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SoundStage! Update

An Artisan Recording

February 1, 2007

The artisan ethic is alive and well in high-end audio, where hand-made, high-performance speakers and electronics are abundant. A new recording follows this same path. Recorded by ex-Atlantic Records engineer Barry Diament, Work of Art's Lift [Soundkeeper Recordings SR1001] was laid direct to hard disk in single takes, "in a church deep in the woods of upstate New York," according to Diament. "There were no overdubs or mixes -- all [takes] were actually performed for the microphone array (and the listener)."

Many mass-produced recordings are made with care that leads to better sound, but Lift is set apart from these by being offered in three different formats. There is the mass-produced CD ($15 plus shipping), for which Diament "worked with the plant to ensure the glass master was cut at 1x (i.e., in real time) and not the 2x or 4x more common today. Injection molding was done with 9-second cycles instead of the 4 seconds more commonly used today. This all resulted in pressings that, for the first time in my experience, sound very much like the original master from which they were made." There is also an optional slow-burned, one-off CD-R ($20) created directly from the hard-disk CD master. The first 50 CD-Rs also have artwork autographed by the artist.

The pièce de résistance is the slow-burned, one-off DVD-R ($30), also with autographed artwork. According to Diament, "The DVD-R features 24-bit, 96kHz-sampled audio for a significant step up from the CD in sound quality, and it reflects the high-resolution format of the original recording."

You can sample Lift and order it in any of the three formats directly from the Soundkeeper Recordings website: www.soundkeeperrecordings.com. Tell Barry SoundStage! sent you....Marc Mickelson, editor@soundstage.com

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