Magic sprinkles

January 21, 2023
 by Paul McGowan

For those of you that have purchased and received a copy of The Art of HiFi Series: Bass, I wonder how many have noticed a touch of magic sprinkles I added to one of the tracks.

I am curious because what I did was a bit daring and out of the ordinary. Also, if your system isn’t set up for the best imaging, you won’t hear that sprinkle of magic.

I am referring to Track One, Erase Me, by Kaitlin Williams.

And I’ll even hint at where to look: listen to the chorus where the background singers chime in.

Interested to see how many folks catch what I did.

I love adding magic sprinkles.

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23 comments on “Magic sprinkles”

    1. The magic is in Sydney this evening, and there’s an old Scottish chap with a metal hip playing tennis in Melbourne. I saw Greg Chappell get 125no in a 50 over match at the Oval about 40 years ago, Smith did the same in 19. It’s easy to get stuck in the past, the world moves on and what was amazing in the past becomes quite ordinary.

  1. I guess Paul’s talking about getting a lot of the voices appearing to be near the seating position. In my room the voices appear to be coming from the left of my seating position (in addition to the main speakers). A bit like QSound.

  2. Well that was a dirty trick – get people to hunt for the needle in the haystack to entice them to buy the haystack. Nice try, Paul. But now I want to know whether there might be forthcoming albums by Kaitlin Williams and/or Kendrick Marvine – or the other artists for that matter? I’m just not a compilation kind of guy. By the way, I tried to hear the “sprinkle” on my new Mac studio monitor, didn’t get it (wasn’t surprised), but then when I read that @danofesherintheuk figured it out, I went back and CAN hear it on the Mac. No, I don’t suggest everyone sell their rigs and buy a Mac monitor, but it really does say something about what Apple is using! Can hear the lowest bass, too.

      1. Hah! Well, thanks. I hope you enjoy it. It was a ton of fun making it and for me, Track 3, Ken Mervine’s organ piece cranked up to a high level is worth the whole journey. It’s one of those fun pieces I cannot help but play for people just to watch the smile n their face.

    1. The free audition files we provide are good enough to hear what I mention, as you discovered, so no one is being enticed to buy. I really don’t want folks buying just because. They should buy because it’s something they want both musically and sonically.

      I get that some don’t want compilations. I’d love to do a complete Kaitlin Williams album and maybe someday we can. Ken is so good! Our problem with him is finding a venue where he can shine., The synagogue where we recorded those tracks wasn’t keen on us playing certain music that didn’t fit their beliefs and venue. The other church we’d love to record at doesn’t want it used for commercial purposes.

      1. I’m ordering the Octave Bass CD that includes the synagogue organ piece. At the West London Synagogue I without thinking majestically played a few bars of “Onward Christian Soldiers” on the big Harrison and Harrison pipe organ and got ribbed by my fellow organists for my insensivity. Three-quarters of Bach’s compositions, including very popular ones, were written for Christian church services, yet few people shun his work because of it. And tunes like “Amazing Grace” make for interesting improvizations.

  3. My SACD is still on its way to me – I look forward to checking it out.
    And as a bassist of over 50 years, I can’t wait to hear the entire thing!
    BTW, do you have any of Cameron Carpenter’s music? The guy can play.

    1. Mine has been ordered (18th), but has not yet shipped!

      Like Tom, I was a bassist (just in college for a year), performing with the Chackbay Philharmonic (local university joke…story another day). My setup often displays recorded “magic sprinkles” that are hard left/right head turners…will be interesting to hear this Paul, will respond as soon as the “Art of HiFi Volume 01: Bass” is up and running!

  4. The effect, which I love, is similar to what David Chesky is doing these days with what he calls “Mega-Dimensional Sound™.” Because the 3D spatial plugins are pretty common in DAW mixing systems these days, I hear it done pretty often on pop and hip-hop albums. In the purist, audiophile world, I’ve heard the effect happen with Calrec Soundfield mics. I wish more audiophile-worthy albums used these “fairy dust” tricks.

    1. Therein lies the conflict with such effects. The purist says they are not realistic but by using them you play to the strengths of your home system as you are more likely to notice and appreciate them than you would do at a live gig. I’d say use them. A case of realism versus entertainment but, depending on the content, it’s possible for both to hit the mark.

  5. A great track with 3D effects is Fever by Ray Charles and Natalie Cole (on the Ray Charles album Genius Loves Company) – superb recording.

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