Rush - new 2015 vinyl and hi-res reissues thread. (Part 2)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Ken_McAlinden, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. Plan9

    Plan9 Mastering Engineer

    Location:
    Toulouse, France
    Of the downloads I have (most of the 70s and up to PW, + S&A), only Power Windows is audibly watermarked. I heard HYF and it was watermarked too. I guess not all downloads everywhere were watermarked.
     
  2. JediJoker

    JediJoker Audio Engineer/Enthusiast

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    Some of us have. It would almost be bearable and better than the original mix if not for the wimpy, beater-forward kick drum sound. As it is, for me, the best way to hear Vapor Trails is the Andy VanDette remaster of the original mix. (I hold out hope for Magee masters of the original and/or the remix; there must be more dynamics in there.)
    I do believe they all are, worldwide, but it's not equally easy to hear the watermark on every album/track. I have the 24/96 download of Magee's Fly By Night from the Blu-ray, and the first time I listened to it, I didn't notice. In subsequent listens, however, I have spotted the "warble" and it does spoil the otherwise great experience slightly. As for the panning/channel balance issue, if it is there, it's quite slight to me, even on headphones.
     
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  3. wellers73

    wellers73 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    My version of Moving Pictures is watermarked. I hear it in the drums during the intro to Tom Sawyer.
     
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  4. 32XD Japan1

    32XD Japan1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pennsylvania USA
    Pardon my ignorance but what is a watermark.? I have a couple of these albums in HD format but never gave them a super critical listening.
     
  5. JediJoker

    JediJoker Audio Engineer/Enthusiast

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    Are you ready to go down the rabbit hole?
     
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  6. oneway23

    oneway23 Forum Resident

    Location:
    NY, US
    So, the actual bluray content is the 2013 Van Dette re-master, but, the download code is for the 2015 Magee re-master?
     
  7. JediJoker

    JediJoker Audio Engineer/Enthusiast

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    Yes.
     
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  8. 32XD Japan1

    32XD Japan1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pennsylvania USA
    Ok thanks, so it's some kind of anti piracy scheme, but after reading a bit about it, I'm not sure how Universal is going to bring pirates to justice with these watermarks, and if it's vandalism from cyberspace corrupting their files, then that's a useless battle, considering the US gov can't keep hackers from getting into classified material. So here again, I cannot understand what purpose this watermarking serves Universal other than selling defective product to paying customers.
     
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  9. JediJoker

    JediJoker Audio Engineer/Enthusiast

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    Welcome.
     
  10. GeraldB

    GeraldB Well-Known Member

    And none of the MP releases (Blu-ray/DVD or new downloads) are hi-res. They are upsampled from the original 16/44.1 mixdown.

    The multi-tracks are analog, though, and have been digitized at 24/96 (for the surround mix), so if there is just _one_ Rush album that SW tackles, I'd love it to be this one, to get at least a hi-res stereo mix. (Even better would be a all-analog remix but, sadly, I can't foresee that ever being financially viable.)
     
    rcsrich likes this.
  11. Brian9229

    Brian9229 Rushman

    Location:
    New York
    Yes I realize it it's upconverted, it's still how I describe the stereo mix.
     
  12. Plan9

    Plan9 Mastering Engineer

    Location:
    Toulouse, France
    For the 2016 remaster by Sean Magee, he used the analog safety tape for MP (that is, the original digital mixdown copied to analog tape), so transfering that in Hi-Res makes sense (at least to me and others it does) and is not *technically* a straight digital upsample.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
  13. GeraldB

    GeraldB Well-Known Member

    It seems to me that that analog tape would likely be the worst option, since it would have been made using a 1980 D/A converter, from a 16/48 digital source. Converting that digital master with today's converters should be a significant step up, although the damage was really done in the mixdown.

    I'm not saying it sounds awful — there's nothing that I can personally point to and say, "this is caused by the digital tape step" — but, it being such a significant album, I can't help but wonder how much better it could sound. (Maybe someone who has heard the surround version — which _was_ mixed from a hi-res transfer of the analog source tapes — could offer some insight into what, if anything, is missing in stereo. But maybe that's off-topic for this thread.)
     
  14. Plan9

    Plan9 Mastering Engineer

    Location:
    Toulouse, France
    Early digital is what it is, but the people using it all came from an all-analog background, and although they were less aware than us today of its limitations, they still knew how they wanted stuff to sound in the end. Sometimes a digital downmix was copied to analog tape for that final analog binding and natural compression. And that tape became the "true" master, not the previous digital step. That's the case for several Rush albums. It is unclear to me if that's the case wth MP, I never checked if most masterings stayed in sync with the same digital clone or not. (BTW, MP has a 44.1kHz cut-off.)
    Anyway, mastering from an analog safety is a valid choice if you can make it sound good or *subjectively* better than the naked digital master. At least it'll sound different. You can master a digital mix in analog or you master an analog mix in digital, if none of either methods' limitations get in the way of the sound quality, what counts is the final result. If you want to compare methods, I believe the previous 2011 "Sector" remaster of MP used the digital downmix... and we know how that turned out... (i.e.: not better than the old Robert Ludwig mastering)

    I have heard the 5.1 surround version mixed from the analog multis. The mixing methods and styles are so different it's difficult to say which aspects of sound quality come from the new AD transfer and which come from the mixing, but the recording sounds more smoothly extended and has that analog flow you would expect... It is also perhaps less "snappy" but of course it lacks all the treatments applied originally to the first mix. I'll have to listen again to the 5.1 mix.
     
