Do I hear an edit in "Aja"?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by crapfromthepast, Feb 28, 2009.

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  1. crapfromthepast

    crapfromthepast Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I'm sure this is elsewhere in the forum, but "Aja" comes up in over two million threads...

    I think I hear an edit in Steely Dan's "Aja". At 2:08, the end of the word "you" is abruptly cut off on a bass note, as if there were a sloppy edit there. It's on the MFSL and the Citizen box, so it's not an artifact of my CDs...

    It doesn't detract from the music at all; it's more of a glimpse behind the magic curtain for me.

    Anyone else hear it?
    Comet01 likes this.
  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    There are over 30 edits in the song AJA.

  3. Evan Guest

    Evan Guest Forum Resident

    Spokane, WA
    So, this forum member actually noticed one and is enjoying his increased
    musical perception influenced perhaps by your and others generously shared
    knowledge.Thanks for the forum! :thumbsup:
    After a long day of Live Music and/or Industrial Noise I go straight to the 70's
    Miles Davis and Zappa's 'Guitar' albums.I find these slightly less subtle in the
    'here's an edit' department ;).A guilty pleasure for sure but worse things have
    been done with a razor blade.
    Know that there were no edits on Steve Gadd's drums.One of the absolute
    most incredible drum performances ever.One take!
  4. bigmikerocks

    bigmikerocks Forum Resident

    you mean 30 edits from different takes, or over 30 punches???
  5. vonwegen

    vonwegen Forum Resident


    Steve, were the edits actual splices done on the 2-track analog mixdown tape you mastered for the original MCA CD or did you do that one from a digital source?
  6. FrankenStrat

    FrankenStrat Forum Resident

    Nick Lowe once said that Dave Edmunds' tapes "look like a doyly" due to the number of edits. Ah, it's all so much easier with Sonar!
  7. Gang Twanger

    Gang Twanger New Member

    Canton, CT, USA
    I know the part you mean. I'm listening to the Mofi version right now (unfortunately it's only a 320kbps MP3 copy from the internet, but I haven't been able to get a better CD version - Those Mofi discs aren't exactly a dime a dozen these days - I do like the sound of it compared to the remaster). As far as the edit, I assumed it was one of two things:

    Either 1) the vocalists were able to sing it that way and make the stop-point sound tight enough,

    Or 2) it was an intentional edit because the vocalists couldn't make the cutoff sound tight enough on their own.

    Whatever the case, it seems that it was what Fagen and Becker (and the producer) wanted. I try not to read too much into things like that.

    Jeeeezzz. Now I have to dig out my Cisco 180 gram LP. Now that's a good-sounding version. I just wish I had a better copy of the Mofi. Some people don't like it (Some think it has a smiley-faced EQ), but listening to the 320kbps copy I have, I think it sounds good. Either way, it's the smoothest CD version I have, so that's what I listen to in the car.
  8. His Masters Vice

    His Masters Vice W.C. Fields Forever

    Sydney, Australia
    Not really. I've just listened to it several times, and although the vocals do cut out fairly sharply, I wouldn't necessarily think of it as an edit. Of course the vocals are double tracked (or more) so it is a little odd to hear them cut out so cleanly, but it's nothing that really bothers me.

    I assume that we are talking about edits that were done to facilitate mixing decisions, since the song was recorded in one take?
  9. Mike Dow

    Mike Dow I kind of like the music

    Bangor, Maine
    :eek: I'll have to listen more carefully. I've never noticed an edit in AJA including the edit mentioned in Ron's original post.
  10. darkmatter

    darkmatter Gort Astronomer Staff

    I'll be digging my copy out too :)
  11. Grant

    Grant C'mon let me show you where it's at!

    United States
    I hate it when I notice edits! It ruins some of my enjoyment. I just noticed one big one in the mono mix of "Don't Play That Song" by Aretha Franklin. I noticed it while declicking it.

    I've always noticed a lot of edits in the song "Aja". To me, they are obvious.
    Comet01 likes this.
  12. JA Fant

    JA Fant Well-Known Member

    The Dan used many edits in their songs...
  13. aoxomoxoa

    aoxomoxoa Blow your harmonica, son

    Dayton Ohio

    I love the Mofi too! Maybe it's my equipment but it sounds great.
  14. pool_of_tears

    pool_of_tears Music Appreciator

    Eastern Iowa
    30? Well, you'd know. You mastered it for cd :)

    I'm shocked to think there would be so many edits in a song. If anything, I think it'd be becasue they may have used 1 particular take but did the edits so they could mix the song in sections. I doubt they needed to do any edits because of the drumming. :agree:
  15. Phlo

    Phlo Formerly dave-o

    Memphis, TN
    Steve Gadd's performance was either take 1 or take 2 (he can't recall) and played straight through with no edits. This was a pre-written chart. No edits.
  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    Guys, I've written about this so many times here:

    30 edits on the master tape. These were mix edit sections pieced together. Nothing to do with performance takes, everything to do with mixing the songs in sections and editing the sections together. A pain to do it that way but the complicated mixing called for it. When I mastered AJA at Digital Magnetics in 1983 for CD each splice area was cleaned and respliced so the tape would pass through the ATR without wowing. It was a pain in the ****..
  17. pool_of_tears

    pool_of_tears Music Appreciator

    Eastern Iowa
    Easy now Steve, this is news to me :angel:

    I'm not surprised one bit learning that they did this. Such dedication to the mastering process is appreciated.
  18. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    :agree: I'm so used to noticing the edits in "She Loves You" that I hear them in OTHER versions! At DisneyWorld last month, I heard a Beatles cover band - when they did "She Loves You", my brain still inserted the edits into their live version! :help:
  19. nosticker

    nosticker Forum Resident

    Ringwood, NJ
    Always heard it, but thought it could have been something as innocuous as someone punching out the vocal tracks at that point in the mix, or perhaps sung that way, and the other tracks simply swallowed it up at that point.

    The most obvious edit-sounding thing on the album, to me, is right before the 2nd intro to "Peg", the one before the guitar solo. Wouldn't be surprised if that's one of dozens on there....did I catch this one? (Apologies in advance, Steve!)

  20. johmbolaya

    johmbolaya Active Member

    Pacific Northwest
    Same here, plus with a board that has over 1200 pages of content it's bound to get lost, and not everyone was here from the beginning to know about every single thread.

    I've always heard a few edits (more noticable with headphones), but never bothered counting or anything.
  21. I heard it the first time I put the vinyl on the day after it was released way back when. I personally didn't think it was an edit per se just an odd and interesting way to provide a transition to the next section of the song.

    It kind of reminds me (in a distant sort of way) the changes in "Happiness is a Warm Gun".
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