🎵 Classic AOTW Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 - FOOL ON THE HILL SP-4160

What is your favorite track?

  • Fool On The Hill

    Votes: 5 16.1%
  • Festa

    Votes: 5 16.1%
  • Casa Forte

    Votes: 4 12.9%
  • Canto Triste

    Votes: 2 6.5%
  • Upa, Neguinho

    Votes: 3 9.7%
  • Lapinha

    Votes: 3 9.7%
  • Scarborough Fair

    Votes: 3 9.7%
  • When Summer Turns To Snow

    Votes: 1 3.2%
  • Laia Ladaia (Reza)

    Votes: 5 16.1%

  • Total voters
    31

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
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Here is another question. What other A&M albums, if any, had HAECO-CSG and does anyone know what it stands for?
I have looked at some of my A&M records and do not see it. I thought that since the Brasil'66 Greatest Hits had ti that the TJB Greatest would as well but it does not state it. The closest catalog number to Fool On The Hill that I have is Claudine Longet Colours and it does not have it.
In a nutshell, CSG (compatible stereo generator) adds a 90° phase shift to only one channel of a stereo recording.

The plus side is that if you play the stereo record over a mono system, the level of the center signal (consider a lead instrument or singer centered between the two speakers) will be dropped in level so it does not play back too loudly, due to the electrical summing of both sides.

The minus side is that it sounds weird and "phasey" when played in stereo, and smears where the instruments are placed left to right in the soundstage. (For instance, you might hear the fundamental note of a bass in one place, and the overtones (the "plucking") in another. It's not as bad as a stereo signal being completely out of phase (which over headphones, feels as though your eardrums are getting sucked out of your head), but it's enough to ruin the enjoyment of an album.

The only software I've found with a phase shift feature is made by Izotope, so thankfully I mostly corrected my copies of these albums after I ripped them for the music server.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
In a nutshell, CSG (compatible stereo generator) adds a 90° phase shift to only one channel of a stereo recording.

The plus side is that if you play the stereo record over a mono system, the level of the center signal (consider a lead instrument or singer centered between the two speakers) will be dropped in level so it does not play back too loudly, due to the electrical summing of both sides.

The minus side is that it sounds weird and "phasey" when played in stereo, and smears where the instruments are placed left to right in the soundstage. (For instance, you might hear the fundamental note of a bass in one place, and the overtones (the "plucking") in another. It's not as bad as a stereo signal being completely out of phase (which over headphones, feels as though your eardrums are getting sucked out of your head), but it's enough to ruin the enjoyment of an album.

The only software I've found with a phase shift feature is made by Izotope, so thankfully I mostly corrected my copies of these albums after I ripped them for the music server.
Apparently it is a sound that I do not notice. Thanks for the information.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
Apparently it is a sound that I do not notice. Thanks for the information.
It's easier to demonstrate if you can hear a before and after comparison. I tend to notice it more when I'm using the system at my computer, since the speakers are closer to me.
 

Harry

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And it's a dead giveaway on headphones.
 

Harry

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Mono copies of FOOL ON THE HILL can be tough to find. It took me a lot of years of searching, as I wanted to get a version without the CSG nonsense, and mono is one way to not have that.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Mono copies of FOOL ON THE HILL can be tough to find. It took me a lot of years of searching, as I wanted to get a version without the CSG nonsense, and mono is one way to not have that.
Just curious -- is this a dedicated monaural mix or a fold down?
 

Harry

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I believe it is a dedicated mono mix. There are subtle differences, but overall, nothing dramatic. The mono mix captures most everything in similar balances to the stereo mix, but doesn't annoy like the CSG does.
 

Rudy

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I have a theory I haven't tested yet.

Wouldn't a CSG-processed stereo track make an ideal fold-down? Part of the reason for CSG in the first place was to make the stereo version more compatible with mono. I wonder what would happen if we summed a CSG LP to mono and compared it to the mono version.

Likewise, I wonder how it would sound if we took a standard stereo LP, put the 90° phase shift on one channel, and summed it to mono. Theory being that a phase shift partially "cancels" (attenuates) some of the common signal in both channels (whatever is in the center) which would keep that content more in balance vs. summing it together and getting a ~6dB increase in center information.

I may have to experiment later today...
 

Harry

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Wouldn't a CSG-processed stereo track make an ideal fold-down? Part of the reason for CSG in the first place was to make the stereo version more compatible with mono.
Theoretically, that should be correct. Hence, probably the reason that the mono FOOL ON THE HILL is so scarce. Once they decided to go ahead with the CSG, there was no further need for a mono mix.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
A friend of mine recently started collecting commercial vintage RtR releases...I reminded him of those gadawful A&M CGS LPs and that the RtR versions should be a way to obtain the unfettered stereo versions.
 

