream system. I’ve reissued it with an additional work by Rudolfo Halffter, Don Lindorno de Almeria, taken from a live performance. That was a very special occasion.

Wearn’s own statement summarize best what he was trying to achieve with O.M. records: “I think the world is filled with extraordinarily boring contemporary records that are made in five minutes and sound like it. And there are just one or two companies around the world, like Reference Recordings, and like O.M., that spend infinite care on making an absolutely superb musical production, as opposed to an audio spectacular.

Trend

Albert Marx differs from John Hamond and Norman Granz in one respect: he is less well known. Like both men, though, he has shown extraordinary insight and foresight in the discovery and recording of major musical talents. Like both, he has strongly liberal political and racial views. Like Hammond , he was born into great wealth, but chose to rebel and make his own career as a producer.

Marx has the longest track record of the three. Hammond made his first session in 1932; Granz began recording his JATP concerts in 1944. Marx began his career in 1929, when he joined the American Recording Corp., producers of Brunswick , Perfect and other labels.

Albert Marx has made his mark as a record producer/company owner. The 73-year-old Los Angeles-based entrepreneur is possibly the oldest working executive in the record industry, starting out in1929 and working with as much frenzy and energy today as he did as a young man fresh out of high school and applying at the American Recording Corp. in Manhattan .

The years have not dampened his spirit and love for music, especially jazz. Marx is deeply involved with jazz today through the four record labels he owns: Discovery, Trend, AM-PM and Musiccraft.

If the name Albert Marx doesn’t strike a responsive chord, fear not. His Discovery label is a mainline jazz label with both established and new names. Trend is his digital, direct-to-disc and half-speed mastered audiophile line.

Marx’s debut compact discs feature Bob Florence, Sue Raney and the late Shelly Manne. (On the day Manne died, Marx released an LP he acquired from Capitol Records titled Manne That’s Gershwin conducted by John Williams, the Academy award-winning composer, who maintained a long friendship with drummer Manne.)

Marx still makes the rounds of the jazz joints looking for new artists “whose records can last 20-30 years.” It’s what keeps him young enough to compete in a highly competitive industry.

Rare finds

Century Records


… has been founded by Keysor-Century Corp., manufacturer of vinyl compounds and one of the leading pressing plants on the West Coast.

“Only direct-to-disk albums will be produced,” says Glen Glancy, for many years a leading sound engineer in Los Angeles , who heads the new Keysor-Century division.

Direct-to-disk recording is precisely that – the music in the studio is piped to a 14-inch master disk in the control booth. No tape is used.

“The difference in sound quality,” says Glancy, “is remarkable. And the musicians are at their best. They are aware there can be no splices, no doctoring of their music. On direct-to-disc sessions one quickly separates the boys from the men.”

Glancy talked with Benny Goodman recently about the d-d process. The venerable clarinettist, who has been making records for almost 50 years, commented favourably on the new development.

“We are convinced,” notes Glancy, “that there is a large market for direct-to-disc LPs. A lot of folk want the ultimate in sound quality. The difference from tape recording is much more than marginal. It costs substantially more to record but the results are worth it, and customers are not hesitant to pay the premium price.”

Clarity

To produce the most accurate and natural sound, we record all of the instruments and vocals with only two microphones. While it is easier to record with a large number of microphones, there is a penalty to be paid in terms of accuracy, transparency, and purity of sound. When numerous microphones are used, there are problems with different frequency response characteristics, difficulty in maintaining phase relationships and, of course, the need for a multi-track mixing console which results in the introduction of numerous additional electronic circuits into the signal path.

Clarity Recordings

uses only two microphones and balances the sound of vocals and instruments “naturally” by moving the vocalist and various instruments in relation to each other, creating the desired balance. This preserves natural stereo images with correct phase relationships. The result is an almost three dimensional presentation of the musical performance.

In order to achieve the highest levels of technical quality, Clarity Recordings uses custom modified microphone electronics and power supplies as well as custom built microphone cables, interconnects, and AC power cords.

PREMIUM 24 KT GOLD COMPACT DISCS

Clarity Recordings is pleased to offer a series of Premium 24 Kt Gold Compact Discs that produce state-of-the-art sound from the compact disc medium. Gold is a non-oxidizing and non-corrosive metal that is noted for its durability. An Accelerated Ion Deposition Metalizing System is used to achieve the highest quality reflective layer. The result is an unusually high quality disc in terms of laser light reflectivity and strength. Gold CDs have an unequalled uniformity of metal deposition, highest reflectivity and absolutely no visible pin holes.

CMP

CMP RECORDS (Creative Music Productions) is an independent German label specializing in digital recordings of instrumental music by established and emerging artists and ensembles. CMP was initially conceived as a jazz label when it was formed in 1977 and documenting the work of innovators in this genre remains one of our priorities. Yet over the years, as we’ve followed creative developments in other contemporary music circles, we’ve broadened our stylistic perspective to a point where CNP now embraces many different aesthetics.

