The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Re-Mixing Classics? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 24th May 2003
  #1
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Re-Mixing Classics?

What does everyone think about the re-mixing of classic albums, like Derek and the Dominoes, The Beatles stuff, ZZ -Top etc etc?

Do you think they should still offer the original mixes on CD too?

Id be interested to know which re-mixes you think are legitimate, and which are just blasphemy, and totally irrelevant compared to the original mixes.

If anyone has any comments about good or bad re-masterings too, Id be interested.

I have strong feelings which will become evident <laughing>.

THANKS!
Old 24th May 2003
  #2
I firmly beleive that all those complicit in these endevors should be shot in the head... Beacause that Iis what they are doing to the develpment of new acts

I have silver hair but all those silver haired w**nkers that are remixing endless 5.1 versions of old albums should curl up and die.

Sure remarketing remakes of old material depends on folks interested in buying it. I am not calling those that do buy it sheep, they have as much right to buy a newspaper..... HOW F***ING EVER.... It can be viewed that folks that have blown their monthly music buying budget on James Taylor and Steely Dan SACD remakes have NO FURTHER spending money alocated for buying NEW music and that really pisses me off.
Old 24th May 2003
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Steve Smith's Avatar
 

Sorry Jules, but that is a bit like telling a gear manufacturer that they cannot re-issue gear (read universal audio, or purple audio) because it stops folks from buying new gear.

Now don't get me wrong, I do not think that re-mixing an artists back catalog is necessarily a good thing, but the fact is that the public (esp. when we are talking about JT and Steely Dan fans) will buy what they think is good. There is very very little music being made in the vein of the stuff that is on the current fad of remix/remastering (stones, beatles, 70's rock in general) and of what is out there, very little of it is as good as the real thing.
To blame the re -release market for lagging sales of new artists is a bit like blaming music sales drops on napster, IMHO.
Old 24th May 2003
  #4
Lives for gear
 
heinz's Avatar
 

The ZZtop re-mixes pretty much killed the fire and intimacy of those early records. What these remixes fail to address is that "snapshot in time" element, and the synergy of music and technology that make the "sound" of the record. I do not generally believe that most classic mixes can be improved with disconnected and surgical post op. But then, I like the first cut of Star Wars much better than the crapped on version.
Old 25th May 2003
  #5
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

By remix, I assume you mean a dance remix. It's an interesting novelty that's occasionally effective but more commonly an embarrassment because the original version had a better feeling groove. I think one of our biggest problems today is that far too many records using live musicians are virtually undanceable. Most classic singles have been very accessible to both singing and dancing with them. The same factors that create an infectious dance groove also support the kind of compelling vocal performances that provide fans with a great sing-along experience. This is commercial music 101 stuff.

As for 5.1 remixes, most I've heard really suck but I'm not convinced it can't be done given enough care and creative input from the original production teams. It's just that many classic records are pretty fragile illusions and the surround mixers are probably too close to the material to be able to know the subtile difference between the original magic and revealing what's always been behind the curtain.
Old 25th May 2003
  #6
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Bob. Actually NO, I dont mean dance remix. The remixing I was talking about is where the artist or record company wants to clean up, and/or modernize the original mixes and even try to simulate the originals. The Beatles and Derek and the Dominoes are the some of the more recent prominent ones, but more and more are coming.

Dance remixes dont attempt to keep the same flavor of the originals, or even be similar to them.
Old 25th May 2003
  #7
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

anyone who doesnt think classics shouldnt be remixed please go buy Bill Laswells miles davis and bob marley remixes. they are every reason why it can not only be done better but also how it is not sacreligious to make old stuff better. although the marley one is a dub album i sorely miss bobs voice on that. i would of loved if he had done a double disc set and put the vox in after he mixed with dub versions and printed it. i so wish he would redo some jimi hendrix and some led zepplin. i would also love to hear what he would do with abbey road.


but the original mixers redoing it... no way. they did it the first time, let someone else possibly better redo it.

i also picked up the complete restless flaming lips stuff remastered by dave fridman and they do sound better. i wish he woulda remixed it as well but that would be a HUGE undertaking.
Old 25th May 2003
  #8
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally posted by posterchild

If the record companies want to repackage classic albums and make us buy them again, then I want them to put out stems of the original tracks. Yep, stems!
I often wonder if we live for another 20 years, if when you pay a little extra, you can buy an album with a copy of the multitrack on it. It will default to playing the final mix, but then you have the option to "edit" that mix from the front panel of your portable Digital Music Player. Each CD could have remixes on it, along with the multitrack "tapes" so you could play with and change the music. You know... DVD's have those out takes and different shots etc... maybe not only could you remix things, but you could hear different takes, or a different guitar solo, or the banter between takes, etc..... NAHHHH!

