DCC Archive Interesting Discussion About Elvis Mastering

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by feinstein, Dec 27, 2001.

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  1. feinstein

    feinstein Member Thread Starter

    Detroit, MI
    Follow this link to a very interesting article which mentions DCC's Elvis remasters as not being "authentic". I'm not sure whether Jorgenson really knows what he's talking about in this interview, but he is the guy who controls the RCA/BMG catalogue of Elvis material, so this is a very instructive article to read for those of us who love the DCC transfers of Elvis material....

    World Wide Elvis

    Click on the BMG U.S. link in the left side box, then click on INTERVIEWS, then click on ERNST JORGENSEN (May/June 2000) interview.

    [ December 27, 2001: Message edited by: Fredric J. Einstein ]
  2. John Oteri

    John Oteri New Member In Memoriam

    Hollywood, CA
  3. Paul L.

    Paul L. New Member

    From the interview, in reference to DCC question:

    "You can go in there and you can take the top frequences out and boost the middle and you can add reverb, or somehow track the reverb."

    This doesn't sound like Steve's method, now does it, board?
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al Senior Member

    Long Island, NY
    In all fairness to Mr. Jorgensen, he is meerly responding to the INTERVIEWERS bashing of DCC by stating that you can change the sound of the tape. he never mentions DCC, or indicates that he has heard it.
  5. feinstein

    feinstein Member Thread Starter

    Detroit, MI
    Sounds like we're getting into the "let's worship Steve Hoffman" religion here folks. No room for other opinions from the experts? Don't be fools!

    People need to read Jorgensen's opinion because he is probably the most knowledgable person regarding Elvis's master tapes, their sources etc. It's his life's work and these interviews are worthy of note because he controls the master tapes, where they come from, and where DCC got them from. Perhaps the Emporer has no clothes?
  6. Angel

    Angel New Member

    Hollywood, Ca.
    You're right, Uncle Al.

    He never heard the DCC version, that's for sure.
  7. feinstein

    feinstein Member Thread Starter

    Detroit, MI
    Sorry, read the SECOND interview on that we site in addition to the third. He directly addresses the DCC Elvis Is Back in that second interview.
  8. Sckott

    Sckott Hand Tighten Only.

    South Plymouth, Ma
    Labels like DCC have to work like a dog to get the right tapes, and it's NOT just DCC, although DCC is one of the only companies who've gone after looking for the ONLY real master. Just because you have a tape that says "master" means nothing.

    I've heard the DCC Elvis and I think it's really amazing. That's my opinion, regardless if I put Steve on high regard. Just spell "dog" backwards. :D Not every DCC disc sounds the same, but I enjoy knowing one person (or people) are striving for the sound of what I buy, and that's the master tape, not a second or a production master.

    It's only that my opinion counts to myself. However, I'm not so short minded to think that a product I buy would be concidered "perfect", just that 9.9/10 times, I'll find that Steve's hard work pays off every time, even with most every new issue that has come out later, DCC's is usually on top each time. That's a comforting feeling when I go out of my way to spend the extra on a gold/180g issue. Sundazed and Classic Recs comes very close too.

    For that matter, I take what labels say with a grain of salt, no matter how they respect their most important artists. History should show that anyone's better off learning for themselves. I look forward to learning more!
  9. Pinknik

    Pinknik Senior Member

    I think a little too much is being read into this interview. All he says, essentially, is that mastering engineers make the tapes sound like they want them to and that he does the same thing. Well, no ****.
    Steve, I've never heard Elvis sound better than on my 2 LP Elvis' 24 Karat Hits. Thanks, dude.
  10. Grant

    Grant Life is a rock, but the radio rolled me!

    ERNST JORGENSEN has shi!t for brains! I have the Elvis DCC CD. It is one of the BEST CDs I have. When I put on "Are You Lonely Tonight" for the first time my jaw dropped! IT sounds like he's right there in the room!
  11. Pinknik

    Pinknik Senior Member

    My thoughts exactly when I heard that track for the first time, Grant.
  12. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Milwaukee, WI
    Well, if you read the second interview he basically trys to say that mastering is "changing the sound" and likens that to fake stereo. He makes it sound like the only way to be true to the original tape is to do a totally flat transfer. He also says it was unnecessary from the consumer's point of view.

    He's pretty much bashing the DCC release.

    How about Steve doing an interview for that website?
  13. Cousin It

    Cousin It Senior Member

    Sydney, Australia
    Here's the question and the quote

    WWE: Was the recent DCC ELVIS IS BACK CD actually taken from the original "master tapes" as they advertise it to be from?

