SH Spotlight I'm asked stuff: Favorite mastering engineer, best BOSTON CD, best TRAVELING WILBURYS CD, etc..

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Raleigh, N.C.
    I've seen worse.
  2. spencer1

    spencer1 Great Western Forum Resident

    Long been a fan of that 1st Leon Russell solo album.
    I buy pretty much every version including the 1993 DCC CD version with those added five tracks and the return of "Old Masters".

    I was always curious about the lineup and who played on each song. I came across this in an old Rolling Stone that I'd saved that gave some information.

    Can you give any insight into the musician lineup?
    You can spot Clapton pretty easily.

    Any insight into your remastering of it?
    How did you get them to OK the return of "Old Masters"?
    I noticed the most recent Audio Fidelity vinyl reissue doesn't have it.
    Lastly, I imagine Audio Fidelity is gone forever and never coming back ...

    (YIKES! It's huge, sorry!)
    Dave, Tom Daniels, BZ58 and 1 other person like this.
  3. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Milwaukee, WI
    This doesn't answer all of your questions, but it touches on a few:

    SH Spotlight - I'm asked stuff: Favorite mastering engineer, best BOSTON CD, best TRAVELING WILBURYS CD, etc..
    Dan Steele and wellhamsrus like this.
  4. spencer1

    spencer1 Great Western Forum Resident

  5. Batears52

    Batears52 Forum Resident

    Near Baltimore, MD
    Steve, I wish I had known what DCC was all about back when I was a one-stop buyer. I think it was Schwartz Brothers, here in the Baltimore -Washington area that distributed the label. At the time, I recall looking at the fancy gold discs and the prices....and was thinking, "no way!"

    Do you know why Audio Fidelity didn't get a chance to do the Holiday album by America? (I didn't expect them to license Hat Trick - nice album, but not a big seller. But Holiday seemed like a natural.)
    Same question on James Taylor and In The Pocket - especially after doing all the other titles. (And I really would have liked you to do your magic on JT's Greatest Hits - and have them let you use the 45 version of "Country Road"! I remember you said you tried to get that for SBJ, but they wouldn't go for it...)

    How are you doing in all this insanity? (I do miss the days of the "Adventures In Mastering" threads - when you announced new AF releases!)
    Steel Horse, BeatlesBop and George P like this.
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al Senior Member

    Long Island, NY
    Only slightly related to this thread, but here is my story:

    I was a member of the DCC Forum back in the late '90's/early 00's. I joined because I found the discussions interesting and had NO IDEA who were the moderators or hosts. A discussion came up concerning the MCA CD of Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy by The Who. I made a comment that the CD sounded great, except for the song 'Substitute' which sounded shrill and crappy. Steve responded that he had trouble securing a decent master for that one song, and they went with what they had.

    I had NO IDEA that I was communicating with the guy that actually mastered that CD. I ran to look at the CD credits and just kept repeating to myself "holy s4it, holy s4it"!

    Ahhhh.. those days when the internet was new.

    Just in case you read this Steve, I have many, many of your mastering titles on various formats and love them all.

    But Substitute is still 'ehhh'.
    supermd, Rupe33, BeatlesBop and 8 others like this.
  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    WB changed some licensing policy, money was too much or something. Changed the nature of reissuing WB/E/A/A stuff, I guess.
  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Sorry about that, was the only tape in the entire file for that song (in the USA). Someone in the UK thought that it was a mighty fine tape to send to America. Engineer H. Keller, I believe..

    Good to see you're here after all of these years!
    thxphotog, hi_watt, supermd and 4 others like this.
  9. BradB

    BradB Well-Known Member

    Denver, CO
    Well, on this note, if somehow Parlaphone, Sony and/or the Bowie estate would reach out to you to finish their box set reissue series since it's mostly past the Visconti period, would you accept the gig?!? Not that I have any pull to make that happen but a fan can dream....
  10. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Would never happen!
    Rupe33 likes this.
  11. BradB

    BradB Well-Known Member

    Denver, CO
    You're probably right, but at least know if it did myself and probably several readers here would highly approve of it happening! Thanks again for taking time to respond to all of our inquiries!
    Blastproof and Steve Hoffman like this.
  12. tubesandvinyl

    tubesandvinyl Forum Resident

    Steve, that's so funny. I have the same car dream and the same dead air dream, even though the last night I DJ'd in a club was 1996!!! All of a sudden, the record ends and I'm scrambling to grab a record to put on the other turntable, while 200 people on the dance floor stare at me. Lol
    forthlin likes this.
  13. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Yup, a very common set of dreams among some of us.
    Lownote30 likes this.
  14. Ken K

