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Rush Power Windows 25 years later, what do you think?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by steeler1979, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Uncle Jack's studio had and still has:
    2 Sony 3348 HR
    1 Sony 3324 A
    2 Mistiubushi X-850
    Sony 1600, 1610 and 1630.

    And other assorted digital stuff. But no, we never had a (Jesus!) 3M 32 track digital recorder. There is probably one working somewhere. But the tape is too old.
     
  2. BSC

    BSC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    There you have it HYF better than Pictures.........and Presto as well......it's all about opinions I guess.
     
    john morris and Terrapin Station like this.
  3. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Well, no argument there. I loved Moving Pictues but I never really liked the sound quality of that album.. The album had a digital harshness to it. No doubt from the primitive stereo digtial mastering deck.
     
    ytserush likes this.
  4. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    So frustrating. I really love a lot of the music they made from that era, and I'm bummed we'll probably never see a surround mix of any of it. Even a stereo remix would be really nice, maybe take some of the brittleness off and restore some much needed bass to certain albums/songs, and other more nuanced updates.
     
    john morris likes this.
  5. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    I wouldn't say it's better than MP, but I play HYF much more often these days. I've heard "Tom Sawyer" enough for several lifetimes. I don't feel the same burnout with Rush's '85-96 era, so I revisit it much more often and always enjoy it.
     
    TheLastVoice and morgan1098 like this.
  6. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Bare with me here.

    There are maybe a dozen studios around the world with a working 3348 / 3348 HR to play back DASH tapes. And you can always cannibalize parts from another 3348 / 3324 / 3324A / 3348 HR. You can get a used DASH 3324A for $3000 CAN off of Ebay. The real problem are the tapes. They are old : DASH, Pro Digi, ADAT (S-VHS) , DA-88 (High 8 mm) multitracks have been transferred in the last 15 years. Many record companies and their artists have realized that transfering these digital things are in essence a race against time.
     
  7. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Yes, I've always thought that COS was the best sounding of their early albums.

    My PoW is the original CD.
     
    john morris likes this.
  8. morgan1098

    morgan1098 Forum Resident

    I'm technically challenged but curious... how does all of this play into the fact that several of the HYF songs (and one PW song, "Mystic Rhythms") are actually different mixes on the Sectors remasters? I mean, "Mission" has an entire string section that wasn't on the original album. Where did those sounds come from?
     
    john morris likes this.
  9. slipkid

    slipkid Forum Resident

    I think I said the same thing earlier in the thread. There are some songs on this album that are IMO quite astonishing when played on an excellent stereo, some very very cool detailed sounds. I've had people who weren't Rush fans come up to me in stereo shops asking what the heck that music was, how amazing it sounded.
     
  10. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Yea, bizarre eh? Good question. Hold Your Fire was a DDD (oh damn Dad it's all digital!) album.
    Digitally recorded, mixed on a primitive crappy digtial mixer and recorded to a master digital recorder. From the moment the signal gets converted into PCM it stays there and never leaves. The digital mixer was fully automated. And because it was digital, Darth Peter could edit /mix until kingdom come. He could recall mix - 12 of "Mission" and pop in the middle bit from take - 5. And so on ad infinitum.... They are probably several different mixes and/or edits of Mission from the 1985 mixing sessions.

    For example, the other mix/version of "Mission" you heard was a different mix/edit from the mixing sessions. But for some reason Rush decided to leave that middle section out for the actual album. If you have DASH 3324 that is real easy to do. The engineer makes many mixes/versions of each song and then the band decides which mix/edit of the song goes on. In the case of Sectors they may have decided to give fans these alternative mixes/edits or they may have mistaken them for the master. A similar thing has happened with the wrong master of Tommy going to MFSL. Or the different mixes of The "Weapon" and "Freewill" on MFSL CDs. It may have been on purpose oh just that they pulled the wrong tape. This is how the "The unique U.S. Beatle mixes" happend. Check out the 5.1 mix of Signals. Most of the vocal tracks are different from the official album. On the multitrack there might be 2 or even 3 vocal attempts at each song. It isn't hard to see how during the 5.1 mix they choose the wrong vocal track. Of course these analog tapes were all transferred to Pro Tools.

    A band will do many different mixes of a song. And with digital, even move: verses, solos and bridges around. With analog this can be done but it is a super pain in the ass. Back in the days of analog if you had 6 major mix changes during the song you made 6 separate quarter inch mixes and then spliced them together. For example The Who Quadrophenia album has over 400 splices in it. Many more in the last 23 years but that is another story. A bad example of splicing is the album version ELO's, "Sweet Talkin' Woman." You can hear every time a splice happens. The mix changes were so extreme that every edit stuck out like a soar thumb. The single mix on 1978, ELO'S Greatest Hits is way better., No splices.

    I hope this explains. The songs you speak of are just alternative mixes/edits from the album sessions.

    I have not heard these. Are they good? Unfortunately I hear the Sectors Box Set is overcompresed.
     
    Thorpy likes this.
  11. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Done on a Sony PCM 1610. (Jesus!) That is the master you have there. Don't ever sell it!
     
    robcar likes this.
  12. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Good news. Ron Albert in LA has one working 3M 32 track digital recorder. The issue with the 3M digital was bad power supplies. But if Ron's 3M goes that is it.
     
  13. morgan1098

    morgan1098 Forum Resident

    Thanks for the reply. The sound on the Sectors sets isn't that bad IMHO. I like the alternate mixes, not as replacements for the originals, but just as something different. PW and HYF are among my favorite Rush albums so it's nice to throw a little variety in there once in a while! :)

    I have the alternate version of "The Weapon" from the Signals MFSL but I didn't know about the alternate "Freewill." What's different about it? Don't tell me I have to track down another pricey Rush CD!
     