    ERNST: That album is made from exactly the same source as the 60's box set because, on these particular masters, we only have the original album masters. We have NO original masters. They got lost at some stage so DCC is using the same thing as we do. What they do is that they change the sound from what it was to what they think they like which is a subjective thing and if people want to hear Elvis' masters changed from what they were into something that some engineer thinks is better sounding...I mean, that's their choice and I don't want to put a verdict on that. It's a very subjective thing but, to give you the worst example, of course someone at one time invented electronic stereo and that was tampering to a degree where I think we all think that that was really bad. My policy on this is that you can take ANY Elvis master and change it and add more top, more bottom, compress, do this, that, and the other. I think that is dangerous territory in that it's rewriting of history and I do that, they do that..it's always a question of judgement on how far you go and I feel that, in relation to that specific release (and this is NOT an RCA viewpoint but my viewpoint), itwas very unnecessary seen from the consumer's point of view..it may have been very necessary for the company.They had to say something about why people should buy their release instead of the regular one. I can take every Elvis master and change the EQ on it and it will sound different and you can go actually go in and manipulate and it will sound a lot more contemporary in that it gets a very agressive sound but remember one thing - that what Elvis liked and what Elvis approved was the tape as it was and not as they re EQ'd it and very often Elvis would be very mad at people who re EQ'd the stuff, like he might be very mad at me for remixing stuff. So, this is not black and white at all but that is what's behind it - you can change any Elvis master that suits your fancy.

    Jorgenson works as a consultant for BMG,it's his job to push his master's product,he is "the" expert on BMG tape holdings as far as Elvis is concerned.When EJ says that keep in mind he will "not" lavish praise on DCC for the simple reason that it may get the E-philes out there to buy it and hear it and I'm absolutely sure that when they hear it they will want to know WHY doesn't BMG's Elvis stuff sound that good.
    My own experience with 24 Karat Hits goes like this,back in'98 Steve did an interview with an audiophile mag and he was plugging 24KH and I'd never really gave much thought to buying audiophile but he said in the interview that he spent 5 days mastering the song "Don't" and I was so impressed that I showed a workmate the interview and he had never heard of the word "audiophile" but forked out some $55(Oz) dollars for a copy and he let me listen to it at work.Now all I had at work was a $90 CD Walkman and a $10 set of earphones to say that the difference between the DCC and BMG was major is understating things,I always remember listening to it while I was working and stopping to hear not only subtleties I'd never heard before but just the overall sound quality was plain lustrous(and thumping the table every time thinking why the f@#k can't BMG sound like this).
    When I was in Singapore I picked Sinatra '57 and have been listening to it on a $200 boombox and even on ****boxes like that you can tell SH's touch on things,I have never heard it on anything else.Compared to regular releases his work is superb and I only own 4 DCC's and am not a devotee audiophile.We are on this board for 2 reasons that I can see

    1)To talk about music( ALWAYS the most important)

    2)We just plain like DCC releases and(generally) agree with their mastering engineer's philosophy on getting the best sound( I might add I've learn't a hell of a lot just from reading not only Steve's posts but everybody else's on their ideas of what constitutes "good sound" My thanks to all !!.
  14. RetroSmith

    RetroSmith Forum Hall Of Fame<br>(Formerly Mikey5967)

    East Coast
    It cant be argued that Ernst isnt an Elvis expert.

    I mean, the guy knows exactly how many takes Elvis did on just about any song you can name!!

    What I thought was very interesting reading
    was that Bill Porter had no panpots on his stereo mixer. This would mean that he had to achieve stereo panning of sound thru Mic placement. This *would* achieve a very natural sound, albeit not a "rock" sound.
  15. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Milwaukee, WI
    Well, what that meant essentially was he could mix things left center or right, but not, say, left-center. I believe that was actually pretty common, and is why most 60s mixes are so hard panned.

    Which I like :D
  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Cousin It,

    Thanks for the praise!

    Regarding "Elvis Is Back", Bill Porter told me there is only one master mix, the one he did LIVE in the studio on two-track tape that was cut up into the LP order and labeled L2WY-1967 and 1968 Dash 1.

    That's the original, and that's the tape DCC (and I guess BMG) used.

    Listen to the difference between the CD's....

    I'm surprised that the Elvis expert would think that there was another master somewhere that was lost. A lot of Elvis stuff has been lost or dumped, but not this album. One of the reasons I chose it in the first place! I guess this guy didn't realize how Bill Porter worked. Heck, that was the first thing I asked him.

    Ah me...

    [ December 27, 2001: Message edited by: Steve Hoffman ]
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  17. indy mike

    indy mike Forum Pest

    I took a peek at the Ernst Jorgensen interviews on the link provided and I just don't think that guy gets it. I've NEVER had any BMG/RCA release on Elvis begin to sound as good as the stuff that DCC has issued. Steve, how hard was it to get Bill Porter to walk you through his recording processes and let you know how to get the tapes to sound like they should? I have no doubt EJ is the source for info on which take is what, but if he can't hear what makes 24K so great he should let others make sonic choices for BMG stuff. Too bad Boppin' Bob Jones wasn't allowed more opportunities to work on EP stuff - at least he understands good sound. Here's a dangerous question for Steve - why hasn't volume 2 of 24K ever materialized? Did a track listing ever get made, or even worse a master compiled that we'll never get to hear?
  18. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    How hard was it to get Bill Porter to walk me through his life at RCA "Nashville Sound" Studios?

