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DCC Archive Outtakes questions for Steve

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Jeffrey, Nov 11, 2001.

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  1. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Forum Hall Of Fame Thread Starter

    Location:
    South Texas
    Hi Steve,

    Over the yrs., I have been fortunate to accumulate some outtakes that bit the dust for various reasons. Maybe it's the rarity of the stuff or the fact that I'm not burnt from hearing it everywhere I go, but for me the stuff really rocks. Can the sound be improved by an ordinary guy, like me? If so, how? Do ya ever perform your magic on outtakes just for fun?

    Thanks for the info,
    Jeff
     
  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    Jeffrey,

    Luke P. and Sckott (among others on our DCC Forum) have many tricks for making stuff sound better. I'm sure they will chime in here!
     
  3. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Well, actually, I don't really do much home mastering. Whenever I do stuff like that, my final test is switching back and forth between the orginal and "mastered" versions. I say to myself "does this really sound better?" Often it doesn't, and I just don't bother...

    I'd say unless there are some *major* problems (ie, tons and tons of hiss), just let it be. If there's a lot of hiss and not much real high end (which is sometimes the case), cutting the highs a bit can help.

    Bottom line - stay away from noise reduction and do what sounds good to you.
     
  4. Sckott

    Sckott Hand Tighten Only.

    Location:
    South Plymouth, Ma
    Dittos, Luke.

    Unfortunately, the outtakes you get from "wherever" already have NR on em. Bootleggers use NR just to be swift and cool, not like it needed it 1/2 of the time. That's point of no return, and you can smell NR like onion breath on music. It's just as annoying ;)

    But if you have something that starts out being just a wee bit flat or thin on the bottom end, there are simple EQ moves you can do to make it sound almost perfect. I usually make a rule not to boost anything at mastering, just remove slightly what I *want less of*. Don't go overboard, or things will go bad very quickly. Once you boost something, it starts mucking with the dynamics, and becomes harder to lasso the right sound on most any playback chain. You can't please everyone, but then again there's a difference between seasoning the soup, and throwing a 1/2 cup of garlic powder just to make it NOT taste like poop.

    I have a copy of a home-mastered Rolling Stones "Tattoo You" made from a fan club for Sister Morphine and Cool Cool Hand (whoever he is). They moved all the songs around in the lineup, made song transitions in seemless style and BOOSTED IT BIG time until it sounded fried. Fun, but very extreme. Home mastering turned into "Home Sound Murdering". It's hillarious. The way the waveforms looked were like a new 'hedge trim', because the wave constantly went over the line (0db), was clipped so bad, occasionally you could hear it. Oh, well. It was made for fun only. That's ok.
     
  5. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Forum Hall Of Fame Thread Starter

    Location:
    South Texas
    Hi Guys,

    Maybe more description on my part will enable more detail on yours. What I have are studio outtakes that various individuals/groups never released. In some cases the stuff is rough takes and in a couple cases it was almost ready for production (those lp's that never escaped the vault). All of these are 1st or 2nd gens.

    Steve, howsabout a little non-proprietary help here. Isn't there something more that I can do than takin' down a couple eq bands? Seems like there should be a middle ground between a $250 eq and a $250k studio set-up. :confused:

    SOS,
    Jeff
     
  6. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    Jeffrey,

    What era are we talking about? What brand of tape stock? 15 ips, Dolby or non-dolby? Quarter inch or half inch?

    Don't be shy...
     
  7. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Forum Hall Of Fame Thread Starter

    Location:
    South Texas
    Hi Steve,

    Gotta be somewhat shy in a forum. Howsabout an email and I won't be shy?

    Thanks,
    Jeff
     
  8. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Hmm...if you've got that good of tapes, it doesn't sound like much processing is necessary.
     
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