Tape Project Albums > Heart Like a Wheel

Breaking our own rule

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John Beach:
I'm new at this so please bear with me. I thought when we met at the studio on October 24th that we listened to Paul's master copy of "Heart Like A Wheel". Wasn't that a useful demonstration of the quality of the tape? Like I said, I'm new at this so if I'm confused on this issue, forgive me.
John Beach


--- Quote from: High and Outside on January 26, 2010, 09:55:42 PM ---
--- Quote from: jcmusic on January 26, 2010, 08:19:03 PM ---
I don't like being the first to make a comment on this but...


--- End quote ---


Once you get your copy and listen to it, if you aren't happy with it get hold of Eileen and we'll arrange for you to return it and make an adjustment.

--- End quote ---
This is not the response I was looking for or expecting, just the same my response is the same. Paul my comments are not about how the tape sounds or may sound, my feelings on this are about notification!!! When it comes to my audio I do not like the unexpected surprize!!! If told up front I have no problem with what needed to be done, I am saying that if it is not going to be what I signed up for just let me know ahead of time!!!

I do happen to feel that you and the rest of the TP personel know more about what you're doing than I, so I do trust that you did the right thing or what ever had to be done in order to satisfiy all parties concerned. Just don't mislead me or say it is this when it is that!!! I also realize that you didn't know until later about the original master tape, so this is more of a if there is ever a next time situation I hope you understand!!!


I'm glad to have heard this story, and I don't think Paul, Michael and Dan are putting out Heart Like a Wheel on the TP in order to make a ton of money, but because they believe in the music and the recording. I've heard a demo tape at the studio as well and it sounded fantastic. One wonders how the original master of a seminal recording like this goes missing, and I also wonder what was used as the source for the audiophile LP edition of Heart Like a Wheel that came out a while back.....hmmmm. Maybe Linda has the master locked away herself - or Peter Asher.

Mine is supposed to arrive today. Eagerly awaited. The full disclosure is appreciated. 

Copy the Ronstadt "flat copy" digitally at 32bit/352.8kHz, then generate the TP tapes from the digital file.  The number of tape generations would then remain the same as the other titles.  Blasphemy?   

When Paul picked up the first copy he mastered a couple of tracks to 1" and sent 1/4" real time dubs of them to me for eval - the exact process we use to make subscriber albums. I had a clean original vinyl pressing available (actually a couple), so I could make a comparison. For what it's worth I thought it was good but I didn't think the tape sounded that much better than the LP and we usually experience a pretty dramatic difference when making this comparison. Paul was feeling the same way about it, so he decided to pursue a better tape, which took some time and is why the TP-011 is shipping after TP-012 and TP-013. For me the second tape Paul mastered is quite superior to the vinyl and to the first tape.

As an interesting aside, I experienced the same kind of thing with the cover art. No one saved original cover art in those days, so I often use high res scans or photos of original album jackets. The first jacket I bought was pretty clean, but I soon realized that it was printed very dark compared to most images I had seen. The subtle hair highlights and delicate skin shading of the Rembrandt lighting in the cover photo were not like what I had seen on other jackets. Luckily Shawn happened to have a clean jacket with the original shrink on it and we used that cover print with better tonal balance to take a second whack at our cover art.

I'm not particularly trying to sell anyone anything here, I just want to point out that a lot of the processes we deal with in producing these tapes require judgment calls based upon evaluation and experience. Though that aspect of the process may not appear that important compared to what might seem to be clear cut audiophile selection criteria like "original master" (which is not always that clearly cut) or "produced by Rudy Van Gelder" or "recorded by Keith Johnson", in fact creative decisions are the heart of this whole venture, from choices of titles to choices in duplicating procedures, electronics, tape stock, packaging, and of course the sonics. We're going to do our best work when we have some creative leeway during the process, and hopefully that is what will best serve the subscribers and their investment.


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