SH Spotlight Recording and Mastering Questions---Answered here. Any more?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. Lemon Curry

    Lemon Curry (A) Face In The Crowd

    Mahwah, NJ
    I think that's the Ian Anderson "Guess what? I found Aqualung in the garage!" story. A mind blower.
    SonicZone and Dave like this.
  2. Steve: If you can say, how are master tapes typically transported to an audiophile company like Mobile Fidelity, DCC, Audio Fidelity, etc.? Does someone actually hand-carry the tapes the whole way? I can't imagine companies simply shipping one-of-a-kind and historically valuable masters by US Mail, UPS, FedEx, etc. Has the amount of care taken during shipping changed over the years?

    Edit: After I wrote my question above, this fitting image popped into my mind...
    Lars-Olof Ström and Shak Cohen like this.
  3. Michael P

    Michael P Forum Resident

    Parma, Ohio
    Perhaps he's referring to the end of the bridge "...until you see me cry-eye.." there is an obvious splice there where the echo abruptly cuts off.
  4. aoxomoxoa

    aoxomoxoa I'm an ear sitting in the sky

    Link to this story, anyone?
  5. Claus

    Claus Senior Member

    Nope, Aqualung.
  6. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Livonia, MI
    DRM and aoxomoxoa like this.
  7. Emilio

    Emilio Senior Member

    Your long reply has answered most of the questions I had about vinyl master cutting, but I would just like to focus on a specific aspect that I find fascinating. It is usually understood that vinyl masters take the physical limitations of vinyl into consideration. But don't they also take into consideration the ENHANCEMENTS that can be made during cutting? A friend of mine who works in the industry (in Brazil, though he deals mostly in the research and compilation part of the job and not the actual remastering) has told me that this is the very reason why CD reissues of old albums have to be remastered. The remastering tries to add the depth that had originally been added when the vinyl master was cut. A flat transfer from the master tape to CD would sound just like that: flat. Is that correct?
  8. Jack_Straw

    Jack_Straw Forum Resident

    Wichita, KS
    Thanks Steve!

    2 questions:

    1 - Do you ever make EQ adjustments to just part of a song? (for example, there is a problem with a solo but you don't want to affect the rest of the track) If so, how often would you say that occurs? Would that be done digitally, or with analog equipment/on the fly?

    2 - Do you ever use headphones in the mastering process? If so, which ones?
    George P likes this.
  9. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Totally depends on the sound of the mix. Never know until play time! The enhancements on vinyl are really nothing that the operator needs to add; they are the natural colorations of the vinyl cutting process.
    tmtomh and Emilio like this.
  10. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    1. Constantly.
    2. Never, never ever, never.
  11. Emilio

    Emilio Senior Member

    OK, I understand. So I assume these natural colorations can actually enhance the sound if the operator does a good job overall. Of course this does not apply to those overstuffed K-Tel compilations!
  12. jmpatrick

    jmpatrick Forum Resident

    Detroit, MI
    Steve: I'm getting ready to record some new songs at home for a vinyl release. I have two recording options: a Fostex Model 80 1/4" 8-track that runs at 15ips that I would mix down through an analog board to 1/4" RTR also running at 15ips or a digital rig with a PreSonus 192 and Vegas Pro software. The Fostex would limit me to 8 tracks, which I could make for these songs. The PreSonus would allow me more tracks and 24/192.

    Which would you choose for a vinyl release?
  13. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Makes no difference, just do a good mix, easy on the compression, easy on the EQ. An LP can hold about 20 minutes a side with full dynamics.
    McLover likes this.
  14. Steve, if a song loses high (or low) frequencies gradually during the length of a song, would you choose one EQ setting or try and get the best sound by constantly changing the EQ?
  15. Shak Cohen

    Shak Cohen Forum Resident

    United Kingdom
    Steve, are some mixes "too tough" to cut to vinyl, or cut without making significant differences? For example, a mix that has very wide panning or extreme dynamics.
  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Under what circumstance would a song gradually change tonality?
  17. dmiller458

    dmiller458 Forum Resident

    Midland, Michigan
    I have a question. I keep seeing all these threads about various albums being remastered. Why do they need to be remastered? Why didn't they do it right the first time?
  18. McLover

    McLover Senior Member

    I can verify the 1980's 45 RPM A&M Forget Me Not single is still mono. I own this reissue.
  19. McLover

    McLover Senior Member

    Even recordings I do for myself at home, I print tones, usually at the head of the reel. This is for future reference and setup purposes.
    Shak Cohen likes this.
  20. Lemon Curry

    Lemon Curry (A) Face In The Crowd

    Mahwah, NJ
    Steve, it's really great that you opened this thread back up. Some interesting Q&A.

    My question for you is: how loud is loud enough? In other threads there has been some retro appreciation of the '87 Beatles CD's, which have great dynamics. My thought is there is no way Apple would release them today because they would seem out of place level-wise on a stream, or someone's phone. The game has changed.

    What guides you in getting the compression (or limiting) right? Are you concerned you won't be loud enough? I think about this a lot when mastering my home-brewed digital files...
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  21. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    I don't add compression or limiting in mastering at all. I find the loudest part of a song and that is digital zero. Once the level is set, I don't touch it.
  22. spice9

    spice9 Senior Member

    New York, NY

    It's a basic question, but as I'm getting into vinyl after having never been, do you agree with what seems to be the majority opinion here that a superior vinyl listening session is head and shoulders better than anything digital can produce?
  23. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    supermd, SharkPretty, obi and 12 others like this.
  24. mpayan

    mpayan A Tad Rolled Off

    This thread should be required reading before joining. Yeah, I know, not going to happen. But its a good thing for it to be made a sticky about once a week imo!
    rxcory, Encore, tmtomh and 4 others like this.
  25. Well, I have a CD with the song Holy Ghost by the Bar-Kays. At the end of the track the hi-hat sounds less crisp than at the beginning of the track. The track gradually loses higher frequencies during the track. I guess that that's what's on the (master)tape. If that is the case how would you handle it, if it was the only tape available?

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