Truth be told, for reasons personal and otherwise, Third Eye Blind are my favorite recent band of all time. As such (and as a collector), a few days ago I bought their new compilation CD A Collection on Elektra/Rhino. According to the credits, it was remastered by Dan Hersch and Bill Inglot at DigiPrep. The comp was culled primarily from three albums: Third Eye Blind (1997), Blue (1999), and Out of the Vein (2003). All of the songs are album-length versions. Out of curiosity, I decided to compare some of the songs with their incarnations on the original CDs from which they came. Here are some screenshots of EAC-extracted WAVs in Audacity, with the waveforms from A Collection at top in each one: "How's It Going to Be," from Third Eye Blind. The original CD wasn't mastered too badly. There's obviously more compression present, although the overall tonality isn't significantly different. "10 Days Late." I always thought that Blue sounded like sonic **** (even though I liked the music), and it's easy to see why here. Interestingly, the Collection waveform is at a lower level but appears and sounds identically smashed. I wonder if they actually used existing CDs as the source for the compilation. Finally, here's "Crystal Baller" from Out of the Vein. Same story as above, although I'd like to think the original mastering engineer was marginally less heavy-handed this time around. So...what gives?