“ singer/songwriter at its finest. Randy writes catchy tunes that, when you listen, are not your typical fluff but offer meanings that can give you pause to think " ... " There are only a handful of singer/songwriters that I can think of that reach this lofty plateau”
Aural Musings 12/11/2014
John M. Crossett III
Thanks to my good friend Brad Leese of Austin Media Slingers, I now have both the Redbook CD and a one-off DVD-A 24/96 burn of Randy Palmer's debut album "Waterline." Why is this of interest over and above the music? Because both were mastered by Jerry Tubb of Terra Nova Mastering, thus allowing me to hear (with no question about differing mastering processes) just what the added resolution of the DVD-A disc offers over the Redbook CD and why high-resolution is a coming force in the audio marketplace as listeners begin to realize what has been lost with not only CD but even more so with MP3.
I'll begin, however, with Randy's music, which is singer/songwriter at its finest. Randy writes catchy tunes that, when you listen, are not your typical fluff but offer meanings that can give you pause to think (try it sometime - you may be surprised what your brain is capable of). There are only a handful of singer/songwriters that I can think of that reach this lofty plateau. Right from the start, with the title cut, Randy shows his worth, The chorus begins "Come stand next to me, from here what do you see? / Is there a future or are we captives of the past?" Think about what he's saying. Think how this simple question is one that we should be asking not only of ourselves but with our significant other too - and how do we make sure we both have a future together, but a bright one and not one caught in the tangled web of past mis-steps. The remaining nine songs are of equally good quality.
And speaking of quality, the sound given this wonderful tunes by Merel Bregante at Cribworks Digital is top quality. Merel has some of the best ears for a recording engineer I've heard (and not just because he is a musician himself, but because he genuinely cares about what he's hearing and how that sound is captured by his mikes and equipment). Even the CD offers a sense of full sound to each of the acoustic instruments on this album. But when I slipped the DVD-A in to the Pioneer DV-79AVi, well, let's just say things improved - dramatically. Suddenly I felt more in the presence of the artists as they recorded this disc. Randy's voice had more sense of liveness and realness. The instruments were fuller, with transients and dynamics that sounded more like live music than canned. The sense of the recording acoustic was palpable. And since what I was comparing came from the same hand, I could chalk the improvements I was hearing up to the added resolution of the 24/96 DVD-A versus the CD. (And just imagine what a true 24/192 disc would offer?) This comparison really nailed down my firm belief that until you hear music as it was captured, you're missing out.
So, thank you Randy Palmer for creating such an enjoyable and musically satisfying disc. Thank you Merel Bregante for capturing the sound so wonderfully. Thank you Jerry Tubb for the opportunity to compare music in 16/44 versus 24/96 mastered exactly the same. And finally, thank you Brad Leese for sending these my way.
And Randy, please don't stop with this recording. I want more.....