Steely Dan- Aja coming on vinyl remastered by Kevin Gray

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by MikeT, Jun 8, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. RTurner

    RTurner Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Arr beat me to it! :D Pink sometimes has a hard time keeping himself together.... :laugh:
     
  2. John

    John Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast
    Hi dgstrat- American Woman was a joint effort between Robert Pincus and Kevin Gray, he had a hand in it as well. I wonder why Steve or Robert isnt involved with this Cisco release?
     
  3. Loud Listener

    Loud Listener Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Someone asked the question, so here goes....there are two distinct releases of Aja coming out at the same time, roughly August.

    One is the 200 gram Japanese version from Universal.

    The other is the just announced 180 gram RTI pressing from Cisco, mastered by Robert Pincus and Kevin Gray.

    Both are mentioning the original analog tapes were used......
     
  4. Two questions:

    Was Steve's Aja CD mastered from the 1985 digital master (what Nichols used to call the "correct" tape) or from the analog master?

    Was Citizen Steely Dan compiled from the 1985 digital masters, or from the original analog masters?

    I would appreciate this info. Thanks!
     
  5. LesPaul666

    LesPaul666 Active Member

    Location:
    New Jersey


    I would like to know the answers to these as well.

    Steve?
     
  6. timo

    timo New Member

    If one already has a nm first pressing of "Aja" does one really need the remastered version? And how would it really differ from the first? Help a woefully clueless brother out here.
     
  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host


    Yes, you rang? I have the system set up to let me know when someone types STEVE.

    My 1985 AJA was mastered from the original analog master tapes of course. My EQ (first time I tried to "fill in the midrange hole" in a mastering project) was:

    +1 @ 3400, +1 @ 10k, +1@ 40 cycles, -1 @ 150 cycles.

    I remember that the tape was from the Village Studios and was 15 ips Dolby A and had a million edits in each song.

    After he heard I jumped the gun on this Roger N. got mad and demanded that he get all the analog master tapes back on Steely Dan immediately so he could master them from then on, leaving the company with EQ Dubs only. That was it! I just had done a version of KATY LIED and poof; Roger took over from then on....

    The problem with Roger's first masterings, they were done from analog but they sounded straight from the tapes, probably using the same speakers that Roger used to mix on. WRONG!!!!! Those CD's while nice to listen to, have the same midrange hole problems as the actual tapes do. However, these are the best versions of the Steely Dan stuff IMO. From 1986-87 era; find them, get them, love them.

    Never mix and master on the same speakers. In fact, mixing engineers should NEVER master their own mixes. That approach leads to a "one sided disaster" every time!

    SO, hope this helps. Guess I better look and see what thread this is. I didn't even check before starting typing this!
     
    George P and Plan9 like this.
  8. Too true.

    I find it almost impossible to master my own stuff unless it's aged a while, like a year or two. I've learned to really trust a couple mastering guys and I just let them do their thing.
     
  9. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    Such a logical thing but you'd be surprised how many engineers want to master their own stuff.
     
  10. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey

    Thanks Steve. Was this all with a slope of 6? I want to try it with the Gold CD...
     
  11. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    I think it would only work on Roger's version of AJA from 1986 or so.

    Yes, Sontec Slope of "6". That translates to "1" on a GML parametric.
     
  12. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    Oh, OK - thanks again, Steve. I thought the Gold CD was mastered flat off the master? That's why I thought your moves would "fix" it.
     
  13. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    I have not heard it in so long I can't remember.

    Try it.

    Try this one on BLACK COW first and see what happens:

    +2/3k, +2/6k.

    If too much, reduce by a db.
     
  14. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    OK! "Black Cow" is different than the others?
     
  15. Another Side

    Another Side Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco


    I'm surprised to see that you fill in the midrange hole by essentially adding 1 dB at 3.4K. I still have a lot to learn. :shh:
     
  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    Seems to have more of a hole than others.

    Been a long time. I was "AJA'd out" years ago..
     
  17. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    My goal was NOT to tamper with Roger's tonal balance by doing any harm to it via EQ.

    I filled it in a little bit by the 1 db at 3k. I wanted to leave the sound intact and not screw with it; the least evasive approach while still "polishing the diamond" so to speak.
     
  18. Another Side

    Another Side Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    That makes perfect sense. I guess I'm learning from you after all. I always try to do no harm and try not to get too far from the original sound on my "little" projects. :thumbsup:
     
  19. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    Heh, that sounds pretty begrudging.:laugh:
     
  20. Another Side

    Another Side Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    I know. By the time I noticed that it was too late to edit my post. :mad:
     
  21. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    We are all learning about stuff from each other all the time. That's why this Forum is so great!:)
     
  22. Another Side

    Another Side Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    :agree:
     
  23. His Masters Vice

    His Masters Vice W.C. Fields Forever

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    It works beautifully, of course. I tried it a while ago on Roger's version and sure enough it was transformed (as if by magic) into the legendary "Hoffman Aja".

    That little tweak of adding 1 dB (or so) at 3.4 kHz can be quite useful... :righton:
     
  24. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    If you need upper midrange energy or a reinforcement of PERCEIVED lower treble energy without actually having to add top end to the mix, try 1 at 6k. Works like a charm as well.
     
  25. His Masters Vice

    His Masters Vice W.C. Fields Forever

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks, Steve!

    When I hear recessed midrange now I tend to head straight for 3.4k and see what adding a couple of dB will do. But your tip for adding a little at 6k is also excellent - it adds a little zing to the mix without adding any top. In fact, with a lot stuff I'm hearing these days I want to roll off a dB or 2 (or more) at either 10k or 12k.

    And maybe it's just me but I find that adding 1 or 2 at 3.4k seems to help with ambience on CDs - there just seems to be a little extra depth after adding that tweak. It's noticeable on Black Cow (and I also like how it brings out Fagen's vocal). Both the midrange tweaks also seem to add a nice quality to the snare.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page