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Combining a series of musical tracks, this album takes you and your system on an interesting journey. Listen out for the cello tracks, recorded first in a church and then outside in the graveyard. The incredible level of detail in this CD makes it possible to enjoy the differences in acoustics.
This Audiophile Demonstration CD contains selections from composers and musicians that include Bach, Copland, Mozart, Ellington, and more!
Chasing The Dragon CD
This audiophile demonstration album contains 16 tracks which were recorded combining 50-year-old valve microphones with a high-resolution digital recorder, capturing a variety of acoustic tracks which should take you and your Hi-Fi system on an interesting journey! Included is an 18-page booklet, each page devoted to a track, detailing how the recording was made!
Soprano vocalist Daisy Brown was recorded in producer/engineer Mike Valentine's local church due to its completely natural acoustics, which negate the need to add artificial reverberation.
The recording path has been made as simple as possible, and this will become clear when you play the album. The artists are performing right in front of you, between your loudspeakers.
- Audiophile Demonstration CD
- 18-page booklet included
- Mastered at Blue Pro Mastering
- Produced/Engineered by Mike Valentine
1. Chamber Orchestra
"Concerto for 2 Mandolins" - Vivaldi
In the early 1950s, Decca engineers were experimenting with stereo recording techniques. Using 3 omnidirectional Neumann M50 microphones, their system became known as the "Decca Tree". The same "Decca Tree" has been used here to capture Vivaldi's wonderful composition. This approach also re-creates the warmth of the monastery were it was recorded in Venice.
2. Choir and Organ
Chelmsford Cathedral in England has a wonderful organ, which in this recording is combined with their own choir. Just two M50 omnidirectional mics were used. Known as a "spaced pair" they are really successful at capturing the atmosphere of the church. The choir were placed in front of the organ and recorded at night to reduce traffic noise.
3. Cello (Interior)
"Cello Suite No 1" - Bach
In an English church, 3 M50's were set up to record cellist Justin Pearson performing Bach's Prelude. Between the mic, a Jecklin Disc was placed. This increased the separation of the spaced pair. The acoustics of the church are wonderful!
4. Cello (Exterior)
"Cello Suite No 1" - Bach
The same microphones, performer, cello and the same piece of music... but this time recorded outside in the graveyard! How important are acoustics? What would it sound like to be able to remove the church from the last recording? Compare the tracks to hear for yourself the results of this interesting experiment!
"Watching The Wheat"
Invented by Alan Blumlein in the 1930s this recording of a harp uses his "crossed pair" of figure 8 microphones. They are placed one on top of the other and stereo positioning can be accurately captured. The microphones are just as sensitive to the rear as to the front, therefore, a really good all-round acoustic space should be used.
"Toccata and Fugue" - Widor
Here is Widor's warhorse, performed in a large church in central London. Recorded during the day so you will hear some traffic noise! The organs air pump was also quite noisy, however, the musical presentation of this great piece shines through! Two omnidirectional M50s with a lambswool disc were placed in front of the pipes.
7. Brass Band
"Hoe Down" - Aaron Copland
A group of amateur brass musicians have come together to form East London Brass. They have won several prizes and here they have been recorded using the "Decca Tree" along with 2 spot mics on the percussion to capture their performance of this great piece. This simple recording technique also captures the excitement of this live performance.
"Agnus Dei" - Mozart
The young award-winning soprano Daisy Brown is recorded here in a large church performing this wonderful piece. The church organ provides a wonderful accompaniment to this piece
9. Piano - Concert Hall
"Dazas Argentinas" - Ginastera
There are many ways to record a piano. Here, a "spaced pair" of Neumann U47s have been used to capture the concert hall and another U47 as a single "spot mic" on the piano. These valve mics are over 50 years old in design. However, they seem to successfully capture the young Turkish student Suzan Senol's youthful and vibrant performance.
10. Piano - Recording Studio
"Improvisation" - Bruce Davidson
Unlike the purity of the concert hall with its natural acoustic space, the piano here in the recording studio was captured with 6 microphones. Two on the keys, two on the strings and two set back within the studio. Echo was then added electronically. This makes an interesting comparison to the previous track.
11. Brass Ensemble
"Rondeau" - Mouret
Mouret's Rondeau is performed here by 5 musicians which were spread uniformly across the stage. From left to right are a trumpet, french horn, bass trombone, trombone and cornet. In a recording studio, each musician would probably have had their own microphone. Here the ensemble were captured in a real acoustic space using the "Decca Tree".
"Lute Suite No. 3" - Bach
Turkish guitar student Sinan Kursun performs Bach's Lute Suite in the ASSMM Concert Hall in Izmir Turkey. Two U47s were placed at the front of the stage to capture the ambience and another placed in front of the guitar. As the mics were recorded separately, it gave the opportunity of balancing the instrument within the acoustic space.
"Nutcracker Suite" - Pas De Deux
The "Decca Tree" was used as well as 2 mics added to the left and right at the front known as "out-riggers". A spot mic was also added for the woodwinds.
"Caravan" - Duke Ellington
Piano, bass, trumpet and drums provide the core of jazz bands all over the world. Recorded in a small club in Izmir Turkey, Duke Ellington's timeless piece provides all the musicians with an opportunity to perform their individual solos.
"Improvisation" - Emre Kartari
Take a variety of cymbals, bells and gongs and hand them from a frame made of boat oars. Now add Turkish percussionist Emre Kartari to the ingredients and play! From the quietist bell to the loudest gong, this piece should really push the abilities of your system. Watch your replay level... although it starts quietly, it really gets loud!
16. Chamber Orchestra
"Tarantella" - Sarasate
The "Decca Tree" has been used to record Sarasate's ravishing Tarantella. To reduce reflections from the windows in this Venetian monastery, 6 mattresses have been added. Mush to the amusement of the musicians! The "Decca Tree" is wonderful at capturing the should of the music and just as importantly, the acoustic space.
Chasing The Dragon Audiophile Recordings
Chasing The Dragon have become known as one of the leading producers of audiophile recordings. The UK label owned by Mike Valentine offers Direct Cut LPs. Audiophile LPs, CDs, and Master Tapes which will demonstrate the potential of your Hi-Fi system.
Chasing The Dragon's releases are so detailed, if you take the time to familiarise yourself with the subtleties of these reference-level recordings, the next time you make any changes, big or small, to your Hi-Fi system, the differences will be notable.
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