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Why are remasters so hit and miss? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 13th September 2014
  #61
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^^ true .. bandcamp is awesome for groups of all sizes.
Old 18th September 2014
  #62
Lives for gear
 

I found "So" to have a rather atrociously scooped mid-range. Was that the re-master?
Old 23rd September 2014
  #63
Gear Nut
Y'all ever listen to the countless remasters of ziggy stardust? When I was a kid I just thought it was a poorly produced record until I heard it on vinyl and I realized it just never had a decent digital release. The newest remaster they did a few years ago is not bad though.

I think the remasters they did of the beatles catalog a few years ago are WAY better than the original cd release of that material, though. Remasters make the most sense for old, pre-digitally released records were re-released when cds were in their infancy and seemingly no one had any idea what to do with digital audio.

I imagine there are at least a few bands out there who wish their records were mastered differently and would be happy to have another chance to revisit it. But that's probably still the exception.
Old 24th September 2014
  #64
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It's amazing how bad the remasters often are. it's really sad.
Old 24th September 2014
  #65
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewAllianceEast! View Post
It's amazing how bad the remasters often are. it's really sad.

And shows an interesting contrast to the "LANDR" thread... Robots can't think, right. But it seems most humans obviously can't either.
Old 24th September 2014
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FabienTDR View Post
And shows an interesting contrast to the "LANDR" thread... Robots can't think, right. But it seems most humans obviously can't either.
People who say some remasters are bad "can't think"??

Insulting statement at the very least.

And do you, being in the industry and dependent upon new projects for your bread & butter, believe that all legacy(pre-1990 digital and analog) material must be remastered?
Old 24th September 2014
  #67
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
People who say some remasters are bad "can't think"??

Insulting statement at the very least.
Mhh.. no? Please read again. I agreed to NewAllianceEast's post and wondered about the interesting relation to the LANDR thread. Nothing offensive. And the reason why a mastering engineer "can't" do something doesn't mean they are stupid. Sometimes, it's the customer who's asking for nonsense.
Old 24th September 2014
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FabienTDR View Post
Mhh.. no? Please read again. I agreed to NewAllianceEast's post and wondered about the interesting relation to the LANDR thread. Nothing offensive. And the reason why a mastering engineer "can't" do something doesn't mean they are stupid. Sometimes, it's the customer who's asking for nonsense.

I took exception to your comment broadly - nothing to do with engineers or anything else. I read it as "people who think some remasters are bad don't know any better".

And where is this 'landr' thread?

+1 to your comment about customers.
Old 24th September 2014
  #69
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
And where is this 'landr' thread?
It's here:
MixGenius - LANDR
Old 24th September 2014
  #70
I know many are going to disagree with this, but remastering and the subsequent promotion of legacy records are an important aspect of keeping these records alive and kicking for not only the artists and producers who collect royalties from re-sales, but for the overall health of the record industry, even at the expense of the remaster not being as good as the original. A worthwhile percentage of purchased music is from the 50's - 80's/90's. My teenage nieces both have extensive legacy rock records in their ipods and phones, they even where Zep and Beatles t-shirts. It's certainly sad when a remaster is blown, but in the end that fact is probably 99% of the time lost or over the head of the listener, they simply hit play, enjoy, and move on. Very few discuss vinyl over CD etc, in fact its often a conversation killer in social situations. The average person just doesn't give a ****.

Does this excuse bad work, no, but bad work comes from many different aspects of a project. Quite a few of our greatest legacy albums are dare I say, less than great sounding, and perhaps would never translate all that well to a modern sonic sensibility. Sometimes the murk, noise, and low-finess of a record is part of the glue that holds it together and sounding cool, and lifting that off can lead to bad things. For instance adding more weight in what was a thin sounding mix, but by adding bottom end you can alter the perception of the tempo of the record etc... I just finished remastering a legacy project, it was not an easy thing to get right, and some records only let you get so far. But personally speaking I think it's better to get it out and keeping the wheels turning.
Old 24th September 2014
  #71
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engmix wrote: "Quite a few of our greatest legacy albums are dare I say, less than great sounding, and perhaps would never translate all that well to a modern sonic sensibility. "

But(there's that word I hate - translate - again LOL!) whatever their faults, that's how we remember them sounding - how I at least want to hear them - and how in an archival sense they should be passed down through the generations. I know it's cliched, but can you imagine the Tower of Pisa remastered? To only 1deg. of lean as opposed to 3.99? At its worst, it leaned over 5 deg before they had to do something before it fell.

