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Monday, November 22, 2010

New & Exciting Latin Sounds - Manuel And His Strings

The Breeze And I
New & Exciting
Manuel And His Strings
MGM SE4029
1962

The 1962 October issue of Boys Life reviewed this album in a feature titled "Platter Chatter". They love the "...cleanest definition of instruments and the widest range of realism".

This album would be MGM's attempt to play catch up with trends that Enoch Light/Command had started in the early 60s. The jacket is a Command "styled" gatefold with the standard reams of copy covering the "21 Channel Sound" process and the song choices.

The album features light Latin pop and "ping pong" stereo effects (another trend Command started). The effect, on this album as on many other efforts of the day, is a tad annoying and pointless (as heard through headphones anyway). At the time, as you can tell from the Boy Scout review, the public was eating up all these sounds bouncing from one channel to another.

With that said, the engineering is excellent (as good as any Command record I've heard). The sound is "clean" and well defined. Interesting how MGM marketed the album as "21 Channel" when they were using two 12-channel mixers. They did, however, use 21 microphones.

2 comments:

  1. You are right! The "Ping Pong" is super obvious on here and just back & forth, back & forth! But the sound quality is great!

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  2. I take that 3 channels were used to funnel the 21 channels to the master recorders. I own this record.

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