Harry

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IIRC, with the A&M reels, the CSG is used on them too, as well as the cassettes.
 

Harry

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Thread Starter
I have a theory I haven't tested yet.

Wouldn't a CSG-processed stereo track make an ideal fold-down? Part of the reason for CSG in the first place was to make the stereo version more compatible with mono. I wonder what would happen if we summed a CSG LP to mono and compared it to the mono version.

Likewise, I wonder how it would sound if we took a standard stereo LP, put the 90° phase shift on one channel, and summed it to mono. Theory being that a phase shift partially "cancels" (attenuates) some of the common signal in both channels (whatever is in the center) which would keep that content more in balance vs. summing it together and getting a ~6dB increase in center information.

I may have to experiment later today...
I'm going to add an addendum here. Playing around with the song "Upa Neguinho" from both the mono LP and the Verve CSG'ed stereo CD, I find a difference that remains between the mono and a mono'ed stereo version.

At around the 1:17 mark, Lani and Karen are doing their call/response with the guys and at this point in the mono, it's clear that they've broken into harmony thirds. This is barely audible in the stereo version as the guys and orchestration are pretty well burying the ladies' vocals. Summing the CSG version to mono doesn't help at all, which tells me that the mono must be its own dedicated mix.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
it's clear that they've broken into harmony thirds. This is barely audible in the stereo version as the guys and orchestration are pretty well burying the ladies' vocals. Summing the CSG version to mono doesn't help at all, which tells me that the mono must be its own dedicated mix.
Well, even on my cheap computer, I prefer the monaural mix. I like the clarity of it all (now if we could just get this LP with just the combo alone).

IRC, with the A&M reels, the CSG is used on them too, as well as the cassettes.
I defer to your expertise on this. I clearly made an assumption that the CGS things would be limited to LP releases -- but recognize that a master is a master, for all intents and purposes...
 

Rudy

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I defer to your expertise on this. I clearly made an assumption that the CGS things would be limited to LP releases -- but recognize that a master is a master, for all intents and purposes...
From what I understand (reading partly into an article posted in our Carpenters area, where Richard mentioned the process), the master was created with CSG in mind during the mixing process. This even affected compilation LPs where some tracks would have CSG where others wouldn't.

So there are only a few ways to get around CSG:
  • Use software to apply a 90° phase shift to one channel, which undoes most of* the CSG process;
  • Use an existing mono mix;
  • Remix from original multitracks.
*Saying "most of" the CSG implies that the CSG (Compatible Stereo Generator) works in the analog domain, and the components (resistors, capacitors, chokes, etc.) used have their own range of tolerances--commonly 20%, although there could also be tolerance ranges of 10%, 5% or even less today. That means the phase shift theoretically may not be an exact 90°. Also, from that article I mentioned above, it appears there were some adjustments made to the CSG, plus we have no way of knowing if there is any frequency adjustment in the circuitry.

Software, in comparison, can do an exact 90° phase shift. I've done this on the few CSG albums I have, and they do sound much more focused and clean than the originals. (It eliminates the "smearing" of images in the soundstage--with CSG, we might have the high frequency overtones of a vocalist in the center, but the fundamental frequency of the note they are singing is off to one side.)

Could they use further improvement? Sure...maybe they need a slight phase adjustment a hair in either direction, maybe a tweak in EQ to account for some of the change in the phase. But CDs are such low resolution that they are poor sources to use for editing, so I'd need either an original two-track master, a hi-res release (minimum 24-bit, 88.2kHz), or a very clean needle drop to do it so it's not polluted by digital artifacts caused by rounding errors (which makes them sound harsh and nasty).
 

Rudy

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BTW, I wonder what would happen if someone used an old, original (and at this later date, fully refurbished) CSG unit on those old recordings, but apply it to the opposite channel. Would it possibly undo the effect. Or would it make the channels 180° out of phase, requiring only a simple phase reversal to correct?
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
This mono version has blown me away. I have the Beatles Mono Remasters and now I want to see that happen with Brasil "66.
I was thinking the other night, the Mono copies of Fool On The Hill may not have been a widespread release and that is why they are so rare.
 

Harry

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I was thinking the other night, the Mono copies of Fool On The Hill may not have been a widespread release and that is why they are so rare.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure it wasn't widely released. With it being an early example of a full album with HAECO-CSG applied, the powers that be probably saw little reason to make separate mono copies, since the CSG was supposed to solve the phasing problem on radio. There might have been a few powerful AM radio stations that demanded mono releases and the labels acquiesced. A&M continued to provide mono copies of promo singles into the 80s.
 
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