Poorly Recorded - Chris Thile & Michael Daves


Has anyone listened to the Chris Thile & Michael Daves collaboration "Sleep With One Eye Open"? I read that it was a great audiophile recording, just popped it in my CD player, and I was legitimately worried my speakers were broken, it was that bad. 

Was it recorded on "old timey" equipment with a single mic?  Has anyone else listened to this? It's very strange, because all of Nickel Creek's (Chris Thile's first band) albums sound fantastic. 
Convert?fit=crop&h=128&rotate=exif&w=128heyitsmedusty
Here's a follow-up for all you folks DYING to know what the deal is with this recording.

So I did some research. Deep web stuff. There's an article on MandolineCafe that has since been edited to not contain the following paragraph, but I pulled a cached version and found this:

"The two sang harmonies into a single vintage RCA 77 ribbon microphone, facing each other, watching for visual cues, and sonically bleeding all over each other's tracks. With no isolation there is no opportunity for overdubbing single parts, or even changing the balance between voices. But "there's a convergence tonally that I think goes hand in hand with us singing in to one microphone", according to Daves. They found a sound that sort of "all mashes together."

This described what I heard very accurately. Everything sort of mashes together. The soundstage doesn't exist...because it's recorded in mono! That makes the listener a single microphone with sounds getting nearer and further, but without a second source it only translates into louder or quieter, without any spatial sense. 

I'll chalk this one up to the revealing nature of my Thiel speakers. I should make very clear though, the musicianship on this album is unrivaled. They are INCREDIBLE at what they do. But for recording quality...move on to Nickel Creek or Punch Brothers to hear Chris Thile's true ability. 
Thank You- Dusty for this review.
I have not picked up this CD yet.
Chris Thile made a disc last year w/ Edgar Meyer.
And yes, Thiel speakers are very revealing, warts and all.
I know nothing about this recording, but I saw Steve Earle with The Del McCoury Band at The House of Blues in Hollywood, and they performed into a single microphone. They were all playing acoustic instruments (guitars, upright bass, fiddle, mandolin, banjo), also being picked up by the same mic. They were positioned in a semi-circle behind the mic, approximately equidistant from it. When it was time for Steve to sing a verse of a song, he would move in closer to the mic, dropping back when the verse was over; when there were harmony vocals, the harmony singers would move in, then drop back when the harmonies were over; when there was an instrumental break, one of the band members would move in closer, dropping back when done. It was great!
@bdp24 I've definitely seen a lot of bluegrass like that, and I really enjoy it live. It takes the sound 'mixing' and puts it in the hands of the group, with them dynamically adjusting positions to add more or less of their sound to the single mic. It's a blast to watch, and actually adds to the performance!

Listening back on a high-end rig though...lackluster.
Dusty---I feel the same way about a recording engineer I worked with for a while. He was big on mic’ing a drumset with only two mics---a stereo one overhead, and one on the front of the kick. Without a mic on each drum, they were lacking in presence, sounding a little distant. Hitting the drums harder didn’t change that, either. Also, with the mic further away from the drums, it picked up more of the sound of the room in proportion to the direct sound of the drums. And the room was not a good sounding one; it’s dimensions were the dreaded square, creating large room modes at certain frequencies. The sound of drums is hugely affected by the nature of the room the are played in.
Dusty---interesting chain of events.  I was just listening to the Thile/Daves recording this afternoon, then saw your post about Antifogmatic, then this.  In terms of sound quality, the Thile/Daves album is simply awful.  Thile is a bonafide genius without peer.  What a disappointment the SQ was on this album.  If you like what they did together....you've no doubt seen some of the incredible live videos them on youtube etc.  Also look up their 2011 live Newport Folk Festival performance which is available as a NPR podcast if you haven't already.  A brilliant duo.   
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