Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas shellac, Part 2!!

Click here to hear!  Christmas Shellac, Part 2

People have been asking, "Lee, why don't you put three versions of Parade of the Wooden Soldiers in one post?"  "Okay," I replied.  "I will."  And I have.  You'll hear Nat Shilkret's wonderful International Novelty Orch. recording, plus Paul Whiteman's pre-electric (1923) and electric (1928) versions, both arranged by Ferde Grofe, whose Christmas Eve we heard earlier.

All selections are new rips created with VinylStudio and MAGIX Audio Cleaning Lab MX, and boy, what a difference it makes when the treble and bass rolloff points can be clearly and precisely designated (along with the lower freq. cutoff).  Crisp, clean sound--the best kind.  I picked the rolloff points by ear, using 250 Hz as a starting point for the "bass" and fine-tuning from there.  If the lowest end sounds muddy, I go lower.  If it lacks punch, I go higher.  (No, I don't think that explanation qualifies as circular.)

With Dance Characteristique (next to last selection), I really had to creatively EQ to keep things from sounding too flat.  I'd already de-RIAA'd the playback curve and adjusted the rolloff points, but the sound was too pinched.  So I raised the faders and freed the sound, crying, "You're free!  FREEEEE!!"

I need to get out more.  (Wait--it's in the teens.  Never mind.)




Aging Child said...

Glad to see you're busy shellacking Christmas for all of us - I'm looking forward to giving these classics a listen.

PS: thanks for the details on the work needed to draw the best sound out of these disks.

Cheers, sir... and Merry Christmastide to you, Bev, and the catherd!

Kind regards,
A. Gene Childe

Anonymous said...

hello lee, bravo for this realy cool music and cover art.i am in trenton - south of detroit. i have been on your blog for quite a long time. where did the rest of your stuff go? will it be back? are you familiar with joe bussard and robert crumb? i have dust and grooves, and the bussard dvd and cd. robert art is very enjoyable and his music is fun too. happy holidays and again thank you r. keith noble

Ernie said...

Lee, why don't you put four versions of Parade of the Wooden Soldiers in one post?

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Aging Child,

And a Merry Christmastide back atcha! And more shellac to come. (I just read that shellac is "a resin secreted by the female lac bug, on trees in the forests of India and Thailand." I knew it was something like that. So many 78s, so many female lac bugs....)



R. Keith Noble,

Nice to hear from you! I deleted (after saving my blog to disc) most of my pre-2012 posts, simply because the links were dead, and I didn't want to leave readers stranded without music. Plus, I was receiving lots of requests for zip files that no longer exist. (I don't save mp3s to a hard drive.) Joe Bussard is the famous collector, right? I never heard his CD--maybe I should check that out. I know Crumb from his art for the late, great Harvey Pekar's "American Splendor" series. Thanks for posting!

Aging Child said...

Heh; Lee, calling Joe Bussard a famous collector is like saying that Lee Hartsfeld might know something or another about being an organist.

Joe lives just a few miles from me - and boy, would I love to stop in and view his near-infinite shelves. I think quite a number of his disks are unique, or nearly so. When you pick up a classic pre-WWI(I) collection on Yazoo or Document, it's likely that his name is listed among the handful who loaned out original recordings to complete that disk.

He has a page on Myspace (, and is saluted on any of a number of webpages and blogs that honor early recordings.

He almost has to be related to you in some way.

Merry Chris78mas!
A. Gene Childe

boppinbob said...

Hello Lee, Thanks for sharing your wonderful 78's. I have a few Edison Winners up in the attic which I hope to transfer one day! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas. Regards, Bob