As far as "translating" is concerned, all of my material(original-release CDs, rips from 1970s-80s vinyl, all before the era of gross peak-limiting) translates better on everything from my iPod to my car to my home stereo than do modern releases and most remasters.


I invite those Slutz that are purely listeners to music but have some DAW savvy to do the following: Generate some pure sine tones(440, 2K, whatever) 30-60 seconds long, and then increasingly peak limit a copy of those tones and tell me what you hear compared to your unprocessed tones. A/B the peak limited vs the originals.

Now apply that concept to the complexity of actual music and you'll get it. This is about sound quality, not the 'L'-word, people.
Old 24th September 2014
  #72
Gear Nut
It's not like the original masters go away when something is remastered. Most of the time I FAR prefer the original master. But there are plenty of exceptions. Looking past mainstream releases, a lot of early indie and lo fi records from the 80s are not mastered well at all, and the remasters some of those have gotten have been amazing to hear. Pavement's Slanted & Enchanted might be the best example of this... The remaster actually sounded more dynamic, punchy, and clear, without diminishing the "lo fi" character and charm of the original recordings. And it's nice to be able to put that record on now without cranking the volume...

I can think of a lot of releases like that where I'd really actually love for them to be remastered. Sometimes it is simply how things sounded at that time, sure: but sometimes records are rushed to completion or simply mastered by someone with no experience or poor equipment, etc...

All this said I agree that 90% of the time it's just a marketing thing, but I don't think it's fair to dismiss the practice entirely because of that.
Old 24th September 2014
  #73
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andonuts wrote: "And it's nice to be able to put that record on now without cranking the volume..."

"Cranking" the volume is actually good - What you're really doing is letting the device to which the volume control belongs do it's designed share of its work: driving your speakers or headphones.

It's all about voltages.


"sometimes records are rushed to completion or simply mastered by someone with no experience or poor equipment"

And again, due to either those circumstances, or any others, how they sounded at the time is what matters, not trying to re-envision how 1967 or 1983 would have sounded like if 24bit recorders and DAWs had existed then.

They didn't have those things then, and therein lies the magic of what made those eras unique.


"I agree that 90% of the time it's just a marketing thing"

Glad we see eye2eye on that point. LOL
Old 24th September 2014
  #74
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
It's all about voltages.
... and currents, and impedances, and power conversion, and sound pressure, and lots of other things. Please don't go speaking of things you do not understand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
And again, due to either those circumstances, or any others, how they sounded at the time is what matters, not trying to re-envision how 1967 or 1983 would have sounded like if 24bit recorders and DAWs had existed then.

They didn't have those things then, and therein lies the magic of what made those eras unique.
The magic that made those eras unique are the unique talented people who lived in that era - not some piece of recording equipment. Maybe for you it is, but what about everyone else? You sound like they pay for all the remasters out of your pocket.
Old 24th September 2014
  #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orson Maxwell View Post
... and currents, and impedances, and power conversion, and sound pressure, and lots of other things. Please don't go speaking of things you do not understand.
Easy killer - cold war's over my friend.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Orson Maxwell View Post
The magic that made those eras unique are the unique talented people who lived in that era - not some piece of recording equipment.
I stand corrected here. And it was a synergy of those people and their contemporary equipment. And that, exactly, is why most of the material doesn't need re-interpretation("remastering").


Quote:
Originally Posted by Orson Maxwell View Post
You sound like they pay for all the remasters out of your pocket.
??
Went over my head, possibly over the Empire State as well. LOL


"Kind regards"?

How about a kinder tone(something I'm also working on btw).
Old 24th September 2014
  #76
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
??
Went over my head, possibly over the Empire State as well. LOL
I meant this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
And that, exactly, is why most of the material doesn't need re-interpretation("remastering").
Why do you think it does not need it just because you do not want it or do not understand or like it? Not that anyone would break into your apartment and rob you of your 70`s vinyl record as soon as a new remaster of it comes out.
Old 24th September 2014
  #77
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
andonuts wrote: "And it's nice to be able to put that record on now without cranking the volume..."

