President/Editor/Publisher: Kerry J Haps
Vice-President: Michael Kolar
Secretary: Chris Cwiak
Volume 24 Number 10
EARS presents Mike Konopka's
"Five Strategies For Successful Acoustic Design"
at Moretti's Ristorante & Pizza
6727 N. Olmsted Ave., Chicago, IL
Tuesday, October 27th, 7:30pm
This month, original EARDrum Editor/Cub Reporter, Mike Konopka of ThunderTone Audio will give us his presentation: "Five Strategies For Successful Acoustic Design". We'll start at our usual 7:30 with drinks, the first round being on EARS, and then Mike will give us his presentation starting a little after 8:00. For this reason, we're cutting off the "first round on us" at 8:00 sharp. Moretti's is being very cool about letting us use the room without any fees or minimums, so let's respect the favor by attempting to make it easy on their staff by ganging up in small groups rather than everyone asking for individual checks, capisce? We chose to do this one at a neutral location, the back room of a Restaurant/Bar, as it's also supposed to be the election candidates' chance to address the membership/attendees and these things can sometimes get enthusiastic. Why waste an invite to a great studio on that? As it turns out, my opponent, Blaise Barton is out of town, so we're going to skip that and handle it via email later. That leaves this as either a short meeting or, perhaps Mike's presentation will spark conversations that go into the wee hours. Either way, we'll see ya there! -KJH
EARS MEETING 9-29-09
(With the Beatles) at CHICAGO MASTERING SERVICE
This month, we met at Jason Ward and Bob Westons Chicago Mastering Service to A/B the new Beatles remasters against the old CD releases, vice president Mike Kolars Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab vinyl issues and EARS member and frequent EARdrum contributor Marshall Terrys new Parlophone/Capitol vinyl. To get a general sense of the fine room we were treated to, read the recap of our previous trip to CMS in our archives.
Bob and crew at Chicago Mastering Service prepped for our listening by importing all the CD audio from both the remasters and the original recipe discs into soundBlade, time-aligning them and matching their levels to enable us to instantaneously switch between to compare and contrast. For the vinyl, we used a Music Hall mmf 7.1 turntable with some sort of discontinued Shure cartridge.
Upon just looking at the remastered versions' waveforms prior to listening, its obvious that the remasters were made louder, as was to be expected. However, they werent made into the all-too-present crushed sausage waveform, so thats a good thing. Once we did get to listening, the differences were at times obvious, at others, not so much. Here are just a few of the impressions we had listening critically in this ideal setting:
The remastered version of Day in the Life had much more bass and the snare hits were more crisp. The stereo image also seemed wider than that of the original CD releases.
According to EARS member and Joyride Studios owner Blaise Barton, Good Morning is actually about 3 cents sharp on the remaster.
As was true in all the MFSL records, there was a significant boost in the hi and mid frequencies. The extended his are a function of the half-speed mastering inherent in the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab records. Marshalls copy of Come Together was much more true to the original CD issue than the MFSL as a result. The remaster of course had much more bass, but I liked how much closer to the original recipe it was compared with Day in the Life.
Maxwells Silver Hammer didnt sound nearly as much like ice-picks in my ears on the remaster as it did on the original CD, and the by far harshest MFSL vinyl.
The bass on the remastered Here Comes the Sun was obnoxious and almost uncontrolled and spurious, but the handclaps were more present, a welcome bit of ear candy.
The beautiful Julia seemed to have greater vocal clarity on the remaster, but little else different, a wise choice in my opinion.
Danny Leake says, "I also thought Marshall's new vinyl was closer to the Remastered CDs than Mike's MFSL disks. That really surprised me. And I'll still say that there was a major difference between the remasters that were made from George Martin's stereo digital masters from 1987 and the ones that were made from the original analog masters. It was a case of my noticing a major difference and THEN reading the historical notes to find it was made from the digital master."
Marshall Terry says the MFSL discs were is favorite, loving the top end...