Several musicians and composers made their first recording for CMP, other found the label willing to provide the support required to realize a special project. Their work varies from straight-ahead jazz performances, to compositions that have as much in common with New Music as they do with improvisation. Various non-Western musical traditions are also represented in our catalogue: we’ve produced some of the finest acoustic World Music available today as well as several recordings that feature a new, global form of fusion. This progressive and electric sound merges rhythmic and harmonic influences from India , Africa , Indonesia and other cultures with elements of jazz and rock.

The immaculate sound quality of our recordings and the original art we commission for our covers have earned CMP a reputation as one of the world’s most adventurous and distinctive audiophile labels. The attention to detail and dedication to quality we apply to every phase of every production is part of our commitment to encourage, rather than inhibit, the ambition and vision of our artists. We hope that music on our CMP’ler inspires you as much as it does us.

Epiphany

RECORDINGS AS CONCERTS

Most music is recorded in a studio, a church, or possibly an auditorium, the performers playing solely for the microphones rather than for an audience in a live concert situation. Epiphany’s procedure merges the concert experience with the recording session by first allowing the musicians to play their program before an invited audience and then recording that indentical repertoire in the same setting during the next few days, this time however, without the audience and the distraction of any interfering noises. The recorded performance more closely recreates the spirit and feeling of the live event, as the players recall their recent interaction with the audience.

The Hall

The sound of a recording location must complement the chosen music in order for the intentions of the musicians to be completely revealed. This is as true for live concerts as it is for recordings. The tonal character and presence of each instrument, the interaction between instruments, and the acoustics of the hall are all of paramount importance. In a room with superior acoustics, the sound of the instruments and the hall merge, contributing synergistically to the music, the result being more pleasing to the ear of both performers and members of the audience. When captured by Epiphany’s single stereo microphone array, a performance within such an acoustic setting, gives the listener the impression of being in the best seat in the house.

The Microphone

Most recording are produced with a battery of microphones, each providing a different sonic perspective. Those separate channels are mixed together, often long after the recording session has been completed. The end result is analogous to viewing a variety of snapshots of the same subject, each taken from a different viewpoint, overlapping in a collage. In contrast, Epiphany uses only a single stereo microphone array designed to capture sound from a single point of view, a “first person perspective” (FPP), with no mixing being necessary. The quality of the sonic picture depends entirely on the skill of the producer/engineer in achieving a realistic balance at the actual time of recording.

And, for the technically minded:

24-bit Digital Recording

The resolution of sound and photographic images, when represented digitally, is determined by two factors: the size of the digital sample (a sequence of bits called a word) and the number of samples recorded per second. The size of the digital audio word is akin to the number of dots per inch (dpi) of a printed image. As the number of dots per inch increase, from 300 dpi in newspapers (where individual dots are obvious and fine detail not possible) to the sharpest 2400 dpi professional printing (where the dots are barely detectable and details quite sharp) the viewer can see more clearly what is depicted. The size of the digital audio word likewise determines the clarity and detail of the recorded image. Recognizing this, Epiphany records 24-bit words rather than 16 bits (the current CD standard) or even 20 bits and therefore is able to capture more of the live microphone feed. The listening experience is consequently more detailed and realistic.

88,200 Samples Per Second (SPS)

The sampling frequency is the number of digital audio words recorded every second. It is exactly analogous to the number of frames per second shot by a motion picture camera. Silent films were generally shot at 18 frames per second, resulting in rather jerky motion, especially in fast action scenes. Sound films increased the rate to 24 frames per second and improved upon the unrealistic motion of the silent era. In digital audio, the number of samples (frames) per second also determines the realism of the sonic image, particularly with regard to high frequencies and the overtones of musical instruments. Compact disc digital audio has been standardized at 44,100 samples per second, limiting the frequency bandwidth to 20kHz. Epiphany Recordings uses 88,200 samples per second, doubling the industry standard. This enables us to master a frequency bandwidth of 0Hz-22kHz onto conventional CDs, allowing previously unrealized high and low frequency extension.

Glass Optical Disc Masters

Instead of using magnetic tape, as the recording industry has done for the past 43 years, Epiphany records directly onto glass Optical Disc Masters (ODMs) during its recording sessions. By employing a high-powered laser to write 24-bit digital audio words onto glass discs at 88.2 kHz and using the original glass recordings directly to create the finished CDs, Epiphany avoids the jitter distortion introduced by other digital recording systems. The finished copper CD is the third generation digital copy of the glass ODM and is manufactured to the most exacting CD-ROM standards. This achieves the closest reproduction of the microphone feed currently possible from compact disc.

