29/10/2020 5:43 am  #1


Bing’s Recordings In Stereo

I found out that people are still trying to make mono recordings into stereo, and they’ve finally found a very good way, that produces good results. Here’s White Christmas’ 1947 recording in stereo, and not the fake reverb stuff with little to no separation. https://youtu.be/y1eXZSNODws


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29/10/2020 5:45 am  #2


Re: Bing’s Recordings In Stereo

Here’s Pistol Packin’ Mama, although it has reverb it works for the most part except on the Andrews Sisters as they sound like they are in a large cave, but it has separation and sounds good mostly as well. https://youtu.be/UNxgn8npVLI


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29/10/2020 5:46 am  #3


Re: Bing’s Recordings In Stereo

This next mono to stereo mix is a TV recording, and less noticeable separation than the others. https://youtu.be/U5XE4GNQWoQ


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29/10/2020 5:50 am  #4


Re: Bing’s Recordings In Stereo

This last one which is also from TV, is of course the David Bowie duet, because we can’t have a nice ballad, up tempo song, or any of Bing’s other Christmas recordings. Besides my gripes of it’s over exposure compared to Bing’s other songs this is another nice job. https://youtu.be/aiJlVxnEqHs


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29/10/2020 12:50 pm  #5


Re: Bing’s Recordings In Stereo

In the late 80s, BBC Enterprises released a couple of  LPs of Crosby tracks dating from 1927 through to 1938 - later available on CD - in a series called “The Classic Years in Digital Stereo”. The tracks were transferred by an Australian sound engineer called Robert Parker who, according to the CD sleeve note, had developed, “a unique system for extracting high quality stereo sound from early mono 78 rpm records”. I’ve just been listening to the CDs for the first time in a good few years and I think they’re very impressive. Good, clean transfers with - to my ears at any rate - very natural stereo separation. I don’t know whether they’re available to stream anywhere, but I’m sure if anyone can find them, ModernBingFan can!

 

29/10/2020 4:09 pm  #6


Re: Bing’s Recordings In Stereo

I'll have to look for those CDs, but I also hope we'll get some more 40s and 50s Decca mono to stereo mixes as well.


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29/10/2020 9:15 pm  #7


Re: Bing’s Recordings In Stereo

I have always been interested in stereo versions of songs rather than the mono (just like I like colorized over b/w I suppose) version.  I have that Robert Parker CD "Song Hits From The Movies" and another one he did with Bing songs of the '30's stereofied.  When I saw your announcement today of the stereo version of White Christmas I thought it might have been Robert Parker's stereo version of White Christmas BUT it's NOT.  Parker stereofied the 1942 recording but this new guy stereofied the '47 version.  I have always liked the '47 version over the '42 version so I am thrilled with this latest development.  I would like to see this new guy put out a whole CD with nothing but a slew of stereofied Bings!   I love the stereo Parker versions so much I have them on my computer to play whenever they pop up in it's "Random" play mode of all songs I've downloaded there from CDs.  

But with this new '47 stereo version I will gladly add this to my playlist.  Wow, I really hope he puts out a complete Bing stereo CD.
 

 

29/10/2020 10:29 pm  #8


Re: Bing’s Recordings In Stereo

I doubt the guy who did this new White Christmas will do another Bing one, although he did a fantastic job on Judy Garland’s original version of Over the Rainbow. I requested the guy who did Pistol Packin’ Mama and The Oldest Established to possibly do the radio versions of Autumn Leaves and When the World Was Young from the Bing Sings The Johnny Mercer Songbook cd though.


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30/10/2020 12:37 am  #9


Re: Bing’s Recordings In Stereo

Well, that Bowie-Bing duet is my LEAST favorite Bing Christmas song (next to 12 Days of Christmas because it goes on forever).  But as far as it being in stereo I believe it was originally recorded in stereo (even though on TV people heard it in mono cause back then people didn't have stereo TVs).   In fact I actually bought the 45 on the RCA label at the time of that song when it was released in 1978.  (The story was Bowiie was on RCA so it was the only way it was allowed to be released.  Least that's the way I heard back in '78.)  But on the more recent Capitol Bing Christmas CD it was added there and was in stereo (I think).   But I'm not going to bother recording the new Utube version as I already years ago have purposely deleted all versions of it from my computer.  It's the only Bing song I've banned.

