• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are in the pipeline! The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy will be available on November 16, 2021 and can be ordered here. A big thanks to the authors and Richard Carpenter for their tremendous effort in compiling this book! Also, the new solo piano album Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook is being released January 14, 2022, and is available for ordering here.

⭐ Official Review [Album]: "HORIZON" (SP-4530)

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 49 50.0%
  • ****

    Votes: 34 34.7%
  • ***

    Votes: 11 11.2%
  • **

    Votes: 2 2.0%
  • *

    Votes: 2 2.0%

  • Total voters
    98

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
^^I understand what you are describing, however, unless my hearing is faulty,
there is nothing wrong with the speed of the songs on the album as originally delivered.
The "minor, but noticeable tape speed error" which you believe to be on the original album,
does not exist (as far as my ears are concerned).

I am asking why you believe that to be so (noticeable tape speed error) ?
You wrote "I'm wondering if that's one reason why they sped up the album."
My ears have never perceived the album to be "sped up."

I'm perfectly alright with your belief, but is this not subjective ?
It definitely is, in the sense that music is an artform. To my ears, I've loved all of the songs on Horizon and never noticed anything wrong with the pitch except for "(I'm Caught Between) Goodbye and I Love You" and "Love Me for What I Am." My perception of these tonal shifts on Horizon is nothing, though, compared to various tracks on A Kind of Hush ("You," "I Have You," maybe "Boat to Sail" and "One More Time") and On the Balcony of the Casa Rosada/Don't Cry for Me, Argentina on Passage, which I know were all sped up. To me, this messes with Karen's vibrato in a way that makes it sound not quite like Karen anymore.

Just my two cents. If anyone has a keyboard, try to play along with some of these songs and see if you can get an exact hit. Would love to hear others' feedback.
 

David A

Well-Known Member
1/3 of a semitone is 1/6 of a tone, which comes out to about 99.1% of full speed.

So yes, it is a "tiny fraction of a percent." 9/10 of a percent, to be precise. :)

Unless you're telling me that the Carpenters' studio equipment was out of tune by 1/4 or 1/3 of a semitone?

Edit: My point is that I believe that it's more likely that there was a minor, but noticeable, tape speed error than it is that the band and orchestra would play most of their songs sharp of natural. I definitely think it's an engineering issue rather than a musician issue. But we can agree to disagree--I'm totally cool with that. :)

In my opinion, both you (Cuyler) and @GaryAlan can be "right".

That is, today's technology may allow us to go look at music recorded (in this case) many, many years ago, and determine that there was something "wrong" (in this case, tech may be telling us that indeed there was a 0.9% from "perfect" pitch issue).

(I'm setting aside the idea that the 0.9% variance was done intentionally by Richard/whomever, in which case you are hearing it as intended, anyway).

That does not also mean, however, that the recording is not perfectly enjoyable "as-is" and needs no modern-day "correction" to "fix" it, or indeed that the music is "better" with the change, except in as much as it makes the music more pleasurable for the one "fixing" it.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
In my opinion, both you (Cuyler) and @GaryAlan can be "right".

That is, today's technology may allow us to go look at music recorded (in this case) many, many years ago, and determine that there was something "wrong" (in this case, tech may be telling us that indeed there was a 0.9% from "perfect" pitch issue).

(I'm setting aside the idea that the 0.9% variance was done intentionally by Richard/whomever, in which case you are hearing it as intended, anyway).

That does not also mean, however, that the recording is not perfectly enjoyable "as-is" and needs no modern-day "correction" to "fix" it, or indeed that the music is "better" with the change, except in as much as it makes the music more pleasurable for the one "fixing" it.
I think this encapsulates what I'm trying to convey, I suppose. It was fairly commonplace for multimedia--film, audio, etc. on analog formats (film, tape, etc.) to maybe be recorded at one speed and played back at a slightly different speed. For example, just last night, I re-digitized a Carole King 45. Same 45, same turntable, same everything... but looking at the two needle drops, yesterday's needle drop was slightly faster than the one from a couple of weeks ago. It's analog... they both sounded identical to my ears, but these thing happen when dealing with formats that require the use of motors that rotate flat discs or tape reels. Sometimes these motors can be too well-oiled, and sometimes the motors can be a little sluggish.

I don't know where or how the hiccup may have happened, if there was a hiccup... but it is an idea I'm willing to float out there into the ether...

