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 Posted:   Jun 13, 2012 - 11:26 PM   
 By:   CCW1970   (Member)



Do not count me in wink I prefer pure digital recordings all the way. But then... LOTR: The Fellowship is an analogue recording and it sounds marvellous. So one should be careful when making assumptions about digital vs. analogue recording.

And the legend you quoted wasn´t necessarily true, in many cases it was AAD, ADD, DAD or DDD on just one CD, depending on the production.



Yep, I've heard of DAD, but I've never seen it on a CD. The CD's used to have a guide in the back of the booklet telling you what the three meant, but didn't mention DAD, & I've looked at a few old CD's. About 99% of my favorite records were recorded in the analogue era, so I suppose I prefer analogue, but as long as it sounds good I don't care how it was recorded.


I definitely have some CDs marked DAD. But, I'm at work and can't check which ones they are.

My audio mixers here at work will argue that the mastering stage is very important, and that remastering can be as well. They mentioned Joe Gastwirt as one of the major mastering engineers in the business who has a specific sound and improves albums he remasters greatly. Granted, this is almost exclusively in the pop music world.

 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2012 - 12:51 AM   
 By:   adamtrons   (Member)

I think remasters can go either way. My favorite successful remaster was John Barry’s THE BLACK HOLE Soundtrack on CD by Intrada. It was remixed and mastered from the original 3M 32 track digital multi-tracks. Randy Thornton and Jeff Sheridan completed the restoration and remix of the soundtrack after an extensive transfer process that took about two years, I think. The tracks were meticulously transferred to a modern digital audio workstation for processing and mixing. The album includes over 20 minutes of previously unreleased material as well as a special mix of “In, Through…And Beyond!” This features the analog synthesizers used in the score without the addition of the orchestra, it makes for an interesting listen and helps to hear all of the nuances of these additional sounds.

My least favorite remaster is Battlestar Galactica Remastered November 18, 2003 by Fontana MCA. It sounded like someone turned the treble all the way up and turned the bass down to zero. It has a very thin, metalic sound to it. Also, the reverb was way over done. An example of how NOT to remaster.

Previously, copying a tape to tape had technical limitations with the equipment used and it would cause noise, tape hiss and static. The process of creating a digital transfer of an analogue tape remasters the material in the digital domain from the best source possible. “When the first CD remasters turned out to be bestsellers, companies soon realized that new editions of back-catalogue items could compete with new releases as a source of revenue. Back-catalogue values skyrocketed, and today it is not unusual to see expanded and remastered editions of fairly modern albums”…I am fine with this because I see it as a mutually beneficial relationship for both the seller and the consumer. They are making money and we are getting to hear our favorite music sound better than ever (in most cases), often times with additional tracks!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2012 - 10:36 AM   
 By:   Joe Caps   (Member)



A new mastering can sometimes backfire.

Example - Jaws the complete score, also used for the stereo remix on dvd.

I've always wanted the compolete score and always wanted the film to be remixed for stereo.

Two things seem to have gone wrong here.

One- the producer added some reverb on the tracks. Not tons, just enough to make it sound farther away and less powerful.

Two - these tracks with the reverb added were used for the dvd remix making it sound less good than the mono version of the film.
On the dvd you can quickly swith between the stereo and the original mono version. The mon sounds more exciting every time. It also sounds like the mono has more high end too.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2012 - 11:55 PM   
 By:   djintrepid   (Member)

What do you call a bad remastering?

A remasturd.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2013 - 7:13 AM   
 By:   scrapsly   (Member)

How many of you like the way music is mastered today ? I know that is a generalized question and hard to answer. Remastered has gotten to be a form of advertising and remastered doesn't always mean better. I certainly don't know for sure, but it seems like much of the process is geared toward portable players these days. It is truly a case by case basis. I don't analyze the wave, or get into it that much. I just let my ear guide me. IMHO for the most part, the specialty soundtrack labels have done a pretty good job (not always) mastering and remastering, but some of the rock CD remasters I have heard are not that great. I actually prefer some of the late 80's to 90's mastering job. Again, it is just a case by case basis. I would definitely rather have a good sounding CD and leave all my settings flat. In the overwhelmingly majority of cases that is how I listen to music, but every once in a great while (and I do mean rarely ever) I turn my 10 band equalizer on in the vintage system and tweak (most often just the low bass region) just a hair. Survivor's Eye Of The Tiger CD comes to mind. I like the songs, but don't play it enough to justify a 30 dollar purchase for a Japanese remaster and I would have to play the music often to buy twice. John Barry comes to mind lol. Although not ideal (and again I rarely use one and barely tweak) an EQ is nice to have. If you have a bad sounding master, there is really not much you can do with it. I just understand that because it says remastered doesn't mean it is better.

