SH Spotlight New Photos from Creedence LP Mastering Sessions

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Apr 17, 2002.

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  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    New Photos from Creedence LP Box Mastering Sessions

    Mastering of the final two Creedence Clearwater Revival studio albums for release on 180-gram LP by Analogue Productions.

    Photos taken at AcousTech Mastering by RTI vinyl pressing Wizard Rick Hashimoto.

    Here are Kevin Gray and I cutting "Hey Tonight" from Pendulum. The little black and yellow tape box by Kevin's right arm is the "MRL" tape. The tones on this are used to adjust the tape machine for neutral playback. None of the Creedence tapes have the proper set up tones on them, so we set up the machine and then tweak and set azmuth by ear (for every Damn song). Arggh!
     

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  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Third (or thirty-third) attempt to cut "Have You Ever Seen The Rain". I'm staring at the meters in disbelief and I'm not looking happy! The high-hat cymbal ride on the chorus of the song is just murder on the lacquer. (We finally got it).
     

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  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Creedence Clearwater Revival master tapes lined up and ready to go!
     

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  4. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Cutting "Sweet Hitchiker" from Mardi-Gras, extra loud at 45 RPM. (Holding our breath that the groove doesn't explode). ;)
     

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  5. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    "Pendulum" side two tape box.

    By the way, all of that scribble under "Hey Tonight" is the EQ settings for the original Creedence "Chronicle" LP version of the song. Uh, best not to follow those EQ instructions unless you want to kill insects at twenty feet.

    Note: It says "Tone on reel I". But it's just a 1K tone. Big deal.

    Sigh.

    Russ Gary, what were you thinking? ;) :rolleyes: :eek: :confused: :(
     

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  6. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    No shoes and a CSUN pullover. So sue me!
     

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  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Cutting "Mardi-Gras".

    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!
     

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  8. mazort

    mazort New Member

    Location:
    San Antone
    Ya

    "Ground Control to Major Tom..."
     
  9. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Second side of "Pendulum" almost done, and a few more grey hairs appear! Time for lunch at El Tecolote! :D
     

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  10. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer

    Location:
    The West
    Thanks, great pix Steve!:) Very, very cool.
    You guys make it look, uh, easy. ;) All the hard work is worth it!
    Dan C
     
  11. Angel

    Angel New Member

    Location:
    Hollywood, Ca.
    Neat shots, Steve.

    Looks like the mastering console has been changed around since our last photo visit! I see some High-Rez and HDCD stuff in there, right?
     
  12. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Yeah, some new stuff has been added.

    But when Kevin and I work, we bypass most of it! :)
     
  13. John Oteri

    John Oteri New Member In Memoriam

    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    Is that a vacuum tube Manley Fairchild type compressor I see at the top of the console?

    Neat-O! :)
     
  14. Doug Hess Jr.

    Doug Hess Jr. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Belpre, Ohio
    Steve,
    Maybe this was asked before and I missed it...but do you prefer knobs on your board or sliders? I started out 20 years ago in the radio business and sliders were preserved for the recording studios...now finding knobs is a rarity. For me, it depends on the project, but I think I like knobs the best.
    Doug
     
  15. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    Location:
    Toronto
    Very cool, Steve!

    I understand that you are just doing vinyl here.

    What if you were also doing CD's? Are they significantly different to master for? Would you have to start from scratch with the tapes or use what you already have (proper settings, etc.) to create / press the CD's?

    You know, I wish that it would be as easy to flick the HDCD or SACD switch on some console and out pops the CD Master :D . I'd looooove that! Life should be so easy, huh? ;)

    PS Is that a B-52 on Kevin's hat? There are lots of interesting airports out there with classic 'planes everywhere! :)
     
  16. Ronflugelguy

    Ronflugelguy Resident Trumpet Geek

    Location:
    Modesto,Ca
    RTI: TOURS?

    Hey Steve, does RTI give tours? It would interesting to see the facility when I'm down visiting my brother this summer.
     
  17. Claus

    Claus Senior Member

    Location:
    Germany
    Thanks Steve for the nice pics... you're the king - oops, I mean mastering genius! :cool:
     
  18. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    Location:
    Toronto
    I just realized that this thread is called "New Photos from Creedence LP Box Mastering Sessions"! The LP Box!?!?

    Are these different masterings than the individual LPs? What's the difference?

    Or am I being silly............. :rolleyes:
     
  19. Bob Lovely

    Bob Lovely Super Gort Staff

    Steve,

    Why does that one box have "safety" scribbled on it!

    Bob ;)
     
  20. Angel

    Angel New Member

    Location:
    Hollywood, Ca.
    Oh no. The same masterings. I asked Steve that already. The difference (I assume) will be a cardboard box and perhaps a booklet. Don't know!
     
  21. Ronflugelguy

    Ronflugelguy Resident Trumpet Geek

    Location:
    Modesto,Ca
    I already bought mine

    Who knows if there will be a BOX SET. I can't wait to hear these, even though it will be a little while for the other two.:)
     
  22. Angel

    Angel New Member

    Location:
    Hollywood, Ca.
    Yeah, a boxset might be a long time in coming.

    I'm getting mine NOW! :)
     
  23. Sckott

    Sckott Hand Tighten Only.

    Location:
    South Plymouth, Ma
    Having to re-EQ by ear is a holy pain in the butt, but it's another reason why I'll be buying this set. ;)

    Thank you very much for the pictures, Steve.
     
  24. John Oteri

    John Oteri New Member In Memoriam

    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    You've got that right. Steve's ears are the ones to trust. That's why his masterings sound so good. I wouldn't have it any other way!

    I realize that Steve is talking about EQ'ing everything TWICE here. Once for the setup, to get it neutral and then again for the actual mastering. I guess that would be a pain in the butt, especially for every song. But, that's why Steve gets the big bucks. I bet no one before Steve has ever bothered to do that with any Creedence tapes! :cool:
     
  25. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Oh, I like knobs the best. Totally retro. Sliders remind me of recording studio consoles and op-amps. Rotary knobs are IT!
     
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