Klavier

DIRECT MASTER RECORDINGS

All of the records in the Klavier catalogue are DIRECT MASTER recordings. That is to say they are recorded directly from original recording sessions. All recording is done under concert hall conditions with no artificial ambience (no echo chambers). This is the recording session in it’s purest form. No peak limiting or compression has been used in either the original recording session or the mastering, thereby retaining all the dynamic range present in the performance. The “master disc” (the first process in making the actual pressings of these records) is made without dubbing, artificial reverberation or any other means which could change or color the character of the instruments or performance. No more than 1000 discs are produced from each “stamper”, thus each record is of “test pressing” quality. Many Klavier discs are used by stereo and audio specialty shops for the purpose of demonstrating their equipment.

EXPERIENCE

Hal Power has been an audio engineer for over 30 years. When it comes to recording techniques and the ultimate in audio quality, he is a perfectionist. His goal, and that of Klavier Records Co., is to produce the finest record available anywhere.

HEARING IS BELIEVING

The Klavier Records catalogue offers interesting and unique repertoire, featuring artists of true virtuosity, and always superbly recorded and processed with the utmost care. Hearing is believing!

M&K

The RealTime Recording Process raises direct-to-disc recording to its ultimate in realism. First, the use of tape, compression, limiting and transformers are totally eliminated. Out go hiss, wow and flutter and distortion.

On location and in RealTime Records’s own direct-to-disc studios, live sound passes unscathed through specially modified transformless condenser microphones and state-of-the-art D.C. coupled electronics to the 600-watt per channel cutter driving stage of our highly modified lathe. So music goes straight onto the lacquer master in realtime – simultaneous with its live performance. There is absolutely no overdubbing or even editing possible. All of the spontaneity and excitement of the movement are captured intact. Then, the lacquers are flown directly to Germany for plating and pressing on the finest pure virgin vinyl.

The result are recordings that literally mirror the original performance, with all their dynamic range, detail, steep transients, stereo imaging, tonal balance and ambience preserved intact for your repeated enjoyment. On pressings totally free from pops and clicks so you hear realism you never realized your audio system could produce.

OM

No one could accuse Jonathan Wearn, director of, well, everything at Opus Magnum records, of bowing to commercial pressures. “My first job in this business was with Philips. I made nineteen records back in the 60s of organists playing their own music. I always liked things that don’t sell. That was an award-winning series that sold thirthy-five-forty copies. It was the first job I was fired from.” Accepting an offer from Carlos Chavez, Wearn travelled to Mexico city and began making the first international recordings of local orchestras and artists. “One of the very first discs was a collection of Mexican orchestral music issued by Vox, called Huapango. It was one of the first recordings made on the old Soundstream system. I’ve reissued it with an additional work by Rudolfo Halffter, Don Lindorno de Almeria, taken from a live performance. That was a very special occasion.

Wearn’s own statement summarize best what he was trying to achieve with O.M. records: “I think the world is filled with extraordinarily boring contemporary records that are made in five minutes and sound like it. And there are just one or two companies around the world, like Reference Recordings, and like O.M., that spend infinite care on making an absolutely superb musical production, as opposed to an audio spectacular.

Trend

Albert Marx differs from John Hamond and Norman Granz in one respect: he is less well known. Like both men, though, he has shown extraordinary insight and foresight in the discovery and recording of major musical talents. Like both, he has strongly liberal political and racial views. Like Hammond , he was born into great wealth, but chose to rebel and make his own career as a producer.

Marx has the longest track record of the three. Hammond made his first session in 1932; Granz began recording his JATP concerts in 1944. Marx began his career in 1929, when he joined the American Recording Corp., producers of Brunswick , Perfect and other labels.

Albert Marx has made his mark as a record producer/company owner. The 73-year-old Los Angeles-based entrepreneur is possibly the oldest working executive in the record industry, starting out in1929 and working with as much frenzy and energy today as he did as a young man fresh out of high school and applying at the American Recording Corp. in Manhattan .

The years have not dampened his spirit and love for music, especially jazz. Marx is deeply involved with jazz today through the four record labels he owns: Discovery, Trend, AM-PM and Musiccraft.

If the name Albert Marx doesn’t strike a responsive chord, fear not. His Discovery label is a mainline jazz label with both established and new names. Trend is his digital, direct-to-disc and half-speed mastered audiophile line.

Marx’s debut compact discs feature Bob Florence, Sue Raney and the late Shelly Manne. (On the day Manne died, Marx released an LP he acquired from Capitol Records titled Manne That’s Gershwin conducted by John Williams, the Academy award-winning composer, who maintained a long friendship with drummer Manne.)

Marx still makes the rounds of the jazz joints looking for new artists “whose records can last 20-30 years.” It’s what keeps him young enough to compete in a highly competitive industry.

LP-Katalog