In summary, I think the Beatles remasters that we listened to were done very tastefully and far better than most remasters Ive heard. The overall level was brought up, but only very rarely clipped. The little things that were done differently made all the difference in these remasters; they generally werent silly or done just because. One thing I think most everybody will notice is the extended bass that gives Ringo more kick than we were used to hearing from him. Im not so sure Id go out and buy the whole lot of the Beatles remasters for someone who wouldnt notice the minutia as much as we all picked them apart, but theyre certainly a great alternative to fill in the missing pieces of a casual fans library. My one real criticism is kind of a double-edged sword: weve only known the Beatles catalog more or less in one way through the years and for those of us who have enjoyed the one particular version weve come to fall in love with, a slight tweaking of that version may not motivate us to go out and make the switch. That said, I believe if they would have gotten drastic with the remaster, it would have not only done a disservice to the recordings, but alienated the legions of fans of this remarkable group.
A huge thanks to Bob Weston and Jason Ward for allowing us to come to their amazingly transparent room to take a listen to the remasters. This meeting was especially gracious of them because it wasnt about their room or their business, but was about needing a good listening environment. Now that I think more deeply about it, this meeting was very much indirectly about the fine folks at Chicago Mastering Service: they were welcoming and generous enough to provide not only their excellent space, but their time and effort in contributing to this experience.
Some EARS business that was taken care of at the beginning of this meeting:
Kerry J. Haps was nominated to run for re-election in the post of president of EARS by member Danny Leake.
Blaise Barton was nominated to run for election in the post of president of EARS by member David Moss.
Keep that last Tuesday, the 24th of November, open. We rarely let you down. -KJH
MT's Magical Mystery Tip
From Analog To Digital And Back Again
This article has roots that go back several months in this column (to one of the first ones written!) and it's also the one that I've been asked or bugged about the most to finish. It's also the topic that I end up explaining to virtually EVERY freelance engineer who tracks either to tape or the more vintage equipment at Stereophonic, specifically of "why isn't this preamp/outboard/tape signal louder on my meters here in Pro Tools?". Here's a simple step by step to understanding why levels are the way they are, how to accurately meter them in both the analog and digital realms, and a brief aside on how analog tape fits in the harmony of it all and why CD's shouldn't be louder than recorded analog tape.
Step 1: Analog - Preamps, Output Level and VU meters
Preamps, line amps, consoles, compressors and outboard of any kind are magical things. They can run clean or they can (usually) be pushed with hard/high levels to get some kind of continued magic. It all depends on how you use the tools in the toolbox, right? It makes a big difference, however, when we're aware of where the limits are on all of the tools we use, how we reach them, and what they sound like.
One of the most frequently mentioned properties of any piece of gear is the headroom of the equipment. Headroom is simply a value, specified by the manufacturer, of the volume level (in dBu) at which the piece of analog gear reaches 3% harmonic distortion. Many fantastic-super-amazing consoles and preamps, such as most API units, have headroom figures exceeding +24dBu - which is very, very clear, and, as you'll read later, tends to exceed the tracking limits of any recording medium in existence. So, that's why API gear tends to just shine no matter what.
However, many older or vintage designs, even the 'old but modern' UA 610 preamp, have a headroom figure of less than +20dBu. Older Altec, Gates and other transistor designs would have figures ranging from as low as +10 to +15 - a primary reason why older recordings using these pieces have that mystic layer of 'dirt' on top - or the reason why Al Green sang so loud that the mic preamp couldn't take the input without distortion!
It's good to know where these published specs lie for your gear - and even more important, to have an understanding of the metering to know when and how you're pushing and milking the outputs and inputs of every stage.
