[Dixielandjazz] King Oliver/stereo

James Kashishian kash@ran.es
Sat, 17 Aug 2002 12:01:05 +0200

Anton wrote:

Whoa! David Parker's stereoisation "improves the sound"? This is heady
stuff and an issue which polarises the re-issue collecting fraternity.
I'm firmly on the side of the non or moderate interventionists. For me,
Parker's process is just smoke-and-mirrors and I can't see how any
of signal manipulation can produce stereo from a mono source. 

I'm not familiar with this fellow's work, but I can say that I have
worked on mono recordings of the Monks of Silos (famous for their
Gregorian Chants), having restored a dozen of their 1950's recordings.
I didn't strive for a stereo-like recording, but did attempt to get a
"larger, wider" side out of what was originally very thin recordings. 

 I did this by bringing the original sound up on the desk on different
faders, using the individual pan pots to spread these signals to
different areas of the spacial sound screen (just made that phrase up!),
used different eq & different levels on the different channels, and
varying amounts of those same channels being sent ot a digital reverb
which was laid back onto the desk in a very wide open pattern, lying to
the far right and left of all the other sound.  These returns were also
eq'd.  This was all done after having passed the original sound through
CEDAR processing (real time, real boxes, not cheapo software).  I did
all this using my ears as the final judge.  If it sounded better, I left
it in, if it was the same, or worse, I deleted the effect.  (Yes, my
studio is professionally prepared for this type of work!)

Billboard reviewed one of these recordings and said "The sound quality
is impressive given the passage of time", which is a great compliment,
as there is no mention of the Kash Processing, or anything like that,
meaning that my work is invisible to the listener, as it should be.  

I just recently saw the restored version of  My Fair Lady on my monster
Sony TV screen broadcast digitally from Sky (U.K. origin).  Loved the
music, the acting.  The spectacular colors, sound & visual perfection
only added to what was originally a masterpiece.  

I'm all in favor of restoration, as long as it doesn't become the major
attraction of the piece of art that is being restored.  (Is that a clear
statement, or should I do a bit of restoration on it?)