Last edited by Archiefit (30/10/2020 12:41 am)

 

30/10/2020 12:48 am  #10


Re: Bing’s Recordings In Stereo

The new stereo mix here doesn’t sound the best with the high ends sounds crisp, too crisp, but White Christmas, Pistol Packin’ Mama, and The Oldest Established (1964 TV version) all sound good, otherwise comparatively to the Bing-Bowie duet


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30/10/2020 11:57 pm  #11


Re: Bing’s Recordings In Stereo

jeremyrose wrote:

In the late 80s, BBC Enterprises released a couple of LPs of Crosby tracks dating from 1927 through to 1938 - later available on CD - in a series called “The Classic Years in Digital Stereo”. The tracks were transferred by an Australian sound engineer called Robert Parker who, according to the CD sleeve note, had developed, “a unique system for extracting high quality stereo sound from early mono 78 rpm records”. I’ve just been listening to the CDs for the first time in a good few years and I think they’re very impressive. Good, clean transfers with - to my ears at any rate - very natural stereo separation. I don’t know whether they’re available to stream anywhere, but I’m sure if anyone can find them, ModernBingFan can!

Robert Parker certainly devised a method that added life and a stereo breadth to old recordings that many found realistic, though some purists were critical. There were several series under slightly different "banners" - 
Jazz Classics in Digital Stereo -The Golden Years in Digital Stereo - The Classic Years in Digital Stereo. 
There was a heavy emphasis on jazz from the 1920s and 30s. Releases initially were on the ABC label in Australia and these were also taken up by BBC in Britain. Later issues were on Nimbus and Metronome and I am aware of several sets  that Parker engineered for RCA, of Glenn Miller, Ray Noble, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman.

There were many CDs, possibly well over 100, but fewer LPs as there were no LP equivalents for later issues. 
I know of four Crosby CDs -   
BING CROSBY IN DIGITAL STEREO 1927 to 1934
https://www.discogs.com/Bing-Crosby-1927-To-1934/release/9120612
BING CROSBY - CLASSIC CROSBY IN DIGITAL STEREO 1931 TO 1938
https://www.discogs.com/Bing-Crosby-Classic-Crosby-1931-To-1938/release/7625156
BING CROSBY - SONG HITS FROM THE MOVIES 1930 to 1953 - The Classic Years In Digital Stereo
https://www.discogs.com/Bing-Crosby-1930-1953-Song-Hits-From-The-Movies/release/5588217
CROSBY CLASSICS - 24 HITS 1931-40 - Classic Years in Digital Stereo
https://www.discogs.com/Bing-Crosby-Crosby-Classics-24-Hits-1931-40/release/15610646

There is a Facebook group dedicated to Robert Parker issues though recently it has tended to drift to other matters.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/21330368941/

As to the current stereo recreations on Youtube, on close hearing and comparison it seems to me that the effect mainly depends on two things - (1) splitting the audio spectrum and removing parts of the audio where orchestral sounds predominate from the mono mix, then  placing them back in one channel after first adding some reverberation to that separated orchestral sound - (2) taking out transient sounds - drums, chimes etc, and isolating them in the same way.  Success requires judicious selection of parts of the frequency spectrum and the effectiveness also depends on the original content..
In the examples it seems quite effective but my impression is that they are not achieving the levels reached by Robert Parker 30 plus years ago. I think he was using essentially similar basic methods but was isolating more individual elements -  instruments or groups of instruments. Because in many instances he was dealing with older material he also widened the dynamic range, giving extra "punch"  and broadened the audio spectrum, giving more life. He also added varying degrees of reverberation to different instrumental groupings. The result was not so much precise placing between speakers but an overall sense of separation and added atmosphere.
 

