Correcting HAECO-CSG Processing

Rudy

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It is on all of the SP-424x Greatest Hits series albums except for the Tijuana Brass. So this would include Brasil '66, Baja Marimba Band, Sandpipers and Wes Montgomery. The Foursider album series was untouched, as were any subsequent compilations over the years.

This series:

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Baja_Marimba.jpg
wes_montgomery_greatest.jpg
 

Metoo

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I just rechecked "Ye-Me-Le" and +90º in Audition does the trick. (Note: People reading this and using other software or plugins might need the exact opposite of this to get the same effect).

BTW, I am getting peaks that go over '0'FS (Full Scale) after tweaking "Wichita Lineman". To fix it is is necessary to lower the gain of both channels by -0.49db. This should leave about -03db head space at the highest peak. This volume change has to be applied to the whole album to keep the original volume relationships among the songs.

I have yet to work on the rest of the album, but I think that lowering the gain this amount on the whole album should work for all the songs. This is, obviously, another reason why it is a good idea to upsample and increase the bit depth before tweaking the files.
 

Metoo

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Rudy,

How about the other compilations of Sergio Mendes stuff, I've got one or two of them somewhere (not at hand at this moment). One of them is a lounge album IIRC.

BTW, what other Sergio Mendes albums have you found to have this. I've got all of them from the first "Herb Alpert presents" to "Ye-Me-Le," save for "Crystal Illusions."
 

Metoo

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Sorry, but that gain number I gave before is wrong. After eliminating HAECO-CSG on "Norwegian Wood" I get peaks that need -1.40db so that they are not truncated. I hope I do not have to correct this datum again.
 

Rudy

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Rudy,

How about the other compilations of Sergio Mendes stuff, I've got one or two of them somewhere (not at hand at this moment). One of them is a lounge album IIRC.

Only the Greatest Hits I mentioned. One caveat though: tracks from Fool and Ye-Me-Le on every compilation do have CSG processing on them. And these are the only two Mendes albums that are "wrecked" with CSG. :wink:
 

Metoo

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Hi Rudy,

Thanks for your reply.

On another note: There's something that doesn't quite leave me as fulfilled when listening to "Ye-Me-Le" after the tweaking. It just doesn't sound as good as "Fool On The Hill." I also notice less bass on it after the HAECO-CSG correction. I tried the opposite 90º and things don't sound as clear. Have you noticed anything along these lines?
 

Harry

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I'm not Rudy, but I've heard the fruits of his labors regarding the fixed phasing of the CSG albums. What I'm hearing on virtually all of these fixes is that the songs no longer have that uncomfortable-ness that resulted from the phase-shift in the first place. Instruments and vocals sound more localized and distinct - yet something else is still not quite right. It seems that the bass line on virtually every track has its largest component on the left side of the stereo stage. But there's also still that indistinct feeling that the right channel is tugging at that bass line. Hard to describe.

Still I feel that these are now miles better than they ever were.

Regarding YE-ME-LE, being two albums removed from FOOL ON THE HILL, Sergio seemed to be experimenting with the stereo soundstage a little more than he did in the early days. For the most part, the early recordings put the bass and drums left, piano and guitars (and some other percussion) to the right, with the vocals in the middle. As it should be, IMHO. But by YE-ME-LE, he began to spread out the vocals a little more, sometimes having Lani to the left, Karen to the right. Thus, when the CSG is corrected. the vocals don't seem centered - because they're not.

I've used a karaoke setting on these fixed album, and the great majority of vocals are canceled on the re-done FOOL album. But on YE-ME-LE, the cancellation doesn't occur when the vocals are spread over the soundstage. Oddest is "Look Who's Mine" which has Lani's vocals skewed left, yet the track's elements are balanced for a proper mix. You can alter the balance to move Lani to the center, but then the strings in the right sound too loud in the mix.

The HAECO-CSG thing continues to confound over four decades later!

Harry
 

Rudy

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Hi Rudy,

Thanks for your reply.

On another note: There's something that doesn't quite leave me as fulfilled when listening to "Ye-Me-Le" after the tweaking. It just doesn't sound as good as "Fool On The Hill." I also notice less bass on it after the HAECO-CSG correction. I tried the opposite 90º and things don't sound as clear. Have you noticed anything along these lines?

I am probably using a different release of Ye-Me-Le than yours. Mine is a Japan A&M release from many years ago. A lot of us bought these from Dusty Groove America as for some of the titles, this was the first time they had been released on CD. For this album, though, mine seemed to result in nice, sharp imaging as opposed to the "smearing" we'd get with CSG processing intact.

For my part, I used a very slight bass boost after processing the 90 degree phase shift. I think I used a shelf that started somewhere around 100Hz, and it was only a decibel or two. That "overly full" sound with the CSG processing had a side effect of bloating the bass a bit, and removing CSG processing made them sound thin. I felt my results gave the music a richer bottom end without making it boomy or bloated, just enough of a tweak to balance out the tonality a bit.