I also apologize, I didn't eat lunch today and today's a big deadline for a lot of important projects I'm working on. Trying to escape here but work calls :goodie:
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I think this encapsulates what I'm trying to convey, I suppose. It was fairly commonplace for multimedia--film, audio, etc. on analog formats (film, tape, etc.) to maybe be recorded at one speed and played back at a slightly different speed. For example, just last night, I re-digitized a Carole King 45. Same 45, same turntable, same everything... but looking at the two needle drops, yesterday's needle drop was slightly faster than the one from a couple of weeks ago. It's analog... they both sounded identical to my ears, but these thing happen when dealing with formats that require the use of motors that rotate flat discs or tape reels. Sometimes these motors can be too well-oiled, and sometimes the motors can be a little sluggish.

I don't know where or how the hiccup may have happened, if there was a hiccup... but it is an idea I'm willing to float out there into the ether...

I also apologize, I didn't eat lunch today and today's a big deadline for a lot of important projects I'm working on. Trying to escape here but work calls :goodie:
Not to mention but with tape there’s a lot in a tape path that could even snag a tape and cause a slowdown or speed up. Sticky pinch roller here, build up of oxide on the head there.

I remember in college the teachers told us to throw our vocals onto audio track two on the S-VHS tapes we were using and our SFX/background onto track one, since track one rode right at the edge of the tape, but track 2 was the inner track, so if the tape did get snagged or stretched, only our background/SFX would be affected not our main vocal. But that’s analog for yeah.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Not to mention but with tape there’s a lot in a tape path that could even snag a tape and cause a slowdown or speed up. Sticky pinch roller here, build up of oxide on the head there.

I remember in college the teachers told us to throw our vocals onto audio track two on the S-VHS tapes we were using and our SFX/background onto track one, since track one rode right at the edge of the tape, but track 2 was the inner track, so if the tape did get snagged or stretched, only our background/SFX would be affected not our main vocal.
That's true... I didn't even think about tape stretching as a potential issue. :sad:
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
That's true... I didn't even think about tape stretching as a potential issue. :sad:
With the Carpenters master tapes, I would assume that all of the vocals would be on the tracks in the Center of the tape, so that those wouldn’t be damaged by what was going on at the edge of the tape.

Of course, a lot of audio that’s digitally recorded now is copied to analog as a precaution in case something happens to the digital version. Analog is a lot more forgiving if the original recording was out of alignment or the tape becomes wavy, whereas digital tape wouldn’t play back properly if at all and if a digital file goes corrupt—-well not much you can do.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
With the Carpenters master tapes, I would assume that all of the vocals would be on the tracks in the Center of the tape, so that those wouldn’t be damaged by what was going on at the edge of the tape.

Of course, a lot of audio that’s digitally recorded now is copied to analog as a precaution in case something happens to the digital version. Analog is a lot more forgiving if the original recording was out of alignment or the tape becomes wavy, whereas digital tape wouldn’t play back properly if at all and if a digital file goes corrupt—-well not much you can do.
Very true -- in my archival studies classes, we talk about how the average lifespan of a digital file is much, much shorter than the average lifespan of a physical record (not vinyl record, but like papers or other analog materials), precisely because file corruption or accidental deletion can happen much more easily (and with less intention) than the unfortunate case of what happened at Universal over a decade ago...

I think younger people often think about digital files as being a better form of preservation (everyone wants to scan photos or documents or do digital rips of records, etc.) because exact digital copies can exist in multiple places at multiple times... but with that comes the risk of permanent deletion if backups aren't regular in multiple places, in multiple media, and that can take a lot of work to do well.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
In Japan, Horizon was called 緑の地平線〜ホライゾン (Midori-no Chiheisen ~ Horaizon). "Midori-no chiheisen" is Japanese for "green horizon."

It's no surprise that, in addition to the green hues on the cover image, there was a green insert as well. The below images are my scans of the 2016 SHM-CD ("Love Sounds" series).

UlAvjui.jpg

qlDWZm5.jpg

IKIamaZ.jpg

Personally, green was my favorite color as a child, but my favorite part of this insert was the little handwritten message on the front!
 
Last edited:

Kacfan

Well-Known Member
I've determined I think the whole Horizon album (on vinyl and on CD at least) is 1/4 of a semitone faster than it's supposed to be. The big giveaway, to me, was the fact that the quad disc goes slower/lower. At first, I thought... well, is the quad disc the one that goes at the correct speed, or is the regular disc the one that goes at the correct speed?