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  15. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin Synthpop, City Pop, and Rock Enthusiast

    Location:
    United States
    I gave the 24/48 download of Power Windows a listen after not playing it for a while, and I certainly heard how the watermarking affected it. As another poster pointed out, the intro to Mystic Rhythms has the most noticeable damage. This also might be a result of the watermarking, but the high-end seemed kinda "wishy-washy" to me. I prefer the US Atomic for this one now, and I still need to see if Caress of Steel also has noticeable artifacts. I'm probably going to get the rest of the reissues on vinyl and make my own needledrops, even though they'd only be in 24/48! So far, I have the vinyl reissues for Fly By Night, Feedback, and Snakes & Arrows.
     
    JediJoker likes this.
  16. Agreed--the remaster of the original mix that was available for a relatively short time on HD Tracks is my preferred way to listen.
     
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  17. JediJoker

    JediJoker Audio Engineer/Enthusiast

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    It's still available from 7digital in the U.S.
     
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  18. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin Synthpop, City Pop, and Rock Enthusiast

    Location:
    United States
    Just wanted to give you guys an update on the Atlantic download codes since I bought Roll the Bones and Counterparts at Barnes and Noble today. The code for Counterparts worked like a charm and I'm currently downloading it, but it's not working at all for RTB. I sent an email to redemptions@wmgecom.com a few minutes ago to see if they can send me a working download link. They gave me a link for Snakes & Arrows when my code for it wasn't working, so hopefully they'll do the same for RTB.
     
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  19. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin Synthpop, City Pop, and Rock Enthusiast

    Location:
    United States
    Alright, wmg sent me a working link to get Roll the Bones. :cool:
     
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  20. JediJoker

    JediJoker Audio Engineer/Enthusiast

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    Well, that's good news for anyone who has purchased or will purchase new copies of the vinyl releases and has not yet downloaded the files. I wonder if the Magee Atlantic masters will ever see a separate digital release?
     
  21. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven Trying 2 snag Da best deals before Lightning Tuna!

    sigh... sorry to weep and moan (just a little...) but it would REALLY REALLY be nice if in the future, perhaps, if they could PLEASE keep the vinyl remasters thread completely separate from the HD trax thread... Please...

    It is really tough (I know, I'm a wussy...) wading through scores and scores of pages completely about digital trax, in order to find any information about the vinyl remasters. I swear, but ONLY on the SH forums have I seen such bloody PASSION for 'talking' about digital formats! MAN...

    So, to the Powers That Be... if I could please humbly suggest that perhaps these kinds of threads about remasters could please be kept separate, because it is honestly REALLY difficult to find the parts about vinyl which are the only ones I care about.

    Thanks!

    (Whining done... [​IMG] )
     
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  22. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven Trying 2 snag Da best deals before Lightning Tuna!

    Ah, that would explain why I felt that Caress of Steel sounded so digital to me. Immediately on playing the new vinyl I didn't like the sound at all.

    Most interesting... Glad you mentioned that in your comparison. That explains a LOT! [​IMG]
     
  23. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven Trying 2 snag Da best deals before Lightning Tuna!

    Very nice job :)

    I also believe that I have the same club pressing. I'm surprised at how good it sounds. There is not NEARLY as much difference in this album as I heard with Caress of Steel. The early pressing I think has a tad more of an open airiness to it, maybe a BIT more of a spread soundstage, but the new remaster to me is actually pretty dang close and sounds very good.

    Thanks again mate! :D
     
    Hail Vinyl! likes this.
  24. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven Trying 2 snag Da best deals before Lightning Tuna!

    I also really like AFTK as one of my favourites after 2112. I also have an early U.S. club pressing (similar to the 2112 the fellow above in this thread did in his comparison with the remaster) I really like how mine sounds. It was apparently mastered at JAMF, so I'm GUESSING you have the good mastering that everyone likes here, and I SUPPOSE that RCA just got it 'right' this time because to me it sounds really good. I'm not surprised that you are disappointed in the remaster's sound compared to your early Canadian pressing (likely also pressed at JAMF)
     
  25. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven Trying 2 snag Da best deals before Lightning Tuna!

    Yep, sadly that seems to be the case. Although, you are one of the VERY VERY few apparently noticing this. Could be more so for 2112 though... Apparently just about EVERYONE here is saying that Hemispheres is definitely better, but...

    Caress of Steel was pretty bad compared to my early U.S. GK pressing. Like you say about 2112, absolutely NO comparison.
     

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