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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 LP makes it possible to enjoy the differences in acoustics.
Chasing The Dragon LP
Following the success of the Chasing the Dragon demo CD, a vinyl version was requested. Some of the original tracks from the CD are used and mastered for vinyl, but 3 tracks are new and were recorded directly to analogue tape (1/2" @ 30ips).
The saxophone, harp, and soprano vocalist Daisy Brown were all 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 LP
- 180-gram vinyl
- Mastered at Air Studios in London
- Produced/Engineered by Mike Valentine
This audiophile demonstration album contains 13 tracks which were recorded with 50-year-old Neumann valve microphones. Many tracks use the "Decca tree" configuration, invented by engineers in the early 1950s using 3 Neumann M50 microphones. Some tracks were recorded with a 1/2" Studer reel to reel recorder running at 30ips. This audiophile disc was used as a reference by Michael Fremer of Analog Planet in testing various record mats. The album contains selections from composers and musicians that include Vivaldi, Mozart, Ellington, Rachmaninoff, Verdi, and more!
"In creating this album I have combined 50-year-old Neumann valve microphones with a high-resolution Nagra digital recorder. The tracks were mastered at Air Studios in London by my cutting engineer John Webber. The final icing on the cake was to use state of the art cables from ZenSati, who supplied all of the cables used in the entire recording chain. I really hope you enjoy this LP."
- Mike Valentine, Chasing The Dragon
"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.
2/3. Cello (Interior & Exterior)
"Cello Suite No 1" - Bach
Interior: 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!
Exterior: 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! Which do you prefer?
4. Brass Ensemble
"Rondo" - 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".
"Improvisation" - Bruce Davidson
A piano has a very wide frequency response and here the recording has been closely miked it to bring out its detail and definition. The track begins with the opening chord being plucked by the pianist, Bruce Davidson.
6. Jazz Group
"Caravan ~ finale" - Duke Ellington
One U47 in front of the trumpet and one for the electric bass. Two M50's over the drums and another for the piano. Perhaps a little like "Jazz At The Pawnshop"? Recorded live in a jazz club in Turkey.
"Force of Destiny ~ finale" - Verdi
The acoustics of any concert hall are obviously very important. The space used here uses a great sounding combination of wood and stone. A great performance by the Ljubljana International Orchestra.
"Pirates of The Caribbean" - Badelt
Recorded in St. Johns Smith Square, London. A "Spaced Pair" of U47s were used as the main microphones to capture this exciting piece, performed by the Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra.
"Durch Zartlicheit & Schmeicheln" - Mozart
Rising star Daisy Brown was recorded with a "Spaced Pair" of U47s set to omnidirectional. The natural acoustics really complement Daisy's beautiful voice.
"Improvisation" - David Graham
Written and performed by saxophonist David Graham. No artificial reverberation has been added to the recording.
4. Chamber Orchestra
"Tarentella" - Sarasate
The "Decca Tree" has been used to record Sarasate's ravishing Tarantella. To reduce reflections form 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.
"Spanish Dance No 1" - Falla
Fall's lyrical music is played here by the young harpist Valeria Kurbatova. The track was recorded with a half-inch Studer, running at 30 inches per second. 50-year-old mics with a 25-year-old recorder!
"Piano Concerto No 2 ~ finale" - Rachmaninoff
Rachmaninoff's ubiquitous piano concerto is performed by the YMSO and the pianist Konstantinos Destounis, who is only 22 years old! A great finale to the album!
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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