Friday, February 13, 2009

by Paul the Stockman

Glen Tomasetti "Folk Songs with Guitar" LP 1963





















Glen (Glenys Ann) Tomasetti (1929-2003) was a well-known folk singer, author, actor, and left-leaning activist born and based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She was a prominent Melbourne folk singer and organiser in the 1950s and 1960s. She produced several albums and it seems that not one of her tracks has ever made it to CD and her old LPs never seem to be available.
I recently found a rip of this 1963 LP. The MP3 files were at 320kbs CBR in stereo format. In fact, the tracks were probably originally encoded at about 192kbs in mono and later meaninglessly converted to 320 stereo. I have managed to clean up some problems with the tracks and have recoded them at 192 VBR mono. The results are quite good.
On this LP, Tomasetti presents quite a varied range of folk songs from around the world including some excellent folk rarities. I have been startled by how many are completely new to me.

Track List
1. Can Ye Sew Cushions (Scottish Cradle Song)
2. Alberta (American Blues)
3. Banks of the Condamine (Traditional Australian)
4. To Tsompanopoulo (Greek - The Shepherd Boy)
5. Edmund in the Lowlands (American Appalachian collection)
6. Perrine Etait Servante (French)
7. A Bold Young Farmer (English)
8. The Bonny Earl O' Moray (Scottish)
9. The Keys of Canterbury (English)
10. When I was Single (American)
11. Greensleeves (English)
12. Home Came the Old Man (variant of 5 or 7 nights drunk)
13. Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier (American)
14. The Wild Colonial Boy (Australian)
15. The Awful Wedding (American Appalachian collection)


Australian Folk and Bush Music and Musicians

8 Comments:

Blogger Ben Marriage said...

Thanks for sharing your passion.

When you write this : "The MP3 files were at 320kbs CBR in stereo format. In fact, the tracks were probably originally encoded at about 192kbs in mono and later meaninglessly converted to 320 stereo."

How did you find out about this?
Perhaps it sounded mono anyway but the 320/192kbps difference???
I'd love to be able to tell when this is the case with an mp3.....Although, i am puzzled as to how it would possible (unless the source sounded like a badly aliased 128 kbps then meaninglessly bumped up to 320kbps to look good on spec).....Just curious.

Anyway BIG thanks for the sharing (and sorry for the geeky question).

Ben.

14 February, 2009 06:02  
Blogger Paul the Stockman said...

Hello Ben,
It's an estimate from editing experience. If it was an "original" 320kbs then I would probably have been able to do a wide range of editing tasks. I could not but I could still do some cleaning up and, the extent to which I could do so, was typical of a 192kbs file. Any lower than that, any attempt at editing the files will quickly lead to suicidal tendencies.
If I had not attempted to edit these 320kbs files, I would not have had the slightest idea that they were not expanded MP3 files.
On simple tracks like on this LP, I suspect that no one, simply by listening, could tell the difference between a 160 and a 320 encoding. Perhaps it might be possible with some of those very best hi-fidelity LPs but I've never found a folk album of that type so I'll leave that question to someone else. It's for this reason that I rarely present my rips at greater than 192-224 VBR and usually they come in at the lower end of that range because of their sound simplicity.
As to the "mono-stereo" issue - Lots of old, so-called "stereo" LPs
were really mono and the term "stereo" was little more than an indication that the LP would play on stereo players without causing damage. Regardless if "stereo" is claimed then I rip and encode to "stereo".
This LP, though, specified that it was "mono" (see the slip graphics)so encoding it to stereo doubles the size of the MP3 file for no gain at all. You can, of course, use an encoding protocol like Lame to convert a mono file to a pseudo stereo MP3 file but I don't do it.
I have heard some theories about how to detect if an MP3 file has been recoded upwards to 320kbs by technical analysis but I think they are based on CD rips where the difference in quality may be far more readily detectable. Also there is definitely a good case for encoding CD rips at 320kbs as you are generally dealing with a far superior sound quality in the first place.

14 February, 2009 19:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this, it's lovely - if you find any more of her stuff, please post it!

15 February, 2009 09:00  
Blogger klf said...

Just wondering why you'd do a *3rd* lossy pass on these files? Original compression to 192, then further information loss in the conversion to 320, then yet more information loss in your conversion to vbr. Just wondering what the point was besides the obvious size reduction?

17 February, 2009 21:37  
Blogger Paul the Stockman said...

The whole point is the very substantial size reduction. (118Mb to under 30Mb). I neither make nor imply any other benefit!

Yes, this reduction had to be balanced against the "lossy" factor. But, this music is basic, simple mono tracks from an old LP with no pass below 192kbs so it's not really a problem.

18 February, 2009 19:13  
Blogger Paul the Stockman said...

Oh, I should also have mentioned that I had to edit the tracks to remove a fair degree of "rubbish" and this forces to recoding anyway.

18 February, 2009 19:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting. Very nice.

Nick

19 February, 2009 05:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting. Very nice.

Nick

19 February, 2009 05:51  

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