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Pepper's Ghost, what's it about?

Started by king16, Tue, 2005-02-01, 17:41:57

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king16

I bought this album last week and listened to it a couple of times and really love it. Well that said, I'm looking for the meaning behind the albumtitle...

What's the meaning behind "Pepper's Ghost"?

And is the comic partly based on the lyrics or the otherway around?

Sorry, if this is in the wrong 'section' of this forum...  ;D
No-one leaves you when you live in their Heart and Mind...

CygnusX1


king16

Thank you very much for the link, I'm going to read it now giving it enough time to really kick in  ;D
No-one leaves you when you live in their Heart and Mind...

Dude

#3
There's a book about magicians by Werner Waldmann, that also tells about the ghost-illusion by Henry Pepper. But according to Waldmann, it was a Dutchman named Dunkell, who brought this illusion on stage for the first time (in Paris).

The book also features an illustration that shows how it was done:

The audience not only sees the actor on the scarcely lit stage, but also the man in a ghost-costume who's lit by a powerfull gas-lantern.

I'm sure Clive did his homework well, and that Pepper was indeed the inventor of this trick and Dunkell just stole it from him, but if not... then the new Arena should be retitled 'Dunkell's Ghost'! ;)

gelert

Pepper's Dunghill...shurely shome mishtake...?

BTW, I've always known this illusion as "Pepper's Ghost"...but that'll be too much watching TV...  ::)
Internationally Affiliated Member of the Federated Union of Conundrums, Kudos, & Eccentric Dialogue, featuring the Scantily Clad Radii Of The Ubiquitous Meniscus - our motto "Time flies like an arrow - fruit flies like a banana"

ferrum

Ivé listened to this album now for two weeks now and - as always - the music really grabs me. It takes a few sessions to get deep into, and thats a good thing by me. Good stories and performancies.

I fail to hear the good sound mentioned by some here. To me its lacking almost all life and impact stripping emotion away from the music. The drums in particular sounds " dead", muted and lifeless. No illusion of a real drummer anywhere.

I bought a few Tool & A perfect circle albums at the same time as PG and they are so much better soundwise. The music is fine but maybe not in PG class, but the sound guys. The sound. So much more life, expression and impact.

I have these Cd´s both in my car and in my home stereo and its sadly the same story at both places.

Please remember I still love the music but it could have been so much better.
Sorry.

Michael

Peter

#6
Quote from: ferrum on Tue, 2005-03-08, 21:29:25
I fail to hear the good sound mentioned by some here. To me its lacking almost all life and impact stripping emotion away from the music. The drums in particular sounds " dead", muted and lifeless. No illusion of a real drummer anywhere.

I believe, the phenomenon you're talking about is called "Loudness Race", which describes that recording or mastering engineers kind of 'squash' the sound by raising all volume levels to the possible max and putting the tracks through a compressor (not to be confused with psychoacoustic compression like mp3), which in the end takes away all dynamics that once might have been there.

A few links on this:
http://www.digido.com/portal/pmodule_id=11/pmdmode=fullscreen/pageadder_page_id=93/
http://www.prorec.com/prorec/articles.nsf/articles/8A133F52D0FD71AB86256C2E005DAF1C
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?act=ST&f=1&t=17903

A very good site with listening examples was www.loudnessrace.net, but it seems to have gone offline. digido.com though has some interesting articles on the overcompression thing.
Arriving somewhere, but not here....

ferrum

#7
Peter

I think so to, at least its part of the answer. But its also a choise you do while recording with hard eq on certain intruments and lots of use of limiters.

Sorry that the label is joiyning this loudness race with the mastering of this album. I feel sorry for the band. So much effort and almost all emotion is lost.

again, compare with the "Perfect circle albums" and hear how much more rock´n´roll the sound is communicating.

Sorry for posting this in the wrong tread.

Michael

Peter

#8
Well, ferrum,

I myself am not that much an audiophile to join in on this, really. I like the album a lot, I often hear it on my mp3 player while riding the bike: no problems for me here. I even find the sound quite good, especially drums, they sound very firm and crispy, if that's a good word for describing sound...
Arriving somewhere, but not here....

