SH Spotlight Fleetwood Mac "Rumours" 45 & 33 1/3 RPM Hoffman/Gray vinyl mastering & equalization notes..

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    There are two mixes of GO YOUR OWN WAY, existing on three reels. The original 30 ips mix with SILVER SPRINGS done for the 45 RPM release and the two first generation simul mixes at 15 ips Dolby A for the album sets. All three tapes sound alike for the most part, the 30 perhaps a little leaner with less body and the 15 with more midrange magic and bass. GO YOUR OWN WAY already has a built in "air" sound due to console EQ during mixing (so no need to add any top, as you can see from my mastering notes) and matches the sound of the other songs on the album. It's already borderline bright on top so adding any more BITE would just ruin the sound and induce headaches at 20 paces. The sound of the true approved mixes is what you hear on our version. If you want it brighter turn up your treble control. It's bright enough to me as is...

    I'm curious as to the cutting number of your vintage pressing. I heard lots of weird variants in cutting but GO YOUR OWN WAY pretty much stayed the same every time...

    By the way I was sort of crushed when I was recently told that the great LB guitar solo was comped. I just thought he had an inspirational flash of brilliance in the studio that they happened to catch on tape...
  2. That's funny. I really love David Bowie's vocals and they're all comped.
    Never bothered me knowing that they were.

    The solo sounds so amazing they obviously did it the way it had to be done!

    - - -

    Speaking of bright, the overtones on the guitars on "Never Going Back Again" are almost blisteringly sharp at 45rpm.
  3. Like Tom Petty says of Mike Campbell's solo at the end of Running Down A Dream...that Mike turned his back, and just went off, and Tom's thinking " what the...? " and luckily they caught it on tape. :laugh:
    Cassius likes this.
  4. bw

    bw Forum Resident

    Cincinnati, OH, US
    Happy Record Store Day to me! This is one of the best sounding records I've ever heard. I'm hearing guitars and percussion that I never even knew existed in these songs. The stereo image is beautiful.

    I have a modest system and this record makes it sound like a million bucks.

    Well done Steve & Kevin, well done.
    Vinyl Socks likes this.
  5. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    Wow, that is very subtle. That's just about getting down to the granular level with this stuff.

    I know you're an analog guy, but you really oughta check out some of the digital EQs out there. I'm a huge fan of the Sonox (formerly Sony Oxford) EQ, which sounds phenomenal. And I know a few people who like the Waves Linear Phase EQ as well, plus the digital Weiss boxes.

    The trick to me with this analog stuff is that it's much harder to do EQ and level changes on the fly within the song. At least with a workstation, you can automate it and drop in one adjustment on the verse, a separate setting on the chorus, and then back to the original settings. Very hard to do in real-time with knobs and faders. I've seen this happen with spliced-in masters that made me crazy, like the edits and level dip on ELO's "Sweet Talkin' Woman."

    Believe me, I was very suspicious of automation and all this stuff for a long time, but when I finally got into it about 7 years ago, it opened up my eyes (and ears) to a different way of working. To me, it works better for what I do -- but no question, if the end result works, it doesn't matter how you get there. And I don't doubt that the Rumours 45RPM sounds great. I just put in an order for it through Amazon ($40, yikes) and look forward to hearing it.
  6. Driver 8

    Driver 8 Senior Member

    I'll look at the matrix info of my vintage pressing when I get home. I used to work in a used record store, and I went through twenty copies of Rumours trying to find the best one. Just to be clear, I love what you've done with the 45 RPM pressing of Rumours, but I'm just used to hearing the guitar parts of "Go Your Own Way" sound a little hotter, particularly Lindsey's solo. During my very brief career as a rock musician, my band used to cover "Go Your Own Way," so I know that song backwards and forwards, I guess. It is a brilliant guitar solo, however he did it in the studio. I've often heard that Jimmy Page dashed off the "Stairway to Heaven" solo in one take - I guess Lindsey did not do that for the "Go Your Own Way" solo?

    One other thing I love about the 45 RPM version is how it is possible to pick out each separate vocalist in the backing vocal sections. On the normal LP, the background singers on any given song kind of blend together, if that makes any sense, but, on this new LP, I can hear each individual singer, and pick out "Hey, that's Christine singing that harmony line." Pretty neat.
  7. OcdMan

    OcdMan Senior Member

    Thanks for the notes. Very cool. I just ordered the 33RPM version from Amazon.
  8. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    Arizona desert
    Very interesting info from all. My 45 was delivered today And I have really enjoyed it.
  9. James Glennon

    James Glennon Senior Member

    Dublin, Ireland
    Spare a thought for a poor Irishman, the 45rpm set costs $81 to import.