As previously mentioned, quasi-modern audio is based on the dBu scale. The value of +4dBu corresponds to a multimeter reading of 1.228V, which also corresponds to 0 VU or 4 PPM, depending on the meter. To measure and double check calibration or output of any gear, take a basic mutimeter, set it to read AC voltage (since audio waveforms alternate positive and negative, like a wave), and read the voltage between hot (pin 2 on an XLR, or the tip of a TRS jack) and ground (pin 1 on an XLR, or the sleeve of a TRS). The universal accepted starting point for calibration is generating a 1kHz sine wave from a signal generator. If you don't have an oscilloscope, they're commonly found as a DAW plugin. More on that later...
Now, instead of always relying on your ears or thinking that the 'red' is always evil, you've got a great range to understand what's hitting your gear hard and what's not. If you're using an LED or PPM meter, you're able to view the peaks of your signal and the level they're hitting. If the snare channel peaks at +12dBu, for instance, that's (basically) the top of your snare attack. However, a VU meter has a slow attack, and therefore shows more of a 'loudness' figure. So, a snare channel that's only hitting -7 on a VU meter may in fact have the top attack well past +12dBu.
Now, whatever you're using can now be glanced at on your meter of choice to see how you're operating it accurately. As you're doing so, think not only about the clarity or saturation of the output of the mic preamp or outboard gear, but also of the input of the next piece of gear in the chain. Drive a clean API preamp with a hot output level into a vintage tube compressor that has an input headroom of about +15. Conversely, take a gnarly older preamp and juice the output into a cleaner stage to capture all of the magic. Or, saturate both! Or, run them both accurately clean! The guesswork of 'where did the attack on the drums go?' or 'why can't I drive these guitars to the board more?' is easier now.
2 - When Going Digital, Things Change, and Soft Becomes Hard
That's what she said. Anyways.
You've got the amazing tone through the mic and preamp and compressor or line stage or whatever. Now, you're recording it.
The magic of crystal clear headroom and a deep deep noiseless floor underneath is why we choose digital. In the digital realm, the units become dBFS, or 'Full Scale'. Why? Because whereas referencing analog headroom is a 'soft', dynamic distortion that varies with each piece of gear (remember - headroom is a figure of harmonic distortion), the maximum dBFS value of 0dBFS produces 'clipping'. Square waves. Flat audio. The distortion isn't harmonic - it's just mangled. Sometimes some people like the sound of mangled - it does have it's artistic merit. However, in most cases, distortion is always better when it's harmonic. So, let's talk about keeping digital clean.
Unfortunately, there isn't an industry standard that relates dBFS to dBu. The value varies from model to model, manufacturer to manufacturer. Some more recent models allow the dBu to dBFS matching level to be user defined. Most US soundcards are made to equate -20 dBFS to +4 dBu. Other soundcards, and most notably installations in Europe, have -18 dBFS equal +4dBu. Wikipedia notes that Japan and France use -22 to equal +4 in their hardware.
How do you tell? Grab your voltmeter! Use a signal generator plugin to generate a -20 dBFS RMS sine wave, and measure the AC volts from the output of that channel. If it reads 1.778, then -20 equals +4. If it reads lower, try -18. I've even heard of older soundcards reading at -16.
For example, the Digidesign 192 here at Stereophonic has -20 dBFS = +4 dBu. This means that the maximum digital audio level that it can record without digital clipping is +24 dBu. So, those API preamps are going to be clean, clean, clean. The old Scully mic preamps (the germanium ones previously mentioned), however, have a headroom figure at around +12 dBu, so I can really track them hot and get tons of harmonic distortion, or even that gentle snare attack 'fattening' and not worry about digital clipping.
Now the whole system sings together!
