Esoteric releases of Tangerine Dream....

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by khronikos, May 6, 2017.

  1. khronikos

    khronikos Active Member Thread Starter

    What are people's thoughts on these releases? I will admit I have read a couple things from some very certain posters on this board, and to be honest I find their claims to be sketchy at best for a couple of the albums.

    I have Zeit's remaster in both the Castle and Esoteric releases as well the 1996 version. I have Green Desert in both the Esoteric and Castle releases.

    Let's get this out of the way. Artwork is better on both Esoteric releases. They actually have the original artwork for Green Desert and the disc is a very beautiful green cactus picture. Much better and more authentic than the balloon of the Castle release. The Zeit release artwork is only different in color tone and shading on the word "zeit" in the bottom corner, but I think the Esoteric is more accurate with the word not being shaded, while appearing a tad more colorful than the Castle release. Both are fine.

    Now to the sound: honestly, I've read all this stuff about noise reduction, mainly from one poster on these boards. The DR values for Zeit on the Castle release for all three songs after the 1st are brickwalled for whatever reason at 7-8 DR. The DR values are restored to normal values on the Esoteric release.

    The hiss and noise on the Castle releases are fairly highly in volume, at times almost interfering with the work in places. The Esoteric ones still have a lot of noise but it seems every so slightly tamed. Maybe 10%? It certainly is not much as you can hear it straight up loud as hell on both releases.

    Honestly, I'm at a loss of what people are talking about here. The Esoteric releases to my ears sound fantastic for the most part. Almost indistinguishable in many parts.

    When the drums kick in on Green Desert it is the Esoteric with more bass and a more lively sound. I directly went back and forth the old release sounds more lifeless if you ask me. But not by much. They are honestly almost the same. Teh Esoteric has a better tone on the upper and lower parts of the drums to me.

    The Castle release is more veiled and a bit more noisy, but it's nothing you are going to or should cry over. Esoteric clearly had access to the same master as the Castle release, so anyone claiming differently has no idea what they are talking about.

    I'm A/B'ing on Sennheiser HD 600s with an amp and I can barely tell the difference half the time. I don't have bad hearing at all so....

    What is the deal with a few posters chiming in how much they hate this label? I don't get it.
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
    Svetonio likes this.
  2. roul

    roul New Member

    I wish to state that i'm not an audio engineer. (But I hope to become one :D)
    That said, in all the CD re-releases of TD pink years, starting from the 1987 Relativity 2nd CD pressing, the sound have a low-pass filter applied (not noise reduction), and this happens even in the Esoterics.
    I've got all the 1986 Jive Electro 1st CD pressing of the pink years (and obviously Green Desert) and they sound like the original vinyls, so, THEY SOUND LIKE the original masters, all the other CDs NOT. (IMHO)
    I don't understand why all the remastering engineers put always a low-pass filter in every re-release... it seems like they're working on the 1987 relativity CD issues and not the original masters... because all the CD releases from 1987 sounds all the same, aside for compression and limiting IMO
    I noticed that the very beginning of the Esoteric Zeit "Fourth Movement" is EXACTLY THE SAME as the 1987 Relativity one, except now it have a fade in. (turn the volume all the way up to hear that). So this theory of mine that remastering engineers are working on the 1987 issue and not the original masters seems to be true.
    Anyway, the Esoterics are the best CD issues for the pink years after the Jive Electro's, because they're less compressed than the 1996 Castle remasters and the high frequencies are a bit more audible.
    And the booklets are really good.

    P.S. Also, I can say that, the Esoteric Zeit "Fourth Movement" is not full-lenght like in the original vinyl/master, because the first 36 seconds are missing.
    Only the 1986 Jive Electro issue have the beginning like the original vinyl, but the 2:58 ending minutes are missing (but are present in all of the next CD releases) for timing problems of early CD pressings.

    P.P.S In the 1996 Castle remaster, the first movement "Birth Of Liquid Plejades" is FULL of continuous digital clicks. Really... is extremely annoying.
    In conclusion, there's not a full-lenght version of Zeit in CD... sadly...
    I made my own full-lenght version by EQing the final minutes of the Esoteric to match with the rest of the Jive Electro sound. I don't want to brag, but it sounds very very good :)
    Ah, and in the Esoteric Alpha Centauri 2nd track "Fly And Collision Of Comas Sola" there are no more clicks in the beginning 2:44 minutes (I assume that these clicks come from the synthesizers, as I can clearly hear them in the original vinyl and in all of the next CD releases), and that's a shame since they cut off a part of the original music...
    izgoblin likes this.
  3. khronikos

    khronikos Active Member Thread Starter

    I mean, these complaints seem hard to verify. I hear nothing wrong with the new Esoterics that I personally have. I have compared them to past releases, and they sound great to my ears.