 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2013 - 7:28 AM   
 By:   The Projectionist   (Member)

I'd really like to hear a soundtrack labels take on this, but I think while it's a case by case basis, the loudness war IS winning In every genre of music. Film Music and Classical, and Jazz were just the last to be infected. A few weeks ago I put on Hans Zimmer's Drop Zone and I was suprised at how quiet that score really is, and at the amount of dynamic range it has. I forgot scores used to sound really good. But now everything is louder and bassier. Zimmer's Man of Steel is a big difference from Drop Zone.
Scores like this, as well most of Brian Tyler, Steve Jablonsky's scores are just too ear fatiging to listen to.
Alot of newly remastered scores, from certain labels are punched up in volume in comprison to the original releases too.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2013 - 7:39 AM   
 By:   scrapsly   (Member)

I'd really like to hear a soundtrack labels take on this, but I think while it's a case by case basis, the loudness war IS winning In every genre of music. Film Music and Classical, and Jazz were just the last to be infected. A few weeks ago I put on Hans Zimmer's Drop Zone and I was suprised at how quiet that score really is, and at the amount of dynamic range it has. I forgot scores used to sound really good. But now everything is louder and bassier. Zimmer's Man of Steel is a big difference from Drop Zone.
Scores like this, as well most of Brian Tyler, Steve Jablonsky's scores are just too ear fatiging to listen to.


I agree that Brian Tyler would sound much better if they would stop red lining the loudness meter. I really enjoy the music to Iron Man 3, but it could have sounded so much better on CD. His earlier recordings like Darkness Falls and Timeline (early 2000's) were not near as bad as Iron Man 3. I would love to hear the soundtrack labels take on this too.

 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2013 - 8:18 AM   
 By:   rmos   (Member)

A new mastering can sometimes backfire.

Example - Jaws the complete score, also used for the stereo remix on dvd.

On the dvd you can quickly switch between the stereo and the original mono version. The mono sounds more exciting every time. It also sounds like the mono has more high end too.


And the mono has the original sound effects too!

 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2013 - 9:46 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

A new mastering can sometimes backfire.

Example - Jaws the complete score, also used for the stereo remix on dvd.

I've always wanted the compolete score and always wanted the film to be remixed for stereo.

Two things seem to have gone wrong here.

One- the producer added some reverb on the tracks. Not tons, just enough to make it sound farther away and less powerful.

Two - these tracks with the reverb added were used for the dvd remix making it sound less good than the mono version of the film.
On the dvd you can quickly swith between the stereo and the original mono version. The mon sounds more exciting every time. It also sounds like the mono has more high end too.


I just imported this into iTunes and gave it a spin. I see my ears were not imagining things. The score sounded "tinty" and lacked the "power" I was expecting from the orchestration. What a disappointing listen.

 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2013 - 10:21 AM   
 By:   John Schuermann   (Member)

I don´t know the actual reasons for cranking up the volume that much. According to market research performed by the big majors higher volume leads to bigger sales (for supposedly numerous reasons having to do with how our ear perceives music), especially on the radio. Which isn´t true of course since 99% of all radio stations compress the dynamic themselves so that every track ends up having the same overall gain.

Smaller labels like Intrada or FSM continue to impress with pristine dynamics. And they are getting the contracts now, one of many reasons might be that they (hopefully) sell steadily because of intact dynamics.


Why have recordings consistently gotten louder and louder? Here is exactly why, a great video by Bob Katz (an excellent mastering engineer):

 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2013 - 10:28 AM   
 By:   John Schuermann   (Member)

Another way a remaster can be an incredibly good thing is if they go back to the original session masters, rather than use an album master that may be one or more generations away (at least in the case of analog recordings).

Other problems with transferring analog recordings have to do with whether or not the tape playback head is in precise alignment (azimuth adjust) or if there are pitch problems. Some labels even go to the trouble of finding the original tape deck the recording was made on to solve these problems.

Fortunately, all of these problems are almost non-existent with digital gear and recordings.

 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2013 - 11:33 AM   
 By:   jwb79   (Member)

Here's an example of what the sound war has done.

 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2013 - 12:13 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

I wish there was a "Remastered loud as F***" warning on albums.

This is how it is done:

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2013 - 1:18 PM   
 By:   Traveling Matt   (Member)

I just imported this into iTunes and gave it a spin. I see my ears were not imagining things. The score sounded "tinty" and lacked the "power" I was expecting from the orchestration. What a disappointing listen.

Decca's 2000 issue of the Jaws score is the single best example I can think of (and the first to come to mind) of a totally misguided master. If it's not a benchmark example of what NOT to do, it must be close.

The only saving grace is that the album tracks haven't seen a proper release yet either, making the whole thing an ideal candidate for a great two-disc set.

 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2013 - 2:13 PM   
 By:   John Schuermann   (Member)

I wish there was a "Remastered loud as F***" warning on albums.

This is how it is done:



LOL! Love it.

