SH Spotlight Recording and Mastering Questions---Answered here. Any more?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. action pact

    action pact ^^ Sandy Warner, "The Exotica Girl"


    Don't assume that reissue projects are driven by an aesthetic need. New product = new stuff to sell.
  2. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Forum Resident

    On Changing Times comp for Razor and Tie, you mastered Woody Guthrie's This Land is Your Land.
    How are the tapes for most of his material? Are any of them good quality?
  3. dmiller458

    dmiller458 Forum Resident

    Midland, Michigan
    My question is why they don't do the mastering right the first time.
  4. George P

    George P Love Will Lead Us

    Because "right" is a subjective thing. To some engineers/artists/labels, right means dynamically compressed, or noise reduced, or using inferior tapes because it is easier, faster or cheaper, or using EQ to boost certain frequencies at the expense of tonal balance. Or any combination of the above.
    Plan9 likes this.
  5. action pact

    action pact ^^ Sandy Warner, "The Exotica Girl"

    Also, technology is changing constantly.

    But my original comment is the primary motivation.
  6. dmiller458

    dmiller458 Forum Resident

    Midland, Michigan
    Lemmy see if I understand this. They deliberately put out a deficient product so that they could rip-off the consumer, then they improve it so that they can take a second bite at the apple?
  7. action pact

    action pact ^^ Sandy Warner, "The Exotica Girl"

    I never said that earlier masterings are "deliberately deficient," that's just silly, but yes, remasterings and reissues in general are very much a "second bite at the apple." Sometimes it's a good thing and sometimes it's not such a good thing.

    At the end of the day, it's just a product.
    bmoregnr likes this.
  8. dmiller458

    dmiller458 Forum Resident

    Midland, Michigan
    But do the masses know what brickwalled, loud mastering even means? How can they demand something they don't understand? All they know is that there's a new record out.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  9. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    No idea, that was a DAT.
    jojopuppyfish likes this.
  10. spencer1

    spencer1 Great Western Forum Resident

    Some trainspotting from your ten year old answers -

    Although "Rerecorded" does appear in credits in my 150 years in the film business nobody involved with the process has ever called it that. I have been involved in many rerecordings at the late lamented Todd-AO ...

    It's funny how the nomenclature in related fields can vary.
    In film mixing "Futzing" refers specifically to treating sound (usually voice or music) to make sound as if it were coming out of a speaker; i.e. a telephone, radio, walkie talkie, TV etc

    Amazing what you can do with a grease pencil and a razor blade. I read another of your posts about someone who had edited all of the pops out of I believe an old 78 to tape transfer. True old-world craftsmanship and art.

    With 35mm film you have sprockets and the splicing block has pins for the sprockets to firmly anchor the film for splicing.
    What you guys did (I'm guessing it's becoming a lost art) splicing that 1/4" and 1/2" amazes me.
    You could make the length of the splice very tiny, our minimum was a perf (or sprocket - 4 sprockets per frame, 24 frames per second).

    For very small clicks, snaps and pops we would use a razor blade to scrape a little bit at a time the oxide from the film until the offending bit was gone, hopefully not loosing noticeable sound with it.
    We would also use a scraping razor blade to lower peaks, soften hard consonants, get rid of lip smacks, smooth splices by kind of feathering scrapes across a splice and physically making fade-ins and fade-outs. Did you do any of this in music?
    We were of course dealing with reprints (usually from those wonderful old Nagras) and not masters.

    Sometimes when explaining this stuff I feel like I'm explaining the subtleties and techniques of frontier dentistry ... not many really care anymore but it really wasn't that long ago, was it?

    Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
    Tonight on "The Hoff" ...
    Encore and googlymoogly like this.
  11. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    What Beatles album do you feel is most in need of remastering?