    As easy as asking.

    He is such a great guy, and so humble. Amazing engineer, too. We spent much time talking about Elvis, Orbison and all the other great music he engineered at RCA and Monument.


    I compiled and mastered MOST of "Elvis 24 Karat Hits, Volume 2". Came out great for the most part.

    BUT, then came the great "you can't show us up again" decree from deep in the bowels of BMG. They did a dirty deed to us that prevented the release of Volume 2.

    Ah well. I can't tell you what it is, but I CAN tell you that the good folks at BMG Special Markets had nothing to do with it. In fact, the Special Markets folks were very helpful with all three Elvis packages, finding us the correct tapes, and old recording sheets, etc. Allowing us to use the old RCA-Victor logo and everything was a big deal to us. The packages would not have been the same without them!

    Nice people.
  19. pauljones

    pauljones Forum Chef

    columbia, sc
    The Elvis catalog has been revamped many times. I think one of the most unfortunate attempts was in the late 1980's when the issues were "restored to original mono". The engineers at RCA took the reprocessed "many generations down" tape copies and computerized them so that the reprocessed stereo could be nullified. Then came the Ernst reissues. Not only was not much research done on the sources (Essential Elvis series) but far superior mixes and mastering of many of the songs surfaced on, among all things, the "Hollywood Movie" series of the early 1990's, and the remasterings of the mid 1990's. I wish Steve Hoffman could remaster all of the original albums through "King Creole".
  20. Cousin It

    Cousin It Senior Member

    Sydney, Australia
    Yeah,I remember that"DIGITALLY RESTORED TO ORIGINAL MONO" warning on those discs,I never bought them as one and all howled that they were ****.I also remember reading a quote from Bill Porter back when Rhino released their best of Roy Orbison and he was one of the first of the original recording engineers that I read where they didn't like the way the mastering engineer(I'm assuming Bill Inglot here)made 'em sound,am I pretty safe in assuming that he has no problem with SH's rendering of his work ?? Ernst may be an expert on every bloody take Elvis ever cut but a mastering engineer he's not and remember BMG don't have him on the payroll to praise the opposition.The story I heard regarding Elvis' 50's masters was that it was Thorne Nogar who had a back up set of Elvis Radio Recorder's stuff and that was what BMG bought. I've also read that it was Bones Howe who had 'em.Anyone know it was ??
    re: 24KHV2,Yep,quashing the release sounds about right,those bastards are always so sensitive !!(LOL)
  21. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    Just wondering Steve... is it possible to revisit the 24KHV2 'problem' with BMG? It's been a few years now... and they may not see DCC as a 'big' player these days (less of a 'threat' perhaps?)...

    Just thought I'd put a "bug" in your ear!
  22. Chris Desjardin

    Chris Desjardin Senior Member

    Ware, MA
    I remember reading somewhere on the web about the Complete 50's masters 5 CD set. Someone posted photos of the wav files of Heartbreak Hotel and compared them to the Rhino release of the song. They said there was no way the 50's box used the original masters. Does anyone know the address of that site - I lost it.
  23. FabFourFan

    FabFourFan Senior Member

    Say what?

    Maybe I'm just being too sensitive,
    but even the first time that I read this post,
    I thought it was a little insulting to many of us in this forum,
    and also to Mr Hoffman.
    And though it's the holiday season, I'm too old to let 'fools' take cheap shots.

    Do you really feel this way, FJE?
    If so, can you say why?

    FWIW, I read all the linked EJ interviews and he sounds self-important and borderline incompetent to me.

    Just like the Emperor's New Clothes, eh?
  24. Kevin Sypolt

    Kevin Sypolt Senior Member

    Wilmington, NC
    re Frederic's message: "Sounds like we're getting into the "let's worship Steve Hoffman" religion here folks."
    And your point???

    Yes, I guess we DO tend to worship the mastering engineer that revives the music back to the original sound that we grew up with. Music that we have loved throughout our childhood and adult lives. Music, whose soul is sometimes removed from us in the name of "progress". I do not see anything wrong with praising an individual who masters music that "just sounds right".

    A mastering engineer should be judged, based upon the body of his work. If he turns out ****, he should be shunned. If one likes the sound that an engineer creates, then why shouldn't they be praised? Has BMG turned out decent sounding Elvis lately? I rest my case...

    Welcome to the Holy Church of DCC!!! :)

    Praise the mighty vacuum tube brothers and sisters... Long may it glow. Let me hear you say Amen...

    (now you've really got me started...)
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  25. Grant

    Grant Life is a rock, but the radio rolled me!

    Well, if that's true, i've gotta give my props to Bill Inglot for bringing my mono singles back to me!

    Uh-oh, why are the Inglot hating stereo-lovers coming at me with baseball bats?
    Kevin Sypolt likes this.
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