Iron Maiden Remasters

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by old school, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Recording live is great for a band like Iron Maiden. That doesn't have anything to do with how bad the mix or mastering or overall sound is.
     
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  2. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    It can be yes. Live After Death (1985) sounds great. Brave New World sounded great but a lot of people didn't like the sound of Dance Of Death. Remember Iron Maiden in Rio? Horrible. Bruce kept running in front of the guitar amps/ floor monitors. As a result the guitars would intermediately bleed into his vocal microphone. The Caveman wanted to fix the bleeding parts but Bruce said no. A Maiden live album was to be all live or not at all.

    Recording a band live in a studio can be great to capture the band all playing together but it has it's compromises. You lose 100 % that you have with discrete overdubs. If someone makes a mistake you have to record the whole band over again.

    Listen to the sound of the Martin Birch albums. Clean and you can hear what is going on. The Caveman does a good job at separating all the amps but leakage will happen especially with the drums.

    You and I may love it but not everyone does. Live is always a compromise. I have recorded and mixed enough of these bands to know. The caveman didn't change the microphone set up and yet the sound is different.

    Question. What does the high definition file sound like. Is it cleaner? I am not talking about compression. Just want to know if it sounds better.
     
  3. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario

    I know what you mean. When I purchased The Carpenters - The Singles. It was full of the remixes and re-records. But it sounded great to me because I had not owned any Carpenter CDs before that.
     
  4. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I mean, depends on the studio, and the recording methods. There's no leakage if they know what they're doing. (Not to mention you can get the same sounds on a Kemper recording direct nowadays)
     
  5. Son of Ziggy

    Son of Ziggy Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Shirley takes a lot of flak, but it must be really hard to make a band sound good with too many cooks in the kitchen. I always thought it would help to only record two guitarists on a song, and stop recording it live.

    I’ve always wondered how Martin Birch would have approached this scenario. As good as he was, he was also at the helm for No Prayer For The Dying.
     
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  6. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    True. True. From what I have seen the Caveman has them in all separate booths. But all the bass and guitars are miked amps. He did mix Brave New World bass heavy (according to kevin). Perhaps he should have done the same with Dance Of Death.

    Some of these amp simulation boxes are pretty remarkable. One bass player brought one in once. Did sound almost like a amp being miked. But nothing replaces the sound of miked guitar or bass amp. Others may disagree. Just my opinion. Motown starting in late 1964 had all their bass and guitars direct. And their bass sound was great. Although their guitar sound until 1968 sounded weak to me.
     
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  7. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario

    I am told by some members ( not here at present) that I post too much and that it is bad forum ettiequte and that I was on 75% of the threads. Funny, you actually get a trophy for that so I found the member's comment to be silly. Anyway bare with me if I over post. LOL :)

    Good question. He gives us an AAD recording with a flat transfer for Dance Of Death and pretty much for A Matter Of Life And Death; which is what we audiophiles want. And yet people screamed, "It wasn't mastered well." Huh?! Is this what we wanted?

    Well in the studio he can have some control. But live in the big venues three guitars just are too much. I have been to two Maiden concerts that is what it sounded like. Others may hear different.

    I think with Martin it would have sounded better. A better a cleaner bottom end and less confused. But their sound has changed since the 80's so who knows?
     
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  8. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    I know this is a bit old. I have the vinyl album it is not by any means light. It is in fact bass heavy. Others may disagree.
     
  9. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I've been playing a Kemper almost exclusively for 3 years, and it's almost indistinguishable from the real thing in a band setting.

    But don't take my word for it: Knopfler's been using them on his tour this year. If it's good enough for Mark Knopfler, it's good enough for anyone.

    But even with mic'd amps, those amps themselves should all be put away in iso booths where there wouldn't be any bleed. FWIW, there's no amps onstage at Maiden shows, not sure where they're kept or if they're hidden under Bruce's ramps or what, but...they don't need to be in the room with the actual speaker cabs for the 'live' thing to work.
     
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  10. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    True. Bleed is an issue for other bands who want to play in the same room. Some bands do have their amps on stage. (They want to be able to fiddle during the show.)

    Yes, I realize that the amps are off stage. But in RIO they were using fill monitors. And they did leak into Bruce's headset. You can clearly hear it. kevin mentioned this in an interview. This was a big problem in mixing Maidien In Rio. It is the main reason the live release sounds so bad.
     
  11. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario

    Many well known guitarist have tired the amp simulator boxes. Some like them and some don't. Alex Lifeson never used one.
    And Eric Clapton doesn't. It really depends on the individual guitarist.
     