Very interesting stuff about the Bob Marley and Miles Davis re-mixes. I never heard them.
Old 25th May 2003
  #9
Gear addict
 
mdbeh's Avatar
 

The Laswell stuff is cool, but the ones I've heard are more like dub mixes, different than what I was referring to. The stuff that bugs me has been improved/cleaned-up/modernized etc.
Old 25th May 2003
  #10
Lives for gear
 
heinz's Avatar
 

Dude. When you hear the remix of 'tres hombres', you may like it. Then again, you may enjoy dragging your balls through a mile of broken glass. Or gouging out your eardrum with a dull jigsaw. You never know what people like.

If you're like me, you may listen to the remixes once, and feel you have experienced one of the greatest gibbons-mutilated atrocities in modern record production ever.
Old 25th May 2003
  #11
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally posted by heinz
Dude. When you hear the remix of 'tres hombres', you may like it. Then again, you may enjoy dragging your balls through a mile of broken glass. Or gouging out your eardrum with a dull jigsaw.
<Laughing> I like how you turn a phrase.

WHEN THEY RE-ISSUE AN ALBUM ON CD, IT SHOULD BE A LAW THEY HAVE TO USE THE ORIGINAL MIXES! I dont wanna buy an album named "Tres Hombres" and not have the same god damned original mixes as were on the original vinyl "Tres Hombres"! Its as simple as that. It's like saying mixdowns aren't part of the art of records, and you can just re-do them indiscriminately.
Old 26th May 2003
  #12
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by heinz
The ZZtop re-mixes pretty much killed the fire and intimacy of those early records. What these remixes fail to address is that "snapshot in time" element, and the synergy of music and technology that make the "sound" of the record. I do not generally believe that most classic mixes can be improved with disconnected and surgical post op. But then, I like the first cut of Star Wars much better than the crapped on version.
ZZTop remixes? Which albums? I'd be interested in hearing them just to see what they did and how they "modernized" them.

I'm not a fan of the remasted stuff either. I never owned Dark Side of the Moon until the new issue came out. When it did I looked around for the old one and when I bought it (last copy in the store too) the guy behind the counter and the other people in line thought I was nuts and tried to talk me into the new & improved version.
Old 26th May 2003
  #13
Lives for gear
 
heinz's Avatar
 

First 5 records, released in 1987 as a box set called ZZ Top Six Pack, produced by Gibbons. I really hope I am not contributing to the sale of another copy of this POS.
Old 26th May 2003
  #14
Gear maniac
 
psytechguy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by heinz
First 5 records, released in 1987 as a box set called ZZ Top Six Pack, produced by Gibbons. I really hope I am not contributing to the sale of another copy of this POS.
Yeah, check out the drum roll just before the outro guitar solo in La Grange.

The way over the top reverb that was added to that roll in the remix ruined a classic song, IMHO. tutt

Still looking for a CD version with the original mix. ....if there is one.
Old 26th May 2003
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

i feel about the remixes like I feel about "E-Z-Piano" editions of sheet music.

I wanna put my fingers where Beethoven put his. I want to hear those faders etc. just where they were that was so effective to begin with.

And please no smoosh?

I haven't heard the ones AJ mentioned though...

And I DO like Ravel's orchestration of Mussourgsky...
Old 27th May 2003
  #16
Lives for gear
 
juniorhifikit's Avatar
 

I can't even find the original ZZ Top recordings on CD, and I won't buy the gated reverb version. What an ego-soaked wank-fest...to think they could mix it "better" now than back then.

A little remastering can be a good thing though...
Old 27th May 2003
  #17
Lives for gear
 
dave-G's Avatar
Well, this completely explains my confusion over hearing some old ZZ Top song on one of the cloned ClearChannel classic rock stations on a recent road trip.... I heard the song (must have been "La Grange", but with cheezed snare, etc), and wondered if I was somehow mistaken as to which year the record came out... I started to wonder if that song had actually been released on that horrible "sharp dressed man" record whose title I can't remember (if I ever knew).
Old 27th May 2003
  #18
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally posted by Ted Nightshade
i feel about the remixes like I feel about "E-Z-Piano" editions of sheet music. And I DO like Ravel's orchestration of Mussourgsky...
<Laughing> Yeah but did you hear the remix of Ravels Orchestrations where they used a cheesy digital Chamber reverb on the first string sections??

Junior - I agree. Re-mastering is almost necessary. I wish they would try to keep the analog flavor tho, and not try to brighten things up or change their tonality radically.