3 - Back To Analog, Back to Reality
The figure of +24 dBu of clear but hard-nosed headroom in digital should be kept in mind when coming back 'out of the box' to mix or process effects. Be mindful of where the peaks lie and what the input headroom of the gear you're piping it into happens to be. Furthermore -
This is where I have my major 'beef' with the level of CD's. Most pro audio gear has that headroom (remember, 3 percent harmonic distortion) spec of +14 to +24 dBu. It was only recently, in the past 20 years or so, that headroom really broke that +20 dBu barrier. Now, think of the level of an average CD. Last month, Mr. Leake gave us the figures that average CD's are mastered so the average levels (which are RMS levels) are at around -10 to -8 dBFS. This correlates to +14 to +16dbu (or +16 to +18 dBu on a -18 dBfs system). So, if we're just playing the CD at it's mastered volume, it's RIGHT AT the outboard gear's headroom level.
Which means... loads of harmonic distortion! Not to mention the snare hits and dynamics that peak at -.2 dBFS, which might as well be +22 dBu. [Editor's note: +23.8?]
Unless we're dealing with API line amps here, playback on any 'professional' audio recording equipment is pointless unless we bring it down. The only way to listen to CD's at these levels is to go through our superhuman power amps that can handle it cleanly or - pad the output.
The loudness war has taken CD levels even outside of the realm of most professional audio gear to handle the level cleanly.
The plot thickens...
4 - Analog Tape Makes Sense With Everything
(Quick preface - I'm not saying it sounds better. I'm talking about why the natural recording and mixed levels make sense with the rest of professional audio.)
For the sake of this piece, we'll talk about the long time standard tape formulation - Ampex 456/RMG SM911. Let's also assume the machine is calibrated the standard 'hot' way, so that 355 nWb/m equals 0VU equals +4 dBu. (Roll with me if you don't know what I just said. Just understand that that's the usual standard operating level alignment.) The published tape spec as far as harmonic distortion for RMG SM911 is +16.5 dBu (+12.5 VU) of headroom for 3% harmonic distortion.
Hey! That's in the realm of sanity! Many other people (including myself) record to that formula of tape so that 250 nWb/m is +4 dBu, which means that we get an extra +3 dBu of headroom onto tape before the harmonic level squish, giving about +19 dBu of headroom. Most tape machines have a 'peak' light calibrated so you can see when your fast transients are hitting the headroom level of tape.
What does this mean? Ok, so let's say I'm mixing something with loud drums, and I want it a little dirty. Most of the time this means the peak light is just lighting (+19 dBu peaks) and my VU meters jiggle on average around 0 VU (+4 dBu average). That's 19 - 4 = 15 dB of dynamic range on a bombastic mix. Jazz can get even more dynamic range, and so can classical. Running this signal back into any outboard gear before doing a computer tape dump, or into any outboard gear during mastering for a mastering engineer, yields a signal that's within and just glancing the possible headroom of audio equipment. Most ME equipment has extended headroom, so in reality, it's worry-free as far as level goes when it comes to mastering.
With a tape this hot, when I'm dumping it into the computer, my peaks lie at +19 dBu = -5 dBFS. Hey! The natural headroom boundary of tape won't clip the digital realm! I would have to track the mix about 7 VU hotter to get the peaks to want to get close to clipping digital (because of tape saturation and compression), but at that point, the peak light is constantly on and my meters are pinned to the red. The mix doesn't sound good when tape is slammed. Even while multitracking and tracking one channel very hot, I've yet to pass -1 dBFS, even on a GNARLY crushed snare drum tracked obscenely hot at a client's whim.
But, why sit and clammer over those last few dBFS? If anything, if one snare hit makes it jump to -2 dBFS on the master transfer, then let it! Use the dynamic range increase in digital - which means softer, quieter noise floors. Not screaming voltage.
Also, as Danny Leake said last month - "Make it sound BIG - which isn't necessarily loud."
In short, CD's and digital are able to hold a very, very clear and perfect range for any analog tape source.
That's why, although those Beatles Remasters from Capitol sounded wonderful, with all this knowledge, there is absolutely NO EXCUSE for a square wave from those sources. Level matching, like we did, was the way to A/B what we heard. However, the additional brickwall limiting that we saw that goes on didn't make sense.
Not sense to tape. Not sense to ANY of our professional gear, either!
