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Unbelievably clear recording of Louis Armstrong from 1929

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 11, 2016

If they survive at all, recordings of a lot of older music (pre-50s or -60s) don’t sound great because they were taken from old records that aren’t in the best shape. This 1929 recording of Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra playing Ain’t Misbehavin’ was taken from what’s called a “mother record”, a metal disc that’s produced from the master disc. As you can hear, recording directly from a mother gives you an incredibly crisp and clear result:

Wow. It sounds so much better than the same song recorded in a more conventional way:

We’re so conditioned to hearing 90-year-old music with that muddy record hiss that the mother recording is a revelation, like seeing early color photography and film.