SH Spotlight Compact Disc mastering: 1980's vs. "newly remastered"--Steve's thoughts in 2003 and 2018

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Mar 13, 2003.

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  1. alduchaney

    alduchaney In my second circle and heading for the top

    MA, USA
    What were the two cases that you preferred a remaster, other than the Beatles? Or, were the 2009s one of the two?
  2. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    New Braunfels, TX
    From what I experienced recording audio off Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show last night off my Spectrum cable feed all this brickwalling concern may all go away if streaming takes over especially if the streaming source does some boosting, "sweetening" of the dynamics unlike what's been heard or described here.

    Last night I recorded at CD standard resolution on my laptop The Band's Visit and Katrina Lenk's "Omar Sharif".

    The sound I captured has a 3D sound stage quality that's missing in the YouTube version. Also there is an NBC link I found in Googling this performance where it says..."Sorry we can't play this video in its intended "experience" because we're unable to load the accompanying message from our sponsors" which I'm assuming "experience" is referencing this 3D HD quality.

    My version I recorded is very loud and VERY 3D. It's like they're in the room with me. The file in Audacity is not brickwalled.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
  3. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk A mindislikeaparachuteItdoesn'tworkifitisnotopen

    Gilbert Arizona
    Hot Tuna Burgers and Rory Gallagher Deuce because the remaster was the original mix.
    alduchaney likes this.
  4. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff

    New England
    Is the remastered Burgers the 1996 release by Paul Williams? And I did not know that the original RCA Burgers was a remix. Interesting! I usually play the vinyl, so I'll have to give it a listen.
    Former Lee Warmer likes this.
  5. Do the designations "AAD" vs. "ADD" supply the relevant clue pertaining to this situation?
    Tim Lookingbill likes this.
  6. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product

    Something I wonder about all of this is ....
    If the technology is better (and that means it may be, it may not be) and if engineers of various sorts have more information available to them via teaching and learning (meaning they may do, they may not do) is the reason for all the poor mastering and mixing etc
    a) a terrible trend that everyone is stuck in
    b) pure laziness, as in just get the product out there
    c) are people relying on the technology to do the job, because they just don't understand the job anymore
    d) does nobody give a crap anymore

    It just isn't logical to me.
    Anyone have any theories, realities?
    All Down The Line and RSteven like this.
  7. originalsnuffy

    originalsnuffy Socially distant and unstuck in time

    In the early days of CDs some companies treated their releases as Audiophile and put great mastering engineers on the docket. They obtained great masters and great things happened. Others just sent any old tape for A/D conversion; including tapes that had RIAA LP emphasis applied which would completely mess up the final product.

    I purchased the first Peter Gabriel CD in the US (think it was ATCO). It sounded like mud. Meanwhile I picked up an import on Virgin of the same disc and it sounded glorious. Same approximate release dates; two completely different products.
  8. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk A mindislikeaparachuteItdoesn'tworkifitisnotopen

    Gilbert Arizona
    I was referring to the Rory as a remix but it could read like both
  9. Andreas

    Andreas Senior Member

    Frankfurt, Germany
    That's an urban legend. The RIAA curve never got applied to tapes.
    mne563, Mbe, marcb and 5 others like this.
  10. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    New Braunfels, TX
    Just based on my own experience remastering Hot Chocolate's 2011 brickwalling of their 4CD RAK label Box Collection, I'ld say there might be an issue with those that hear too much or not enough warmth in the 100-300Hz regions and not noticing when there's a reduction or increase in this frequency spectrum it tends to make vocals and instruments in the over 1000Hz region sound too bright or muffled.

    I'm beginning to wonder much like on the photography side of digital editing if everyone is on the same page with listening/viewing reference standards for quality (i.e. calibrated display for imaging/reference monitor speakers for audio). There's no way an audio engineer would edit without working on a reference system that reflects what the majority of listeners listen on. Dynamics of regular consumer level listening devices have changed (greatly improved) in the past several decades. We don't listen on transistor radios any longer. I'm wondering if current audio engineers are aware of this.
    ispace and mark winstanley like this.
  11. Plan9

    Plan9 Mastering Engineer

    Toulouse, France

    This designation was often erroneous, and is not indicative of sound quality.
  12. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    In fact, I have seen lots of EU PD CDs of 78rpm transfers that say ADD when they are AAD.
  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product

    With that in mind. Is it because of a perceived people only listen on mp3 anyhow, so - that'll do?
  14. aakko

    aakko Forum Resident

    The answer to all those questions is money.

