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Donald Fagen "The Nightfly" digital recording to MFSL 45 RPM One-Step vinyl?*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by kyndcookie, May 23, 2017.

  1. kyndcookie

    kyndcookie Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Austin, Texas
  2. TheSixthBeatle

    TheSixthBeatle Dyin' ain't much of a livin', kid.

    I have, saved on my PC, this quote from Mr. Fagen:

    The 3M 32-track used 1” digital tape and the 4-track used 1/2” digital tape. They both ran at 45 ips. I guess 3M wanted to sell you lots of tape. The digital audio was recorded at 50kHz 16bits. There were no 16bit converters in 1981, so the 3M system used a 12 bit Burr-Brown converter and 4 bits of an 8 bit converter as gain-ranging to produce the 16 bit results. The “brick wall” analog filters on the 3M machine had hand-wound coils and took up most of a circuit board. They sounded good.…

    Seriously: How good can a 12-bit digital recording (with "16-bit results") sound when transferred to 45 RPM vinyl? Better than a CD? I love the music but I am skeptical.
    JediJoker, ispace, musicarus and 4 others like this.
  3. vinylbuff

    vinylbuff Forum Resident

    North Port Florida
    On something like this, does Music Direct charge your card when you preorder or when it ships?
  4. Nostaljack

    Nostaljack Resident R&B enthusiast

    Washington, DC

    There's one other thread that was posted around the same time. You're forgiven as far as I'm concerned...LOL!

    Anyway, I seriously doubt this is worth it. This title has been done to death and I can't imagine it getting better than the DVD-A. It's digital to begin with.

  5. GregM

    GregM No static at all

    Daddyland, CA
    The multichannel JSACD is very good! I'm Lester the nightfly, hello Baton Rooooouge.
  6. MichaelXX2

    MichaelXX2 Forum Resident

    United States
    If this really is a digital recording, why would they choose this of all things to release from their special one-step process? What a misstep. At least it's not painfully common or overdone titles, but still...
    Gavinyl likes this.
  7. Nostaljack

    Nostaljack Resident R&B enthusiast

    Washington, DC
    Because they think it'll sell. That's the only reason companies do reissues of anything. From a sound perspective, I agree totally.

  8. Tullman

    Tullman Senior Member

    Boston MA
    Agreed, but there must be some analog titles that would sell. Also, why not just do a regular 45rpm release? Why waste the one step process on 12bits? Ok, I guess this opens the door for outdated digital recordings then let's have some Tool.
    Bernard hansen and toddrhodes like this.
  9. GT40sc

    GT40sc Forum Resident

    Eugene, Oregon
    sorry, but I am quite sure that 12+4=16 bits, in this case.
    otherwise, there seems to be a basic misunderstanding of early digital recording...
    Robert C, telepicker97 and Plan9 like this.
  10. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    If it sounds better than any of my other 5 lp copies, then it will be the greatest sound ever, because it almost already is.

    It is certainly a curious choice, to be sure...but I'm hoping for the best, and will try to resist temptation.
    gospelfish and audiotom like this.
  11. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Maybe they are going to use the analog tape back up, like WB did for the first CD release? What was that made from, anyone know?
  12. Bigbudukks

    Bigbudukks Older, but no wiser.

    Gaithersburg, MD
    I don't know, but from what I have been reading about it it seems as though the original master was digital all the way. I may be wrong, but that's what the scuttlebutt seems to be.
  13. kyndcookie

    kyndcookie Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Austin, Texas
    They do not charge until it ships.
  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    No one has a clue? They must have made an analog backup of some kind.
  15. On the original MFSL pressing of the LP, it says that it is mastered from "the original stereo master tape". Whatever that means.
  16. Stefano G.

    Stefano G. Ab alto, speres alteri quod feceris.

    This album was recorded and mixed entirely on 3M digital 32 track and 4 track machines at Soundworks digital Audio/Video Recording Studios, N.Y., Village Recorders, L.A. and Automated Sound, N.Y.
    Could it originally be a DDA release? Maybe yes, but probably an original analog master tape doesn't exist...
  17. Guildx500

    Guildx500 Forum Resident

    I wrote MFSL and asked if this was from an analog source. Not expecting a response but you never know. I assume this is from the digital master tape. The original and recent 180 gram reissue sound great to my ears so I'll probably buy this.
    Tor33rpm and Tullman like this.
  18. ElevatorSkyMovie

    ElevatorSkyMovie Forum Resident

    Did you even read what you posted?
    Tim Müller likes this.
  19. bmoregnr

    bmoregnr Forum Rezident

    1060 W. Addison
    I think the quote used recently about the recording is an excerpt from a larger Nichols quote. The link is dead but it was referenced on another Nightfly thread: Donald Fagen - Nightfly Best Cd Version?

    The first half of that quote seems to imply that analog was not used for the recording of course; and no mention is made of any analog backup of the final mix, although it probably wouldn't be mentioned if done given the context of his point.

    "The Ry Cooder Bop Till You Drop album was the first digitally recorded pop album. It was recorded on the 3M 32-track digital recorder at Amigo studios in North Hollywood California. We booked the Village Recorder in 1981 to cut tracks for Nightfly and decided to try the 3M digital machine. We ran a Studer A-80 24-track analog machine in parallel with the 3M for the test. After the band laid down a take we performed an a-b-c listening test. The analog and digital machines were played back in sync while the band played along live. We could compare the analog machine, the digital machine, and the live band. The closest sound to the live band was the 3M digital machine. We re-aligned the Studer and gave it one more chance. The 3M was the clear winner. We rolled the Studer out into the street, (just kidding) and did the rest of the recording on the 3M 32-track machine. When it came time to mix, we mixed to the 3M 4-track machine."
    klockwerk, Mr. Explorer and Tor33rpm like this.
  20. AnotherEargazm

    AnotherEargazm Forum Resident

    I am no expert here, but let's begin with the obvious: the original RL mastered LP is a glorious recording. Digital or not, it's up there with any other Dan recording. Also, it sounds warmer than my CD, an early US version. If the 45 RPM version can bring us a little closer to the master tape and the studio musicians, it is bound to sound incredible. I'd like a little more bass on some of the tunes, but that's just me.
  21. telepicker97

    telepicker97 Got Any Gum?

    The 3M digital tape was...tape. so...
  22. GregM

    GregM No static at all

    Daddyland, CA
    Indeed, like all Fagen's earlier work with Steely Dan, this is a great recording/production and state of the art (at the time). So I think there is indeed some logic in choosing the title especially if any backup tape exists, as our host hints at.
    Tor33rpm likes this.
  23. John

    John Senior Member

    I have a beautiful RL original that I got in unplayed condition for $10, and that works fine for me. However, while no interest to me personally, I have no issue with MOFI reissuing this. I will agree with a previous post in that one would think they could skip the one step treatment. Who knows maybe it will be great.
    benzo, zebop, Tor33rpm and 1 other person like this.
  24. enfield

    enfield Forum Resident

    Essex UK
    Lets not make it sound complicated.Any label that masters this recording with a slight increase in bass levels and a slight decrease of high frequencies levels will have a great sounding recording on their hands.
    Helom, klockwerk, jawaka1000 and 3 others like this.
  25. Plan9

    Plan9 Mastering Engineer

    Toulouse, France
    It was originally recorded on digital multitracks (no analog mutis, we know that for a fact), so even if there was an analog master tape made of the final mix in parallel at the time (very unlikely), the source would still be digital. Same thing if they just made an analog safety from the digital master tape.

    By the way, it's 16bit, not 12bit!
    ElevatorSkyMovie and Stefano G. like this.

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