I pulled out my old Columbia CD of Dylan's JOHN WESLEY HARDING just to be sure....

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Aug 14, 2004.

  1. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man



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  2. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

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    Milwaukee, WI
    "Work Reel". That suggests the possibility that the mixes *were* dubbed for the final LP.

    *If* that's where the better sounding version of I'll Be Your Baby Tonight comes from, it's unfortunate that the whole album hasn't been mastered from those tapes.
     
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  3. Roger Ford

    Roger Ford Forum Resident

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    Bristol, England
    Any thoughts on this, @Steve Hoffman?
     
  4. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Not a clue. 1987? 50/50 either way.
     
  5. Roger Ford

    Roger Ford Forum Resident

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    Bristol, England
    OK, thanks for your reply.
     
  6. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    If I had been doing it in 1987, I would have gone 30 ips 1/2” analog.
     
  7. Roger Ford

    Roger Ford Forum Resident

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    Bristol, England
    ... and if someone else had been doing it as a digital mix, in 1987 would that still have been 16-bit? Back then, it was still just Columbia Records; I think it was around 1992 that Sony introduced their 20-bit Super Bit Mapping technology to some Columbia titles.
     
  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    1987 if digital would have been the Sony PCM1630 system, yes. IF they did it that way..

    Actually, now that my brain is working, unless they were going to also cut a record from it, why WOULDN'T they do it that way? After all, it's going to a 16 bit digital CD anyway..
     
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  9. Roger Ford

    Roger Ford Forum Resident

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    Thanks for those further thoughts - they suggest an interesting line of research, i.e. was there a post-1987 Columbia vinyl pressing of JWH that used the same mix as the original CD? That would be a nice thing to find. Mind you, if there was, might they just have cared so little about vinyl in those days that they would just cut it from a 16-bit digital mix?
     
  10. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    In 1987 or even later they would have just used old parts...
     
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  11. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

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    Milwaukee, WI
    If anyone would know it would probably be Mark Wilder.
     
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  12. Roger Ford

    Roger Ford Forum Resident

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    Bristol, England
    Ah, right, that sounds realistic.
     
  13. Roger Ford

    Roger Ford Forum Resident

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    Right - are you in a position to ask him?
     
  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Roger, before I take a walk with my 3 kids, I just want to mention this. You are aware that the JWH multi-track sessions were recorded "Nashville Style," correct? That means that the music was mixed live to multi-track and is meant to be played back with all the faders at 0 equally. In other words, already mixed for transfer to two track cutting tape. All that would differ is the amount of compression, reverb, EQ added during the reduction. To me, the album on the 1987 CD is closest to the actual mix done on the multi-track at the time of the session, what Dylan heard on playback in the studio. Therefore it is precious to me! On to the great outdoors, wish us luck.
     
  15. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    FWIW, the pressing of JWH I bought new in summer 1988 (Columbia PC 9604) has the original mix.
     
  16. Roger Ford

    Roger Ford Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, England
    Hope your walk was a good one, Steve. Presumably the same "Nashville Style" of recording would have applied to Blonde On Blonde, especially as then they'd have been recording multiple instruments to each of only four tracks. In that scenario it would have been even more crucial to get the levels right first time on the multi-track.

    As to John Wesley Harding, which is one of my other top three Dylan albums, I honestly wouldn't know whether it's the closest to what went down on the multi-tracks, but I do know that the 1987 CD is far and away the best-sounding version of that album that there is. I also know that my ears are almost certainly past getting benefit from anything higher-spec than 16/44.1, so I'm very happy with it. Thanks again for reminding people how good it is.
     
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  17. Roger Ford

    Roger Ford Forum Resident

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    Thanks, czeskleba, that's interesting to know. What are the matrix numbers of that pressing?
     
  18. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I did. He indicated there wasn’t necessarily a typical way of doing things, so without direct knowledge of a particular mix, it would be impossible to guess.

    As far as sound quality goes, I think you’ll find the tracks on some comps also sound great. For example, I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight on the remastered Biograph seems to be the original mix, but with the fidelity of the remix.
     
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  19. Roger Ford

    Roger Ford Forum Resident

    Location:
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    Thanks for doing that, Luke, even though the response was inconclusive. Yes, "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" - and "Dear Landlord" too - sound a whole heap better on the remastered Biograph than they do on the 2003 SACD remaster, and if they can ever put out the whole album sounding like that, I'll buy it one more time.
     