    The sole purpose of music industry is to make money. And they think that louder sells better.

    Artists don't care how their music sounds. Very few artists are audiophiles.

    Bob Ludwig and Bernie Grundman have mastered fantastic albums and also absolutely horrible brickwalled albums. They know those are horrible but that's what customer wants.

    There are videos on YouTube where Bob Ludwig talks about how loudness war is just madness.

    Still he puts out masterings that are horrible. And he knows it and laughs "thats how it is. We don't want to do it but that's what customers want."

    It's a business. And he is in it for the money.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
  15. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product

    fair call
  16. eric777

    eric777 Astral Projectionist

    This is just a thought based on my own experience, but when it comes to louder masterings I only see two types of people. The first type are those who hate brickwalling, and the second are those who either don’t know or care about it. I have never seen or heard anyone (outside of the record companies and bands) demanding that music be mastered louder and pronouncing older CDs as being inferior. I believe that if mastering techniques reversed back to the way they once were, the first type would celebrate while the second type would still not care.

    So I ask you, have you actually heard people outside of the industry demanding louder? I realize that my personal experience is anecdotal at best.

    Thank you.
    MitchLT likes this.
  17. smallworld

    smallworld Forum Resident

    I see such pronouncements regularly, often from music buyers that go wild over exterior packaging of reissues ("Colored Vinyl! Bonus signed print!").
  18. eric777

    eric777 Astral Projectionist

    Really? I have seen people go crazy over packaging but never over louder. I even went online and tried to find discussions from the regular buyer demanding louder but never found any.

    I have seen people praise a remaster, but never state loudness as the reason.
  19. apesfan

    apesfan "Going Ape"

  20. Musicisthebest

    Musicisthebest Exiled Yorkshireman

    Manchester, UK
    I've never come across anyone who praises loud CDs but I know several folk who rave on about "extra detail", "deeper bass" & "improved micro-dynamics", when in reality these are by-products of compressed music.
  21. Kristofa


    I can’t see people loving something louder than the average that is out there, but I certainly see people complaining if there is an album that is too quiet in relation to everything else they are streaming on their phones or Bluetooth mono speaker. Even if their volume normalization is on, it will probably still sound quieter.

    Unfortunately—and as we all here are aware—something that is quieter often indicates something more dynamic. On the other hand, quieter doesn’t always indicate it will sound better, but it often indicates that it won’t break up at higher volumes.

    But then dynamism and fidelity is not something that phone speakers and Bluetooth mono speakers produce. But they likely produce lots of bass!
    mishima's dog, eric777 and smallworld like this.
  22. smallworld

    smallworld Forum Resident

    It's not uncommon to find pro-loud opinions among those discussing reissues of 1980s material, particularly expanded editions of albums that gather non-LP mixes (7"/12" etc.) not found on streaming services. I think it's often a concern of music fans that like physical product but who primarily listen to music on portable devices, and via multi artist/era playlists. Normalised volume if of paramount importance to such consumers.
    Robert C, eric777 and ispace like this.
  23. tomd

    tomd Senior Member

    Sorry.Still almost always prefer recent remasters over 80s cds.Just sound better to my ears.
  24. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    New Braunfels, TX
    I don't think audio engineers and labels that reissue older music don't deliberately remaster for that format. I think they remaster to play loud for those that listen on devices that only provide a volume knob. One thing about the 100-300Hz boost is that in the past there was a lot of gain in this region especially for me back in the '70's dropping in free air 6x9's in my car's back dash with no dampening. The 100-300Hz region gained the loudest when cranking it up over the highs.

    Now that they already master it for loudness going from -19db to -10db as is on the Hot Chocolate Box Collection of "Everyone's A Winner" song that mid bass spectrum isn't dominant when reducing the volume. I have my MacMini volume set to in the middle. When I record off any audio content like a DVD soundtrack, the middle position records at -21db or thereabouts. I have to raise the volume to hear all the detail. At -10db on the brickwalled stuff I have to lower it below the middle position. I notice most of the current YouTube videos have done the same volume increase where I have to make the same volume adjustment.

    Those with earbuds and an iPhone will either keep it loud or reduce the volume but it isn't by much.
    mark winstanley likes this.
  25. originalsnuffy

    originalsnuffy Socially distant and unstuck in time

    Well, I would love to know what ATCO did to the particular Peter Gabriel CD if it wasn't RIAA mastering. I wish I kept it just for demonstration purposes but I was happy to sell it when I picked up the import version. The current US versions are just fine by the way; its just the original release.
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