Was that Aja mystery solved yet?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by GP, Apr 16, 2004.

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  1. GP

    GP Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lynbrook, NY
    Or did we just give up?

    I apologize for re-hashing, but I read that nine page thread and it looked to me like it was left open for a sequel. :D

    In all seriousness though, if a conclusion was reached I missed it. Couldn't find it by searching, and there seemed to be a dead end on the topic of whether or not SH did the Japan originals.

    Inquiring minds wanna know....
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    In a sense, we've given up. It's quite apparent that the Japanese CBS/Sony and JVC pressings are identical. However, it is still not known if they were made from the Nichols or Hoffman master. My guess is that they were made from the Nichols master (ditto for Katy Lied) since Nichols' masters were used for all the other Dan titles in '84 and '85. Unfortunately, I doubt we will ever know for sure.
     
  3. Leppo

    Leppo Forum Librarian

    Location:
    Off Broadway
    Yeah and Mr. Nichols has still not responded to my e-mail and Steve hasn't posted in awhile. :sigh:. . .
     
  4. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Neither Roger or I have a clue one way or the other.
     
  5. Leppo

    Leppo Forum Librarian

    Location:
    Off Broadway
    Now we're getting somewhere - mystery solved. :D

    Thanks for posting Steve!
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    This will go down sort of like the line at the end of The Rock. "Hey, honey. Wanna know who mastered the original pressing of Aja on CD?" :D
     
  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    I'm sure Roger couldn't care less by this point.

    Put a song up and let me listen. If it's mine I'll know it.
     
  8. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    I'll mail you a copy or my original if you'd like.
     
  9. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Well, try this first:

    On my version I filled in the midrange hole a bit. On Roger's version, he left it so there would be a big difference in the two. If your version sounds like it needs a bunch of 3-5k added to it, it's not mine.
     
  10. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    :sigh:

    I dunno. I mean, I think the version I have sounds good, but Steve you might be right, it could use a little "thickening" in the upper midrange.

    :confused:
     
  11. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    That's Roger's. The original mix sounded to me like it was done on a pair of horn drivers. If you play it back on normal speakers, the frequencies that the horn exaggerated are missing and it sounds empty there. I filled that space in during mastering. Make sense? You must have the RN mastering.
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
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    Could you elaborate on the "thickening"? Maybe you could point out what is missing or "recessed" in a specific portion of the album.
     
  13. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Keith, do this:

    Open your mouth halfway and go "ahhhhhhhhhhhh". Now, do it the same way but put your hand over your mouth like you're yawning. Go "ahhhhhhhhhhhh" again. Hear how the middle ranges of your voice vanish and it sounds unlike it should?

    Same thing on certain albums of music. The most extreme examples I can think of right now are AJA and KATY LIED. It sounds like the midrange speaker of a three way speaker system is not working; all bottom and top while the middle sounds hollow. When this stuff was mixed, it was done with a big ol' horn playback system. This system usually has TOO MUCH midrange honk. So, the mixing engineer (in order to get the music to sound good on the horn system) reduces the midrange so the honk vanishes. Problem is, unless you play back these "flat" masters on a horn system the midrange is recessed. My version of AJA fills back the mids. The snare drum sounds fuller and not like a piece of cardboard is being hit.

    Savvy?
     
  14. Leppo

    Leppo Forum Librarian

    Location:
    Off Broadway
    Just compared my MCA Japan CD with an ABC promo LP and yes it's a RN as you described.
    So, which one is SH?
    :confused:
     
  15. Leppo

    Leppo Forum Librarian

    Location:
    Off Broadway
    I just discovered the Steve Hoffman mastered Katy Lied! :goodie:

    And guess what?
    It's a night and day midrange difference!
    The SH is the best pressing - better than the ABC lp!

    Thank you for your help Steve!
     
  16. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    Could you please post particulars of your Katy Lied CD? I assume it's a Japanese pressing. Could you post the matrix code, total time, and individual track times? My guess is that it's identical to my copies.

    I don't have Katy Lied on vinyl. Still, the LP was done at a different time from the CD, so the CD could still be from the Nichols CD master.
     
  17. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    Thanks, Steve. I never felt that the snare drum sounded like "cardboard", but I'll listen again.
     
  18. Leppo

    Leppo Forum Librarian

    Location:
    Off Broadway
    Yup and this is exactly how I identified your Katy Lied CD by an A/B of "Everyone's Gone To The Movies" with an ABC LP. And lucky for me I prefer Katy Lied over Aja anyway. :D
     
  19. -=Rudy=-

    -=Rudy=- ♪♫♪♫♫♪♪♫♪♪ Staff

    Location:
    US
    Y'know, that's the same impression I have when I play my Mobile Fidelity LP of Aja...like there's good bottom and top end, but the midrange just isn't a good "in your face" midrange. It sort of throws the balance off and the midrange sounds distant, in other words.
     
  20. -=Rudy=-

    -=Rudy=- ♪♫♪♫♫♪♪♫♪♪ Staff

    Location:
    US
    According to Denny Dias, a few compromises were made to master Katy Lied to vinyl...one point being that the transients they recorded were too difficult to cut on the lathes of the day.

    http://www.steelydan.com/dennys3.html

    First time I ever heard most of the Steely Dan albums was on that crappy MCA reissue vinyl, the ones with the gold "Platinum Series" stamp on the cover. After those, anything was an improvement! :D
     
  21. Paul K

    Paul K Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Somebody with the technology - post something for Steve to listen to! This has got to find a conclusion sometime!
     
  22. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    I think Steve is right, mine must be the RN disc.

    Keith, listen to the beginning parts of Aja and Decon Blues, like when the vocals come in. They aren't very forward in the mix. I don't mean they are smooth, they are "recessed". Steve's work usually brings those frequencies out. For comparision, I listened to another disc Steve mastered from that era, Elton John's "Your Songs". Still a nice neutral sound, but the midrange is right there.
     
  23. Evan L

    Evan L Beatologist

    Location:
    Vermont
    I don't know about the midrange, but on my Japan Aja CD, the drums are right in your face, a la Hoffman mastering. So, anyway......I still think I have a Hoffman mastering.
    Evan
     
  24. Leppo

    Leppo Forum Librarian

    Location:
    Off Broadway
    Somebody did here. ;)
     
  25. Paul K

    Paul K Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Ok that's a great start. Now let's bring this here thing on home with some comparisons for AJA as well. (well done Leppo!)
     
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