    What would you do to make it better?
    indy mike likes this.
  12. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter


    Treat each SONG as a different mastering challenge.
  13. Grant

    Grant A Brady-Boomer Musical Free-Spirit

    I gotta step in here and say that I know of no serious producer or engineer who opts to use an inferior tape because it's easier. That's just not right. The truth is that sometimes, the best tapes just aren't available for a variety of reasons.
    Dave likes this.
  14. Grant

    Grant A Brady-Boomer Musical Free-Spirit

    Another song that's like that is "Love Hangover" by Diana Ross. The hi-hat and transients get raspier as the track moves along.
    Dan Steely likes this.
  15. Gaslight

    Gaslight Drake Dweller

    Northeast USA
    As mentioned, there's likely a number of reasons.

    This is just my opinion keep in mind, but think of it historically. The engineers had no idea that their work would be scrutinized and studied later on for that one album they worked on out of was likely just another day's work for them. So perhaps they didn't quite do as good of a job as they could have on that particular day. Or maybe the artist wanted a particular sound and they didn't want to argue with them, or maybe they only got a safety copy to work on and there wasn't time to get the master shipped out in time.

    Hindsight is 20/20.
    bozburn, Grant, Plan9 and 1 other person like this.
  16. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    Thank you.

    Each song is unique and does require individualized treatment.

    I hope someday this happens.
  17. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Not a chance.
  18. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    I was thinking in 2018.
  19. bmoregnr

    bmoregnr Forum Rezident

    1060 W.Addison
    Great thread. I would like to know what if any non-eq related aspects of the mastering process can materially change the tonality of a remastering such that it would register as an eq move. I ask because sometimes it seems maybe a better transfer process, or tape used for example, may let more high or low end happen; but I don't know if that is actually the case and to what degree you could measure it. I get a sense most people think if a remaster sounds like different eq then it must be eq; so I was wondering if that notion is generally correct or there was more to it. Thanks as always.
  20. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    It is actually the case. I use different tape machines to get a different sound from a lackluster or too bright tape, I change wire, futz around, do everything in order to not bog down the signal with needless electronics.
    latheofheaven, Gardo, Grant and 4 others like this.
  21. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Heh, sorry. Cell phone. Yes, in order to NOT...
    bmoregnr likes this.
  22. bmoregnr

    bmoregnr Forum Rezident

    1060 W.Addison
    Thought so. Thanks for taking our questions; much appreciated and it is amazing how much I've learned on this forum from you and plenty of others.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
    painted8 and Steve Hoffman like this.
  23. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    The White Album is, perhaps, one of the least "British" Beatles albums and one of the more "American" of the Beatles albums. Even as some of the songs came from their trip to India.

    1968 in America surely helped to inspire and inform the White Album.

    Instead of another remix by Abbey Road, why not a remaster by an American Remaster Specialist? (Who also is a modern Internet Pioneer.)

    I could envision some of the 2018 White Album's remastered songs making their way onto the radio.

    We live in tumultuous times in our country and this "nod to America" via a Steve Hoffman 2018 remastering of the White Album would be timely and quite relevant.

    It wouldn't just be a 5oth Anniversary Celebration.

    But a Real Time "Living and Breathing" Document of Real Time Events and Emotions.

    Bringing us full circle from 1968 to 2018.

    If you listen to the songs from this diverse album, they aren't "stuck in the past".

    And are ripe for a remaster that would breathe new life into this classic album.

    I'd love to hear the upfront and calming expressiveness that John displayed on "Julia"...on the radio in 2018.

    "Helter Skelter", applicable to today's borderline chaos, randomness, and confusion, could be an underground/subculture/alternative radio/college radio offering next year.

    "Good Night" could close out 2018.
  24. Chooke

    Chooke Forum Resident

    Perth, Australia
    Steve, one question if I may. Why were some of the DCC titles such as All Things Must Pass never officially released? It has one of the best sounding My Sweet Lord I've heard to date.
  25. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    I'm not sure if this has been asked so I apologize if it has. Have you ever had a musician comment on an album of theirs that you remsstered?

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