Peter Gabriel - Best Digital Masterings?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by tlake6659, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. George P

    George P Notable Member

    Hey Jeff,

    To my knowledge, no, they are not inferior.

    I always look at the Matrix to see where it was pressed. I got many Columbia house and other club releases that will pressed by SRC and are great sounding. Same mastering as non club copies. In fact, I have yet to find a club copy that was a different mastering then the non-club counterpart. So it's always worth looking.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  2. Black Elk

    Black Elk Music Lover

    Bay Area, U.S.A.
    The Forum has identified some that have had the volume level changed, but are otherwise the same. Who's Next comes to mind.
    Musicisthebest likes this.
  3. What you ( or the forum ) are describing as volume level changes (across the board, so to speak), is that the same as being level-shifted?

    Apologies if you're tired of answering this … I'm sure you have been asked this "?" many times before.

    Thanks for any info!
    mark winstanley likes this.
  4. George P

    George P Notable Member

    Correct! :wave:
  5. tmtomh

    tmtomh Forum Resident

    My experience has been the same as George's and Black Elk's - if there are club CDs with truly different mastering than their retail counterparts, I've yet to come across them. I have seen a number of level-shifts, but most of them null out when you adjust for the level change (in other words, if you load both versions up in an audio editor and digitally amplify or attenuate one to match the other, the resulting waveforms are bit-for-bit-identical).

    Once in a great while I have seen very slight differences. The one example I can remember is Julia Fordham's Porcelain (a nice, and underrated, '80s album that's aged pretty well): I had a BMG club version that was 0.1dB quieter than the retail version, and I could not make it null out with the retail version - they were not 100% identical. The base mastering clearly was the same, but for whatever reason someone along the way had tinkered with it in some small way. Even there, though, it's not like I could really hear a difference when playing it - and even if I heard a very subtle difference here and there, I couldn't necessarily say that one sounded better than the other.

    For all intents and purposes, club CDs are identical to the retail ones sound-wise, particularly by 1990 when the Gabriel comp came out.

    There is one interesting quirk about club CDs in some cases - and often it's a good quirk: Sometimes when remasters came out at retail, the record clubs still were using the original, non-remastered versions. This clearly was for economizing reasons - not having to obtain new copies, not having to re-license (based on an updated copyright date and/or bonus tracks, whatever). But it meant that record club members often unwittingly were spared some crappy remasters and were able to get now-prized original masterings cheap for many years after those masterings had gone out of print at retail.

    This is one reason not to necessarily overlook or dismiss club versions on the used market - for some early masterings, they are the most plentiful and affordable way to get them, because they were produced longer and there are more of them around.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
  6. ted209

    ted209 Forum Resident

    East Sussex, UK.
    These are from this 3 CD box set: Peter Gabriel - Collectors' Edition
    Really nice discs... there are 2 similar Genesis box sets with picture discs. Love them!
    c-eling, tmtomh and deredordica like this.
  7. c-eling

    c-eling They're made of light,We never would have guessed

    The Virgin Boxes are quite nice! Would love to collect more as I only have the Madness and OMD :)
    deredordica likes this.
  8. audiotom

    audiotom Ground control to Major Tom

    New Orleans La USA
    I have all the best vinyl - Classics 33 1/3 & 45, UK originals, and Japanese

    This thread just nailed my wallet
    As I now want the best cds

    I had the original US and gave to a friend when I bought the inferior remasters
    Would like to upgrade car, melt, iv and so

    Is the So expanded box set any good?

    On Discogs I only see virgin charisma only listed for japanese pressings
    The first uk are listed are 87 and listed as virgin
    Would like to pick up car melt and iv
    Any help would be much appreciated
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
  9. Thievius

    Thievius Blue Oyster Cult-ist

    Syracuse, NY
    I had the single disc anniversary edition "So" which I assume was part of the expanded set, and it was far too compressed and loud. I couldn't sell it fast enough and went back to the original Geffen CD. Besides, I don't like Gabriel's resequencing of the track list.
    audiotom, Thorpy and Plan9 like this.
  10. Plan9

    Plan9 Mastering Engineer

    Toulouse, France
    The So 2012 remaster is markedly inferior to what came before.
    John B, audiotom and Thievius like this.
  11. Flaming Torch