    "I've just stopped it and it clocks at 17:33 (if you count the run-in and run-out groove, you get the other ten seconds)
    So... the difference between LP and CD is quite simple. The first 30 seconds of the LP is (almost) complete silence, whereas the Relativity CD version jumps right into the action, if you wanna call it like that."

    Not really a big deal, and there seems to be a reason they do not include the first 30 seconds.

    Green Desert sounds almost exactly like the 2000s master, but I don't have the 80s one to compare. I'm not sure I like the 80s CD sound, as it seems to be missing details as well from the poor ADC used for the signal. Analogue to digital convertors in 1986 were terrible.

    Low pass filter? How can you verify this? It is very normal for 30 year old or more tapes to be patched up because they are not in the greatest condition. That does not always mean a low pass filter that just cuts everything off though. Sometimes they attenuate very specific frequencies that may reveal too much damage.

    Also, they attenuate the high frequencies because the band does not want extensive crackling, hiss, et cetera to interfere with their music.

    It's possibly the original masters are damaged, or they wanted it to sound this way. Hard to say really, but I really doubt a CD made in 86 is all that great to begin with.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
  4. roul

    roul New Member

    Well, the 1986 CDs sounds like original vinyls, so, i assume that's the way the band wanted to sound like.
    The 1986 CDs have more high frequencies audible and yes, there is some HF crackling and digital clicks here and there, but they sound great to my ears.
    Green Desert in the 1986 CD have more high frequencies than any next remaster, but I don't know if you would like it.
    The 1987 Relativity Zeit, for example, is to avoid, because it sound very muffled and there is a lot of tape hiss, for me is unlistenable (and the 1996 remaster is even WORSE).
    I personally disagree with the fact that the first 36 seconds of the fourth movement are almost complete silence... there IS music, and I think that people want to hear that.
    And the low-pass filter applied is my assumption, that may very well be wrong, but sounds like something like that, because of tape damage or poor ADC's like you stated.
    Anyway, I repeat, the Esoterics (IMO) are the best choice for the pink years (for me, obviously, after the 1986 Jive Electro's), and sounds much much better than the older remasters.
    I've got a question: do you know how the Esoteric "Electronic Meditation" sounds like? I've got no luck in finding a copy, and I only listened to the 1986 and 1996 CDs (which the 1986 sounds always better for me)
    izgoblin likes this.
  5. roul

    roul New Member

    And, returning to Zeit, i can't understand why the 1986 Jive Electro CD sounds great (like original vinyl), and only a year later the 1987 Relativity sounds very muffled with a lot of tape hiss and high frequencies very attenuated...
    It could be said that the Jive Electro's are needle drops... but personally I don't think they are, because I can hear only some digital clicks, and not clicks or pops typical of vinyl records...
    I don't know... what do you think?
  6. khronikos

    khronikos Active Member Thread Starter

    I have to try and track down the Jive's on a torrent. I just have a hard time believing ANY CD mastered with a terribly old analog to digital convertor is going to be that great. Like I said I see this poster Ricks in basically every TD thread kind of dominating discussion.

    I've never really liked any 80s CDs to be honest with you. They always lack detail and have weird bass. Some are preferable if the only releases available are brickwalled to death, e.g. Slayer, but that is about it for me.

    Conversions these days are done on state of the art material. The only thing better back then would have been the tapes themselves, but it all depends what kind of detail you could get out of them with those ancient ADCs.

    New convertors typically pick up a LOT more detail, hence the need for some type of noise reduction. But honestly, I will have to see myself what the differences are.

    I have all the new Esoterics mainly because I wanted the superior packaging and extras on them. For that alone these releases are worth it. The Jive releases are laughably terrible when it comes to packaging.

    Also, that aforementioned poster says things like the 90s remasters are cold and sterile, but I don't feel this way at all really. I think albums like Hyperborea and White Eagle sound fantastic.
  7. Lucidae

    Lucidae Forum Resident

    With all due respect I think you are over-estimating the importance of ADC's. Some of the original Virgin CD's I own (pressed in the 80's) hold up remarkably well, even when compared against the SHM-SACD reissues.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 3:54 AM
  8. moops

    moops Forum Resident

    Geebung, Australia
    Worrying about what goes on in the minds of some forum members and why they approve one CD and frown on another is a fast way to getting fitted for a straight-jacket.
  9. Ignatius

    Ignatius Forum Resident

    I don't know anything about the Tangs' releases but I'll root for Esoteric automatically, based on their 100% track record with the ones I do have.
  10. The_Windmill

    The_Windmill Forum Resident

    Lower generation tape?
    Different transfer equipment?
    Sloppy job?