  12. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I don’t think the technology has really competed with real amps until the last couple years. But Knopfler, Metallica, etc are all running direct now, and a lot of studio guys are using them in sessions as well. It’s a very recent thing being used at that level. But consistent tone from night to night is an amazing thing.
     
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  13. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    It can be pretty good. Digital pianos Vs. Grand pianos had a similar history. The best digital pianos are almost perfect now. The ones with velocity and after touch, three pedals and fully weighted keys. And a real grand piano doesn't have a headphone jack. And you don't have to tune it everytime you move the thing. In the future these amp simulator boxes will get so good the site of a guitar or bass amp may become a rare event.
     
  14. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    How much sir is a Kemper?
     
  15. Queezma

    Queezma Forum Resident

    I have never liked Kevin’s production.....ever since I heard Aerosmith Nine Lives And Dream Theater Falling Into Infinity back in ‘97, when I was too young to care about production, I felt something sounded off...almost dull sounding and lacked balls (just my opinion). In ‘98 when The Black Crowe’s By Your Side Came out I was really impressed. It had a live feel, had energy and lots of punch. Then all of Bonamassa’s albums (including Black Country Communion) sounded, to my ears, very under whelming production wise. I did however really like his work on Book Of Souls.
     
  16. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    I kind of agree. Rush's - Counterparts was pretty good. I am talking about the original CD before it was remastered. It was 1994 and that is straight transfer from the tapes. So if you haven't heard the original Counterparts release give it a listen. The remastered is not it. COUNTERPARTS has great solid bass and nice top end and no added mastering compression. Brave New World would be o.k if it wasn't for the compression. The Final Frontier was pretty good. Much cleaner and less harsh.

    I heard the uncompressed mix over the summer. (From another engineer).Way better. So I asked, "Can I have a copy."
    He replied, "Nope!"
     
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  17. Anthrax

    Anthrax Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    Where are those files? On the DVD-A?
     
  18. Anthrax

    Anthrax Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    I used to send emails their way expressing what I felt about the sound quality, in more extensive, thought out, less ranty ways than I do here. Started with Dance Of Death, last time was about The Final Frontier. Eventually you realise there's nothing you can say that they don't already know because these people (Shirley, Harris et al.) are longtime professionals, they know what they're doing and they want to do it that way. Those albums are just the way they want them to be. We're not talking about an up-and-coming band having to deal with time/money limitations - Maiden are an established organisation that can afford to have things their way every time. There's nothing on those albums that isn't there by choice.

    At the end of the day, it's their game and their ball. And more power to them. I can only be sometimes sad and sometimes annoyed that their standards and ideals differ from mine. Sad because I play Dance Of Death or The Final Frontier and I hear music I like but I'm turned off by the sound, wondering how/why is it possible that an album they recorded decades prior to that (say Killers, say Number Of The Beast) could sound so much better. Annoyed because I get so turned on by the music on tracks like Paschendale, If Eternity Should Fail, Book Of Souls, Isle Of Avalon, The Red And The Black, etc., but I can't ever crank them the hell up like I can Back In The Village, The Prisoner, Where Eagles Dare...

    Sigh.
     
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  19. Anthrax

    Anthrax Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    I have absolutely nothing against the man, but I must say I've never heard anything Shirley has done that I've been pleased with in terms of sound (Maiden, BCC, Purple, Zep...). I think Brave New World was the closest, but still misses the mark for me.

    Agreed on your point about the guitars. When recording the songs, it should be about what best represents the music, the actual notes - not about the number of people playing.

    I'm not enamoured with the sound on No Prayer For The Dying but it's still fine, things are still clear there and it's a crankable album.
     
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  20. Anthrax

    Anthrax Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    Such BS. Pay no attention to that, post what you want and let readers exercise their scrolling powers.


    I haven't played it in a long time, but I seem to remember A Matter Of Life And Death being a breath of fresh air after Dance Of Death. If they'd allowed it to be more dynamic it would've been so much nicer too.

    I said earlier that I don't think I've ever heard a Shirley album I was pleased with. Unclean and confused is a better way of describing things than "hairy ball of sound". Funny enough, I don't think I've ever heard a Birch album that I didn't like. However, I doubt Birch-produced 21st century Maiden would sound much better if Birch wasn't calling the shots.
     
