December 3, 2017

Lalith Rao: Captivating Swars [Rhythm House 240 339] a cassette recorded and released in India in 1984

A cassette from vocalist Lalith Rao recorded in 1984. An hour of very spirited singing especially suited for listening during an evening in the rainy season.

As always I very carefully adjusted the azimuth for the recording of each side. This makes an enormous difference to the higher frequencies. It only requires a small screwdriver (the kind you use to tighten screws in eyeglass frames) and at least one ear. If you don't know how to do this there are several excellent tutorials on the web.

An LP by Lalith Rao recorded at about the same time as this tape (1984-85) was transferred by the always reliable Tawfiq on his blog:

Equipment used in this transfer:
Cassette Deck: Teac W890R (azimuth was carefully adjusted for each side)
Preamp: Parasound PHP 850
Recorder: Sony PCM-M10
Software: Audacity and xAct

(after decoding to WAV, suitable for burning to CD)

(highest possible quality mp3 file; 
suitable for listening on a portable player)


  1. Thank you very much for your posts Richard. Lalith Rao is an oustanding singer.

  2. Absolutely wonderful shares. Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful cassette. The Gaud Malhar on this one is a masterpiece!

  3. She is a beautiful singer and an even more beautiful person. Sadly, she has had to curtail her singing career - but generously shares her knowledge and wisdom with her students.

    1. I fully understand the physical nature of performing music and why it is inevitable that musicians will need to retire and devote their time to teaching. When that happens, one is struck by the feeling that an opportunity has passed to make another recording, which is part of the shared cultural material of humanity. I have made it one priority in my life to help preserve the recordings that are out there and also to make new ones, so that this cultural material can survive and enrich everyone.