March 18, 2017

Hariprasad Chaurasia: La Flute de Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia [ESP 8408] an LP recorded and released in France (1983-84)

This LP is part of a series on Sonodisc which had some support from UNESCO. All of them sport the same cover design with minimal variations. It is labeled as number 12 in the series. Some of the previous issues can be seen on the back cover. It was recorded in March December [thanks, Rory!] 1983 and sports a copyright date of 1984.

side one: Raga Bhupali (alap): 20:54
side two: Raga Vashaspati (gats in rupak taal and teentaal): 18:26

Hariprasad Chaurasia: bansuri
Shafat Ahmed Khan: tabla
Manmohan Raya: tampura














Equipment used in transfer: 
Preparation: Ultrasonic cleaning for 20 minutes in pure clean water
Turntable:  Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: Audio-technica AT-440MLb
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.
Recorder: Edirol R-09HR at 24bit/96kHz resolution
Software: Audacity, ClickRepair, and xAct. 



(the highest resolution I am capable of producing)

(suitable for burning to CD)

(highest possible quality mp3 file; 
suitable for listening on a portable player)

March 9, 2017

Mahmud Mirza: Rag Darbari [Tangent TGS 123] An LP recorded and released in the UK in 1976

Here is a delightful LP released on the Tangent Records label from England. Tangent is known more for folk releases, but they did release several albums of music from India as well as "the World of Islam" in the early to mid 1970s.

This is not exactly a super rare LP; several other blogs have featured it. However, I believe my transfer has fewer defects and more mid-frequency warmth than other transfers I have listened to. This is despite two large pressing defects on each side (it looks like 4 tiny wads of cardboard the size of a grain of uncooked rice somehow got mixed into the vinyl at the pressing plant). Naturally, I wouldn't be uploading the transfer if I weren't confident that I had repaired most if not all of the sonic aberrations.

The first Raga, Darbari, is present only in the alap section and this section has been spread out over two sides (see photo of the back cover or of the labels). I have combined the two parts of the Raga in a way that is not perfect but does flow very well.

One interesting aspect of this copy is that the original purchaser has inscribed his full name and postal code on the back cover in blue ink (see photo). Maybe if Mr John Lewis is reading this, he can tell me the story of where and why he bought this LP!

Mahmud Mirza: sitar
Ramzon Khan: tabla (track 2 only)

01 Raga Darbari: Alap, Jor, Jhalla
02 Raga Kafi: gat in teentaal










Equipment used in transfer: 
Preparation: Ultrasonic cleaning for 20 minutes in pure clean water
Turntable:  Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: Shure M97x
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.
Recorder: Sony PCM-M10 at 24bit/96kHz resolution
Software: Audacity, ClickRepair, and xAct. 



(the highest resolution I am capable of producing)

(suitable for burning to CD)

(highest possible quality mp3 file; 
suitable for listening on a portable player)



February 27, 2017

Vilayat Khan: Enchanting All the Way [ECSD 2857] an LP released in India in 1980

Here is a solid LP released in 1980 featuring Vilayat Khan and Zakir Hussain.

Very little needs to be said about these two musicians that hasn't been said many times before. I do think having three different photos of the Ustad on the front cover is a bit much.

side one: Raga Mand-Bhairav (alap)
side two: Raga Mishra Mand (gat in tritaal)

Vilayat Khan: sitar
Zakir Hussain: tabla










Equipment used in transfer: 
Preparation: Ultrasonic cleaning for 20 minutes in pure clean water, followed by a quick vacuum drying with a VPI 16.5 cleaning machine
Turntable:  Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: Shure M97x
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.
Recorder: Sony PCM-M10 at 24bit/96kHz resolution
Software: Audacity, ClickRepair, and xAct. 



(the highest resolution I am capable of producing)

(suitable for burning to CD)

320 kbps mp3 (110 MB)
(highest possible quality mp3 file, 
suitable for listening on a portable player)



Another FM broadcast -- Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha Khan, live in Paris 1973-11-28

Here is another (the last) recording made by "The French Gentleman" of Indian Classical music broadcast on French radio in the 1970s.  This is also the last of my posts before I start up again with vinyl and cassette transfers. These will be starting to appear within a day or so.

Eventually I will be starting a new blog devoted to live, unofficial recordings of Hindustani and Carnatic music. This will include three kinds of recordings: mixing board recordings by sound engineers, open air recordings by members of an audience, and also FM broadcasts captured by enthusiasts at home. This offer is an example of the last category.

Had the French Gentleman not been home that night to record the radio broadcast with his reel-to-reel recorder, we probably wouldn't be hearing the performance, as truncated as it is. I find it a shame that such broadcasts are not more freely available. We have many documents of Ravi ji in the studio in the 1970s, but relatively few of him live in concert in the 1960s and 1970s. There is a spontaneity of such live performances which cannot be replicated in the studio.

Here is the original info file I shared a few weeks ago on the "Dimeadozen" website, which is devoted to sharing previously unissued live recordings:


RAVI SHANKAR and ALLA RAKHA KHAN

PARIS
Salle Pleyel
1973-11-18
FM broadcast (mono)

01 introduction by RS  (03:05)
02 Raga Kaushi Kanada (with radio announcer at the end)  (34:34)
03 Tabla solo in rupak taal (interrupted by announcer)  (08:52)

Total Time: 46:27

original lineage:
fm > reel-to-reel (mono, 1st gen) > wav > flac

additional lineage:
flac -> wav -> click repair (click and buzz removal) -> audacity (EQ, minimal compression, DC offset, normalization) -> flac and mp3(xAct)

The original audio files, recorded by the reclusive, somewhat mysterious man known only as “The French Gentleman,” were in mono and were brickwalled. I was extremely concerned about possible severe distortion, but after removing clicks and ticks with the excellent app “ClickRepair,” and then (de-)amplifying the file by -6dB and applying much more aggressive EQ than usual, I was able to get a very nice sounding result. There is mid-range warmth and very little distortion.

Unfortunately, the broadcast seemed to be live in real time and was concluded before Alla Rakha’s tabla solo (as well as the rest of the concert) could be broadcast. Maybe somewhere in Paris, in the archives of the national broadcaster, there is the complete concert — but that would have required an engineer at the concert with a recorder as well as the desire to document this wonderful music.

This was recorded in 1973 by “The French Gentleman” and audio restoration was undertaken by Richard. The files were provided by Dimeadozen member “UncleMeat.”






(after converting to .wav files, these are suitable for burning to CD)

(the highest quality level of mp3 - suitable for listening on portable devices)