SH Spotlight I was asked how we cut the Creedence 180+ vinyl reissues for Analogue Productions. Photos within..

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Jul 18, 2022.

  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Simple really, well not simple but by the book.
    1. We get the Creedence Master tapes and give a listen.
    2. We get an original Allen Zentz RCA pressing and give a listen.
    3. We prepare the master tape for all analog cutting, running down each song for tone/volume.
    4. Kevin Gray does the cutting part, I concentrate on the tonality and dynamics part.
    5. We cut side 1.
    6. We cut side 2.
    7. Lunch.

    And so on.. Any questions?
    mastertape.jpg playback.jpg steve&kevin.jpg cutting lathe.jpg
     
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  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    steve console.jpg side view.jpg console & tapes2.jpg When all the albums are cut, we hope and pray and they will be plated correctly. If not, we have to go back and recut whatever sides we need to until all metal is approved. By this time we are a bit punchy..

    deathbycreedence.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2022
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    pendulum croped.jpg

    From an old thread.

    The preview playback head (to the left of the big tape loop) sends a signal to the Neumann 66 cutting system, giving it a "heads up" (pun intended) on the kind of volume it can expect in the next second or two. In this way, the Neumann computer knows how narrow or wide to make the groove at that moment, a split second before the audio hits the actual playback tape head (to the right of the tape loop). Saves on disc space. Nifty, eh?

    Those little colored knobs to the right of the big "1" and "2" on the VU meter bridge are the setup adjustment controls. Since no two tape machines are set up alike, the Mag. Ref. Lab. set up tape is an industry standard that allows tape machines all over the country to be set up exactly the same, thereby making it possible that a tape recorded on one machine will play back correctly on another. The MRL tape has a bunch of tones on it at certain freqs. of the sonic spectrum (bass tones, midrange tones, treble tones), all recorded at "0" VU. Each of the little above mentioned knobs on the Studer mastering deck adjusts one of the tones. When the entire sonic spectrum is balanced at "0" VU on the meters, we're in business. The playback deck is sonically neutral.

    Of course, this does us no good at all if the master tape we are playing back doesn't match the MRL levels. Most old tapes don't. A master tape SHOULD have its own set of set up tones on it, so the mastering engineer can adjust the machine to match the original mixing machine. In the case of all the Creedence tapes, no set up tones are on the tapes at all except the 1000 cycle left and right channel balance tone. So, Kevin and I have no idea what type of bass, midrange and treble levels were on the ORIGINAL mixing machine. Arggh! So, we balance by ear. A pain in the butt, but it works!
     
  4. vinyl>cd

    vinyl>cd Climb To Glory / Fly To Glory

    Location:
    USA
    What’s the cumulative hours on a job like this with an average 11 tracks? Curious that’s all. And oh by the way, what do you think of the Mastering/Engineering program at the Berklee College of Music in Boston?
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2022
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  5. dasacco

    dasacco Senior Member

    Location:
    Massachussetts
    I don't know about anybody else, and perhaps I'm overstepping, but to me this speaks volumes, answering much more than "How'd you cut the Creedence LP's?".
     
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  6. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Depends on the shape of the tape and the quality of the music. For Creedence, easy. One album in the morning, one in the afternoon, repeat next day..
     
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  7. vinyl>cd

    vinyl>cd Climb To Glory / Fly To Glory

    Location:
    USA
    Thanks. I know you make it sound easy but it’s anything but.
     
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  8. Solly Bridgetower

    Solly Bridgetower Elton is my golden God of music. Deal with it.

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    A minor thing, but something I've always wondered nevertheless: How do these priceless tapes reach you? I just shudder to think that these tapes arrive by UPS or something like that.
     
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  9. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Courier.
     
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  10. jewelsnbinoculars

    jewelsnbinoculars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
  11. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    The annoying part is splice repair, etc. That takes extra time. Old splices come loose and makes it dangerous so every edit, splice, dropout has to be repaired or pieced from safeties..
     
  12. recordhead

    recordhead Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kentucky
    I kick myself regularly for not buying those LP's
     
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  13. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Some are in print, aren't they? Or am I thinking of something else? I think they are..
     
  14. Joel Cairo

    Joel Cairo Media Doctor (& Video Gort) Staff

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Boss- you mentioned that you hope the lacquers will be plated correctly... that part is out of your hands, I'm guessing.

    What happens to cause a lacquer to be plated **incorrectly**? (And I'm sure you have a book-sized list of things that fit that category... )

    - Kevin
     
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  15. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Kev,

    Blowing a lacquer is common these days now that the old-timers are retiring, sadly. It can happen many ways, during the silver sputtering, during the plating, any time. Broken groove, spots, this, that, it's just how it is.

    Next time you come down, let's go to RTI, I'll show you how it works..
     
  16. Joel Cairo

    Joel Cairo Media Doctor (& Video Gort) Staff

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Love to!

    (Man, after going to the work of cutting one of those things, I can't imagine how frustrating it would be to have to do it all over again, due to someone else's mistake...!)

    - Kevin
     
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  17. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Yes, it's quite messed up. Hard work, down the drain, have to do it all over again. Frustrating. Once the metal is processed correctly, all is good for thousands of pressings. Can make a new mother from the master plate, can make new stampers from the mothers, can go on for a while. BUT, when all is worn, lacquers must be recut. That means, getting the master tape back. If that won't happen, out of print!
     
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  18. chaz

    chaz Senior Member

    Location:
    Canada
    How was the DSD captured? At the same time running concurrently while cutting the lacquer?
     
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  19. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    No, that would be too complicated. Our Sony DSD guy set up in the studio, we came in and mastered straight to his machine, using the exact same mastering notes for the LP's. They should (will) match.

    However, the CD version was captured at the same time as the SACD transfer.
     
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  20. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    You should use this image on the 404 page when the forum is down:

    [​IMG]
     
  21. chaz

    chaz Senior Member

    Location:
    Canada
    Thanks Steve
     
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  22. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker

    Location:
    Toronto
    One of them is still in print and very cheap, though not under the AP label. A regular Fantasy pressing using the same metalwork as the AP pressings, though.

    Cosmo's Factory
    Amazon; https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F43867M
    Discogs; Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cosmo's Factory

    It appears Bayou Country, the 2nd and only other cheap one reusing the same AP metalwork, is now OOP as well. Amazon is OOS and the sole copy on Discogs has a mad price of $75, for some odd reason.

    Here's a link to an eBay listing for sealed ones at $31, listing Steve and Kevin in the details. Copies are sealed and seller has a rating of 100% after 4880 transactions. 3 copies left. Grab 'em while you can!

    Bayou Country
    eBay; CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL "BAYOU COUNTRY" BRAND NEW! STILL SEALED LP! (MINT) 25218838719 | eBay
     
  23. Myke

    Myke Rock Geezer

    Cosmo's Factory : Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cosmo's Factory
     
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  24. dasacco

    dasacco Senior Member

    Location:
    Massachussetts
    Shortly after I bought the box set of the LP's, a friend asked me how I liked it. I told him the box would be buried with me. :)
     
  25. Myke

    Myke Rock Geezer

    And doesn't that feel great ?
    A Discogs member in the UK just offered me $179.00 US for my Changin' Times 2 CD set. No thanks.
     
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