    Flaming Torch Forum Resident

    Re So, (ignoring my original vinyl) I have the 2002 cd remaster and whatever is in that overpriced So box set. I aslo have a hi res download but have no idea which mastering that might be - it is official though. How many different versions of So are their post 2002. I assume the 2003 sacd used the 2002 master but I do not know for sure.
  12. The_Windmill

    The_Windmill Forum Resident

    I came across such cases of apparent slight mismatch.
    In my experience the problem was my inability to control the software adjustments to match the two perfectly.
    What I did was to isolate shorter snippets and then meta-normalize them. They canceled out after that. When they didn't, there was always audible EQ difference.
    We have to remember that digital EQ was nonexistant for a bunch of time and when it was introduced on later consoles it was harsh and a bit of a pain. So for older CDs, if it was applied, it was not that subtle that you can miss it.
    I read that sometimes engineers applied analog EQ during A-D transfers but it was mostly to compensate a supposed loss while using copy tapes instead of originals.
    tmtomh likes this.
  13. Plan9

    Plan9 Mastering Engineer

    Toulouse, France
    The Hi-Res download, if it's 24/48, is the 2012 remaster. I *assume* they reused it for the 2016 downloads. The boxset is also the 2012 remaster.

    The SACDs all contain the 2002/03 masterings.
  14. Black Elk

    Black Elk Music Lover

    Bay Area, U.S.A.
    There's a 24/96 version of the 2016 download too.
    Flaming Torch likes this.
  15. c-eling

    c-eling They're made of light,We never would have guessed

    The 2016 24/96 Vinyl DL, well just should of been a 44 :D
    Is so close to the 2002 that it probably is.
  16. Artur Torres

    Artur Torres New Improved Full Dimensional Stereo

    i prefer the non-remastered CDs.
    abzach and George P like this.
  17. Rael

    Rael Forum Resident

    Do You know if all original CDs (with PGCD in cat. number) are the same regardless of matrix? (Nimbus, Swindon, DADC or NL are the four different ones i think)
    Carlox likes this.
  18. MicSmith

    MicSmith Forum Resident

    Car first appeared on CD in May 1987. There was a plan to issue it in Sept 1983 but the release was cancelled.

    Melt was issued the same day as Car. The only track from Melt that has appeared on CD prior to the album was Biko on Conspiracy of Hope.

    IV is more difficult to track. Initial copies were from West Germany (1983 onwards in three pressings) until a blue label U.K. edition appeared later in the decade - around 1986 I suspect. As I had already bought the West German third presssing I didn’t pay attention to the U.K. version.
  19. tmtomh

    tmtomh Forum Resident

    Well, Security is PGCD 4, and there are very similar-looking PGCD4 discs with very similar disc labels, but different matrixes and different masterings.
  20. Rael

    Rael Forum Resident

    Do You know what matrix has this different mastering?
  21. tmtomh

    tmtomh Forum Resident

    Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel

    Same light-blue disc label and PGCD4 number as on the other masterings, but the mastering and the matrix are those of the target CD version of this album.
    The_Windmill likes this.
  22. walrus

    walrus Senior Member

    This is just a carryover from the vinyl days, I think, where that was definitely a factor. I don't know of any instance where a club CD was any different than the regular retail version at the time, other than some tiny print on the sleeve.
    JeffMo and c-eling like this.
  23. c-eling

    c-eling They're made of light,We never would have guessed

    Possible if the club was manufactured in Europe for US, they could of used that mastering, if applicable.
    Sometimes you get nice face paint as well :)
  24. JoshM

    JoshM Forum Resident

    If anyone with the PG3 that has the 78.9 track one peak could PM me (especially if you’re looking to sell), I’d appreciate it.
  25. An easy way to tell with BMG Club discs whether they are identical pressings (with club markings) or club pressed and may have something different in the master is to check the matrix. BMG issued discs will have Dxxxxxx as the matrix, rather than something regarding the label's catalog number. Identical pressings will have the same matrix as the retail version and usually includes the Record Label's catalog number, not the BMG club catalog number.

    Columbia House was harder in that if the disc was pressed at Sony SDM Pitman or later at BMG Sonopress USA, it is likely a club issue for non-CBS/Columbia/Epic/Sony labels. Columbia House also pressed many discs at Sony DADC USA or WEA Mfg that were never pressed there for retail. Most, if not all, CBS/Columbia/Epic/Sony label discs are identical to retail other than markings for the club.
    tmtomh likes this.

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