    Can be anything.

    If transfers could be done exactly the same every time a new remaster is produces, this forum possibly wouldn't exist.

    As for the Esoterics.
    Zeit is ruled out, as said above: it's a digital clone (and the bonus content is a declicked and slightly re-eq'd version of the Tangerine Tree volume with the same content).
    Others I've listened to are Le Parc and Poland, both feeling a little wrong, especially the latter, like anemic and not lively.
    I have not listened to other remasters of the Pink years though.
    Old CDs can be a little muffled, but Castle remasters are harsher.
    Castle and Esoteric are sourced from copy tapes.
    Most likely, Relativity are too.
    I don't know about Jive ones.
  11. bonjo

    bonjo Forum Resident

    I don't understand what this means.

    A digital clone of what? Where is it said above? Why is it ruled out?

    I have the Esoteric 'Zeit' and it sounds good to me, but it's the only version I've ever heard so who knows what I'm missing.
  12. The_Windmill

    The_Windmill Forum Resident

    Let me rephrase.
    Esoteric Zeit (as mentioned above by @roul ) is a clone of the Relativity old twofer; It wasn't remastered for this release, therefore it's ruled out of the comparison because it's not representative of the remastering and sound quality of that batch.
    To be pricky, there's even less audio than in the relativity, because of fade-ins. But the difference is almost irrelevant.

    Some say the Relativity is the best sounding, some prefer the Jive.
    As mentioned in the same post, both are incomplete and miss a part of the audio. The only way to have it complete in digital is a homemade montage of the two. Or a needledrop.
    izgoblin likes this.
  13. Mbe

    Mbe Forum Resident

    As this is an Esoteric thread, I have to sneak in a question hoping not to derail / disrupt the flow (sorry)

    Does anyone know if the version of Tyger taken from the 12” Ep listed as a bonus track on the Esoteric cd is the same version which actually opens the Relativity CD release of Tyger.

    25 seconds sample from the Relativity cd = Track 1 – Tyger, duration 5.13mins (wmp)
    dropcanvas - instant drag and drop sharing

    Alchemy of the Heart the Relativity cd has the first 8 seconds cut / awol,
    Castle CD – 12.16mins (wmp)
    Relativity CD – 12.08mins (wmp)

    Smile, playback speed variations,
    Castle CD – 6.11mins (wmp)
    Relativity – 5.53mins (wmp)

    Bit of a mess really, last time I checked the Esoteric of Tyger was oop although now I see it is available again.
  14. khronikos

    khronikos Active Member Thread Starter

    I have the Tyger version of the Esoteric and the 90s release. Will check when I can.

    Zeit IDK I have the 2000s version and the Esoteric version along with the 96 version on digital. To be honest it is not that easy to spot differences with Castle and Esoteric. And these are not remastered then? They are the same mastering as what release? Have never really listened to the 96 version.

    My Esoteric Zeit says specifically 24-bit remastering by Ben Wiseman at The Audio Archiving Company, London. Is this the same as the twofer?

    Honestly, the fade-ins are not a big deal. It doesn't affect anything to me really. It's basically silence a little bit is there I suppose.

    Green Desert sounds almost exactly the same as the 2000s version, and I think it sounds a bit better. I still hear plenty of noise though. So if these are being denoised it really isn't all that much, but I have yet to get to a couple of the releases, and I do not own Poland in the Esoteric but have the 90s in flac.

    Will be comparing directly the Jive Alpha with the new Esoteric here soon, as a certain poster said the new one was denoised or something. I am not even sure how you can tell if something is denoised when the scans are totally different from way different eras of technology but whatever. Also, using no denoising can really make newly scanned CDs sound terrible.

    Some of the old Kraftwerk stuff was awful with noise before they remastered it. No idea why people want to hear extreme tape hiss. I too do not want high frequencies being cut off, but come on now I want the music not the tape hiss.

    Also, can someone tell me how they know where any of this stuff is being sourced? Where are you getting this knowledge?

    Also, Tyger sounded pretty decent in the Esoteric, but I am not familiar with the record at all. The CD also had no paint compared to all the other Esoteric CDs, which are nicely finished and painted.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017 at 2:03 AM
  15. khronikos

    khronikos Active Member Thread Starter

    Hi, I just got the Electronic Meditation Esoteric, so I will be comparing it to the FLAC version of the other one I have here soon.

