• 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.

🎄 Holidays! EXCLUSIVE! Merry Christmas, Darling: Carpenters Public TV Special and DVD

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
And just one more point of reference regarding the '78 mix. If you listen carefully during the phrase "ora pro nobis", there is a noticeable ripple in the audio (which has always driven me nuts by the way) that is also audible on the DVD version audio. For whatever reason this was never caught during the original mix-down. This further supports the theory that the DVD contains the original mix from '78. Just thought I'd point that out :)

I also detected that ripple when I was comparing tracks....the only problem with that theory is that the 84' mix also contains that same ripple.
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
I also detected that ripple when I was comparing tracks....the only problem with that theory is that the 84' mix also contains that same ripple.

I went back and listened to the '84 again after I my previous post just to re-affirm that, and I don't hear it at all. Are you sure you're not confusing it with the choir's "oohs" that are fluctuating under the melody? This creates a similar effect. Outside of that, I hear nothing. :confused:
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
I went back and listened to the '84 again after I my previous post just to re-affirm that, and I don't hear it at all. Are you sure you're not confusing it with the choir's "oohs" that are fluctuating under the melody? This creates a similar effect. Outside of that, I hear nothing. :confused:

I just went back and re-listened, I guess the 84' remix is a bit "less ripply" I guess you could say it's smoother during that spot compared to the original 78'. So I guess the DVD might be the original 78 and regarding the opening lines I really think it's the compression that makes me feel it has a bit more echo than the original 78'. I'll need to fix my title for the rip I made of the DVD. I also think with Santa Claus being changed made me think it could have been possible if he went to all the trouble with Santa, why not.

There is also another tick in Ave Maria that has always bugged me it's the opening line "Gratia Plena" on the word Plena (right at ena) there is a tick/click and it's on all copies, 78', 84, and the Special Edition CD. Could that be a mouth click from Karen?
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
There is also another tick in Ave Maria that has always bugged me it's the opening line "Gratia Plena" on the word Plena (right at ena) there is a tick/click and it's on all copies, 78', 84, and the Special Edition CD.

Ha! That's good old compression on the vocal. Because Karen had a softer voice to begin with, there was usually a lot of compression on her leads. You'll notice this kind of thing all over the Carpenters' records. Usually tongue, lip/mouth movements, especially given the close proximity in which Karen sang into the mic, are very accentuated due to the higher frequencies involved with the clicking, ticking, licking....LOL...whatever you want to call it :D

All kidding aside, the "na" on plena would have created a lunge with Karen's tongue off of the roof of her mouth on that second syllable.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
So what did Richard & Karen think of all this during recording and playback (the ticking, mouth clicks etc) I mean I can hear it with my headphones so I know it had to be really evident in the studio with their million dollar equipment. They probably had headphones costing $1000.00's of dollars so they had to hear it, maybe they thought with LP's ticking and clicking the public wouldn't hear it...jump ahead to the digital format we have now and all we do is dissect and we easily hear this stuff. LOL

To be honest when all is said and done, Karen's vocal performance is spectacular on this track, however it's riddled with "issues" in the production process from the choir going missing to ticks and ripples, a sped up version on FFT, the echo added in the remixes....in my opinion it's not a perfect track (vocally yes, track as a whole no) Although the 78' mix has it's issues, it's still the standard for me as I feel the choir only distracts from Karen's vocal. All the other mixes don't enhance the recording any better than the 78 sound.
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
So what did Richard & Karen think of all this during recording and playback (the ticking, mouth clicks etc) I mean I can hear it with my headphones so I know it had to be really evident in the studio with their million dollar equipment. They probably had headphones costing $1000.00's of dollars so they had to hear it, maybe they thought with LP's ticking and clicking the public wouldn't hear it...jump ahead to the digital format we have now and all we do is dissect and we easily hear this stuff. LOL

To be honest when all is said and done, Karen's vocal performance is spectacular on this track, however it's riddled with "issues" in the production process from the choir going missing to ticks and ripples, a sped up version on FFT, the echo added in the remixes....in my opinion it's not a perfect track (vocally yes, track as a whole no) Although the 78' mix has it's issues, it's still the standard for me as I feel the choir only distracts from Karen's vocal. All the other mixes don't enhance the recording any better than the 78 sound.

I couldn't agree with you more!

And to answer your question about what Karen and Richard thought, without speaking for them, I honestly believe that (at least) Richard feels that this stuff was a natural part of the recording process, much like leaving in breaths where other producers would generally opt to edit them out. I personally have encountered a lot of the same scenarios with regard to compression in the studio, and I actually like the sound - as long as it isn't distracting or taking away from the performance or interpretation of the vocal. Compressor/limiters nowadays are much better than they were 30 or 40 years ago, so you virtually don't hear too much of that anymore with a good audio engineer.