"Cranking" the volume is actually good - What you're really doing is letting the device to which the volume control belongs do it's designed share of its work: driving your speakers or headphones.
Oh, I know. I'd much rather listen to music that way all the time! But more often than not it's through awful car speakers, or even worse, a laptop. I've heard older records that were only mastered to -3db, and then with very little compression. It's possible to at least increase that ceiling without adding any more gain reduction. Generally speaking, I prefer a less compressed master at all times, but that's exactly why mastering is such an art form, because a good mastering engineer can balance the benefits of added detail and volume without killing dynamics. And... a lot of records are just not well mastered, no matter what the time period! So yeah, I'd take a better remaster of an old recording if it means I can better hear what's going on in the recording.
Old 24th September 2014
  #78
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orson Maxwell View Post
I meant this:
Why do you think it does not need it just because you do not want it or do not understand or like it?
Because the original is closest to that era, when the thing came out. It represents that time, encapsulates that period in the artists history.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Orson Maxwell View Post
Not that anyone would break into your apartment and rob you of your 70`s vinyl record as soon as a new remaster of it comes out.
What disappoints me is when the remaster comes out it becomes the de-facto version to buy, replacing the original CD instead of just accompanying it on the store shelf, or download on Amazon. The original versions, perhaps in reduced quantity, could coexist alongside the remasters, allowing the consumers to decide.


I'm all for choice, Orson. Something you might actually find exciting.
Old 24th September 2014
  #79
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
engmix wrote:

But(there's that word I hate - translate - again LOL!) whatever their faults, that's how we remember them sounding - how I at least want to hear them - and how in an archival sense they should be passed down through the generations. I know it's cliched, but can you imagine the Tower of Pisa remastered? To only 1deg. of lean as opposed to 3.99? At its worst, it leaned over 5 deg before they had to do something before it fell.

As far as "translating" is concerned, all of my material(original-release CDs, rips from 1970s-80s vinyl, all before the era of gross peak-limiting) translates better on everything from my iPod to my car to my home stereo than do modern releases and most remasters.
To each his own, hate the word, but the word exists for a reason. I'm working on a record right now, and part of the gig is to get the master to "translate" well on my clients multitude of listening systems. How else would you like an audio engineer to say it?

You know what, I would love to see the Tower of Pisa straightened out, might look cooler, you don't know till you try. My point is, just because something is the way it is, doesn't mean that it has to stay that way because that's how you were original exposed to it. For instance I would love to see some of the old Hendrix stuff remixed and mastered. Not to sound like Beyonce, but to sound like Hendrix, but fattened up and punchier.
Old 25th September 2014
  #80
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
As far as Hendrix goes, I'm sure if, back in '68, Jimi wanted fatter *or* punchier, his producer or the engineers would have found ways to fulfill that request. It's not our place, in this century, to impose current preferences on what has already been done. Don't get me wrong: I'm all for a cleaner high res transfer from a better source, remove the veil of noise and or artifacts, but as for how I'd make them sound? Certainly not any modern influences. That would be like putting 20" Lorenzos on a 60s era Impala.

Sound wise, I'm strictly stock.
I'm curious how you guys feel about Steven Wilson's reMIXES of Crimson, Yes and Tull. The big attraction is that they are 5.1, but there is also a stereo CD included.

Generally, I think they are very respectfully done - almost to the point where I sometimes think "why?" . Most rock recordings of that era had little low end. Because it didn't matter: it was not going to fit onto an LP without sacrificing volume. And everybody was punching in their hi-fi's Loudness button to fatten it up anyway.
I'm glad Wilson didn't try to modernize it too much. But my system doesn't have a loudness button anymore - I really would love to feel some real low end on Squire's bass!
Old 25th September 2014
  #81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff_free69 View Post
I'm curious how you guys feel about Steven Wilson's reMIXES of Crimson, Yes and Tull. The big attraction is that they are 5.1, but there is also a stereo CD included.

