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.

  1. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    A oldie but a goodie thread.
    My first cd was Sgt Pepper, well packaged and sounded great.
     
    Front 242 Addict likes this.
  2. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    I'd love to have you tell me about the difference.
     
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Take a good listen to it under cans or something. You tell me! Herb mixed the original at Gold Star (with Larry Levine, slightly pissed off, watching) and did the same with this remix, trying to "improve" it (with Larry again, slightly pissed off, watching.)
     
  4. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    I got the Pepper CD here in LA and then I was told that the British import was better. Not better sounding but better packaging. So I went to that CD import store that was on Wilshire Blvd. here in LA and found it. Yes! Had a beautiful slip case and everything!
     
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  5. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    I have. It sounds like the same mix, positioning of the three tracks, just really clean for the stereo track. The original mono single mix - that's another story.
     
  6. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Four mixes, the old stereo, the old mono LP, the 45 mix and the remix. The 45 mix (as you know) has the extra horn honks. The mono LP mix (to my surprise) does not. Confused the hell out of me at the time.
     
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  7. g.z.

    g.z. Forum Resident

    Are there any older CDs that have the old stereo mixes?
     
  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Yeah, I've got the wrong GH in mind. I'm thinking of the one that has the song titles all around the border of the cover. That is the remix. The orange is just a duped tape copy of the old stereo mix. Sorry.
     
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  9. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    All.
     
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  10. YpsiGypsy

    YpsiGypsy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    When CDs came out in the 1980's didn't they try to make them sound like LPs so that people would make the switch to CDs?
     
  11. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    That was one thick booklet. I hadn't heard Pepper in 10 years or more so the stereo sounded wonderful. I had this Italian model girlfriend who insisted on hearing the Sgt Pepper compact disc. Satisfaction guaranteed, indeed.
     
  12. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    Ah. You were thinking of the FOURSIDER compilation.
     
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  13. MaestroDavros

    MaestroDavros Forum Resident

    Location:
    D.C. Metro Area
    I've said this before, but I think one of the greatest factors that often hindered those 1980's CD's was the primitive (by today's standards) DAC's available at the time. Take the initial George Horn CDs of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" for instance; in hindsight the mastering isn't bad at all, but is hindered by the conversion to digital. I'm sure that if George had done the exact same mastering moves today using modern DAC's today, rather than complain of a brittle digital sound he'd be praised by us for the warmth and dynamics that lie underneath those masterings.

    While over-the-top digital manipulation is certainly easier to do today, we also benefit from more accurate transfers and DAC's than were available back then.
     
    RSteven likes this.
  14. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    I was not always aware of this fact until I discovered this great forum a few years ago. In fact, I use to think that some of the very early remastering in the 1980's was inferior and a little harsh sounding, but that quickly changed. In the last few years ,I have found that many original 1980 CD's are indeed superior to what has come later, depending on the remastering engineer and the source used for that remastering. Unless, it is someone I have a huge regard for like a Vic Anesini or our fantastic host, Mr Hoffman, I usually find that a newer remaster is not always a better remaster. I very recently found a great example of this truth, when I finally tracked down an original budget line edition of one of my favorite country-pop albums of all time by the late, great Charlie Rich. His Behind Closed Doors was a sonic splendor when originally released and engineered by the great Lou Bradley in Nashville. In my mind, he was the closest thing to Bill Porter's great engineering in the 1960's with RCA. Well, Behind Closed Doors almost always sounded great regardless of the format, but I naturally got the expanded edition when in came out in 2001, I believe.

    Now, that version sounds fairly decent as it was pretty hard to screw up that stellar engineering job that Lou Bradley did in those days, but several Rich fans told me on another Charlie Rich thread that the original 1980's budget line CD was superior and warmer sounding than the later expanded edition. It took me forever to track that original one down on eBay, and I finally got one just a few days ago, and guess what? I do indeed find this 1980's original version is warmer and slightly more dynamic. I had been pushing for Real Gone Music to get this album remastered by Sony Battery and couple it with one of his great follow-up Epic albums, but to no avail so far. I understand that another label is interested in putting out his Behind Closed Doors quad version on an SACD. I would love to know what Mr. Hoffman would think of that idea. Anyways, this great forum has taught me a lot about how to find the best sounding versions of the greatest music in the world.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
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  15. originalsnuffy

    originalsnuffy Emperor King Beyond These Things

    Location:
    Upper Midwest, USA
    I wonder where our host is on the question of the relative merits of analog on vinyl vs digital. Let's assume the original is well recorded, mixed, and master for both the vinyl and the digital (uncompressed).

    This is with regard to the above post in particular. I would agree that my current electronics are much more pleasant to listen to that my older digital electronics. I remember once I had a Pioneer receiver (high end unit, VS DX1 or something like that) that sounded downright awful with nearly every signal it was fed. So I do believe that poor electronics is a "thing".
     
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  16. g.z.

    g.z. Forum Resident

    Is the Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 FOURSIDER compilation CD a remix also?
     
  17. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    It mostly sounds normal to me. Some don't like it. One track that was unnecessarily messed with on that comp is "The Look Of Love" which appears in a CSG-processed form. The original LOOK AROUND album did not have that processing.
     
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  18. g.z.

    g.z. Forum Resident

    :thumbsup: Thank ye.
     
  19. Vandenville

    Vandenville Forum Resident

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    "Remastered" is now a four-letter word* :)

    *unless its used by somebody who knows what they're talking about.
     
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  20. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    I really stand by this statement.
     
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  21. g.z.

    g.z. Forum Resident

    Does the Sergio/'66 Foursider CD sound better to you than Classics Volume 18?
    I dig the tracklisting very much.
     
  22. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    Both of those sound about the same to me. I too prefer FOURSIDER's song selection.
     
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  23. Veech

    Veech Space In Sounds

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    When Barry D was advising me on my new studio setup and equipment choices, he said "be careful what you wish for" when I told him I wanted "transparent" reproduction. Boy, was he ever right. Suddenly I could hear issues on CDs that, for years, I thought sounded fine. ugh..
     
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  24. Baldo

    Baldo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Butte, Montana
    I love older CDs, most of the time. IIRC, wasn’t one of the original intents of CDs to faithfully recreate what was on the master tapes, warts and all?

    Recently, I listened to my 87 Abbey Road, a completely flat transfer. Most of it is wonderful (“Here Comes The Sun” in particular), some needs work (“Something”, “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”). But I love that. It’s why I have a Pyramid 10-Band eq in my truck.

    I think CD mastering hit its peak in the early 90s. KISS Revenge (1992) and the 1993 Columbia Aerosmith remasters are some of my favorite sounding CDs.
     
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  25. TheSeldomSeenKid

    TheSeldomSeenKid Forum Resident

    What Have I learned? That a Few Years on this Forum has cost me a lot of money, as got me interested to build a decent Entry Level System(about $3,000 Total) and I have not even completed my System yet, with money going to buying Better Mastered(Older) CDs and some Vinyl, as figured the remaining Stereo Components I need will still be there to buy in the next year, but there are limited copies of a DCC CD Titles I wanted(and the DCC Doors on Vinyl), AF, AP, MFSL Ulradiscs or other early Japan or WG CDs.

    Also, to our Host, if You are Here and I am Here, isn't it 'Our Time'. Aloha Mr. Hoffman! Please Have Pizza with Pepperoni & Sausage sent from Lamonicas(Westwood).
    [​IMG]
     

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