• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are now available. The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy 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 available for ordering here.

🎧 Podcast Carpenters: Q&A, Ep. 1

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Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Chris, on "Your Wonderful Parade", I never realized that Karen was doing a count-in on the OFFERING version. I surely recognized her voice, but I always heard Richard saying, "...of the people, by the people, and for the people...", and then I thought Karen was asking "What?" as if she were part of that crowd noise. I always recognized the voice, but didn't realize it was the count-in beginning.

We learn new stuff all the time.
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
Chris, on "Your Wonderful Parade", I never realized that Karen was doing a count-in on the OFFERING version. I surely recognized her voice, but I always heard Richard saying, "...of the people, by the people, and for the people...", and then I thought Karen was asking "What?" as if she were part of that crowd noise. I always recognized the voice, but didn't realize it was the count-in beginning.

We learn new stuff all the time.
Indeed! :)
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
Hi all,

I will begin posting video responses related to a number of questions I get asked—either general questions about the Carpenters' recordings and/or production, or questions directly related to the creation of the recently released book, Carpenters: The Musical Legacy.

In this video, I talk about the original demo recordings submitted to Herb Alpert which ultimately got the Carpenters their record deal, and how those recordings contrast with the final master recordings heard on their debut album, "Offering." I also address the issue related to a number of tracks recorded between late-1974 through the end of the decade, and how those recordings were affected as a result of the hearing loss suffered by their recording engineer, Ray Gerhardt.

Part one:


I’m in bed watching this video…and I’m wearing the exact same shirt.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
HA! It's a classic (in more ways than one), and I've had mine for years LOL
I think I’ve had mine for about nearly a decade now. Only mine was always a bit too shrunken for me so it’s mostly an around the house/bed shirt. Still as comfy as ever, too.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Sometimes mastering brings out—or accentuates certain things (like a reverb trail that was mixed slightly out of center or in full stereo all together).

Another thing to keep in mind is that a wider 2-channel mix can be brought in by a (re)mastering engineer later on. So, depending on whichever issues they may face at the time a track is being remastered, the hard L—>R stereo field can be panned inward to any degree, at the discretion of the mastering engineer. This isn't uncommon, and also helps clarify why we tend to hear these differences.
But with the Remastered Classics, didn’t Richard have final say on the final masters (and wasn’t it Bernie Grundman who was the mastering engineer for remastering the original tapes—-since he was the original Mastering Engineer on “Passage” in 77, so if there was an issue with his writing in 77, he should’ve been able to read his own writing—-now then the version on the PBS set I could understand being mastered differently since Bernie Grundman didn’t master those CD’s, but Erik Labson, but the song is the same mastering), so why would Richard approve of the CD master or the overall digital master tape, if it didn’t represent the original vinyl mastering. Also with the rest of “Passage”, the Remastered version is very muddy when compared to the 80’s version or the LP (sure time may’ve caused damage to the tapes—-but 20 years shouldn’t cause the amount of signal degradation that you would get in 80 years, and digital can handle a wider dynamic range than vinyl). did they maybe use an inferior quality tape in the 70’s, like they did with “Christmas Portrait”, or did they have to use maybe an international master that’s 2 or 3 generations away from the original master (because the original American master no longer exists), and they are locked into a master that someone in the late-70’s in West Germany or another country made, and Richard can’t do anything unless he rebuilt the entire album?
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Fascinating Chris...I like this very much and also learned a few things I didn’t know before.

I know you have written about this before on the forum but I’d sure love to hear you explain it again on one of these video chats.

Can you explain how Karen performed the songs from The Bruce Forsyth Show live. I’ve always felt that her live version of I Need To Be In Love was performed at a slower speed, yet you or someone on here said it’s not any slower than the original from the album/cd’s. But listening to her sing this you cannot disagree that she is holding out some of her notes longer giving the entire song a feeling that it’s a tad slower than the original version. What was she hearing in her ear piece, was the band playing live or was this all a pre-recorded track she was hearing that she sang live to?

I’d love to hear you talk a few minutes about this entire program and how it was tailored for Karen to perform her vocal live.

Another question,
Do you think Richard has ever been asked to release a box set of all the Carpenters mono recordings.
Over the years I have managed to collect almost all their mono 45’s.
I currently have (with the help of another) 30 mono singles. This is well enough for a box set.
I’m amazed how easily Richard Carpenter’s Piano Songbook got released, simple as a request of him.

Could you also speak about "If this ever came to be”
How would Richard go about assembling these mono recordings, are they already saved on master tapes in mono format or would he have to use acetates or vinyl to get those mono recordings?
What are your thoughts on a project like this?
Do you think Richard remembers that article from 1976 he participated in titled “Caution: STEREO Can Be Hazardous To Your MONO"
 

Vinylalbumcovers

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
Actually, I beg to differ with you. Listen to the drums (for example) on “Love Me For What I Am.” They sound horrible. However, Karen’s leads and the piano tracks in general were rarely, if ever affected simply because it was often Roger Young that recorded the vocals (in particular). As a side note—Ray was never a big fan of drums, which may partially explain this, but not fully, given he also recorded drums on "Close to You" for instance, which sounded fantastic. But again, the hearing loss started to become more apparent later on.

As for “All You Get From Love,” Roger Young recorded that one all the way through, which is why you hear the difference.

I get you. I honestly figured the drums were just part of the sound Richard was going for. I didn't take it as an error and I wasn't ever bothered by it. Never knew that. I listened to it and, of course, now I hear what you mean. The vocal on it is just sublime and it sounds like she's whispering in my ear. It's just perfect both in performance and sonically. Everything else sounds nice for me.

Ed
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Chris, on "Your Wonderful Parade", I never realized that Karen was doing a count-in on the OFFERING version. I surely recognized her voice, but I always heard Richard saying, "...of the people, by the people, and for the people...", and then I thought Karen was asking "What?" as if she were part of that crowd noise.
OK, I have never heard any of the stuff mentioned by Harry above. So now I need to pull that sound out and give it another spin (with headphones, maybe). Amazing how there are still surprises to be found in these old tracks.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Chris, while we are talking about YWP, did you cover why there are 2 different speaking parts (lead in’s) by Richard? A shortened one and a longer one. The shorter one sounds like a bad edit and so abrupt doesn’t really make sense why they allowed that in the 45 rpm. It’s also a different take by him. Was this so radio would play the shorter intro? Maybe you covered it and I missed it and will have to re watch part 1?
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
I plan on putting together part two sometime today or tomorrow, addressing @Mark-T's question about the assembling of the Hush album—incorporating some audiotape excerpts from Richard, along with a few other questions posed by others here on these threads.

Stay tuned!
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
I like this!!
I just wish Richard had repeated that backing vocal “B’wana” a few more times, twice was not enough. Ha

This sample really show how much brighter the highs are which are missing on the remastered classics version.
Yeah, I used the original digital version found on the A&M CD as well as the UK "Collection" CD. They were a little brighter than the Remastered Classic.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
I did nothing with that track other than use this "channel mixer" plug-in. The basic track I used was from the old original A&M CD, and this was the result. There was no EQ and nothing else done to the track. I don't know what kind of compression might have been added by YouTube.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
Thanks for creating this, Harry! Too cool. I can definitely hear the difference. I wish Richard would reconsider remixing this song. It’s got so much going on that it really should be mixed with more ‘oomph’.
It needs more bass and drums. Plus, those vocals could be brought more forward in the mix.
 
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