 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2013 - 2:14 PM   
 By:   edwzoomom   (Member)



Do not count me in wink I prefer pure digital recordings all the way. But then... LOTR: The Fellowship is an analogue recording and it sounds marvellous. So one should be careful when making assumptions about digital vs. analogue recording.

And the legend you quoted wasn´t necessarily true, in many cases it was AAD, ADD, DAD or DDD on just one CD, depending on the production.



Yep, I've heard of DAD, but I've never seen it on a CD. The CD's used to have a guide in the back of the booklet telling you what the three meant, but didn't mention DAD, & I've looked at a few old CD's. About 99% of my favorite records were recorded in the analogue era, so I suppose I prefer analogue, but as long as it sounds good I don't care how it was recorded.


I actually have "Dad" on cd - a lovely score by James Horner. Okay, sorry I couldn't resist. But I really do have it. Ok, I'm done!

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2013 - 3:34 PM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)



Do not count me in wink I prefer pure digital recordings all the way. But then... LOTR: The Fellowship is an analogue recording and it sounds marvellous. So one should be careful when making assumptions about digital vs. analogue recording.

And the legend you quoted wasn´t necessarily true, in many cases it was AAD, ADD, DAD or DDD on just one CD, depending on the production.



Yep, I've heard of DAD, but I've never seen it on a CD. The CD's used to have a guide in the back of the booklet telling you what the three meant, but didn't mention DAD, & I've looked at a few old CD's. About 99% of my favorite records were recorded in the analogue era, so I suppose I prefer analogue, but as long as it sounds good I don't care how it was recorded.


I definitely have some CDs marked DAD. But, I'm at work and can't check which ones they are.

My audio mixers here at work will argue that the mastering stage is very important, and that remastering can be as well. They mentioned Joe Gastwirt as one of the major mastering engineers in the business who has a specific sound and improves albums he remasters greatly. Granted, this is almost exclusively in the pop music world.


During my seven-year tenure at Varese Sarabande from 1993 to 2000, Mr. Gastwirt mastered every one of the over 130 albums I produced. He is amazing. From 2005 on, the majority of Kritzerland projects have been mastered by James Nelson, who is truly one of the best. There are many poor mastering engineers out there, some of whom just call themselves that because they have some program on their computer. The importance of mastering is lost on most producers, I'm afraid.

This thread has many amusing things in it, some of which have nothing whatsoever to do with mastering. I liken mastering to putting the hot fudge, whipped cream and cherry on the hot fudge sundae - the sundae might be tasty to begin with, but needs the hot fudge to make it what it should be. Mastering has nothing to do with mixing. Mastering has to do with shaping the sound and making the album sound of a piece. It's smoothing out the sound levels from track to track so they're consistent, so you never have to jump up and suddenly change the volume knob. Great mastering can make a great recording sound even better - airier top, tight bottom, beautiful mid-range. It's amazing what can be done even when working from the same sources. I think that's been VERY apparent on many of our remasterings of things that have been out before.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2013 - 4:25 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

This thread has many amusing things in it, some of which have nothing whatsoever to do with mastering. I liken mastering to putting the hot fudge, whipped cream and cherry on the hot fudge sundae - the sundae might be tasty to begin with, but needs the hot fudge to make it what it should be. Mastering has nothing to do with mixing. Mastering has to do with shaping the sound and making the album sound of a piece. It's smoothing out the sound levels from track to track so they're consistent, so you never have to jump up and suddenly change the volume knob. Great mastering can make a great recording sound even better - airier top, tight bottom, beautiful mid-range. It's amazing what can be done even when working from the same sources. I think that's been VERY apparent on many of our remasterings of things that have been out before.


^^This.^^
And I dare to add, remixing and remastering are 2 different things. That's why they are 2 different words. I think, strictly speaking, changing anything other than more (or less) EQ is almost tampering with the original. I suppose in most cases, if the listener doesn't like the editor's EQ choices, at least they have the option of adjusting their own tone controls. It's relatively un-invasive. But anything more, like remixing or additional reverb, and the listener CANNOT adjust it.
It's supposed to be about using the latest tech to get the most accurate transfer of musical data that can possibly be recovered from the master.
(Gastwirt... one of the giants. smile)

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2013 - 7:11 PM   
 By:   Marlene   (Member)

We shouldn´t forget Shawn Murphy (who is one of the best IMO), Mike Matessino and of course Eric Tomlinson (not always good... but often).

EDIT: haineshisway below has corrected me and is right: they aren´t mastering engineers, they´re mixing engineers (with the exception of Mike who might do both for a project).

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2013 - 7:16 PM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

We shouldn´t forget Shawn Murphy (who is one of the best IMO), Mike Matessino and of course Eric Tomlinson (not always good... but often).

See, this is the problem - Mr. Murphy and Mr. Tomlinson are not mastering engineers - they are recording and mixing engineers. They have nothing to do with mastering. Mr. Matessino has, on occasion, mastered.

 
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