SH Spotlight Steve's Mastering Secrets, Part II

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by salleno, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Depended. Some of the Linda was Dolby A and each song from each album needed a special set up before playing. If the previous song was long enough it could be done. If not, it was a 30 intersafety, adjusted. A real pain in the butt all the way around.

    Now, if I had worked on something that was ALL non-Dolby it wouldn't have been too much easier; different studios, different set up tones, etc. Hard to do.
     
  2. Another Side

    Another Side Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    It must be maddening. You're playing DJ while trying to master at the same time. :agree:
     
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Takes two or three people. I think the last one I did like that was the BEST OF THE DOOBIES. Not too bad (same studio, etc.)
     
  4. Another Side

    Another Side Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Is it considered a no-no to cut up the reels and assemble your own album master?
     
  5. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Uh, yeah.

    The AL GREEN and ROY ORBISON stuff was cut up like that originally in the 1960's (to save money, I guess). What a pain in the butt...

    You realize that every song on any tape needs to be "set up" on the machine in a special custom way, right? Adjusting a lot of "stuff" to get it to sound perfect. Sometimes it is just not possible to do that in three minutes...
     
  6. Another Side

    Another Side Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Isn't that true with any album. I mean every album is assembled from mixes made at different times (at least rock albums are). Or am I barking up the wrong tree? :shh:
     
  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    So, you're saying that in order to make a BEATLES "1" you would cut up the original LP masters and reassemble them in a different order?

    Got to be kidding.

    You make tape copies and use them instead. I try to bypass that.
     
  8. Another Side

    Another Side Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    No, I mean like "Abbey Road". They assembled the album reels (or reels in this case) from all the mixes. Would you then have the same issues setting the tape up on the machine?
     
  9. CardinalFang

    CardinalFang New Member

    Location:
    ....
    There'd be no reason to alternate between two decks, especially for an album like Abbey Road (where the engineers had high standards and followed the same protocol when mixing). Unless a record was mixed to multiple tapes, with different formulations or different tape sizes (1/4 inch, 1/2 inch, etc), you'd be good.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't most records have Side 1 on one tape and Side 2 on another?
     
  10. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    No, no. Same studio, same time, etc.

    But, if you want to listen to something gone wrong even in this fashion? Try some of the mixes on Paul's RAM in L+R mono. Oops, what happened? :)

    At any rate, the needed existence of analog Cutting Masters is now understood, yes?
     
  11. Another Side

    Another Side Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    :agree:

    Along with a few other nuggets. :shh:
     
  12. pool_of_tears

    pool_of_tears Searching For Simplicity

    Location:
    Eastern Iowa

    Well, whatever you did...that one sounds amazing. :) I'd take that DCC to a deserted island!
     
  13. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Thanks, appreciate it.
     
  14. mrbillswildride

    mrbillswildride Internet Asylum Escapee 2010, 2012, 2014


    No, thank you for all your amazing sounding Lp and Cd gold releases.
    (I also love your Donovan "Catch the Wind.")

    Can you tell us anything about Tull's Original Masters Cd? Like did you have to get Ian's OK to include the whole first side of TAAB on there? (what a nice surprise treat!) At least one poster here listens to that particular piece before having to "go down" to the Mofi Cd for side two... high praise indeed...
     
  15. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Ian was happy to help. His engineer provided us with what we needed. Most everything on there (with a few exceptions like "Bungle In The Jungle") are pretty flat transfers... A fun album to work on. The LP version (due to time restraints) just has a short version of TAAB on it. The Gold CD has all of side one.
     
  16. mrbillswildride

    mrbillswildride Internet Asylum Escapee 2010, 2012, 2014

    Any other Tull audiophile releases in the pipeline, with your involvement or not?

    And are there not two distinct versions of Aqualung (with ian's mid section vocals compessed?) and which did you use and why?

    Finally, not Tull related, do you think Porky's are worth collecting like RL's?
     
  17. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Nothing in pipeline, no.

    The rest of your comments? I have no idea what you are even talking about!:shake: :wave:
     
  18. mrbillswildride

    mrbillswildride Internet Asylum Escapee 2010, 2012, 2014

    Ok, let me explain. Aqualung, the song, has a midsection where Ian sounds like he is speaking thru a microphone. You did the DCC Aqualung, I think that version is on there, maybe on the original Lps as well, but there is also a version (on MU? maybe?) that does not have the vocals Compressed (I think it is compression..) I wondered which was used and why, maybe should just go listen...

