Mudcat Café message #1678623 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #89103   Message #1678623
Posted By: Jerry Rasmussen
25-Feb-06 - 12:56 PM
Thread Name: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
Speaking of fidelity,(high, not in-) I've been thinking how accustomed we've become to 18 track, digital studio recordings. I just put together a CD of old tapes, so that's been on my mind. For awhile, I was feeling kinda sheepish about the whole project because the sound of the tapes isn't nearly up to the standards of contemporary studio recordings. Felt kinda embarassed about it. And then I began thinking, "This is pretty stupid!" I came to love folk music through old monaural records recorded on primitive equipment which were reissued on pretty low-fi record albums. I didn't crinkle my nose when I heard Charlie Poole sounding like he was singing up through a man hole cover. Or The Carter Family records sounding like they'd been kept in a kitty litter box.

So, I've decided that rather than call the songs I burned to CD "home recordings" which sounds highly amateurish, I'll refer to them as "field recordings." After all, there's a field not far from here. Field recordings sounds all scholarly and important. Home recordings sounds like you used crummy equipment because you didn't have the money to go in a studio. True enough, of course.

For us folk-type people, the song's the thing. I love the crisp sound of a contemporary studio recording, but I'm not about to diminish the old tapes and earlier recordings as being somehow less valueable. They are what they are.

Besides, most field recordings weren't even recorded in a field.