Chasing The Dragon - Audiophile Recordings by Mike Valentine ( Test LP ) - 180g LP


Chasing The Dragon - Audiophile Recordings by Mike Valentine ( Test LP ) - 180g LP

Product no.: CTD3

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Chasing the Dragon - VAL007 -  180 Gram Virgin Vinyl 

AAA 100% Analogue - Audiophile Mastering  - Limited Edition

New Re-Cut & Re-Pressed Version for Better Sound

AAA 100% Analogue This  LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only, from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
 
"...the whole album is very impressive, with the combination of old and new technologies proving particularly effective at revealing timbre and reverberation, not to mention dynamics. I'm not generally a fan of audiophile recordings, but this one is so impressive that I have to make an exception." -Jason Kennedy, Hi-Fi Choice Magazine, rated 5 stars Dec 2014
 
Discover why Michael Fremer called the LP of Chasing the Dragon “an excellent demonstration record”.
 
Mike Valentine, recording engineer and winner of Best Sound at the National Audio Show 2013 with his LP & CD 'Chasing The Dragon'
 
This unique recording is now available  Up to 12 tracks recorded by sound and film engineer Mike Valentine using 50 year old vintage microphones and a 24bit professional Nagra recorder as well as a Studer tape machine.
 
This beautifully recorded LP gives the listener the ability to hear the various microphone types and also they way they were used by the likes of Decca and EMI in the golden days of recording
 
Chasing the Dragon is the title that producer/engineer Mike Valentine has given to a disc of audiophile recordings he has made using vintage valve mics arranged in the classic Decca Tree configuration and a Nagra VI six-channel location recorder .  24-bit/96kHz Nagra, which sounded stunning, by far the best sound at the show.
 
 This is clearly a superb recording, and the Nagra isn't too shoddy either.
 
Recording engineer Mike Valentine produced and recorded an old-fashioned audiophile demo disc using 50 year old Neumann tube microphones and a high resolution Nagra digital recorder all connected together with ZenSati cables from Denmark. One track was recorded using a 1/2" Studer analog deck running at 30 IPS.
The Globe trotting Valentine recorded in Venice, Italy, Izmir, Turkey, London, England and elsewhere in venues that varied from outdoors in a graveyard, to concert halls and other disparate sized spaces.
 
Valentine often used the famous "Decca tree" originated in the 1950s and used on some of the most highly regarded recordings of the "golden age" by Decca Records engineers Arthur Haddy, Roy Wallace, Stan Goodall and of course Kenneth Wilkinson. It produces a very well-focused three-dimensional image.
 
Chasing the Dragon contains 15 tracks of largely classical material with some interesting contrasts.
For instance, the same cello piece is recorded in a church as well as outside it. 
 

"Everyone's ears perked up when I played this at RMAF. The playing is crisp (under the direction of Chris Dean), the arrangements are dynamic with nicely placed hard-driving kick drum accents, and Clare sounds, for all intents and purposes, like the fourth Andrews Sister. We should be grateful that someone is taking the time and spending the money to produce a direct to disk record but more grateful that the music lives up to the sonic promise." - Michael Fremer, analogplanet.com, 10/11 Music, 10/11 Sound!!!  

"I was looking for a "you are there" balance. Have we achieved it? Well, I loved the shuffling sound of the band turning the pages of the score and if you listen carefully, you can almost hear Chris the leader, counting everyone in...And the overall sound quality? Well, I think our new album has the "jump factor", but this time I hope that you will feel that Clare is standing right in the center of the speakers and if there was a knob on the desk, which was marked foot tapping, I have this time been able to turn it all the way up to ten." - Mike Valentine, producer 

 
Chasing The Dragon ~ Audiophile Recordings
Various 2013
by Mike Valentine
 
Mastered at Air Studios in London
 
Selections:
 
Side One:
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
1. Concerto for 2 Mandolins
 
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
2. Cello Suite No 1 (Interior)
3. Cello Suite No 1 (Exterior)
 
Jean-Joseph Mouret (1682-1738)
4. Rondo
 
Bruce Davidson 
5. Improvisation
 
Duke Ellington (1899-1974)
6. Caravan - Finale
 
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
7. Force of Destiny - Finale
 
Side Two:
 
Klaus Badelt (1967)
1. Pirates of the Caribbean
 
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
2. Durch Zartlicheit & Schmeicheln
 
David Graham
3. Improvisation
 
Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908)
4. Tarantella
 
Manuel de Falla (1876-1946)
5. Spanish Dance No. 1
 
Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
6. Piano Concerto No.2 - Finale
 
 
 
This audiophile demonstration album contains 13 tracks which were recorded with 50 year old Neumann valve microphones. Many tracks use the "Decca tree" configuration, invented by engineers in the early 1950's using 3 Neumann M50 microphones. Some tracks were recorded with a 1/2" Studer reel to reel recorder running at 30ips. This audiophile disc was used as a reference by Michael Fremer of Analog Planet in testing various record mats. The album contains selections from composers and musicians that include Vivaldi, Mozart, Ellington, Rachmaninoff, Verdi, and more! 
 
