Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by MilesSmiles, Aug 9, 2012.
Continued from here:
For a new thread here's an updated version of what I posted at the end of the old thread...
I just ripped and checked Uncle Meat (the new one) against the original Zappa UK pressing (the late 80s one) and although it sounds very similar for the most part there are differences, the most notable being the lack of reverb on most (if not all) of the studio tracks. The original pressing has addded reverb the new one does not. So is this the digital version before the reverb was added or a new stealth analogue transfer.
Either way I'm really pleased to have the album without so much reverb now. It sounds good.
Here's a couple of wavs/graphs to show that there are tonal/detail differences in the two releases.
Dog Breath - Zappa UK CD 1989(ish)
Dog Breath - Universal 2012
Dog Breath - Zappa UK CD 1989(ish)
Dog Breath - Universal 2012
The other digital transfers (Freak Out, Ruben, Lumpy Gravy) are all the same as the Rykos. WOIIFTM I haven't checked yet.
Anyway, back to Uncle Meat.
Really? I'm listening to both the 2012 version and the '95 Ryko, and both have the same (or at least same-ish) level of reverb on that track. Are you sure? Can you post a sample from both of your discs?
BTW, yes, pbuzby, the indication that Disco Boy is unedited is a good sign that we're getting a new transfer there.
Joe's Garage...that's an odd situation. Part of the reason the original sounds so good is that all copies are derived from the digital remaster used to make the digitally remastered vinyl and EMI CD back in the 1980s; Zappa never really re-did it, and thus didn't get a chance to muck it up (although there are *slight* differences in some LP versions, most notably a different synchronization of the Scrutinizer bit over the top of "Joe's Garage").
Is it possible that the US Ryko and the UK Zappa 80s CD masters of Uncle Meat are different?
I thought someone had established in the previous thread that the Ryko and the new Zappa cancel out when inverted.
It is indeed possible, although I can almost swear I've had my mitts on a Zappa Records disc at some point and didn't notice any difference. I can confirm that the '87 and '95 Rykos are identical.
I (and someone else, too) did a successful null test w/the Ryko vs. ZR-3841 . Can't speak for this UK 80's disc, though.
Based on Edenofflowers's post above, it seems that the UK Zappa has "bonus" reverb
The Zappa Records disc was a 1987 release. If Frank monkeyed around with it later, it could easily be the case that he subbed in a new master (though I can't fathom why).
>>Originally Posted by ParloFax
Following on my post #949. The note I am talking about is the one happening at 7:07 on this Youtube file (block of tracks):
...which I believe is from the 90s CD, and it sounds intact on that version AFAICT.
I hear it on my copy as well. If you look at the waveform you can see the dropout in the left channel (just to the right of my marker). It was probably on the master tape they used.
Thanks for this graph!
Ahem....that's penalty reverb.
If anyone wants a sample of the original "dry" LP, I've got a great needledrop.
I hate to think that the old UK CD could have MORE reverb than the regular Ryko!!
Hallelujah: a friend of mine has the Zappa Records version of UM. Will analyze ASAP.
Jesus. You're right. Golden Arches and Dog Breath (at least) are different.
So it has EXTRA extra reverb?
OK. Quickly scanning through the disc, the only two affected tracks appear to be "Dog Breath" and "Golden Arches." The latter is only partly affected, too: at the edit point to the second section, the reverb cuts out, and from that point onward it is digitally identical to the Ryko discs (and the new disc). The reverbed portion, however, does not digitally sync.
This is a fascinating discovery. Some of the old Zappa Records discs do differ from their US counterparts, but the general rule has been that the differences only arise if they were mastered on clearly divergent occasions (e.g. the Ryko Thing-Fish versus the Zappa one). This is the first I've heard of *contemporary* discs having a variation.
I should note that, with the exception of the above, the discs are digitally identical. I wouldn't be surprised to hear of odd little quirks throughout.
Color me horsesmacked: this is new an exciting in the way only terrible arcane miscellany can be.
