DCC Archive Interesting Discussion About Elvis Mastering

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by feinstein, Dec 27, 2001.

  1. indy mike

    indy mike Forum Pest

    Hi Grant! I'm a frequent Bill I. basher, partly for the mono issue but mainly for his sonic choices; that tinny, midrangy, bright sound frequently evident on Rhino products drives me nuts. My speakers are super through the mids and those Rhino discs just wear on my nerves quickly. Also, the mono crusade has quirks of its own; take the Nuggets box (my greatest Rhino love/hate relationship) - give the original Elektra or Sire lp's a spin and see what the compilers used - whoo, a whole lotta stereo on those licorice pizzas. Even the Rhino Nuggets series that picked up the ball after the original title went oop had stereo on them (I'd kill for some clean dubs of the Sonics 2 Etiquette lp's in stereo - cheap plea here!!!). Now, I doubt any other label had the resources available to pull that set off like Rhino did, and there sure were a lot of neat, hard to obtain tracks on it, but that poor box could have sounded SO much better if someone else had been at the controls. I also am saddened by the fact that some multitracks might have been available to make some authentic stereo mixes up that won't happen cause the tracks just won't sell on their own. We've gotta also remember that those 45 mono mixes on tape were subject to all sorts of tomfoolery once they left the studio - ever see cutting instructions when a 45 went to the pressing plant? Boost here, cut there, compress the ever living crap outta the tape to maximize the level (Motown stands out here), roll off the extreme lows (Capitol, anyone), or highs (RCA thud) and getting the 45 sound is an elusive goal at best. I'll bet it's a rare 45 tape that sounds like the actual 45 mono mix itself. The Motown nightmare of 45 mix versus good sonics can probably never be achieved - what sounded great on Berry Gordy's 4" car speaker on his desk in 1966 can't be achieved now via digital drink coasters; sorry about the ramble, but to sum up I guess what was magical about our 45's from childhood are proving hard to reproduce today.
     
  2. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    Indy Mike,that's why I made the wild suggestion to just master the original Motown 45s to CD through average 60s tube equipment, not the tapes. Berry Gordy didn't evavluate tapes because he wanted to hear exactly what we would hear. BUT, sonics aside, the MONO MIXES, what the stereo-heads conveniently ignore, are what make those mono singles special, especially with Motown. Maybe they won't see that the mixes were different because they know that too many times the stereo mixes don't match, and there are no stereo counterparts to the hit mixes.

    While I praise Inglot for his seemingly one-man crusade to get the mono singles out there, I. too, hav many issues with his work, like the sonics. He boosts the treble and compresses things. I understand that on the Nuggets box he folded down stereo tapes just to make the box consistient instead of getting the REAL mono tapes. Of, course, this came from an engineer who likes to use NR and believes that using a stereo head to play back full mono tapes is fine.
     
  3. Cousin It

    Cousin It Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
     
  4. Pat

    Pat Forum Detective

    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Kevin comments...
    "Has BMG turned out decent sounding Elvis lately? I rest my case..."

    I picked up a copy of Dennis Drakes' remaster from 1997 for Time/Life-RCA-BMG called The Elvis Presley Collection-Love Songs. It's a 2 CD Set and the sound is really nice! These can still be found in retail stores, I think...saw one at a local FYE recently. He (Drake) may have done the remastering on The Country Collection (Time/Life)also, but I'm NOT positive on that!

    Your sentiment is generally true though, regarding other BMG releases...D-U-L-L!

    I personally need to find 24K Elvis (DCC), as this seems to be the ultimate!


    ;)
     
  5. lukpac

    lukpac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I think the issue is for many people, the differences in the mono mix just don't matter that much. Heck, many people praise the mono Revolution and Paperback Writer a lot, but neither really does that much for me. Heck, I'd say I actually prefer the stereo mix of Sgt. Pepper, regardless of mono vs. stereo - I just don't care for some of the things in the mono.

    The mono edited version of Light My Fire was the "hit", but I really don't care - the complete take in stereo is just more worthwhile, IMO.
     
  6. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    See there, I'm just the opposite! And i'm not alone. I've always been oriented to the hit single, the top 40 mentality. Some laugh snobbishly at my preference of the single version of "Light My Fire", but it's just my preference, like you have yours. Neither of us are wrong.

    I probably prefer the single edit because it was one of the first singles I ever owned as a child and have fond memories of getting it on Christmas morning back in 1967 and playing the hell out of it on my new portable record player.
     
  7. lukpac

    lukpac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I "grew up" on the single version as well, as it were, but after hearing the full length version I found myself preferring it...
     
  8. Pat

    Pat Forum Detective

    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    I'd rather have STEREO myself in nearly all cases! There may be a few exceptions, which don't come immediately to mind.

    Familiarity of the material is what can play with your mind...and I understand Grant's going with the HIT version. However the hit is not always the "Artists'" version of the song. Light My Fire is a good example. Do you think Morrison ever played a 2 minute version onstage? I know, Grant is probably thinking of Ed Sullivan or The Smothers Brothers show! How about In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida? 17 minutes or nothing according to the band! I grew up on TOP 40 radio (77 WABC/New York), but as I got older, I wanted the Stereo Versions of the songs!

    Many times, you may recall, the DJ created the version that became the hit...made their own imprint on history!

    No one is right or wrong, in the end...it's all good!!! :cool:
     
  9. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    I hope you aren't suggesting that AGE has anything to do with it. I just happen to think that the single edit sounds more like a nice, tight, powerful 60s pop hit.

    There is room for everything.

    Sometimes artists get a little overindulgent, IMO. The top 40 radio format helps cut things down to a manageable level. For instance, I prefer the DJ edit of Wings' "With A Little Luck". I think the single/LP version meanders a bit.

    Again, different strokes...
     
  10. RetroSmith

    RetroSmith Forum Hall Of Fame<br>(Formerly Mikey5967)

    Location:
    East Coast
    Chris.....altho I dont have the article you requested, I did a lot of reading and research at the time RCA/BMG issued the Complete 50s Box.

    They ABSOLUTELY used the original masters, in every case where they existed. RCA really did do extensive tape vault research and comparisons to use the very best tapes that were still available. They searched all over the country for original Elvis first generatiom masters.
    What was found was interesting....When RCA would go an Elvis "Gold Records" LP, they would cut the master take of a song right out of the session reel and use that on the master tape for the new release. Thats why certain songs were missing when they went to look for them, even tho in some cases it was replaced by a tape copy of the real master, but they knew this because it was notated.

    I've heard the 50s Box Set and it does sound fantastic. I cant imagine that material ever sounding better.

    Hope this Helps, and Happy New Year!!
     
  11. John Grimes

    John Grimes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Columbia, TN
    I hope your opinion has changed since then.
     

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