Simtere

I tend to agree with Peter's view above.   My ears are so shot after years of listening to the likes of Motorhead that I cannot distinguish the level of subtlety being talked about above.  I've even sat in a studio before watching things being tweaked for a better sound and quite frankly even when it was explained to me what the change was set to achieve I could not tell the difference.

That said I know what I like and Pepper's Ghost sure as hell works for me!  ;D

Moonloop

Quote from: Simtere on Thu, 2005-03-10, 15:14:44
My ears are so shot after years of listening to the likes of Motorhead

You sound like me..!! Way too many gigs and rock clubs in my (ahem) younger years have left me with quite bad tinitus  :( . Haven't been to a gig now in over 7 years because of it  :o .

The brainwashed do not know that they are brainwashed...

Peter

In a direct comparison, I'd say, that PG is not at all overcompressed. Whereas Nightwish's 'Once' (which I'm listening to atm) clearly IS.
Arriving somewhere, but not here....

gelert

When "Contagion" first came out, I found it totally unlistenable...

Everything "sounded" flat to me...where were the dynamics, I kept asking myself...?

This was in a period when I was suffering from "work-related stress" and was taking Seroxat...

Since then (I'm "cured", BTW...!), I've "rediscovered" Contagion...and it sounds like a COMPLETELY different album to the one that I originally "remember" hearing...


I'm NOT suggesting that everybody is "stressed"....

But I am suggesting that hearing is as dependant on a 'state-of-mind', as the quality of the mix is through the quality of your stereo....and before my "episode", I'd NEVER appreciated this....nor had I ever been in a position before, to do an A-B comparison (Thank F*CK...!)



As for compression, check-out the flat dynamics of an original 70's Genesis vinyl - and then compare to a re-mastered CD...


You'll be shocked, I guarantee...


But then, all of our "expectations" have leapt exponentially...


IMHO, Nightwish "Once" is a very 'loud' mix, but still retains IMPORTANT dynamics...thanks to magic-dust acoustic treatment of the orchestra...
The guitars are artificially high, and excessively...nay brilliantly compressed...
But then, that's the Nightwish sound...

And with the benefit (?!) of my previous medical condition, plus a £5K+ sound-system (still in glorious stereo - none of that high-faluting 4/5/6:1/2/3 here, m'lad...!), I'm ENJOYING the hard-work still....

Fortunately, these days, the work is being done by others....

Doubly enjoyable....!  :)
Internationally Affiliated Member of the Federated Union of Conundrums, Kudos, & Eccentric Dialogue, featuring the Scantily Clad Radii Of The Ubiquitous Meniscus - our motto "Time flies like an arrow - fruit flies like a banana"

Peter

Quote from: gelert on Tue, 2005-03-15, 17:50:21
IMHO, Nightwish "Once" is a very 'loud' mix, but still retains IMPORTANT dynamics...thanks to magic-dust acoustic treatment of the orchestra... The guitars are artificially high, and excessively...nay brilliantly compressed...
But then, that's the Nightwish sound...

Maybe, gelert, but what good is that for? Just take a really excellently mastered album, like Yes' 91025 (in my opinion). Although it's not mastered to the hilt, I can still hear it as loud as I want. And not a single clipping in sight...
Or "The Crash Test Dummies - God Shuffled His Feet", jeez what superb sound.
Arriving somewhere, but not here....

ferrum

Iagree that Contagion is a better sounding album than PG. I dont have the Nightwish album you are reffering to (only the former) so I cant comment on that.

I fear that PG story will end like Rush - Vapor trails. Collecting dust.. fantastic music but there are so much distorsion that its not possible to listen for more than one track at the time.  I end up chosing all other albums berfore VP meening I dont listen to it at all.
PG is very near that fate. I simply cannot emotionally connect to the music when its so dead and lifeless.

I will try 90125 tomorrow and comment.

Michael

Peter

Quote from: ferrum on Tue, 2005-03-15, 23:34:22
Iagree that Contagion is a better sounding album than PG. I dont have the Nightwish album you are reffering to (only the former) so I cant comment on that.