Generally, I think they are very respectfully done - almost to the point where I sometimes think "why?" . Most rock recordings of that era had little low end. Because it didn't matter: it was not going to fit onto an LP without sacrificing volume. And everybody was punching in their hi-fi's Loudness button to fatten it up anyway.
I'm glad Wilson didn't try to modernize it too much. But my system doesn't have a loudness button anymore - I really would love to feel some real low end on Squire's bass!
This was the point the that I was trying to explain to k-man, it's not about bastardizing something, it's about exploring other angles and seeing if something positive happens. I would love to hear Squires bass sound more like it did live. People who've been to Zeppelin shows told me that Bonham's kick drum was like a pile driver etc. Your point about the way systems were setup back in the day is an excellent point as well, the loudness button. I think mastering engineers are now the loudness button, and I don't mean that in terms of volume, I mean in terms of energy. I respect that everyone is allowed to voice their opinions, I'm just doing the same, and some people just get stuck and hate change, whatever, I don't focus on mixing and mastering for haters.
Old 26th September 2014
  #82
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engmix wrote: "I'm just doing the same, and some people just get stuck and hate change, whatever, I don't focus on mixing and mastering for haters."


#1. I'm not one of the haters you referenced.


#2. Some change is good - in the case of a mix/master with egregious issue making it almost unlistenable.


But there seems to be a relativist philosophy on here towards great examples of 20th century music legacy. If that applied to paintings, then there would no on would know what the original "Scream" or Mona Lisa looked like! See where I'm going? Every artist would reinterpret those, and the viewing public would have no idea even roughly what those works originally were intended, *by the artists*, to appear.


Apply that concept to recorded works. There is no longer one version which stands for all time. And as far as remixes go, they, along with most remasters, are different versions, amd do not archivally represent the originals or the era of their origin.
Old 26th September 2014
  #83
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
engmix wrote: "I'm just doing the same, and some people just get stuck and hate change, whatever, I don't focus on mixing and mastering for haters."


#1. I'm not one of the haters you referenced.


#2. Some change is good - in the case of a mix/master with egregious issue making it almost unlistenable.


But there seems to be a relativist philosophy on here towards great examples of 20th century music legacy. If that applied to paintings, then there would no on would know what the original "Scream" or Mona Lisa looked like! See where I'm going? Every artist would reinterpret those, and the viewing public would have no idea even roughly what those works originally were intended, *by the artists*, to appear.


Apply that concept to recorded works. There is no longer one version which stands for all time. And as far as remixes go, they, along with most remasters, are different versions, amd do not archivally represent the originals or the era of their origin.
Your un listenable might be magic to someone else, this is life. This is why much of what you say falls on deaf ears. Your arguments are just to personal and don't factor in change. Us engineers have to ebb and flow with these changes because we're often asked to replicate or apply certain techniques that are what we would consider a modern approach to someones project, and then there are times someone wants the opposite. I love when someone asks me for vintage, on a technical level it's fun to go there. But at the same time I don't have a snarky attitude toward against the glass / in your face. That poses it's own interesting challenges on an engineering level that can be quite fun to work on.

Your analogy with classic paintings actually speaks more to remixing and remastering for the modern taste than the classic. Point being, over the years ALL of these great classic paintings have been refurbished. How are we actually to know the exact color when it's been washed away over hundreds of years. The refurb-painter has to come to the closest approximation to what the original artist used. The thing is, artists of today are using modern equipment, such as brushes, paints, lighting, even digital forensic technology to assist in their work. We REALLY don't know what these classic paintings looked like when they were originally painted due to weathering, so perhaps they're brighter or darker or perhaps the whole vibe is 25% off from the original. And the thing is, people of today love the paintings, they don't care if the red tones are deeper or brighter, they just love the overall picture and it's story. In fact I'm one of those people, I went to see the "Birth Of Venus" in Italy, not for one second did I think, this is too loud...

So in regards to remasters, I think it's cool to expose, expand, and do whatever it takes to bring out the best, or perhaps bring out a different angle or perception of "once was", and as an audio geek I love hearing new takes on things. Sure, every now and then you get something that's gone to far, but so what, I have the original if I want it. It's definitely not worth getting stressed out over it.
Old 26th September 2014
  #84
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drtechno wrote: "The reason why it is hit and miss is some mixes suffer because they were engineered for depth and dynamic range. So yea some of them can not be flatten and boosted like today's pop songs. "


And why should they be?

The goal of a remaster is not to remove dynamics from it. Those changes - on the macro via the swelling choruses, or the micro via the percussion or rhythm section - are a natural part of music, and should be left as they originally were on those dynamic songs.

To apply compression in addition to what was applied already 30-50 years ago, or peak-limiting, is to alter how someone, particularly those not alive to hear it first round, perceives it or reacts to it emotionally.

There are just some things that should not be reinterpreted once they're "in the can", to paraphrase the film business.
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