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

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

  1. xcqn

    xcqn Forum Resident

    Location:
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    I have a question for you Steve about the Metallica remasters (Ride and Puppets) you did for DCC.

    The artwork clearly says "From the orginal mastertapes" and i know you never use compression/limiting.

    How come the dynamics don't match up to the orginal elektra discs?

    Don't take this the wrong way, i think they are both fantastic sounding discs. Always wondered about the dynamics though.
     
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  2. ledsox

    ledsox Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Hi Steve, What is your favorite frequency? Kidding. (But mine is 220 Hz) ;)

    When mastering, do you ever really just crank it or do you keep it at a steady volume?
     
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Out of my control, sadly.
     
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  4. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Mine is 30 cycles.

    I crank once in a while. Not often.
     
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  5. Chooke

    Chooke Forum Resident

    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    Hi Steve

    Just wondering if you used noise reduction in the past, not so much for noise reduction but for other mastering tricks?

    The reason I ask is that there is a story doing the rounds that Dolby A was used for many Carpenter's tracks to enhance Karen's voice. While the story may or may not be true, it leads to another question with regard to the noise reduction aspect. Why was Dolby A used mainly by studios, rather than B or C?
     
  6. xcqn

    xcqn Forum Resident

    Location:
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    I used the search-engine and found another thread were you said that it was due to the master-mixes being like that.

    Could the orginal cd's been made from another more dynamic master in that case? It doesn't make sense to me.
     
  7. Weren't Dolby B and C developed primarily for cassette recording?
     
    Grant likes this.
  8. Chooke

    Chooke Forum Resident

    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    You are probably right. My long since departed Tascam only had A, but I always thought B and C were later developments. However I rarely used Dolby, DBX, CX etc (except to reverse previously treated recordings) so I'm far from knowledgeable in this area, hence the questions.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
  9. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

     
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  10. Oliver

    Oliver Forum Resident

    Hi Steve -

    When mastering do you often get conflicted of what your own personal sound taste is vs preserving what's on the master tape? For example do you listen to the master tape sometimes and WANT to change say the eq significantly but because it's not on the tape you refrain in keeping it more "authentic"

    In addition do you have a different set of rules regarding sound when listening to your own music vs music that you are mastering? In other words during private listening at home do you tend to tweak and futz around with the sound more or do you use the same principles as when you are mastering?

    Thanks!
     
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  11. petercw2

    petercw2 New Member

    Location:
    dallas, tx
    hopefully this isn't too silly a question: but is it true there are different "master" tapes for the different formats (CD, Vinyl and back when, Cassette?)
     
  12. Doug Sclar

    Doug Sclar Forum Legend

    Location:
    The OC
    I crank 20 cycles a few db on my main playback system. It's on the crossover that feeds the subs and it compensates for the natural roll off in a nice way, though it also cuts the headroom slightly.
     
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  13. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    I've used noise reduction on a few tracks in 35 years and once on a complete album mastered from cassette. That's all.
     
  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    No such thing as "preserving what's on the master tape." The master tape is basically unfinished. It is what is used to master to something (record, CD, etc.) It is essentially a work part, not anything finished. I master to taste.

    When I listen at home I just listen. Unless something sounds really bad and I'm listening a lot, I don't do any re-recording.
     
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  15. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    No, only one master tape. Copies were made for LP cutting and a cassette running master was made but they both originated with the original tape.
     
  16. George P

    George P Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    Was the complete album one the alternate mix of Forever Changes?
     
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  17. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Yes, indeed.
     
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  18. Steel Woole

    Steel Woole Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    What make and model of cassette deck did you use?
     
  19. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Nakamichi 1000 modded somehow to adjust azmuth with a tweeker tool. Studio was in New York. Seemed to work fine but I never liked Nakamichi decks. This one was pretty good though.
     
  20. George P said:
    Was the complete album one the alternate mix of Forever Changes?

    WOW!
     
  21. aoxomoxoa

    aoxomoxoa I'm a "Citizens For Boysenberry Jam" Fan

    Location:
    Ohio USA
    You can't tell that alternative Forever Changes is a cassette source. Great work!
     
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  22. Ephi82

    Ephi82 Forum Resident

    Location:
    S FL
    Hi Steve,

    I was very happy to see this thread get recharged. Very interesting.

    I have enjoyed your description of your mastering/remastering philosophy, and very much like and agree with the goal being to highlight the best musical elements in a recording (which may be different ones at different times during the song).

    Having a hybrid analog/digital 24 track home studio, I continually look for ways to get better sounding and effective recordings. I have noticed that my best finished projects often feature key musical elements that stand out, but are not obviously so.

    Can you share, in general terms, what techniques you use to highlight the best musical elements in a recording? I am not asking for specific equipment quotes, or eq settings etc. (i.e. Proprietary information) , but a general direction where I can build my own solution.



    Thanks

    ( a Steve as well)
     
  23. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    I can. It has a certain weak sound raw which is a giveaway. I masked it as best I could. No-Noised the sh** out of it first, then compressed the sh** out of it, then EQ'd the sh** out of it. It's a dreadful remix to begin with but people seem to dig it..
     
  24. aoxomoxoa

    aoxomoxoa I'm a "Citizens For Boysenberry Jam" Fan

    Location:
    Ohio USA
    It's a wonderful artifact. I'm glad to have it.
     
    George P likes this.
  25. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    I can't really help you. It's not about proprietary info, it's about feel. That's all it is, feel. Like any good mix. You know it when you get it.

    I learned from the best mastering engineers around, like Kevin Gray. He taught me to feel my way. And, the thousands of mastering notes in the thousands of tape boxes I've looked at along the way.
     
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