  14. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    I heard about alternative MFSL "Freewill" mix from a friend. I don't know what makes it different.
     
  15. Moggio_4K_Ultra_HD

    Moggio_4K_Ultra_HD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    It's excellent. The songs, musicianship, lyrical content, etc. Though, admittedly, I still feel it's over-produced (as is HYF). I like the fact that on the 2012-2013 Clockwork Angels tour, they brought some of the deeper album tracks into their setlists again, and played more than just The Big Money live.

    However, my favourite keyboard-era Rush album is, Grace Under Pressure. For me, GUP has always been one step up from Power Windows...
     
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  16. classicrockguy

    classicrockguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Livingston NJ
     
  17. classicrockguy

    classicrockguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Livingston NJ
    It's kind of like their "90125", this is the only one I heard from them in the 80s, and I remember liking it a lot. Prob haven't heard it in 30 years but I can still remember how "Big Money" goes so that's definitely positive :edthumbs:
     
    morgan1098 likes this.
  18. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Location:
    America
    As a non-musician, this makes sense to me. Power Windows sounds MASSIVE. So warm, so lush. You can hear every instrument clearly, and the balance and sound is tremendous. Even on a song like Mystic Rhythms, where Peart's percussion lead could have easily buried the other instruments if put in the hands of the wrong mixer, you can hear every little thing the guitars and keys are doing in that song underneath the lead vocal and lead drums. Amazing job by Peter Collins on that one.

    I can't say most of Side 2 blows me away, although I do love Between the Wheels like crazy, but I still am a big Grace Under Pressure fan. I love the cold, wintery feel of it.
     
  19. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Mmmmm....It was the mixing style of the period. Take a listen to, The Sun Always Shines On TV. A wetter record you will not find. Or the first three Asia albums. I love em' don't get me wrong but it sounds like the band is recording in air plane hanger. They wanted a BIG drum sound. The engineer did it through abusing his digital reverb. ** Another way to get a big drum sound is to use 2 DBX compressors together. This was a known technique back in the day.

    Between 1968 - 1986 the dead and damped drun sound was heavily used. The kick would be stuffed with a blanket and a sheet went over the toms and the same. This is the sound you hear on: Abbey Road, Crime Of The Century, Eldorado, Rumours, The One That You Love, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Moving Pictures, Long Distance Voyager, Band On The Run, Imagine, Grace Under Pressure, etc.




    ** Back in 1978 digital reverb was introduced. One producer/song writer, John Far, went insane with the new stereo delay settings. John Far also had a Stephens 2 inch 40 track recorder. Take a listen to all those ONJ records from 1980 - 1983. You will hear an engineer who went effect crazy. Check out the Xanandu soundtrack. There is stereo delay on everthing. Even the ELO side!
     
    ThirdBowl likes this.
  20. Rosskolnikov

    Rosskolnikov Designated Cloud Yeller

    Mostly, I like the songs better on Power Windows, but I'll admit to a soft spot for the really thick-sounding keyboards on Grace Under Pressure. They just had good tone.
     
    Mike McMann, slipkid and john morris like this.
  21. MikeManaic61

    MikeManaic61 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    And there most bleak as well. Afterimage brings a certain emotion in me, especially during the instrumental break.
     
    john morris likes this.
  22. Thorpy

    Thorpy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ripley, Surrey, UK
    Agreed 100% - it is an incredible sounding recording, and a masterpiece of its time back in 1985. Still probably my desert island album, and easily my all-time favourite Rush album alongside Counterparts and Grace Under Pressure :)
    Had the pleasure to talk to Andy Richards over a coffee a few years back about his keyboard / programming work on their records (as well as the Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Fuzzbox, Gary Moore, Trevor Horn releases etc.) - he confirmed the level of craft behind the album was second to none from both the band themselves and also Peter Collins. And that Neil Peart was an excellent companion at breakfast with a coffee and orange juice recording at The Manor in Oxfordshire :)
     
  23. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    It is unfortunate that Rush recorded 4 albums on DASH machines. I had a friend who argued that I was wrong and that they were done on a 2 Mitsubishi X-850s. What?! If that is true that only makes matters worse. No Pro Digi tape from 1985 is gonna play. You can forget that fantasy! That format had compatible problems between machines. And this was when the format was new and heavily in use. The Studer DASH D827 is a much later model that could record at 24 bit. But no 24 bit anything was around in the 1980's.

    The amount of 2 channel digital mastering formats was bottomless back then. Between 1987 - 1995 DAT was the Preferred format. It may upset many members here to know that the Master tape for Presto and Roll The Bones is a 16/48 DAT tape.

    Power Windows? One of the many dead mastering formats. My guess is digital copies have been made over the years. I doubt very much that the original 1985 Power Windows digital master plays. It was probably transfered to DAT in the 1990's and then to Pro Tools in the last 10 years.

    I made the mistake of making many 2 channel mixdows to 1/2 inch 14 PCM back between 1989 - 1992. They don't play now.
     
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  24. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    The PW demo has a different vocal for Big Money. The delivery is better there.
     
    mark winstanley likes this.
  25. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    It shows how an all digital project can sound. Even at 16/44.1. Although the DDD logo on Power Windows is a bit of a lie since the drums were recorded on an analog 2 inch 24 track recorder and then later dumped to DASH. Bit of a cheat!
     

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