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. azideam

    azideam Well-Known Member

    Bay Area, CA
    Hi Steve, do you recall the condition of the Al Green tapes used for the DCC Greatest hits release? There is one dropout that I hear. Would love to hear those early Hi albums redone with your hand.
    MartinR, jeffrey walsh and baconbadge like this.
  2. Jack_Straw

    Jack_Straw Forum Resident

    Wichita, KS
    What is the “ /6 “ in these EQ tweaks?
  3. baconbadge

    baconbadge Chooglin’

    Queens, NY
    Would love to hear anything and everything about Al Green tapes!
  4. ThePoodleBites

    ThePoodleBites Forum Resident

    Berkeley, CA, USA
    Hi Steve, I have a question for you -- and I hope it hasn't been asked yet, although I have my doubts -- why did you decide to become a mastering engineer, for example over mixing engineer or recording engineer? Did you have stints in similar roles before you decided on your career?

    Thanks for all the great masterings, and especially for this fantastic forum, which is an incredible resource for all us audio heads! :)
  5. Mok

    Mok Forum Resident

    Brooklyn, NY
    If I had to guess, he's talking about a gentle slope (6 dB per octave) or Q (single pole filter). When talking EQ, in the parametric sense, you have three variables. Center frequency, amplitude (gain or reduction), and Q (the width around the center frequency). The higher the Q, the narrower the frequency range, and also the steeper the gain or cut slope on both sides of the center frequency.
    L5730 and Crimson jon like this.
  6. Rick Bartlett

    Rick Bartlett Forum Resident

    Hey Steve, how many countries have you been to in order to work?
    Is there a country you'd love to visit someday for work and/or pleasure?
    RSteven and Crimson jon like this.
  7. Jack_Straw

    Jack_Straw Forum Resident

    Wichita, KS
    I considered that it might be Q, but a Q value of 6 is a very narrow bandwidth. I could be wrong, but I can't imagine that Steve uses that kind of EQ. A Q=6 is something like a 1/5 or 1/6 octave (something you might use to eliminate a specific feedback or hum frequency). In Bob Katz's book 'Mastering Audio', he says that he rarely uses any Q higher than 1 because the lower values (more gentle curves) sound more natural.
  8. ChristianL

    ChristianL Forum Resident

    Berlin, Germany
    As our host explainded some years ago:
    'The "6" is the slope on a Sontec, yes. It would be a "1" on the Massenberg Parametric. Same idea though. I use that slope because that is the exact slope that occurs in nature. Our ears can accept small EQ changes as long as the slope is natural."
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  9. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Possibly, a few projects in the works.
    RSteven, art, vonwegen and 6 others like this.
  10. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Bill Inglot got us what we needed, really no adventures, just flat transfers for the most part.
    azideam, vonwegen, George P and 2 others like this.
  11. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    I've worked in the USA, Canada and Great Britain. Loved the UK, wanted to move there. Still do.
  12. Grant

    Grant Audiophile and Music Fan

    United States
    It is my go-to CD for Al Green.

    That Heart Greatest Hits CD you did a few years back? It's the only one I play, that, and the DCC "Dreamboat Annie". But, ya gotta crank Heart!
  13. Mmmark

    Mmmark Forum Resident

    Love the site! Curious to know your thoughts on the new remix of Music from Big Pink. Lots of emotional reactions out there, would love a more informed opinion!
  14. Out of curiosity, what is it about the UK you like so much?
  15. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    My grandparents on my mom's side were Londoners. They came to California with my mom (as a little girl) on the maiden voyage of the Queen Mary, my great uncle worked as an agent in Hollywood and brought them over.

    I have family in the UK, I've always had a good time there. My days of backpacking across Europe are over and now I am used to a certain level of comfort when I travel. Still, I love to roam around the country, been to Scotland (Ross of Mull), Wales and most of England in my travels. Just a good place for me. I even love the weather.
    BeatlesBop, GeoffC, RSteven and 11 others like this.
  16. geddy402

    geddy402 Forum Resident

    Steve, I just picked up Buddy Guy Chess Masters from 1984 on vinyl. There’s some scribble in the dead wax and can’t make it out. Did you happen to master this one? Thanks!
  17. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Even if I was there I wouldn't have signed. That's the cutter's privilege.
  18. smorrison

    smorrison His Master's Voice

    Steve, did you ever meet Billy May?

    I've recently discovered that he was a common thread involved with a lot of records I dig - Glenn Miller, Nat King Cole, Bobby Darin, Sinatra (Come Fly With Me is my favorite Sinatra album).
  19. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    No, but I met Cappy Lewis and his gang through his daughter Sharon.
    smorrison likes this.
  20. Jon H.

    Jon H. Forum Resident

    Raleigh, NC USA
    Hi Steve.
    Happy New Year!
    I just listened to your mastering of "Who's Next" CD for the millionth time with my wife, and I am ecstatic.

    I hope you are well - and I can't thank you enough for the forum, and your work in making things sound better that actually brought us here in the first place.

    I know you've probably been asked this before as a Who fan, but what is your favorite LP version of "Who's Next"?

    Cheers, and thanks for the opportunity that you provide us, to discuss music and music quality.

    Thanks again.
  21. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Sorry, all LP versions of WHO'S NEXT that came out back in the day are really inferior to the actual master tape sound IMO. I have the Decca US but haven't played it in 30 years.
    Jon H. likes this.
  22. Jon H.

    Jon H. Forum Resident

    Raleigh, NC USA
    Happy New Year man.

    Understood - you are lucky to have heard the master tape. There is a lot of opinions on the LP versions; may I humbly suggest that you listen to your Decca LP? It might be a good listening experience. Or not.

    At least we have your digital version that we all agree sounds wonderful!

    Thanks again, Steve, for enabling our discussions.

    Happy 2019 to you, the wife and kids.
  23. AnalogueAndy

    AnalogueAndy Forum Resident

    Hmmmm . . . “Mastered by Steve Hoffman at Abbey Road Studios”. Has a nice ring to it.

    Just curious: where and when did you work in Canada, and what project?

    Happy New Year to you and yours . . and thank you for hosting a great forum.
  24. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    I would be interested to know also.
  25. Crawlin From The Wreckage

    Crawlin From The Wreckage Custom Titled

    Many interesting posts, indeed. To stay on topic, a quick question on Who's Next - the album was recorded and mixed by Glyn Johns at Olympic Studios, London, except "Won't Get Fooled Again", which was recorded at Stargroves and mixed at Island Studios, London. Do you have any info how or why the masters would end up with MCA in the U.S.? Thank you.

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