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The ultimate ear wake-up call...


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Hey all,

 

I lived 30+ years before I really experienced stereo. Before then it was just two speakers or a generic term for a home audio system. Now and then I bring up this track to give my ears a wake-up call.

 

Are you ready?

 

It's Madonna's "Lucky Star"...

 

Maybe it's the keyboard player in me, but if you play that track in front a decent set of NFMs in a good room you're in for a treat.

 

It's full of punchy synth bass, aggressive synth brass stabs that fly across the speakers, and during the breaks, it feels like the sounds are literally behind you. It's a stereo masterpiece.

 

After listening to this track it's like my ears are sensitized to details that I missed before. It's like a steroid shot or B12 shot to my ear canals.

 

I have plenty of reference tracks I listen to for inspiration, but when it comes to stereo sensitivity, I've found nothing better.

 

Give it a whirl if you haven't listened to it before (or recently).

 

Todd

Sundown

 

Just finished: The Jupiter Bluff

Working on: Driven Away

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

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There are a lot of Madonna tracks with excellent production, on all levels. "Open Your Heart" always got to me, I'd love to do a cover of it someday. I also think the "Ray of Light" album is pretty amazing.

 

It's too bad she's sort of fallen out of fashion, I think she probably has some good music left in her.

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There are a lot of Madonna tracks with excellent production, on all levels. "Open Your Heart" always got to me, I'd love to do a cover of it someday. I also think the "Ray of Light" album is pretty amazing.

 

 

Indeed... I've been listening to Madonna, Like a Virgin, and True Blue on my NFMs and the stereo work, clarity, and instrument placement are just stunning. In a treated room those records come alive.

 

Ray of Light is also a great album. "To Have and Not to Hold" is one of my favorite tracks. "Little Star" is great too.

 

There are a lot of great contributors to her work, but I especially like Patrick Leonard. I love his solo instrumental album (Rivers).

Sundown

 

Just finished: The Jupiter Bluff

Working on: Driven Away

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

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I think Madonna is an adequate singer, not great, but not bad either. On the other hand I think both the production of her recordings AND her business management are absolutely stellar.

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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I think Madonna is an adequate singer, not great, but not bad either. On the other hand I think both the production of her recordings AND her business management are absolutely stellar.

 

Yeah, I would agree. My wife has a good ear and she said the same (about her voice).

 

But Man, oh Man, the early/mid 80's mixes are just spectacular. There is so much happening yet it doesn't clash at all. You can collapse the stereo mix to mono and it still sounds rich and fantastic.

 

It's like being at a cocktail party. There's action over here, action over there, yet there's plenty of room to walk around and mingle.

 

Todd

Sundown

 

Just finished: The Jupiter Bluff

Working on: Driven Away

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

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<...snip...>. My wife has a good ear and she said the same (about her voice).<...>

For me it's not so much her voice, but the tiny details that an accomplished singer embellishes a melody with, timing, phrasing, creative pitch control, vibrato (not one speed/intensity for everything but what is appropriate to each note), dynamics, and a zillion other subtle nuances. The art is in the details.

 

This is not to be misunderstood as being critical. The recordings are good, and they are successful. But as an adequate singer myself, who is in a band with a fantastic singer, and also critically listens to great singers if I don't evaluate what is good and better about other singers, I would have no reference to improve my own singing.

 

She has had a long, successful career and is making the absolute best of what she has.

 

My first voice is my saxophone, and I wish I could sing as well as I play sax, but I don't think I have the physical equipment for that.

 

Insights and incites by Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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