 

31/10/2020 12:12 am  #12


Re: Bing’s Recordings In Stereo

I have also tried my hand at ‘remixing’ a mono recording into stereo. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1waSRJ8EkEkEELVe_ncFTQXVN94FaeUMT/view?usp=drivesdk


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31/10/2020 12:30 am  #13


Re: Bing’s Recordings In Stereo

Richard Baker wrote:

As to the current stereo recreations on Youtube, on close hearing and comparison it seems to me that the effect mainly depends on two things - (1) splitting the audio spectrum and removing parts of the audio where orchestral sounds predominate from the mono mix, then  placing them back in one channel after first adding some reverberation to that separated orchestral sound - (2) taking out transient sounds - drums, chimes etc, and isolating them in the same way.  Success requires judicious selection of parts of the frequency spectrum and the effectiveness also depends on the original content..
In the examples it seems quite effective but my impression is that they are not achieving the levels reached by Robert Parker 30 plus years ago. I think he was using essentially similar basic methods but was isolating more individual elements -  instruments or groups of instruments. Because in many instances he was dealing with older material he also widened the dynamic range, giving extra "punch"  and broadened the audio spectrum, giving more life. He also added varying degrees of reverberation to different instrumental groupings. The result was not so much precise placing between speakers but an overall sense of separation and added atmosphere.
 

It seems like Robert Parker’s stereo conversions are a mix of these current ones and the slapping reverb on mono tracks in the LP era. His certainly sound more like a hifi mono recording with reverb and a good amount of recording separation, albeit I can’t tell much actual stereo separation. Whereas with these new ones it is more of separating stereo wise to create stereo, but not as much give that similar to hifi recording separation as Robert Parker did. If only we could get a good mix of both.


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31/10/2020 7:50 am  #14


Re: Bing’s Recordings In Stereo

ModernBingFan0377 wrote:

It seems like Robert Parker’s stereo conversions are a mix of these current ones and the slapping reverb on mono tracks in the LP era. His certainly sound more like a hifi mono recording with reverb and a good amount of recording separation, albeit I can’t tell much actual stereo separation. Whereas with these new ones it is more of separating stereo wise to create stereo, but not as much give that similar to hifi recording separation as Robert Parker did. If only we could get a good mix of both.

I think you are mixing ideas and concepts. Parker was adding reverberation to very old recordings because they were originally made in very acoustically "dead" studios. It was necessary to give the same feeling to recordings as those made in later conditions which had a more natural reverberation from the more lively studios. He was not just after creation of stereo but bringing the overall sound up to modern standards.

Addition of the reverberation to later "HiFi" mono recordings was an early crude attempt to give a stereo feel in the hope that sales life would be prolonged at a time when the buying public wanted stereo and nothing but! 

Not only was the motivation and concept different but the methods were miles apart.



 

 

31/10/2020 9:21 am  #15


Re: Bing’s Recordings In Stereo

Fascinating stuff...

I remember the vogue for “artificial stereo” and some of the results were pretty dire! Parker’s efforts certainly seem to be a cut above. I’ve had the two BBC CD releases for many years - probably since they first came out. I see that although they were released on the BBC label, the discs were manufactured by Nimbus records. They were released in 1987 and ‘90 respectively, during one of those odd “transition” periods in audio playback fashions which seem to occur every few decades, being available on CD, LP and cassette!

The Nimbus and Metronome releases must have passed me by first time around, but thanks to eBay they are now winging their way to me. There’s quite a bit of duplication with the BBC releases, but the “Movie Hits” CD has quite a few of the ‘40s and ‘50s tracks that ModernBingFan hankers after.

 

31/10/2020 4:03 pm  #16


Re: Bing’s Recordings In Stereo

Richard Baker wrote:

ModernBingFan0377 wrote:

It seems like Robert Parker’s stereo conversions are a mix of these current ones and the slapping reverb on mono tracks in the LP era. His certainly sound more like a hifi mono recording with reverb and a good amount of recording separation, albeit I can’t tell much actual stereo separation. Whereas with these new ones it is more of separating stereo wise to create stereo, but not as much give that similar to hifi recording separation as Robert Parker did. If only we could get a good mix of both.

I think you are mixing ideas and concepts. Parker was adding reverberation to very old recordings because they were originally made in very acoustically "dead" studios. It was necessary to give the same feeling to recordings as those made in later conditions which had a more natural reverberation from the more lively studios. He was not just after creation of stereo but bringing the overall sound up to modern standards.