"...the whole album is very impressive, with the combination of old and new technologies proving particularly effective at revealing timbre and reverberation, not to mention dynamics. I'm not generally a fan of audiophile recordings, but this one is so impressive that I have to make an exception." - Jason Kennedy, Hi-Fi Choice Magazine, rated 5 stars 
 
"Throughout, Valentine's obvious goal was to produce maximum natural spaciousness while preserving instrumental timbres as well as instrumental focus. The results are uniformly engaging, three-dimensional and natural..." - Michael Fremer, analogplanet.com 
 
About the Music: 
Side One: 
1. Chamber Orchestra: Vivaldi's Concerto for 2 Mandolins
In the early 1950's Decca engineers were experimenting with stereo recording techniques. Using 3 omni directional Neumann M50 microphones, their system became know as the "Decca Tree". The same "Decca Tree" has been used here to capture Vivaldi's wonderful composition. This approach also re-creates the warmth of the monastery were it was recorded in Venice. 
2. Cello Interior: Bach's Cello Suite No. 1
Interior: In an English church, 3 M50's were set up to record cellist Justin Pearson performing Bach's Prelude. Between the mic, a Jecklin Disc was placed. This increased the separation of the spaced pair. The acoustics of the church are wonderful! 
3. Cello Exterior: Bach's Cello Suite No. 1
The same microphones, performer, cello and the same piece of music... but this time recorded outside in the graveyard! How important are acoustics? What would it sound like to be able to remove the church from the last recording? Compare the tracks to hear for yourself the results of this interesting experiment! Which do you prefer? 
4. Brass Ensemble: Mouret's Rondeau
Mouret's Rondeau is performed here by 5 musicians which were spread uniformly across the stage. From left to right are a trumpet, french horn, bass trombone, trombone and cornet. In a recording studio each musician would probably have had their own microphone. Here the ensemble were captured in a real acoustic space using the "Decca Tree". 
5. Piano: Davidson's Improvisation
A piano has a very wide frequency response and here the recording has been closely miked it to bring out its detail and definition. The tracks begins with the opening chord being plucked by the pianist, Bruce Davidson. 
6. Jazz Group: Ellington's Caravan finale
One U47 in front of the trumpet and one for the electric bass. Two M50's over the drums and another for the piano. Perhaps a little like "Jazz At The Pawnshop"? Recorded live in a jazz club in Turkey. 
7. Orchestra: Verdi's Force of Destiny finale
The acoustics of any concert hall are obviously very important. The space used here uses a great sounding combination of wood and stone. A great performance by the Ljubljana International Orchestra. 
 
Side Two: 
1. Orchestra: Badelt's Pirates Of The Caribbean
Recorded in St. Johns Smith Square, London. A "Spaced Pair" of U47s were used as the main microphones to capture this exciting piece, performed by the Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra. 
2. Soprano: Mozart's Durch Zartlicheit & Schmeicheln
Rising star Daisy Brown, was recorded with a "Spaced Pair" of U47s set to omni directional. The natural acoustics really complement Daisy's beautiful voice. 
3. Saxophone: Graham's Improvisation
Written and performed by saxophonist David Graham. No artificial reverberation has been added to the recording. 
4. Chamber Orchestra: Sarasate's Tarantella
the "Decca Tree" has been used to record Sarasate's ravishing Tarantella. To reduce reflections form the windows in this venetian monastery, 6 mattresses have been added. Mush to the amusement of the musicians! The "Decca Tree" is wonderful at capturing the should of the music and just as importantly, the acoustic space. 
5. Harp: Falla's Spanish Dance No. 1
Fall's lyrical music is played here by the young harpist Valeria Kurbatova. The track was recorded with a half inch Studer, running at 30 inches per second. 50 year old mikes with a 25 year old recorder! 
6. Piano: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 finale
Rachmininoff's ubiquitous piano concerto is performed by the YMSO and the pianist Konstantinos Destounis, who is only 22 years old! A great finale to the album! 
 
"In creating this album I have combined 50 year old Neumann valve microphones with a high resolution Nagra digital recorder. The tracks were mastered at Air Studios in London by my cutting engineer John Webber. The final icing on the cake was to use state of the art cables from ZenSati, who supplied all of the cables used in the entire recording chain. I really hope you enjoy this LP." - Mike Valentine, producer/engineer 
 
 
Musicians: 
 
Interpreti Veneziani Chamber Orchestra (1A, 4B)
Justin Pearson, cello (2-3A)
Bruce Davidson, piano (5A)
Ljubljana International Orchestra (7A)
Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra (1B, 6B)
Daisy Brown, soprano (2B)
David Graham, saxophone (3B)
Valeria Kurbatova, harp (5B)
Konstantinos Destounis, piano (6B)
 
Selections:
Side One:
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
1. Concerto for 2 Mandolins
 
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
2. Cello Suite No 1 (Interior)
3. Cello Suite No 1 (Exterior)
 
Jean-Joseph Mouret (1682-1738)
4. Rondo
 
Bruce Davidson 
5. Improvisation
 
Duke Ellington (1899-1974)
6. Caravan - Finale
 
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
7. Force of Destiny - Finale
 
Side Two:
Klaus Badelt (1967)
1. Pirates of the Caribbean
 
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
2. Durch Zartlicheit & Schmeicheln
 
David Graham
3. Improvisation
 
Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908)
4. Tarantella
 
Manuel de Falla (1876-1946)
5. Spanish Dance No. 1
 
Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
6. Piano Concerto No.2 - Finale

 

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