I think with Karen it was somewhat unavoidable, considering she did sing very softly to begin with (compression is meant to level that out) and also sang very close to the microphone.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
This has surfaced on YouTube. Thinking it might be from the Christmas Memories DVD


No, it appears this person lives in Pennsylvania because this was dubbed from a PBS station WITF, how do I know, I just googled the call letters on the video. Also note how dark the video is, this is exactly what I was referring to earlier. The actual DVD is much better, brighter and clearer than this upload.

I'm sure it won't take long before someone uploads the entire DVD, it's bound to happen on You Tube. However don't be taken because the quality on the original DVD is the only way to fully appreciate what went into this project, not from tube uploads.
 

Chris Mills

That was funny....like the dark vomited up
No, it appears this person lives in Pennsylvania because this was dubbed from a PBS station WITF, how do I know, I just googled the call letters on the video. Also note how dark the video is, this is exactly what I was referring to earlier. The actual DVD is much better, brighter and clearer than this upload.

I'm sure it won't take long before someone uploads the entire DVD, it's bound to happen on You Tube. However don't be taken because the quality on the original DVD is the only way to fully appreciate what went into this project, not from tube uploads.
Thanks for clarifying that for me.
 

tcjr

Well-Known Member
Mr. Postman delivered mine today. I am in Spokane and ordered from KSPS. Looking forward to watching later this evening.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Carol Of The Bells on the DVD is a different version than what appears on CD. There are not only backing singers on the DVD version but the whole piano sounds different, so was the TV version an alternate version recorded previously in the studio w back up singers or is what we are hearing on the DVD a truly "live" version?
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Thread Starter
This has surfaced on YouTube. Thinking it might be from the Christmas Memories DVD


Seeing this now for the first time in years reminds me that these specials weren't so great. The only redeeming factor is we see Karen singing but what was she supposed to do with 4 minutes of cameras so tightly focused on her? She does her best messing around with presents and a teddy bear but the camera isn't always where it should be, they capture her singing with her back to the audience and her face is blocked at one point while she's singing the song. I wish they'd staged these gorgeous Christmas songs a lot better than they did. She deserved better.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
The difference was subtle but enough that I could hear the reverb most notable with her opening lines. Take a listen side by side with a good pair of headphones. The original 78' mix on CD doesn't exhibit this reverb. I can't determine if the compression on the DVD is causing this to sound this way. To me the opening on the DVD sounds more like the 84' mix than the original 78'.

I haven't received the DVD yet, but I'm assuming it is a Dolby Digital 2.0 track. DD tracks are notorious for not providing the best sound. Personally I prefer listening to a PCM or DTS track due to their high 1.5 Mbps vs DD's max 448 kbps. I've got Brian Wilson's Pet Sounds DVD and Michael Bolton's Merry Christmas from Vienna DVD, and both discs, even if I'm listening through the analog outputs, I'll set the audio to PCM.
 

John Tkacik

Well-Known Member
Carol Of The Bells on the DVD is a different version than what appears on CD. There are not only backing singers on the DVD version but the whole piano sounds different, so was the TV version an alternate version recorded previously in the studio w back up singers or is what we are hearing on the DVD a truly "live" version?
If I were a betting person, I would put my money down on it being previously recorded (unless they hid the microphones in the rafters of the gazebo).
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
I haven't received the DVD yet, but I'm assuming it is a Dolby Digital 2.0 track. DD tracks are notorious for not providing the best sound. Personally I prefer listening to a PCM or DTS track due to their high 1.5 Mbps vs DD's max 448 kbps. I've got Brian Wilson's Pet Sounds DVD and Michael Bolton's Merry Christmas from Vienna DVD, and both discs, even if I'm listening through the analog outputs, I'll set the audio to PCM.

The signal info is Dolby Digital, 2 channel, sampling 48kHz, bitrate is 224kbps. According to my blu-ray player the DVD video is running between 4-7 Mbps, most it's running around 4-5 but I've seen it peak as high as 7.0 Mbps
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Edit to my post above:

Just for kicks I just went and changed my setting on my blu-ray player to PCM and then went back to play the DVD again and then checked the signal info, PCM, 2 Ch, sampling 48khz, the bitrate is ----
I played Santa Claus video both ways with PCM and then with Dolby Digital and I find the Dolby Digital sounds better to me.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Edit to my post above:

Just for kicks I just went and changed my setting on my blu-ray player to PCM and then went back to play the DVD again and then checked the signal info, PCM, 2 Ch, sampling 48khz, the bitrate is ----
I played Santa Claus video both ways with PCM and then with Dolby Digital and I find the Dolby Digital sounds better to me.