Addition of the reverberation to later "HiFi" mono recordings was an early crude attempt to give a stereo feel in the hope that sales life would be prolonged at a time when the buying public wanted stereo and nothing but! 

Not only was the motivation and concept different but the methods were miles apart.



 

I was just comparing the general sound as a mix. Parker’s reverb is a lot more realistic, whereas those old LPs with the fake stereo either sound like a recording is playing in a large room with a good amount of reverb or echo or muddy with the way they do the reverb. Parker’s reverb sound a lot realistic, and I wasn’t trying to knock him I was just generally giving it comparisons.


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01/11/2020 1:13 am  #17


Re: Bing’s Recordings In Stereo

Well, I've always liked the stereofying of Bing's old records including the reverb '70's albums that MCA used to put out then, esp. that Best of Bing double album.   But that recent post of Accentuate The Positive and the stereo White Christmas both sounded like genuine stereo to me, as you could hear the blast of the band on the left and another part of the band on the right and Bing loud and clear in the middle.   Now that is what I'd call real stereo sound when you can hear some instruments on one speaker and other instruments on the other speaker and the singer balanced in the middle.   I still like that old reverb too that MCA and Robert Parker specialized in, but nether of them had what I defined as true stereo separation sound, (some instruments on right others on left singer in middle). 

My favorite Bing era is from about 1938 thru the 1950's so I especially enjoy that Robert Parker "Song Hits From The Movies" CD, the other Parker CD I have is the "Golden Years Classic Crosby" CD that contains all early Bing from the '30's, I never bothered to even download it onto my computer as I really don't care about the songs there.  But that "Movies" Parker CD is great and that one plays on my computer's "Random" play whenever the computer has a mind to select one of the songs.

Now speaking of stereofying we talked about this before in another excellent thread from 2017.

https://crosbyfanworld.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=1162

A a lot of good information and pictures of albums that have stereo creation sound.  I posted a picture there of an MGM album version of Bing's Bing Sings Whilst Bregman Swings".  That blue MGM album with the painting of Bing on the cover was just called "Bing Crosby" but that's where you'll find stereo versions of the Bregman Swings lp.  Here's that album:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ljz-ziXKVJg/T1Z-ZPHx4CI/AAAAAAAAEB8/NmV8CLQ6k8Q/s1600/bl2350.jpg

 

01/11/2020 7:51 am  #18


Re: Bing’s Recordings In Stereo

ModernBingFan0377 wrote:

I have also tried my hand at ‘remixing’ a mono recording into stereo. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1waSRJ8EkEkEELVe_ncFTQXVN94FaeUMT/view?usp=drivesdk

Well done ModernBingFan.
Quite effective positioning. A lot of the effectiveness of such an approach depends on selection of material and the track you used is ideal. You've managed to separate voices from orchestra very well. 
 

 

01/11/2020 8:55 am  #19


Re: Bing’s Recordings In Stereo

Richard Baker wrote:

ModernBingFan0377 wrote:

I have also tried my hand at ‘remixing’ a mono recording into stereo. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1waSRJ8EkEkEELVe_ncFTQXVN94FaeUMT/view?usp=drivesdk

Well done ModernBingFan.
Quite effective positioning. A lot of the effectiveness of such an approach depends on selection of material and the track you used is ideal. You've managed to separate voices from orchestra very well. 
 

Yes, that was the trick. I find the ballads to be harder to do as the arrangements are usually more complex and the vocals can get a bit more entwined, so I’ve mostly done some uptempo ones. I’ll post a couple that I did yesterday when I’m able to next, those being I Can’t Begin To Tell You and San Fernando Valley.


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01/11/2020 7:10 pm  #20


Re: Bing’s Recordings In Stereo

I bought a table model stereo which promoted stereophonic sound. The player had a speaker on each side and the trick was to place the machine in a corner and have the sound bounce off the wall. Think it was an HMV /RCA machine.
I remember the Fred and Cyd film ‘Silk Stockings’ from 1957 and the song and words - you’ve got to have glorious technicolour, breath taking CinemaScope and stereophonic sound.

 

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