Arcane miscellany at the SH Forums?
Here's a couple of samples for the first 21 seconds of Golden Arches for comparison...
Zappa CD - http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?86t567je274cvcj
Universal CD - http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?a4bx1317f8issk8
It's never straightforward with Zappa releases is it?
Sad but true.....!
Stunned! ADDED penalty reverb!
These UMe's are helping us rediscover Frank's music by the way! It's almost like I'm 14 again!
Speaking of which: I've never had access to a full assortment of Zappa Records CDs (the old ones). Previously, I didn't see this as much of a problem, but this Uncle Meat discovery has changed that somewhat. I'd certainly love assistance picking out other differences that might inhere in those discs.
In the liner notes for Chunga's Revenge, there is a part missing on the new release:
The Nancy & Mary Music was recorded live at the TYRONE GUTHRIE THEATER in Minneapolis, Minnesota (engineer: Bruce Margolis)
This appears on the back cover of the original LP and the insert on the Ryko CD, but not on the UMe insert. I wonder why.
I'll take a better look through 'em in the next couple of days. From a quick check Freak Out Zappa UK, Ryko UK & Universal are exactly the same, Ruben & The Jets is exactly the same, Lumpy Gravy is different - the Zappa UK is MUCH quieter and less detailed but does have Oh No in stereo and , We're Only In It For The Money - 2fer with Lumpy Gravy - which is not only the Barrow/Wackerman version but also very quiet.
It might be interesting to A/B a volume corrected version of WOIIFTM Zappa UK and the Lumpy Money version of the 84(?) mix.
I've also got (from this first batch) the Zappa CDs of Absolutely Free & Hot Rats but no Rykos to A/B them with. For the next few batches I've got a mixture of Zappas & Rykos but there are only a couple I have both Ryko & Zappa versions.
Yeah, that twofer is pretty low. IIRC, it matches the Ryko version, so no mystery there.
I've actually never compared the two, so I'd be interested to hear what you find. My sense was that the mastering might've been more sympathetic, but it also could just be louder.
I unfortunately can't do much in the way of direction. A quick note on the old Zappa Records CDs: previously, it had seemed as if the only ones that differed were the ones that came out after their Ryko counterparts. So, for example, the Zappa "Them or Us" and "Thing Fish" were released far, far later than the compatriots on Ryko, and represented revised audio content (which eventually transitioned over to the '95 Rykos). Conversely, of the Zappa discs that were released simultaneously on Barking Pumpkin, while some of those BP titles were later revised ("Roxy" - Cheepnis remix, Sleep Dirt - Regyption Strut remix), I have never encountered a Zappa Records disc incorporating the remixes.
In other words, this is the first thing I've encountered to buck the pattern, and I have no idea whether other oddities may exist. If anything, this demonstrates how capricious the catalog could be. Someone clearly took a different mastering pass at "Golden Arches" and stapled it to the conventional ending. Why? Who knows? Why in the world did Zappa rearrange "yeahs" in Wild Love?
On the topic of the 2012 reissues, something's been bothering me: why are the discs all 2012 transfers? In my naivete, I had assumed (especially once the trouble with Ryko got going) that the ZFT had everything compiled and ready to go for whomever might come along next. Unless the transfer dates are a fiction, this apparently wasn't the case, and I wonder whether the ZFT is scrambling to put product out on the market; it's a lot of titles, and some taken-from-digital entries (such as Uncle Meat) may simply represent projects that would have taken more effort than time allowed.
I am surprised, too, that something like the Plastic People glitch got past the ZFT. From what I recall, the Freak Out masters were in really bad shape, but one saving grace was the sheer frequency with which they had been copied for various MGM hits collections, and usuable versions of otherwise-decomposed tracks existed on those reels. Then again, "better" may be in the eye of the beholder, and Travers and co might have preferred straight copies of the masters instead of patchwork assemblies and/or edited-together versions.
This is an interesting thing. I suppose I might want to actually check the main board to see whether Travers has chimed in.
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