    As for Porky vs RL. I'm following the label/deadwax threads on here, and know many people collect Robert Ludwig mastered? (is that the right word?) pressing, and I wondered if you though Porky's sounds as good, or better, and were worth seekng out, and many here do... And how is your job different than theirs? As your name is never in the dead wax...
     
  19. mrbillswildride

    mrbillswildride Internet Asylum Escapee 2010, 2012, 2014

    That should be MEGAphone...
     
  20. mrbillswildride

    mrbillswildride Internet Asylum Escapee 2010, 2012, 2014

    OK,

    I just did a mini~listening session comparing a few Aqualungs, the song. The DDC Gold disc of Aqualung's Aqualung and the version on Original Masters DCC Gold CD sounds identical to me. But the MU album I have, a british import Lp pressing, has a differing version, but same take. In this version there is no "MEGAphone" vocal midsection which ends with the frost beard bit and Ian saying "Hey". On the MU version, the vocals sound the same in this section as the rest of the song's vocals, but it actually seems more intimate, because they are not processed, or compressed?

    Another noted difference, in Martin's well known, extended guitar solo, which Jimmy Page witnessed, Martin starts in both speakers, but moves to the right speaker for most of the solo, whereas on this differing MU version his solo stay in the middle throughout...

    Any thoughts?

    PS Ediquette~wise, should this be started as another thread, or is it still "Hoffman related"?
     
  21. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Another thread, please.
     
  22. joelee

    joelee Senior Member

    Location:
    Houston
    Tha Aqualung on MU is the quad mix.
     
  23. mrbillswildride

    mrbillswildride Internet Asylum Escapee 2010, 2012, 2014

    Ah,

    Thank you joelee, I had been listening to other Aqualungs trying to get the skinny. My US Reprise two-tone pressing and my WLP both sounded identical, if inferior to Steve's two issues. I had not gotten to my Quad pressing yet... Now I know... Nuff tull...


    Steve, not to "press" the ediquette issue, I'll assume you mean a long Tull thread should be just that, but what about my other query, the difference between what you do and what RL and Porky do, is that to stupid a question?
     
  24. johnny33

    johnny33 New Member

    Location:
    usa
    Ok, Steve this may be a bit of a strange question and if too personal I understand.But on the less technical aspects of your craft...

    Are there any pre mastering routines you go through to prepare for a session?

    Do you stop listening to music that day to kind of "clear your ears?"

    Do you go nuts and cram for the sessions reading everything you can about the album?Do you meditate? Whats going through your mind when you are actually sitting there?Are you taking the whole song in at once or concentrating on the bass while Kevin is concentrating on the vocals?

    Sorry if this seems a little bit silly, but I hope you understand what I am asking.
     
  25. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    johnny33:

    Ok, Steve this may be a bit of a strange question and if too personal I understand.But on the less technical aspects of your craft...

    Are there any pre mastering routines you go through to prepare for a session?


    Do you stop listening to music that day to kind of "clear your ears?"


    I do, yes.


    Do you go nuts and cram for the sessions reading everything you can about the album?Do you meditate? Whats going through your mind when you are actually sitting there?Are you taking the whole song in at once or concentrating on the bass while Kevin is concentrating on the vocals?

    You're speaking of LP mastering. Cram? Well, my homework is listening to all the old versions of the album I can think of and comparing to the master tape ahead of time (off the clock) so I don't have to do it during mastering. I meditate in a way, trying to go back in time and understand what the ORIGINAL mastering engineer was trying to accomplish when the album was first released. I respect that and would never abandon that intention, only try and make it better. For example, if a mastering engineer in 1967 filtered the top at 10k and the bottom at 50 cycles and not much else, well we don't have to do that anymore so I would leave the tonal range totally wide. Etc., etc. What's going through my mind is sort of a "translation". In other words, "How is this going to sound outside of this studio playback system, in the real world (my house)?"

    When we cut records together, I focus on the sound I want and Kevin focuses on getting that sound onto the grooves with the least amount of compromise.


    Sorry if this seems a little bit silly, but I hope you understand what I am asking.

    I hope I answered enough. Ask more if you need to..
     

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