I linked to some MP3 sample files of my final results here: http://min.us/mcZYjNK (You can download the samples, or listen to them via the embedded player.) I did not include snippets of the original versions though.

One theory I have: some of the final two-channel masters (mixed down from multitrack) may very well have been mixed with the CSG processor activated in the recording chain. In other words, they mixed the album based on the output of the CSG processor. That phony "fullness" in the bass goes away when the phase is corrected, so the original mix may have been thin on bass so that it would sound proper when it came out of the CSG processor.
 

Harry

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I really don't think the versions of YE-ME-LE are all that different. I have both that original Japanese release and the newer Verve release and they sound pretty identical to me. So I wouldn't think it would make a difference one way or another which one was used to deconstruct the CSG stuff.

Harry
 

Rudy

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Actually, having the bass off to one side was something A&M had done with other albums--bass and drums on one side, guitar and other rhythm parts on the other side, and brass/vocals in the middle.
 

Harry

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Actually, having the bass off to one side was something A&M had done with other albums--bass and drums on one side, guitar and other rhythm parts on the other side, and brass/vocals in the middle.

Correct - my point is that the bass remains the only component that seems off-balance, like the sound is in the left, but not properly anchored there. It remains smeared/spread across the stereo soundstage. But still, these are miles better than anything else I've heard.

Harry
 

Rudy

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It is rather amusing that my amateur job can improve on something that not even the remastering engineers hanger tried to fix. I can probably do these better when I get more spare time in the future, but even my quickie job has improved things quite a bit.
 

Rudy

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Correct - my point is that the bass remains the only component that seems off-balance, like the sound is in the left, but not properly anchored there. It remains smeared/spread across the stereo soundstage. But still, these are miles better than anything else I've heard.

I still hear it to a slight extent, but it is not "phasey" as it was before, where it was smeared quite badly. It seems still to be slightly "unlocalized" and drifts a bit (certain notes appear to stand out in a different place, but most are more anchored in one spot).

One guess I can make is that a CSG unit was built with electronic components, which can have tolerances anywhere from 1% to 20%. (As one example, resistors tend to have tighter tolerances and you can buy them today in, for example, 1%, 2%, 5% and 10% tolerances for an extra fee, or live with 20% in a cheaper "standard" resistor.) I don't know what tolerances they had to work with back in the late 60s or early 70s, plus, we don't know if the manufacturer measured each component beforehand to see how it measured per the specs. And then, the values can drift slightly as the temperature of the unit changes.

Any variation in the value of a resistor, capacitor, inductor, etc. would make each unit perform very slightly different. Being all analog (basically a filter), it would not be as precise as we can do it digitally, where it is an exact phase shift applied equally to all frequencies. I can't get too much more technical right now, but I believe it would not be possible to exactly cancel out CSG processing since the analog circuitry would have been such a moving target. All we can do on our end is tweak it ever so slightly to see what results we come up with. I know if it is phase-related, there may be a point where it "locks in" and sounds perfect. (It is like playing two of the same record on two turntables, and syncing them up....and you can get that neat phase effect as they get close to that lock-in point.)
 

Harry

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Only the Greatest Hits I mentioned. One caveat though: tracks from Fool and Ye-Me-Le on every compilation do have CSG processing on them. And these are the only two Mendes albums that are "wrecked" with CSG. :wink:

I just thought of another HAECO-CSG A&M - the sampler compilation, MUSIC BOX, SP-19006. It contains:

My Heart Belongs To Daddy - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
Look Around - Sergio Mendes
Wind Song - Wes Montgomery
Cancion De Amor (Wanderlove) - The Sandpipers
Green Peppers - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass

Brasilia - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
The Lovers - Jimmie Rodgers
Fowl Play - Julius Wechter & The Baja Marimba Band
It's Hard To Say Goodbye - Claudine Longet
Bo-Bo - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass

Given that Herb's GREATEST HITS album did NOT have the processing, this disc provides the only chance to hear how classic TJB tracks get screwed up with HAECO applied.

Harry
 

Rudy

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Interesting experiment: I could find a few selected A&M tracks and give them a similar CSG treatment. :whistle: Actually, it would be interesting to hear as it may give us insight as to how the original CSG unit worked (IOW, if the effect is similar, or somehow different).

BTW, the Wes Montgomery "Greatest Hits" was out on CD, probably the mid 80s. Would that have the CSG treatment on it? I also wonder how many CTi albums may have had it (if any). Those routinely don't sound very good until you cut a decibel or two in the mid-bass region (which takes that "mud" out of them), but I'd have to listen more to see if I notice it on any of mine.
 