    Ken K Forum Resident

    Sayreville, NJ USA
    Steve, I've been playing the SACD you did of Nat Cole's "Welcome To The Club" and it sounds magnificent, with dynamics left intact, no added processing, etc. I also have the mono LP where the dedicated setup included more spot mics, giving a "fuller" representation of the orchestra and rhythm section. The original vinyl sounds a bit compressed, even pinched in places. To your knowledge, do the mono session tapes have the same compression as the LP, or are they more dynamic? I would love to hear what you could do with those mono tapes (assuming they still survive).
  15. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    For the record (pun intended) I wanted to include the mono mixes of WELCOME TO THE CLUB as well but Audio Fidelity didn't want to spend double the money for a project that they knew wouldn't sell much.

    The mono tapes from Capitol in that era are way more "compressed" than the raw three-tracks. But, they should be. Without that analog compression it really doesn't sound like a professional record. Don't know what cutting you have but the Capitol vinyl from that era was not overly limited during record mastering.. Never does the stuff sound "pinched" on the tapes but there is some midband EQ boosting on the cutting which isn't on the tape that might push it over the edge of fun on modern gear.. Probably would sound better on an old Magnavox.
  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Forgot something:

    When working on WELCOME TO THE CLUB I had doubts about whether to use the mono mixes or the stereo. I played MADRID for my wife, the mono first and then the three-track reduction I had done. She heard 20 seconds of the three-track reduction, got up and said, "No question, this one."

    I asked her if the lack of close miked bass/guitar/piano bothered here on the stereo. She said "Not compared to the crappy mono version."

    So there ya go, I used my stereo mix..
  17. ericc2000

    ericc2000 Forum Resident

    Tulsa, OK, USA
    Happy wife, happy life!
  18. Time Is On My Side

    Time Is On My Side Forum Resident

    Madison, WI
    Is it true that some artists record things in MP3? I have heard this about at least one Beck album. But listening to some other albums that were horrendously mastered like RHCP - Californication, I often wonder if this is more widespread. That's a good album, it's just too bad there has never been a release of it that sounds good and dynamic.
  19. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Milwaukee, WI
    MP3 has nothing to do with reduced dynamics.
  20. Wordnat2

    Wordnat2 Square as hay, dull as cattle.

    Ahh, I see. So you agreed with your wife — interesting approach! I’m sure my ex-wife is nodding her head in agreement somewhere...
  21. Plan9

    Plan9 Mastering Engineer

    Toulouse, France
    No. Some samples in a song may be in MP3 format, or a mix in progress exported in MP3 by mistake (and later used as the best mix, I have seen this happen), but virtually nobody, outside of newbies with no technical knowledge, would "record" in MP3.
  22. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Milwaukee, WI
    The only exception I could *possibly* think of would be recording demos/rehearsals with a portable digital recorder and using MP3 for some reason, either by mistake or to get a longer record time. But even that's an extreme edge case.
    marcb, superstar19 and Plan9 like this.
  23. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    North Carolina
    Mike Scott of the Waterboys has used his iPhone to do sound effects and field recordings on a number of songs, so certain bits of album tracks are lossy-sourced. He's also released demos recorded the same way, but that's a bit more understandable. Now, iPhone has an option to record voice memos in lossless quality - I don't know if it sounds any better than the MP3, the built-in mic ain't exactly a Shure, but theoretically it could be better.
    Plan9 likes this.
  24. BZync

    BZync Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    About two years back I spent a week in Moro Bay, California, a laid back beach town. Late one quiet night I recorded the sound of the waves crashing and sea lions calling, using my iPad. Was hoping to use it as an introduction to an original song. When I got home and uploaded it to Logic Pro I was surprised at just how awful a recording it was. Took a lot of EQ and mucking about to get it clean enough to use as ambiance. To your point, the microphones on Apple devices are nothing special.
  25. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    North Carolina
    Having used them for close to a decade, I would agree with the last statement of your post even if you dropped "the microphones on" from it. :laugh:

    Back when I worked in a factory, we had an oil machine that made this really wild noise when it started up. I got a lousy, lossy phone recording of it. Many months later (over a year, I think) I bought a portable Zoom handheld recorder which does 24/96 audio and sounds great. I've done field recordings, acoustic demos, all sorts of stuff and it's awesome. Well, in that time, they came in and serviced the machine, so it doesn't make that noise anymore. I got a hi-res recording of what the machine is supposed to do (yawn) and a crummy recording of what it did before they fixed it (which sounded like an alien spaceship taking off). I'm gonna have to sync those up and blend them together as best I can. Lossy audio sucks. :(

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