Hope I didn't scare you all too much.
A 'Beef' and a 'Tip' all in one this month!
(By the way - if anyone has a specific question or topic they want me to investigate, or elaborate, or explain, email me and I'll do what I can.)
Low and audio,
A report from the 127th AES
Heres my abbreviated and not even comprehensive report of the 127th AES Convention that was held at the Javitz Center in NYC from Oct 9th to the 12th. Its not comprehensive as I did a Slash and Burn tour which means I flew in Friday, saw all I could see, checked out Saturday, saw all I could see, and flew out that night so as to avoid any more of those $300 NYC hotel rooms. The show was a lot smaller than the last time it was in NYC. I had a feeling that it was going to be like that as I had never seen so many free passes being given out (The need to put people in the hall for the exhibitors.) and a major player didnt show....which Ill get into later.
I attended some great panels this year. One of the best was the Grammy P/E wing panel on Mixing With Attitude. Panelists included Chris Lord-Alge, Chuck Ainlay, and Tony Maserati being moderated by Nile Rodgers. I attended with our own Larry Sturm and Mark Rubel. It was VERY interesting seeing the different approaches to mixing; Chuck Ainlay being very traditional, Tony Maserati using a combination of High Analog and Digital gear (A Chandler 16 track mixer with a Neve side car and a Dangerous 2 Bus) and the most Old School of all, Chris Lord-Alge. He takes whatever 200+ track Protools session, wings it down to 48 tracks on a Sony 48 track Digital machine and mixes it on an SSL E series console
just like he did in the 80s. He figures if it ain't broke, dont fix it, and besides, he doesnt have to worry about someone taking his Protools files and stealing his Moves". Another great panel was Platinum Mastering which had Bob Ludwig, Bernie Grundman, and Greg Calbi talking about mastering in the Past, Present, and Future. Bernie talked about how Michael Jacksons History was the most expensive mastering project ever. I believe he said it cost a quarter of a million dollars with all of the revisions. Bernie also talked about how he doesnt like getting files for mastering off the internet..he doesnt even like getting a digital hard copy of the original, he wants the original. There was comment about how at the Audio Engineering Convention, where some of the best engineers in the World are attending, where the quality of sound is all important
Digidesign, who makes Protools which is used in 98.9 per cent of the recordings made today, didnt even bother to show up. A sad state of affairs... or a commentary on their opinion of audio quality.
Anyway, on to Hardware and Software. Waves had live demonstrations of the Eddie Kramer and Tony Maserati Software Collections by the men themselves. These are all inclusive packages that cover the sounds that they get on their mixes. They both have separate components for drums, vocals, guitars, etc. Eddie Kramer on his guitar patches even had R and an H buttons
(R)olling Stones, Jimi (H)endrix - get it?
The microphone manufacturers were well represented. There were a lot of new mics out but you cant really tell anything on the hall floor. I did notice a lot of companies were coming out with surround microphone technology to compete with the Soundfield microphones and Milab is making mics again.
I saw a lot of reputable hardware companies like Pendelum and South Hill building units to fit the API 500 racks. The usual hardware culprits like DW Fern, our own John Hardy, and Rupert Neve were there so I wont go into that but I did find three interesting pieces: CLASP is the Closed Loop Analog Signal Processor. This unit interfaces with Protools, Nuendo, or logic and enables you to use a 24trk, 8trk, or 4trk analog machine as a signal processor. You record on Protools but it is passed through the tape machine and placed in perfect time back in your EDL. The cool thing about this is that the audio's not stored on the tape machine, its just being used to process the sound so the same piece of tape can be used over and over until it wears out. In other words, instead of using 10 reels of $250 2 inch tape per project you can use one $250 tape for 50 projects. You can also change speed and biasing at will. You could cut your vocals at 30ips unbiased and cut your bass at 15ips over-biased if you wanted. This is not an emulation, it is the "reel" thing and to see it work was astounding for someone who grew up on tape and misses having the option to change the bias or focus of a recording that we had on analog but still wants the convenience of Digital manipulation of the sound.