Then I listened to some songs that didn't sound quite right to me, tonally... "Love Me for What I Am," "(I'm Caught Between) Goodbye and I Love You..." I think I'm more sensitive to minor pitch changes for certain keys, and not all keys.

I did the math, using the formula 2^([1/8]/12), where 1/8 represents the number of tones (i.e. 1/4 of a semitone), and got the coefficient 1.00724641222... and multiplied that by the number of samples on my WAV file. "I Can Dream, Can't I" sounds much better. Karen's basement, by just that quarter of a semitone, sounds much more natural. I can finally enjoy this song. :tongue:
You are a genius. I confess I don’t understand everything you post, but after a while and many posts, I can see you really have great knowledge. I know horizon is loved by many but for me something always sounded different about it, and I couldn’t understand how karen’s voice could change from the 1973 sound to this so quickly. And what you discussed here is the answer. Slowed by 1/3 of a semitone she now sounds the same to me. My ears are sensitive to this as well and I totally agree with you. Thank you !
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I know horizon is loved by many but for me something always sounded different about it, and I couldn’t understand how karen’s voice could change from the 1973 sound to this so quickly. And what you discussed here is the answer. Slowed by 1/3 of a semitone she now sounds the same to me.

If this is the case, what I still don’t understand it how all of this got past Richard. Surely he wouldn’t have put out an entire album that wasn’t mastered at the right speed?
 

Kacfan

Well-Known Member
Cuyler, any chance you could post “you” and “one more time” at the right speed too? I would love to hear those... Karen’s voice, when sped up (even a tiny bit) becomes sweeter but something is not quite right....
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Cuyler, any chance you could post “you” and “one more time” at the right speed too? I would love to hear those... Karen’s voice, when sped up (even a tiny bit) becomes sweeter but something is not quite right....
Funny you mention that because “A Kind of Hush” to me has such an egregious use of speeding up! Either that, or Karen’s vibrato on many songs is way more vibrato than any other recordings she’s done. I’ll try to post some in the “A Kind of Hush” thread.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
Funny you mention that because “A Kind of Hush” to me has such an egregious use of speeding up! Either that, or Karen’s vibrato on many songs is way more vibrato than any other recordings she’s done. I’ll try to post some in the “A Kind of Hush” thread.
That was the first thing I noticed when I bought the LP back in ‘76. The album version is noticeably slower. I had the single before the album, as I’m sure many of us did here. That really jumped out at me. The ‘85 remix was certainly a welcome surprise. It sounded cleaner and much less muffled. PLUS, it’s got a slightly longer fade-out. :)
 
Last edited:

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I couldn’t really think where to post this request but this thread seemed like the best place. Does anyone on the forum have a high resolution scan of this single cover, I’m looking specifically for a copy of the black circular image containing the drawing of Richard and Karen. It’s for a project which requires this image to be laser-etched onto glass, hence the need for a high res version.

Any help at all would be appreciated!

1677-A-Only-Yesterday.jpg
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I couldn’t really think where to post this request but this thread seemed like the best place. Does anyone on the forum have a high resolution scan of this single cover, I’m looking specifically for a copy of the black circular image containing the drawing of Richard and Karen. It’s for a project which requires this image to be laser-etched onto glass, hence the need for a high res version.

Any help at all would be appreciated!

1677-A-Only-Yesterday.jpg

You know that they reused that image on the 1984 UK & 1985 US versions of “Yesterday once More, sans the circle.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
The above image came from the HORIZON-era tour booklet. It was already decent sized and I scanned it at 600 dpi. The forum software limits the size of images, so I can give you a link to an even larger one if you need it.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
The above image came from the HORIZON-era tour booklet. It was already decent sized and I scanned it at 600 dpi. The forum software limits the size of images, so I can give you a link to an even larger one if you need it.

Amazing thank you Harry! If you could send me a link for the even larger one I’d really appreciate it. It would be handy to have both options available to see if the bigger version works even better.

I’m still in the planning stages with this but will share more once I’ve got some images of the results to show you all. Suffice to say, it’s music-related and I do know that Richard Carpenter has one :)
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
All images saved - Harry and Cuyler to the rescue! Thank you both again.

I'm excited to share the results just as soon as I've got them :)
 
Top Bottom