  10. Fascinating thread. Steve, thanks for sharing some of background info.
  11. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    San Jose, CA
    "Comped" means?
  12. Stefan

    Stefan Senior Member

    Montreal, Canada
    Great thread! This is yet another one to bookmark when folks come along in other thread and swear Steve Hoffman never ever boosts EQ when mastering.
  13. Mike in OR

    Mike in OR Through Middle-earth...onto Heart of The Sunrise

    Portland, Oregon
    Great thread, thanks Steve for providing this info. The 45 set is absolutely wonderful. Excellent job. :righton:
  14. hoover537

    hoover537 Forum Resident

    Steve, What does "Do not massage" mean at the end of a few of the songs?
  15. Hawkman

    Hawkman Supercar Gort Staff

    New Jersey
    If I am not mistaken.... And someone please correct me if I am, I believe 'comped' is short for 'compiled'. Meaning they used different sections and picked the best bits to make up the solo that you hear.
  16. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    San Jose, CA
    Thanks. I was thinking "composed" but that did not seem to make sense.
  17. eyeCalypso

    eyeCalypso Forum Resident

    Colorado, USA
    OH, that would be a disappointment if LB's epic solo is a Frankenstein.
    To me, "comp a solo" means to provide backing chords behind a soloist such as a piano "comp" behind a saxophone improvisation, ie accompany.
    I doubt that's what Steve meant because it wouldn't make sense the way he uses it.
  18. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    When I write DO NOT MASSAGE, I mean simply to leave the dynamics alone in a certain song. Example, THE CHAIN starts out quietly. Normally a mastering engineer would boost the volume at the beginning by hand and reduce it as it got louder, massaging it to be a uniform volume. It's a strong temptation, especially when cutting a record where level is everything.

    SECOND HAND NEWS also starts out at one level and when the "Bom, bom's" come in the volume jumps with the drum hits, etc. Usually the operator would ride that from beginning to end. Some lazier engineers would simply compress it using a machine. At any rate, look at my mastering notes and note the final level for GOLD DUST WOMAN. Do you see how lower it is than all the other songs on the album? That is to compensate for the tremendous volume by the end of the song. If any song begs to be massaged, it's this one. However, setting the level and leaving it without massaging assures that with the dynamic range intact the song is an awesome creation from beginning to end. Much harder to cut that way but worth the effort..
  19. dartira

    dartira rise and shine like a far out superstar


    The Sontec 432 is still considered the Holy Grail eq in mastering circles, along with the GML 9500 and Manley Massive Passive.

    I can't afford goes for 10 to 12 grand. But to me the Sonnox eq plugin sounds nothing like it.

    ME's are still very reluctant to go the plugin route, though the Weiss boxes are widely used digital eq's.

    Even with digital sources it's still very common practice to do a digital-analog-digital roundtrip just to get that Sontec goodness in there (and analog compression, but that's a different story and a different mastering style).

    Every ME I know (me included) uses a DAW these days though to be able to work in sections.
  20. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Recording many takes of a vocal or solo and then combining the best bits of each on a separate track to make a final version. Been going on since the Gods blessed us (or cursed us) with multi-track recording.
  21. btomarra

    btomarra Classic Rock Audiophile

    Little Rock, AR

    Can you give more detail to Second hand News where you state:

    Second Hand News +1/+1 (ORIGINAL PIECED ENDING PROMO VERSION) Do not massage.

    Is this ending dfferent from the original LP since it's a promo version?
  22. dartira

    dartira rise and shine like a far out superstar

    It's a happy ending :D
  23. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    No, it's the version you know. The song has three variants. First is what we know but about 30 secs shorter. The second has the guitar solo elongated by editing the little solo and looping it over to make it twice as long. The third version is the "promo" version that appeared on the first promo album and first pressings. It has the "I'm just second hand news" chorus elongated using editing. That is the version we know.

    The WEIRD thing, it looks like ALL THREE VERSIONS were used at one time or another in cutting records. Yikes.
  24. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    San Jose, CA
    I would guess that "combed" would not be a suitable abbreviation. ;)
  25. chewy

    chewy Forum Resident

    West Coast USA
    hi would someone be so kind to briefly explain what the "tones" are, is it some lead-in tone on tha tape, and what that does, does it calibrate the tape somehow, or, yea i just wanted to ask about that....very interesting thread, thanks

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