  20. Flaming Torch

    Flaming Torch Forum Resident

    Thanks lots of great information.
    Which Biograph is the remastered version? I think it is the one where I'll Be Your Baby Tonight is longer and off the top of my head the live 66 I Don't Believe You was different to the original vinyl and cd versions.
    I think the remastered cd Biograph are the ones from 1997 and onwards.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
  21. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Biograph was reissued and remastered in 1997. There were some intentional changes:

    - The original 1985 release used the Belfast performance of I Don't Believe You. The 1997 reissue used the Manchester performance, although the liner notes weren't updated.

    - The original 1985 release used an alternate take of Mixed Up Confusion with overdubs from late 1964. The 1997 reissue used the single performance, remixed in stereo. Details here.

    When the 1997 reissue was first released, there were also 2 mistakes:

    - The beginning of Baby, Let Me Follow You Down was missing much of the intro.

    - The end of I'll Be Your Baby Tonight was unfaded.

    Shortly after release, the set was recalled and the mistakes corrected. Interesting comment about the latter:

    "On "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight," Sony used an original master that had not been played in about 30 years and neglected to fade out the last five seconds of the song."

    News Flash: Sony Recalls Dylan's Re-Released Biograph

    Reissue of Biograph and The Bootleg Series, Volumes 1-3
     
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  22. Flaming Torch

    Flaming Torch Forum Resident

    Great thanks lukpac. I have the recalled 1997 and at least 2 different versions bought new post 1997!
     
  23. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Side A: XSM-135311-62B
    Side B: XSM-135312-2C
     
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  24. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I'm finally doing some in-depth comparisons of the various releases. Here's All Along The Watchtower:

    - JWH 2003 SACD (baseline)
    - Mono reverb, and the stereo image pulls slightly to the right. Everything is a bit choked up and "lo-fi" sounding, and it seems like the stereo image may be slightly narrowed, although I'm not certain.
    - JWH original CD
    - Stereo reverb, and stereo image is properly centered. Much more relaxed and hi-fi sounding. Definitely a remix.
    - GHII original CD
    - Very similar to the 2003 SACD (mono reverb, pulls to the right, choked up), but possibly slightly wider.
    - GHII 1999 remaster
    - Like the 2003 SACD, the stereo image pulls to the right slightly and the reverb is mono, but the overall sound is much more open and hi-fi sounding, similar to the remix on the original JWH CD. The stereo image is also more solid than the 2003 SACD and original GHII (the problems on those discs become clear when OOPSing). Despite these differences, the mix does seem to be the original mix. Besides the mono reverb and slight pull to the right, there's a cohesiveness to the mix similar to the other issues of the original mix that isn't quite there on the remix.
    - GHII AF SACD
    - Very similar to the original JWH CD. The alignment of the left and right channels is slightly off (2 samples worth on the CD layer), so the vocal and harmonica don't OOPS completely/properly. The SACD layer almost completely cuts off at 20kHz, which seems to indicate it was sourced from the same digital master as the original JWH CD, which has a similar cut-off.
    - JWH MFSL SACD
    - Less thin and compressed sounding than the 2003 SACD, but not as open as the 1999 GHII remaster; somewhere in between. It also seems like the stereo image issues present on the 2003 SACD and original GHII CD (possibly the result of additional compression?) are not present here, although I'm not 100% certain.

    It seems like the 1999 GHII (and possibly the MFSL) must have used a tape (the mixdown master?) that was later dubbed (with additional compression and EQ?) to create the LP master. That's easily the best sounding version of the original mix to these ears. I do have to wonder why that and the MFSL differ as much as they do. Just down to EQ differences?

    This is taking a bit longer than expected, but I'll try to do Dear Landlord and I'll Be Your Baby Tonight soon.
     
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  25. motionoftheocean

    motionoftheocean Senior Member

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    Circus Maximus
    Thanks Luke. I'm going to really enjoy reading this. I noticed on discogs that there were a number of reissues of GHII all done within a few years of each other, with European and Canadian CD's listed at 1997 and then US (and Canada again) in 1999. Is it known whether the remaster existed before 1999?
     

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