Either way, you are still dealing with a DD track. And in the case of switching the the blu-ray's output to PCM, it is analagous to upconverting a DVD from 480i to 720p/1080i/p. You can leave it for the TV to upconvert it to its native resolution, or have the DVD player do it : either way you are still going from a MPEG-2 compressed 480i video signal. By having the Blu-Ray player convert the audio to uncompressed PCM, you are just saving your TV/audio receiver the job of uncompressing the audio, the only job your TV/audio receiver has to do is convert the PCM to analog audio waves for the human ear to pick up.

But when you listen to a DTS or PCM track that has been encoded right onto the disc, you can really hear the difference (as both of these will usually have a bit rate of 1.5 Mbps).

Just for comparison, the Perry Como DVD has an audio bit rate of 256kbps.
 

mbk1978

New Member


My DVD arrived today! It took 11 days to get here, partially because the roads were closed for over a day last week here as a result of snow squalls and blowing snow.
 

mbk1978

New Member
I just finished watching the Christmas Memories DVD. It was fantastic! It went by so quickly. I had never heard their versions of "Christmas Alphabet" or "Make Me Laugh", and a lot of the footage was new to me. I never got to see these specials when they originally aired (I was born 16 days before the "Christmas Portrait" LP was released) so it was amazing to see these performances in excellent video quality. I sure hope that we continue to see more video releases of Carpenters specials in the near future. I am happy that I bought the Complete Singles CD set last year and the Christmas Memories DVD this year!
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin


My DVD arrived today! It took 11 days to get here, partially because the roads were closed for over a day last week here as a result of snow squalls and blowing snow.
I think I would take the snow squalls over that freak tornado from a few years ago. (I have friends who live up there--their house was spared, fortunately.)
 

mbk1978

New Member
I think I would take the snow squalls over that freak tornado from a few years ago. (I have friends who live up there--their house was spared, fortunately.)

I agree. I was here in Goderich on August 21, 2011 when we had the F-3 tornado. Our house is on the southwest end of town and wasn't damaged, but a lot of other people weren't so lucky.
Snow squalls are a normal part of life here in the winter. The local highways are closed at least one day a year. I only had to wait a few extra days for the DVD because of the weather.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
I agree. I was here in Goderich on August 21, 2011 when we had the F-3 tornado. Our house is on the southwest end of town and wasn't damaged, but a lot of other people weren't so lucky.
My friends live a couple of blocks from downtown, so they were fortunate. I don't recall if the family store downtown was damaged or not (it didn't appear to be), but a couple of places around them looked a little banged up. Not like the others that completely got torn apart (including that little burger place on the corner). My buddy's sister actually did some walkabouts and posted them on YouTube (including some a few months after, showing the recovery progress).

It totally surprised me when I heard about that tornado. There was no bad weather on our side of Lake Huron that day--some darker clouds now and then, but mainly sunshine. We always joke about "sending" the weather over to them in Canada (we tend to get the storm fronts a few hours before they do, although we are probably 100 km south).

I can imagine you do get a lot of lake effect snow. We don't get much here--the western side of Michigan does, though. We get some if there is a prevailing easterly wind, but winds here are normally from the west after a storm front goes through.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
Earlier in this thread, someone posted a link to one of the TV stations offering the Christmas DVD and when I investigated, there seemed to be the option of buying / donating if you are outside the US and Canada. However, I didn't go through with making a purchase. I've recently again checked out all the links that I can find and can't locate any stations that provide international delivery. Does anyone out there have any information? I think it's a shame that the Christmas DVD isn't available internationally. (I'm Australian). Still, with the popularity of Carpenters in Japan and the U.K., perhaps it will be released internationally someday.
 
Earlier in this thread, someone posted a link to one of the TV stations offering the Christmas DVD and when I investigated, there seemed to be the option of buying / donating if you are outside the US and Canada. However, I didn't go through with making a purchase. I've recently again checked out all the links that I can find and can't locate any stations that provide international delivery. Does anyone out there have any information? I think it's a shame that the Christmas DVD isn't available internationally. (I'm Australian). Still, with the popularity of Carpenters in Japan and the U.K., perhaps it will be released internationally someday.

Just like when there are titles released overseas that are not released in the USA, the solution is always eBay.
 
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