The Blackbox recorder from Joecoe was designed specifically for capturing live performances for live engineers. It is a 1 space interface that will process 24 tracks of audio at 44.1k, 48k, 88,2k, and 96k to external FAT32 USB2 drives for PC/Mac compatibility. It records mono BWAV files so there is no need to transfer. You can take an external drive, plug it right into Tools and keep stepping. It has full sync capabilities for video and you can lockup as many as you need for more tracks. It has safeties built in specially for the live environment. For instance you have to hold the stop button down at least 2 seconds to prevent stopping the recording by accident. A dedicated unit for people nervous about using Laptops or desktop computer systems to catch important recordings.
The last thing that caught my eye was the Elysia Alpha Mastering Compressor. An ultra clean analog unit, it has integrated M/S and parallel compression and the ability to have two separate kinds of compression running at the same time. Its Mid/Side processing was pretty astounding. Larry Schara, who is representing them in Chicago talked about how they would like to set up a demonstration here. Id be interested in checking that out.
Thats about all I have time for right now as I have to set up a gig, but if anyone needs some more info on the part of the show I saw, just call or email me.
Danny Leake - Urban Guerrilla Engineers
I recently read an email commentary in the October issue of TAPE OP magazine talking about another advantage of Digital over Analog - the visual element of being able to see and manipulate waveforms instead of flying blind like the old analog Engineers
Was I just an analog engineer back then? After all, I think we made some pretty awesome recordings "Back In The Day". Circa 1980 for sure I was cutting music on 24 track analog machines, sometimes locking up two at a time for 48 tracks, but I also cut the first Digital Multi Track sessions in Chicago using the 3M 32 track Digital system (which sounded pretty good for its time) and later on using the Mitsubishi X 850 Digital 32 track system with custom filtering designed by Universal's Tech crew. I was cutting Digital so maybe I was an Analog/Digital Engineer
..Nah, I was what Ive always been, a Music Engineer pushing whatever technology that was available to help give emotional impact to the Music I was recording at the time. By the way, none of these were DAWS as we know them today. (I personally own 4) They were open reel tape based systems and there were no waveforms to look at
there was just the sound
you really had to use your ears. Then as now, before there were waveforms there was sound and the quality of that sound was ALWAYS more important.
After all, if the sound isn't happening then who cares if you can cut, paste or copy it ad infinitum?
Danny Leake - Urban Guerrilla Engineers
There are endless good reasons to band together here as EARS. It can be whatever we want it to be. If you have any ideas for the EARdrum, our website, or future meetings, please email us. We still have a lot of great meeting plans lining up, some website plans, and a lot of good fresh energy and hopes for a more vibrant, participatory EARS, so of course we're very interested in your input on everything EARS. Please! :) - KJH
Our Archives are again up to date. Check out the website for that and more EARS info. Also, I'd like to complete our files with the pre-2001 EARdrums. By my calculations we're missing the first 16 years! (Now minus that first one.) I know Timothy Powell has a year or so on his Metro-Mobile website but that still leaves a lot missing. If you happen to have your old paper copies or files you could get to me, I would love to get them online for posterity. Let me know. - KJH
Notes about our Website, and our Logo
We've noticed that the website doesn't auto update in some web browsers. If you're looking for something (such as the latest EARdrum) and it looks like old info, try reloading the page. Also, I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that it's time for a bit of updating. We think EARS deserves a bit of a makeover and can't help but wonder who among us might actually double as a professional designer but with the necessary sensitivity to our audio world. Drop us a note if you'd like to consider helping us out with a new look for the website, logo, etc. -KJH
