Acoustic Sounds

Features: Interviews

(I conducted this interview with the great Steve Albini way back in 1993, before MP3, before the iPod, back when all but a few outspoken critics like Albini, Neil Young and a few others had anything negative to say about the digital recording revolution. Albini died today at age 61 from a heart attack at his Electrical Audio studio in Chicago. It's fascinating to read Albini's thoughts from back then today. He was right on target then and now, but of course... Read More

I once had an Uncle Louis, who as far as I know, I’d only met as an infant. He and my dad had a complicated relationship and, unfortunately, over the years they drifted apart. Louis died unexpectedly sometime in the 1990s; I don’t think my father ever made peace with the estrangement. Though I have no personal memory of Uncle Louis, I do have some interesting familial folklore.My dad used to tell a story about Louis moving from NJ to Las Vegas during the late... Read More

Had it not been for Paul McCartney’s drug bust, all four Beatles might have been together in the studio for the first time since the group broke up, recording engineer Bill Schnee recounts in this interview, referring to his time recording Ringo the Beatles drummer’s third solo album and first rocker following albums of standards (Sentimental Journey) and C&W (Beaucoups of Blues).If you’re familiar with Ringo you know it’s a spectacularly large, generous sounding... Read More

Mastering engineer Chris Bellman has an impressive catalog of records he's mastered over the decades working at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood California. Bellman regularly cuts records for Neil Young among many other recording greats. Bellman talks about cutting Tom Petty's "Wildflowers" from analog tape for the first time and discusses with me general cutting issues such as sibilants and how he deals with them. The two discuss the great... Read More

(This Interview originally appeared in Volume 3 #1, issue 11, Spring 1997 of The Tracking Angle magazine).The goodies were stacked on a big table in the corner of the stars' dressing room: an industrial size sack of M&M Peanuts, big bags of Herr's tortilla and potato chips, a jar of Pace brand Thick and Chunky Salsa, fresh fruit, a ten pack of Kellogg's cereals, a plate of muffins, a cheese, tomato and deli platter, jars of Hellman's mayonnaise... Read More

The holidays are over and a new year has begun. As we kick off another year, music aficionados turn their attention to the first big event of the new year: the Grammy awards which take place on February 4th. Awards are important, it’s an appropriate opportunity to give accolades to all of the nominees, whether they win, or not. It’s also an exciting chance to cheer on those who were associated with your favorite musical projects of the past year. Hey, if you’re not a... Read More

It’s all fine and good to engage in passionate discourse about the importance of vinyl records and how best to preserve that believed golden format of recorded audio. But, that noble and idyllic vision has a common sense snag: what do you do with all that stuff? Recall the times you’ve uncomfortably crouched before a cardboard box of records at a garage sale, think about the moldy Reader’s Digest box sets you’ve avoided at your favorite charity shop. For just a... Read More

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes "look" at the creation of Steely Dan's classic Aja album with Donald Fagen and award winning recording engineer Bill Schnee and mastering engineer great Bernie Grundman in conversation with Tracking Angle's Fred Kaplan and Analogue Productions' own Chad Kassem. Read More

Record Store Day - Black Friday Edition - is here and this year ORG Music has two interesting releases in store for listeners. The first release finds David Grisman & Jerry Garcia taking an interlude into jazzy territory on the reissue of So What on a two-disc vinyl set. The album - recorded in the early 90s, but released in 1998 - has never seen a vinyl release until now. The second release ORG offers is Creative Improvisation Ensemble by Marion Brown & Leo... Read More

Atlantic Records Chairman and CEO Craig Kallman and Tracking Angle editor Michael Fremer discuss Atlantic Records' 75th anniversary celebration, the storied label's history, the vinyl records resurgence, Kallman's rise to become Chairman and more in this exclusive half-hour interview conducted in Kallman's Manhattan listening room November 17th, 2023. Read More

Tracking Angle writers Mark Ward and Michael Johnson sit down to discuss their collecting history with the storied German label, and the advent of the new "Original Source" series cut by Emil Berliner Studios. Filmed in late July, look for the follow up to this conversation in Michael's review of the second batch of Original Source titles. . Read More

When we listen, what are we really hearing? Are we transfixed on the mastering, the quality of the vinyl, the hardware we’re using? Or, perhaps we are merely listening to the sound and skill that the musicians are creating as a group? The truth is we’re listening to all of those things, but there is one element that we often tend to forget about and it reminds me of the old adage, if a tree falls in the woods - and there’s no one there to witness the event - does it... Read More

Looking to get away from the same old, same old? Yearning for a new view? Perhaps you’ve got a hankering for some exotic spices that you’ve never tasted before. Well, you could zip around the internet and book a trip to a distant and far-off locale. Or, you could simply broaden your musical horizons by buying something new for your turntable that has the ability to transport you to a place - or time - that you’ve never visited. After all, what starts as simply a... Read More

At every AXPONA Cool Cleveland's Thomas Mulready asks attendees a question about the show. This year he asked about "diversity" in the audio industry. I thought it was a legitimate question and answered it earnestly and honestly as you'll see in this video, but many of his YouTube followers thought otherwise. Thomas's circling video shoot style might make you dizzy!

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The vinyl resurgence has thankfully brought with it many years of necessary and important reissues. However, it has also presented label owners with a challenge: that is, they must continually unearth high-quality music in need of a fresh remaster. They must also have the attention of the eager ears of the modern record-buying public. While some releases are wholly familiar to music lovers - even if they weren’t well-received upon their original release - other... Read More

I interviewed Peter Frampton via ZOOM about his newest project, a recently announced 3 LP box set (as well as on SACD) to be released by Intervention Records, cut by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering from analog tape. The 3 records can be described as a "donut hole" solo period for the guitarist/singer-songwriter.He'd been in Humble Pie with Steve Marriott, but left to start a solo career. Eventually it paid off hugely with "Comes... Read More