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Christmas Portrait Redux update?

Giving Christmas Portrait the "RPO treatment" (clean up and bringing vocals to the forefront), is my understanding.
 
As Richard said "that's Karen's album" and this will make my day big time - especially if the medley THE FIRST SNOWFALL...somehow makes the cut...

Why wouldn't it? It's part of the original tracklist. My understanding was that it would be a complete reproduction of the original album (hopefully minus the awful reverb on Karen's vocals).
 
I'd love to see an RPO edition of "Christmas Portrait"! One of the best albums ever in that genre!

And while we're on the subject of music celebrating that holiday, it may be wishful thinking on my part, but I'd love to see "Toyland," "Christmas Alphabet" and other songs from the duo's Christmas specials that haven't already found their way onto a CD be put on one someday.
 
Actually just listened again to the talkshoplive event Chris and Mike did with Richard and at around the 55 min mark he talks about Christmas Portrait.

Interestingly he mentions a section of the AOFC overture he wants to include as well as the ballad version of Santa Claus..... considering his love for Little Altar Boy and Home for the holidays perhaps this new album will be somewhere between the '78 record and the '84 special edition plus Santa.

I don't mind losing jingle bells but I adore the first snowfall medley so hope it makes it.
 
They're all on there. A segment from the Nutcracker medley in '84 couldn't be found in storage (the master), so Richard is planning to recreate that and edit it back into the rest of the piece. There are a couple of other slight modifications, but the bulk of it is to clean up the tracks, bring Karen out front and ditch the reverb!

You're on it, @newvillefan! :)
 
Yes, Santa Clause..., Alter Boy, Home for Holidays & What Are You Doing...All essential additions...

They're all on there.

If that’s the case, I personally can’t wait to hear ‘Home For The Holidays’ and ‘What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve’ given the RPO treatment. I wasn’t a fan of the first RPO album as there was little added to the original pop arrangements but somehow I think RPO is the direction the Christmas material was destined for. I’ll reserve judgement until we hear it but given Karen’s love of Christmas and Christmas music, I’ve a feeling many of us will later comment “imagine if Karen could hear this!”.
 
If that’s the case, I personally can’t wait to hear ‘Home For The Holidays’ and ‘What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve’ given the RPO treatment. I wasn’t a fan of the first RPO album as there was little added to the original pop arrangements but somehow I think RPO is the direction the Christmas material was destined for. I’ll reserve judgement until we hear it but given Karen’s love of Christmas and Christmas music, I’ve a feeling many of us will later comment “imagine if Karen could hear this!”.
He's not recutting the orchestra. When likening to the "RPO treatment," that more refers to the cleanup of the masters, bringing Karen up front in the mix and not adding the excessive 'verb to the leads. Richard didn't feel the the arrangements on the Christmas stuff could be made much, if any better than they were originally. Not to mention, the size of the orchestra used on the Christmas recordings was a bit larger than what they usually booked for the studio albums. Bringing in the RPO to rerecord all of that would be redundant.

So, that's that!
 
Hi, Chris.

A couple of questions for you: 1) Is the re-work being done at Capitol Studios? And 2) With the passing of Al Schmitt, what engineer is Richard working with on this project?
 
He's not recutting the orchestra. When likening to the "RPO treatment," that more refers to the cleanup of the masters, bringing Karen up front in the mix and not adding the excessive 'verb to the leads. Richard didn't feel the the arrangements on the Christmas stuff could be made much, if any better than they were originally. Not to mention, the size of the orchestra used on the Christmas recordings was a bit larger than what they usually booked for the studio albums. Bringing in the RPO to rerecord all of that would be redundant.

Oh. Ok then. I did wonder where the budget for such a huge project was coming from 😂
 
Hi, Chris.

A couple of questions for you: 1) Is the re-work being done at Capitol Studios? And 2) With the passing of Al Schmitt, what engineer is Richard working with on this project?
You know, I don't have the answer to that but if it comes up, I'll certainly ask!
 
So that begs one more question. The Christmas Portrait album has had a bit of a convoluted journey, from original album, Special Edition, West German unauthorised release, through to the double CD “Christmas Collection”, which features a near-total remix of the original album, including all the reverb. Wasn’t that double CD version of the album necessitated by the fact the original master of ‘Christmas Portrait’ was no longer available? If that’s the case, how is Richard bringing everything back to a “no reverb” status?
 
So that begs one more question. The Christmas Portrait album has had a bit of a convoluted journey, from original album through to the double CD which features a near-total remix of the original album, including all the reverb. Wasn’t that necessitated by the fact the oroginal masters were no longer available? If that’s the case, how is Richard bringing everything back to a “no reverb” status?
Not exactly.

Richard opted to remix everything in 1990 and '91 to bring it up in quality from where the original '78 mixes were, as it was really just the Christmas Portrait album that got the remix on the whole. The reverb issue came when Roger Young talked Richard into adding more reverb to the leads, feeling that by doing so added a polish to the recordings. In hindsight, Richard now regrets having agreed to that.

Around 1997, Barry Korkin at Universal worked to pull all of the master 2-channel mix tapes (different from the original multitrack masters) in order to begin working on the 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition box set for Japan and realized that the tape for Portrait was damaged beyond repair due to oxidation. This is the reason the remixed version of that album was included in the 35th Anniversary set.

Most of the original analog multitrack tapes for both Christmas albums are in storage. And the majority of the analog master tapes within the Carpenters' catalog have been digitally copied, which is why many of the songs in which the analog tapes were destroyed in the Universal Studios fire are still capable of being (and have already been in many cases) remixed. They're working with digital on all of that stuff.

:)
 
... There are a couple of other slight modifications, but the bulk of it is to clean up the tracks, bring Karen out front and ditch the reverb...
Touring far too much and pressuring Karen to come out front from behind her treasured drum kit were two of the biggest mistakes they made as recording artists, and I probably will never be convinced that either one was a good idea...

But, bringing Karen out front sonically in the recording mix is one of the two best things that could possibly be done with her vocals, on this album and others, especially if the results are as excellent as they were on the RPO enhancements. Can't wait to hear this!
 
Most of the original analog multitrack tapes for both Christmas albums are in storage. And the majority of the analog master tapes within the Carpenters' catalog have been digitally copied, which is why many of the songs in which the analog tapes were destroyed in the Universal Studios fire are still capable of being (and have already been in many cases) remixed. They're working with digital on all of that stuff

Fascinating Chris, thank you. I’m actually relieved to hear the analogue multitracks - for the Christmas albums at least - didn’t go up in the fire. Which source is Richard working on for this project, the digital copies or the original analogue multitracks?
 
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These would be the digital, as that would be the source necessary in order to properly remove the unnecessary noise and flaws from the recordings.
 
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