Thanks to all who support EARS through paying their dues. Just as a reminder, they're due yearly by the October meeting and this is a prerequisite for voting and joining us for the Holiday Party and BBQ in August (and occasionally things like the Grammy Party), but they're always welcome. As your participation is the higher priority, we typically deem dues paid within a few months before October to be for the coming year, but if you joined before, say July, you should consider that for the previous year and renew. (At $25.00, considering the value received, it's just not worth haggling beyond that.) Dues checks (or cash, but no credit cards) for $25.00 can be made out to EARS and given to any of our officers or sent to the following address:
Engineering and Recording Society of Chicago, C/O Eric Roth, Treasurer, PO Box 98, Highland Park, IL 60035-0098 - KJH
Its time for the annual EARS election. According to the Bylaws, nominations for president of EARS were held at the September meeting. As mentioned in the recap, yours truly was nominated again by Danny Leake and Blaise Barton was nominated by David Moss. The second step in the process is the ballot going out in this October EARDrum and the chance for the candidates to address the EARS membership at the October meeting. As Blaise is out of town at the moment, we're going to send an email very soon with each of our written statements. It would therefore make sense for you to wait for that before submitting your ballot, but as the bylaws dictate it going out now, here it is. The third step, of course, is counting the ballots at the top of the November meeting. Only dues-paying EARS members can nominate, be nominated, or vote in EARS elections, so get your dues in, either by handing them to our Treasurer at the meeting, or mailing them in as per the instructions above.
In order to insure a fair election and allow our entire membership the chance to vote, we of course allow e-voting for current, dues-paying members according to the following rules:
Please send your e-vote by 7:30 PM on November 23rd (24 hours before the November meeting) specifically as follows:
To: email@example.com (EARS' Secretary)
From: Your listed membership email contact, i.e. where you receive the EARDrum. (You must not alter or block your email source code.)
Subject Line: (The name of the candidate you're voting for.) (Kerry J Haps or Blaise Barton)
Body: Your name, physical contact info (street address), last dues payment date and method (mailed or delivered at meeting, & via cash or check) eve if in transit. This will give us time to verify your membership and voting eligibility.
- Or -
Of course you may vote in person by handing in this paper ballot (Print it and fill it out) by the beginning of the November Meeting:
EARS Election Ballot, November 2009
__ Kerry J Haps
__ Blaise Barton
Email __________________________ (where EARDrum is received)
Last Dues Payment Date _____________________________
Payment method ____________________________________
A (few) (more) word(s) from the Prez...
or (Continued) Change(/s) You Can Count (On/Off)
Well, as I don't want to unfairly take advantage of my platform here, I'm going to save most of my words with regard to desiring your vote for a later email when you'll also hear from Blaise. However, I have to say at least this much... We're standing on a very strong record of taking EARS from nearly collapsing, with no one else even willing to take the reigns, to a growing, thriving organization that has become great again. It's a double-edged sword, isn't it? The payoff seems to be that we've made EARS once again something that people care to be a part of, and even want to lead. We couldn't ask for a better potential successor than Blaise Barton, and I can't wait to hear what he'd like to do for EARS! But at the same time, we've got a good thing going, with a great vibe and momentum that we've worked very hard for and we'd like to use it to realize the even greater hopes we have for EARS. One more year seems like a great idea and in that time we would absolutely love Blaise's input/contribution, just as we've been asking for all of your active participation. We'll talk more about this soon. Do be sure to vote, please. We really want this to be a good, full representation of what our membership wants.
My two cents on last month's Beatles Remasters A/B? Well, of course I want to echo the appreciation for Bob and Jason of Chicago Mastering Service for hosting us and really setting up a great night. The new Remasters sound wonderful, and so do those Magical Mystery LPs that Marshall Terry brought out. They sound like they've undergone almost the same mastering. What's the story there? Also, I'm still really surprised that no one had the Mono Remasters. I guess I have to remain Mono-Curious...
That's it for now. I'm really looking forward to Mike Konopka's presentation and seeing, hopefully, many of you at Moretti's.
At your service,
Kerry J Haps