SH Spotlight Steve's Mastering Secrets, Part II

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

  1. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    Yeppers. I also picked up the SACD of "Moon Beams". I almost bought this 45RPM Test Pressing for $95, but I wasn't sure if it was yours:

    http://store.acousticsounds.com/browse_detail.cfm?Title_ID=32222

    Did you do this one? The standard set (just like your Live at the Village Vanguard 45RPM) is hopelessly/expensively out-of-print :(
     
  2. Chris M

    Chris M Senior Member

    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Here's a question for Steve. Do you ever find great stuff (unused mixes, etc) tacked on the end of reels that you want to use but aren't allowed to? If so can you tell us about a couple of them?

    Thanks!
     
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    I do all the time, yes. Alternate takes, alternate mixes, first time stereo mixes of songs only released in mono, etc.

    Not allowed to talk about them though. I have to stay on good terms with the licensor.
     
  4. KAD

    KAD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    Thanks a lot for info!:goodie:
     
  5. Jamie Tate

    Jamie Tate New Member

    Location:
    Nashville
    Silly question as I'm sure I know the answer but were they live to two track? If so, how'd they record them? Did they have a mixer in another room or was there a guy in the club with a pair of headphones recording it?
     
  6. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    To quote:

    This recent history (Kind Of Blue/Explorations) issued the 31-year-old Evans into the Village Vanguard with his current working group that Spring Sunday Afternoon, for what was ostensibly just another date to make a living as a musician in New York City. Orrin Keepnews was on hand at the club earlier than the trio with engineer David Jones to set up the Ampex portable tape recorder. The pair placed the recorder at a table close to the stage, enabling them to maintain eye contact with the band (rather than recording in the traditional way with the recorder and engineer in the kitchen, out of sight).

    The very same tape we used to cut our 45s.
     
  7. Jamie Tate

    Jamie Tate New Member

    Location:
    Nashville
    How'd they hear what was going to tape? It's a nicely balanced recording I'm curious how they did it without a good listening environment.
     
  8. Chris M

    Chris M Senior Member

    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Understood. That must be frustrating coming across that stuff and not being able to use it.
     
  9. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host



    Cheap cans from the local Army Surplus. Really.

    How did he do it?

    All you do is set your levels and let it go. The trick is to not overload. Everything else is just vacuum tube bliss.
     
  10. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey

    Slope of 6?
     
  11. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Yeah, my guess.

    The problem with the Contemporary Studios "hiss reducing" slope of 1959-62 is that unless you are using the exact same equalizer that they had you couldn't match exactly.

    So, I did what Spock did in Star Trek "The Voyage Home"; I guessed.
     
  12. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    Steve (if you can say) - when you worked on (the unreleased for DCC) SINATRA AT THE SANDS, did you have to add any echo when you remixed from the 4 tracks? Where did you go for the echo? Also, did you use the Ampex 440? Or did the project not even get this far?
     
  13. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host


    Fair question though I don't like to talk about unissued stuff.

    I did it over at Capitol (for the chambers).
     
  14. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey

    That's what I figured - Roy probably used some custom thing for Eq, no? So you just have to do what sounded best - thanks!
     
  15. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey

    OK, thanks. Did you ever consider using the chambers at United (now Ocean Way) for remixing this kind of stuff - Sinatra/Reprise era material? For authenticity, etc.? Or are the chambers there worse enough sounding to not even consider it?
     
  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    I didn't want to pay OCEAN WAY's outlandish price. I like the Capitol people, they work with me and the chambers sound better..
     
  17. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident

    SO basically they didnt realize at the time, they were trying to be more modern with all the isolation and channels but were in the end reducing sound quality. Yes I know youve spoken many times about the golden era of sound. Its just a shame that to sound GOOD, its actually EASY, but hardly anyone wants to record that way now. They are actually spending small fortunes to sound compressed and punchy, but in the end those recordings of the fifties and sixties on vinyl were the BEST.!!

    I didnt realize buddy holly and his group used SO LITTLE equipment....wow...that is mind boggling. :eek:
     
  18. edb15

    edb15 Forum Resident

    Location:
    new york
    Perhaps it works like this:

    Tubey recording through tubey electronics and inaccurate speakers of the day (say late 50s)=muddy sound.

    The same through todays (or yesterdays) hi-rez gear = great.

    Modernist recording through tubey electronics and inaccurate speakers of the day = hey sounds much cleaner.

    Not to say that sound is what drove the shifts (which were economic and technophilic/modernist as much as anything).
     
  19. dgstrat

    dgstrat Senior Member

    Location:
    West Islip, NY
    There's an unreleased Sinatra at the Sands DCC?!
     
  20. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host


    All the engineers wanted was more flexibility to overdub and the ability to "REMIX" something at a later date, perhaps after dinner or something. (All against Union rules but the union was going out by this point).

    Valid points and reasons, but in order to do this something had to go and that something was good, natural sound. That's the way it goes!
     
  21. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Forgot one thing. As soon as the artists got a taste of the new "overdubbing" approach to recording there was no going back. None at all.

    So, many more channels, the need to keep the numerous mic preamps quiet (use compression), the need to keep the 24 hissy tracks quiet (use the Dolby System), isolated musicians to keep each instrument on its own track, the need for headphones to hear everyone, solid state recording to keep it cool in the studio and have less breakdowns, outboard devices to make the sound "exciting", zealous engineers and producers who wanted total control over the band's dynamics in post production and you have: The 70's! Turn it to digital and you have: The 80's and beyond!

    No one wanted to go back to the old way of grouping the musicians around four microphones and recording everything live in one take, in a natural space. It took the Audiophile Recording Style in the 1990s to figure out how to do that again. And by that time Buddy was gone..
     
  22. jstraw

    jstraw Forum Resident

    So workflow trumped aesthetics. This is a familiar theme of the late 20th century when the technology offered a choice. I'm seeing signs of a small reversal in the 21st century and not limited to audio....
     
  23. Could I ask what you did the achieve the wonderful sound on the two Badfinger albums you did at DCC? I realize this was a long time ago but they sound terrific and I've always wondered.

    Also, what do you suspect that Apple did that was so different from yours aside from overuse of No Noise?
     
  24. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Apple? Heh, you mean EMI. They boosted the bass, reduced the mids and added top AFTER they No-Noised the life out of the tapes.

    What I did (especially on STRAIGHT UP) was just transfer them pretty straight, maybe a little REVERSE EQ (taking it out instead of adding it) to bring out a more natural sound (but still faithful to Todd R.) and reduce a bit of upper midrange screech. Worked pretty well!


    Can't have any screech on one of my masterings.
     

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  25. salleno

    salleno Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    So. Cal.
    :shake: :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :mad:
     

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