Bad or mediocre recordings. Are you forgiving?

I tend not to. Even if the artist is quite a favourite I find myself so much displeased that I will avoid that album.

Sometimes it’s no depth, just flat. Sometimes a recording almost too good but never compensated that you literally hear the artist stepping on the squeaking studio floor or moving their asses on the piano stool. Way too present. Then there are almost agreeable takes but the instruments just don’t shine, seem dull or damped. The equivalent of looking through dirty glasses.

This does not apply to a certain age of a recording. There are fantastic from the fifties and lousy young ones.

So even if I like the genre, the concert or the artist very much - I am gone. Not my piece of cake. Yours?

Example for a bad one. Loved it in my youth. Almost makes me fall asleep just for the dull and half assed recording now. Such a disappointment today. Just for the audio quality.

Too much squeaking floor here. Love the voice. Not the recording engineer.

Great stuff from the fifties :heart_eyes:

I’m biased (since I’m a recording & mixing engineer) - but my key test when I’m mixing something is can I enjoy the track without anything in the recording / mix stopping me focussing on the playing and the music.

Recordings where I can’t clearly hear the musicians playing; something is suddenly too loud; the balance is wrong, or there is a distracting noice do spoil my enjoyment.

In contrast, classic recordings where all the above is right - but there is some tape hiss - or some loss of top / bottom from the recording technology aren’t a problem for me - at least up to a limit (I find unreprocessed 78s hard work).


As a counter example, try Bird on 52nd Street. Horrible recording, but Parker’s performance makes it a very worthwhile listen.

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I think, for me, it depends on the performance and what I want out of it. I searched high and low for a good classical recording becaus e I wanted to hear a “clean” representation of it. But I can forgive some “live” and even some studio recordings if there performance is very good. Or in the case of a Jimmy Hendrix album I have, the groupies talking and giggling in the back ground make it an interesting “Experience”… :slight_smile:

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Will do. :face_with_monocle:

For me the music is more important than the quality of the recording. If the music is great that’s all that matters. My Robert Johnson recordings are terrible due to the early recording nature but that does not stop me listening to them as the music and voice are the important things. To me the attitude to dismiss recordings because you deem them less worthy is as bad as just obsessing and listening to the Hifi and not the music.

That said if there is a better recording master available then it seems logical to try and acquire that if you can but it should never stop one from listening to an artist or album if you can’t.


No doubt this is well intended, but seems a bit extreme to me.

There is a range of recording quality from near-perfect to unlistenable


A range of tolerance among people to different recording quality issues

As an example, I can easily listen through noise and poor mic placement issues, but find pumping and some other anomalies too distracting.

Tough stuff :scream:

“For true Charlie Parker completists only.” - very true

I really liked Joy Crookes album Skin when I heard the singles on the radio so bought the C.D.
The album is just recorded hard against the stops and is just horrible to listen to on my system, no dynamic range as it is just loud all the time, very tiring. Total waste of talent due to the useless noise wars .

That’s fair. The first two songs, in particular, are in pretty terrible shape.

I’m pretty tolerant up to a point where the quality is so bad I can’t focus on the music. How much I like a particular performance is a factor as well (more tolerant if I really love the performance). Certainly that line will be different for everyone.

I have listened to a lot of audience recordings because it is what I’ve had access to.

I’m pretty forgiving of bad audio quality.

I’m far less forgiving of a poor live performance.