    But I cannot for the life of me find those 80s CDs even on a torrent, and I don't really want to buy them.
  16. roul

    roul New Member

    @khronikos Thanks God you have a copy of the Esoteric remaster! Well, I have the Jive "Electronic Meditation", and I can upload the FLACs in a file hosting site, but according to the forum policies I can't post links of "illegal" material. So... I don't know...
  17. roul

    roul New Member

    I found in Spotify an "Electronic Meditation" stream that says it's the Esoteric 2011 Remaster. It sounds exactly the same as the 1996 Castle remaster, it even has the same mistakes...
    So, if it's really the Esoteric remaster we have another "copy" of the previous remaster, after Zeit and Alpha Centauri (always sourced from the 1987 Relativity's...)
    And there is a thing that in any TD post in this forum nobody mentioned: in the 2nd track of Electronic Meditation "Journey Through A Burning Brain" the first 8 seconds of the track are repeated 2 times... I found this issue in the 1996 remaster, and not in the 1986 Jive CD and in the original vinyl.
    It seems that any reissue/remaster of TD's Pink Years on CD from 1987 onwards have odd mistakes...
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017 at 6:08 PM
  18. roul

    roul New Member

    To be honest, the Esoteric Zeit is not really a 1:1 digital clone with fades of the Relativity. Is also re-EQ'd, and this is the main reason I prefer it over the 1987 one.
    The Relativity has too much mids and near-nothing highs, while the Esoteric has the highs restored and sounds much better.
    The_Windmill likes this.
  19. roul

    roul New Member

    The only case for Kraftwerk I find the noise annoying is Radio-Activity, for all the other albums, previous and next, the noise isn't all that much annoying, except maybe 2 songs of The Man Machine...
    And the "2009 Catalogue" remaster of the track Radio-Activity, for example, is MUCH worse than the 1987 CD, 'cause it's way too compressed and denoised...
    Just listen the end of the song (with choirs) and... there are more digital denoise artifacts than the original music... and this also applies to some other remastered album.
    It's true that early 80's ADCs were poor and modern ones are miles better, but some of early non-remastered CDs are better than next remasters, because of more wide dynamic range, no denoise, and in some cases (like TD Jive "Zeit", for example) sourced from better condition masters.
    The fact IMHO is that people don't want to hear extreme tape hiss, but if this hiss let us hear the work without losing the original quality, we leave it as it is and enjoy it.
    I'd love to hear remastered versions of recordings like Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream (and many others) mastered from best possible sources, slightly EQ'd and slightly denoised, then normalized and NOT compressed... this would be the paradise.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017 at 7:16 PM
    The_Windmill likes this.
  20. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    It's not the first time I've seen a comment like this, and I must admit, I always find the logic questionable. It would take a quote from an artist, telling me such a thing, before I'd accept it. I believe that artists work to the standards of the day. That means exploiting all the benefits, and living with any constraints. As time moves on - hopefully - the benefits increase, and the constraints decrease. It stands to reason that TD didn't have CD in mind when releasing Zeit. That does not mean the original vinyl is the way the band wanted to be heard for eternity. Times change, things change.

    Anyway - I enjoy the Esoteric releases. They even have decent booklets, which TD releases haven't been spoiled with over the years.
  21. roul

    roul New Member

    @Vaughan You're right, the artists work to the standards of the day. In fact, when I say that the band wanted to sound like the original vinyl, i mean that the band tried to release his music in the best possible way available at the time. Obviously, if Zeit was released in the 90's it would sound much different because of the digital era mastering...
    Of course YES!
    And the Esoterics are the best way, nowadays, for the TD Pink Years in CD, and the booklets are very good.
  22. krlpuretone

    krlpuretone Forum Resident

    Grantham, NH
    Spotify metatags are notoriously incorrect when looking for specific masters.
    The_Windmill likes this.
  23. roul

    roul New Member

    @krlpuretone I know I know, in fact I don't search on Spotify for specific masters, that was just an insignificant search.
    But I'll not be surprised if the Esoteric EM is a copy of the 1996 remaster...
    krlpuretone likes this.
  24. The_Windmill

    The_Windmill Forum Resident

    Weird, when I did the test myself, they did cancel out completely except for the fades. Or maybe my memory is playing tricks.
  25. The_Windmill

    The_Windmill Forum Resident

    Also, the more the hiss, the less transparent denoising is possible. His can be reduced, but taking it out completely will leave artifacts and kill off so many important frequencies.

Share This Page