Metoo

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Being all analog (basically a filter), it would not be as precise as we can do it digitally, where it is an exact phase shift applied equally to all frequencies. I can't get too much more technical right now, but I believe it would not be possible to exactly cancel out CSG processing since the analog circuitry would have been such a moving target. All we can do on our end is tweak it ever so slightly to see what results we come up with.

There is, in fact, a digital tool to correct the phase variations in the way you point out. It is called 'vari phase rotation.' Google it.
 

Metoo

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I asked a friend of mine who's got this program (it's called RX Advanced) if he could process one of my files. Here's a clip of what applying a 90º correction (which is the file I sent him) and the vari phase rotation sounds like: http://bit.ly/nVNzho

In my comparison with my own 90º corrected file I notice less reverb on this one, but the voices and the instruments are clearer. What say you?
 

Ed Bishop

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Funny thing about that damnable CSG process: if you look at the vinyl, you can tell one when you see it even before you play it. A&M, Atlantic and some other labels used the process but didn't always make note of it anywhere on the cover.

ED :)
 

Rudy

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I asked a friend of mine who's got this program (it's called RX Advanced) if he could process one of my files. Here's a clip of what applying a 90º correction (which is the file I sent him) and the vari phase rotation sounds like: http://bit.ly/nVNzho

In my comparison with my own 90º corrected file I notice less reverb on this one, but the voices and the instruments are clearer. What say you?

I found someone with a copy of it (RX Advanced 2) and tried it here--the two (this, and Audition) basically do the same operation. The "vari phase" option, when checked, doesn't make any automatic change to the phase that I can hear. With it unchecked, you can adjust the phase difference in each channel. In this program, it is easier to slide the adjustments to hear the difference while you are previewing the file. (It is easier than trying to drag the line in Audition.)

I compared the sound clip you sent to my version of Ye-Me-Le, and they are very close. My CD is the Japan issue, though, so I may be hearing the different tonal balance between the two.

I did try the Butch Cassidy again in RX Advanced. This is the one with the reversed phase difference--in other words, you have to adjust the phase either in the opposite channel, or in the opposite direction in the same channel. (IOW, +90 in the left, or -90 in the right.) I did try different phase adjustments here, like -85 and even -75 degrees, and even adjusted it it using the keypad (Ctrl + the right or left arrow keys, to adjust one degree at a time). Even doing it blindly without watching the screen, I occasionally thought it sounded better around -75 or -80, but more often than not, I ended up a degree or two within -90.

RX Advanced also offers an azimuth adjustment, but it is more helpful when correcting tape playback than it does for what we are trying to do. I did try it either way, delaying or advancing one channel by as much as 5 milliseconds, and eventually settled around +2.2ms on the right channel, but I ended up not using it at all. I am thinking that the original CSG processor only worked on one channel, and therefore, the extra circuitry on that one channel might have contributed a very small delay. But I was not able to prove it with my ears. We could only tell if we had a schematic for the CSG processor to see what was inside, and what it did.

And as a final experiment, I created presets and tried applying +90 to one channel, or -90 to the opposite channel, and could not tell the two apart. As long as the two channels are shifted 90 degrees relative to each other, the correction works.

I have thought of redoing all of the files with RX Advanced but I don't think I'm hearing enough of a difference to bother just yet. From what I've tried, the phase adjustment in RX Advanced worked about the same as it did in Audition, and the "vari phase rotation" is not applicable to what we are doing.

Vari Phase Rotation - Enabling vari phase rotation will analyze the audio selection and apply the time-variable phase rotation to both left and right channels resulting in a symmetrical waveform, minimizing signal peak levels.

RX Advanced does have some very interesting filters in it though. When I get time, I will try it on a couple of needle drops, and compare the results to the Waves filters I normally use.
 

Rudy

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OK, I've finally dropped all of these 50 posts into a new thread, and moved it to the Small Circle area. It's too good to leave it buried in the Fool thread! :)
 

Metoo

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Thread Starter
@ Rudy,

Yes, it's a good idea not to keep on digressing with the OP there.

One thing I forgot to mention yesterday was that when I sent the file to my friend it was at 32bits and the right channel peaks were clipping because I had not applied the gain reduction. When it came back after the vari phase rotation the peaks on the right channel were back in their place, but with the HAECO-CSG correction still in place.
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Hi, Ed. :)

Can you post how you can tell that a certain vinyl has the HAECO-CSG treatment? I imagine it is something to do with the appearance of the grooves.
 

Rudy

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Oh, wait...if I understand it now, you sent him the file with the correction already, and then he applied the vari phase rotation to it? I didn't try that. The program can do the 90 degree fix, but the vari phase rotation has to be done as a second step (can't do them simultaneously since selecting the vari phase rotation option disables the phase adjustment sliders).

I can try this later on. I'm in my prime listening hours right now--home alone, vinyl spinning, windows rattling... :D
 

Metoo

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@ Rudy,
Yes, I did the 90º correction before sending the file to my friend. Have you tried this and then using the vari phase rotation?
 
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