I fear that PG story will end like Rush - Vapor trails. Collecting dust.. fantastic music but there are so much distorsion that its not possible to listen for more than one track at the time.  I end up chosing all other albums berfore VP meening I dont listen to it at all.
PG is very near that fate. I simply cannot emotionally connect to the music when its so dead and lifeless.

I will try 90125 tomorrow and comment.

Michael

Sorry, 100% NACK.
PG is absolutely sounding a lot livelier than Contagion. I believe they put a good amount more effort in the mastering of that album. Would be good to hear Clive on that matter.
But that may again be my personal opinion. Hearing is still a very subjective thing, really...
Arriving somewhere, but not here....

kmorse

I'll second the notion that those '70s Genesis albums were so compressed. I had a bunch of dbx equipment I'd run them through and I still couldn't get them to sound like much.

I remember buying a Mobile Fidelity remastered version of "Trick of the Tail" and it sure sounded better. And the remastered CDs sound pretty good, too.
I'm falling.....Falling down again!

ferrum

Peter
Since English isnt my native language I dont know what nack is? Please explain.

Michael

Peter

Quote from: ferrum on Wed, 2005-03-16, 12:55:58
Peter
Since English isnt my native language I dont know what nack is? Please explain.

Michael
to ack something means to acknowledge/agree to something, nack is the negation. I meant, I don't agree that PG sounds worse than Contagion.

PS: English isn't my native language, either ;)
Arriving somewhere, but not here....

gelert

Quote from: Peter on Tue, 2005-03-15, 22:52:38
And not a single clipping in sight...

Ah...sounds like the slew-rate of your CD analogue outputs is suffering...

...or Pre-amp input stage...?

I hear the same effect on some of the other systems around the house.
Internationally Affiliated Member of the Federated Union of Conundrums, Kudos, & Eccentric Dialogue, featuring the Scantily Clad Radii Of The Ubiquitous Meniscus - our motto "Time flies like an arrow - fruit flies like a banana"

gelert

I do have one MAJOR complaint about Nightwish's "Once" (Platinum)....

You need a nightschool class in Origami, and a Masters Degree in Rubik's Cubery, in order to open / close the packaging....!


BTW...

Pepper's Ghost...

WTF is THAT all about, eh...?

;)
Internationally Affiliated Member of the Federated Union of Conundrums, Kudos, & Eccentric Dialogue, featuring the Scantily Clad Radii Of The Ubiquitous Meniscus - our motto "Time flies like an arrow - fruit flies like a banana"

ferrum

I must take back that Contagion  sounds better. It sounds very much the same but with a little more warmth on voice and keys.
Sorry I was a little to fast for my own good there.

90125 is indeed a lot better. Clarity is an order of a magnitud better, separation between instruments etc etc. Compression levels are - my guess - 10dB lower ;D ;D

Michael

Moonloop

Quote from: ferrum on Thu, 2005-03-17, 15:44:35

90125 is indeed a lot better. Clarity is an order of a magnitud better, separation between instruments etc etc. Compression levels are - my guess - 10dB lower ;D ;D

Well, you've convinced me  ;D
The brainwashed do not know that they are brainwashed...

Deenfan

Since we're already ridiculously off topic here, I thought I might follow up. It's been a while since this discussion, but I only saw it now. This is what I wrote on the subject you're talking about, and I paste from our website:

"While I’m fascinated with the production on some of the new stuff that’s coming out, I also wonder how long it’s gonna last. The peak level meters doesn’t bounce away like they used to. They just go right up to 0db, and stay there for the duration of the song. It’s got no pulse. It doesn’t breathe. It feels like it hits you right in the face, yet it’s dead.

Through the long hours down in WinterStudios, acting as co-producer, co-mixer and sole engineer, my goal was landing somewhere in the middle of the modern and the classic."

The whole "essay" can be found here: http://www.winterstrain.com/html/music.html

I'm not trying to be an oracle. Just voicing my thoughts and my philosophy. But it's a hard road, trying to keep that old vibe in the sound. The kids are used to a crushing wall of sound and everything else sounds weak.

Guess I'm getting old... proudly! :)

Peter

Would be really good if more people were thinking that way, especially those who produce albums. Good sound with large dynamic scales are much more vital than smashy sound produced for 99$-street sound machines.
Arriving somewhere, but not here....