  21. Queezma

    Queezma Forum Resident

    I do have the original Counterparts actually....and it does sound really good from what I remember (honestly haven't listened to it since mid 90's....when I am in a Rush mood I tend to gravitate to their catalog up to and including Signals). I didn't know Kevin was involved with that. I am assuming in an engineering or mixing capacity? Will definitely revisit that this weekend.
    Getting back to Maiden....as a young kid I had all the vinyl as well as cassettes up to and including Live After Death. Around '96 I picked up a few of the Castle cd's (2 cd versions). Long story short I always felt the liner notes in those were a bit skimpy and thought they sounded ok (I had no other versions to compare them to at the time) but I just happy to have some maiden on cd and the fact that Maiden Japan was included with Killers was good enough for me.
    Fast forward to 2000 when I started working at HMV and all of the '98 remasters were available to me at a great price. Well, foolishly I thought Remastered meant BETTER and I unloaded the Castle versions in favour of the '98 remasters (but kept the bonus Maiden Japan disc from Killers). Not being a true audiophile at that time the sound quality never really phased me because I was in university, living with room mates and I was playing my cd's on a mini system as opposed to my full stereo which I left at home and didn't bring with me to University. Around 2005 I bought a house and finally set up my full system and it was somewhere around then that I noticed that the '98's were not very good and that something was amiss. Getting on to this forum a few yrs ago validated what I thought, and since then I have been able to track down all the original pressings on cd for everything (up to and including A Real Live One, A Real Dead One and Live At Donnington). Actually the original pressing on cd of the self titled still eludes me, and am still on the hunt for that. I think these pressings sound great and are quite crankable. I did however buy the newest remasters for everything up to and including Powerslave and I don't find these as bad as people make them out to be.
     
  22. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Between $1700-2200, depending on what model: Kemper Profiler

    Worth every penny. You'd pay about that for a boutique amp, at least.
     
  23. Thoughtships

    Thoughtships Forum Resident

    Location:
    Devon, UK
    I hate Shirley mixes.
    It's all drums sounding like someone building a shed, vocals equally loud, with a band in the room next door.

    I long for Martin Birch's warm, guitar-first mixes.
     
  24. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario

    I must answer all the posts. There is a member that loved the way I over post. He just loves it. This post is for my secret admirer. (Too bad. Deal with it)

    Putting fun and joke aside, I will give THE FINAL FRONTIER another extended listnen And particularly "The Man Who Would Be King."

    In the 70's studios went for the dead sound. They wanted everything as dead as possible. No reverb or echo. They wanted complete control. Hence stuffing the kick with blankets. And taping rugs or bits of carpet underneath the snare and toms. It is dead drum sound 1970 - 1988.
    But now drums get to breath. Everything must breath. Drums sound more real. But honestly I hate the 90's drum sound. No good reason. I just didn't grow up hearing it. I prefer that dead drum sound. But drummers won't do that anymore. I do know one exception. Way back in the 90's Styx decided to record a new version of "Lady." The drummer in question wanted to get the early 70's sound so he STUFFED his kit likewise as formetioned.

    And I firmly believe that the third guitar is messing up the mix. Three lead guitars (most of the time) is too much. And I understand the new guy uses a frequency spreader which covers up poor Harris. (We still care Harris). On my CD the mix of "Monsignor" (one of my most favorite Maiden songs. And yes I know the new guy shared writing credit on this track) sounds weird. On the CD During the bridge of the song Harris sounds like he is only playing one or two notes to the bar.
    The song is waltz time 3/4. Not a musical person..Don't know my circle of fifths.

    sounds like to me....
    E------------F---G
    F------------D---C

    When in fact he is actually playing...
    EEEEEEEEEEEFFFGGGGGGGGGG
    FFFFFFFFFFFDDDCCCCCCCCCCC

    Forgive my childlike presentation. These are the wrong notes because they are written in the key of B flat. The key of my Tenor Saxophone. So the notes had to be transposed. I could be wrong of course. I do not have perfect pitch.


    Anyway maybe the rest of you could hear Harris playing away. I was wondering why Harris was playing bass like a Counrty and Western player?
    That is by a definition a bad mix when whatever the bass Player is playing you never hear it.


    Gave a listen to the song, THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING. Yes, I see what you mean. There sounds like two guitar solos at once and they sound buried. I assuming The Caveman wanted that on purpose. Bad choice. Wow! Guitar solos that are low and thin sounding in the mix....LOL Maybe it will catch on. A new trend. You never know.
     
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  25. Son of Ziggy

    Son of Ziggy Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I gave Dance of Death a listen today, the songs sounded very mediocre, the mix wasn’t as bad as some of the Shirley albums, but many songs are over cooked, featuring three bloody guitar solos in a row. Many of the solos seem uninspired, and done in one take (apart from Smith’s maybe?)
     

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