As a footnote to this... back in 1991 I was on an Eventide Party cruise on the Hudson, and talking to Alan Parsons who did Dark Side of the Moon and other Pink Floyd classics. They were re-releasing Dark Side and he said he wished he was there during mastering so that they could have "brightened it up some" or something to that effect. And my response was "WHY?" But he seemed to feel it was ok to try to make the sonics more like the sonics of that time, as opposed to keeping the original flavor or tonality of the original vinyl release.

Still as far as Im concerned - stay true to the original... at least to a large degree. There were albums that had actual technical errors, like Magical Mystery Tour where there was a mixup of test tones or playback equalization on the originals. So maybe a little "Slight" liberty could be taken, in this case, not boosting the highs and fattening up a little. But even then, I think the original album tonality should be largely observed. Otherwise, in a way, its like saying the Mona Lisa is too dark, so lets dump it in Photoshop to Brighten it up and enliven the back ground a little.

Compared to remastering older recordings, Remixing is just an absolute NO NO NO in my book.
Old 27th May 2003
  #19
Gear addict
 

This reminds me of the controversy around colorizing old films. (They've stopped doing that, right?) Woody Allen's argument against it was that his name is in the credits as the director, but it's not his film anymore, because he chose to do it in black and white the first time and hasn't changed his mind. If an album is remixed, the original producer's name has to still be on it, right? But of course it doesn't fully reflect their decisions.
Old 27th May 2003
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

"As a footnote to this... back in 1991 I was on an Eventide Party cruise on the Hudson, and talking to Alan Parsons who did Dark Side of the Moon and other Pink Floyd classics. They were re-releasing Dark Side and he said he wished he was there during mastering so that they could have "brightened it up some" or something to that effect. And my response was "WHY?" But he seemed to feel it was ok to try to make the sonics more like the sonics of that time, as opposed to keeping the original flavor or tonality of the original vinyl release."

Lord preserve us all... (laughing, it's contagious)

When something is proven to be unbelievably, groundbreakingly effective year after year... (crying)

From what I understand, vinyl mastering is only good for so many thousands of albums pressed. Remastering is necessary just because the originals wear out, yes? no? A hazard for some of these multi-million sellers.
Old 27th May 2003
  #21
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Ted - The masters for vinyl used to be done from one reel, thru a mastering setup, to another reel to reel. Then it changed from Reel to Digital Audio Medium. Mastering only has to be done once, but the pressing plates do wear out after a few thousand pressings, so you have to make another master pressing plate, which is often done from a glass master, made by the mastering engineer. It changed somewhat from the advent of digital, of course. Sheesh its been a long time since i thought about the vinyl process.
Old 27th May 2003
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

I'm just learning about vinyl, I got to get some of my own.

Yeah they use digital sources a lot of times these days. Probably how I'll do it, maybe with Stan Ricker of Mobile Fidelity fame.
Although I think it would be very cool to do a direct to 2 track tape (probably solo piano stuff) and have that put to vinyl with an all analog chain, maybe even send it off to Abbey Road and have it cut direct to copper and all that. Two generations of analog tape is one generation too many for my taste!

I ended up with an album and a half from the last sessions, an album worth that is dandy for CD and all hangs together musically and conceptually, and half an album of kinda raw but magic tracks, collaborations with some outside writers on their tunes. Really too rough to bear repeated listening wherever CDs are played (lotsa crummy places! Not everything good can stand those kind of playback environments), but with that raw live in the studio garagey-almost type energy... It wants to be heard on vinyl! And half an album is just right for a 12" 45 rpm EP.

Not a remastered classic! But speaking of which, a lot of preferences are being expressed for the vinyl versions of old goodies as vinyl won't let you do the smashaholic mastering thing... Got an eye on an old 70's Harmon Kardon turntable, match my Harmon Kardon pre with the tube RIAA circuit...
Old 28th May 2003
  #23
Lives for gear
 

OK, I know I've always got some kind of story, but........I think this one is pretty good. First hand, exactly the way it happened.

Back in the late '80s, I lived in LA and ended up working for Berry Gordy on a few projects. That, in itself, was a complete trip, being the white guy chillin' at Berry Gordy's house. But I digress.

One of the things I did was a 12" remix of the song "Do You Love Me?" that was a hit in the movie "Dirty Dancin'" and the LP of the same name. That 12" sold very well, IIRC, so Berry (with some encouragement from moi') decided to undertake a systematic approach to remixing other big songs from the Motown catalog. The concept was to keep all the vocals and important melodic and other trademark elements while "modernizing" the groove elements.

The very first one up was Marvin Gaye's "Heard It Through the Grapevine". IMO, one of the greatest records ever made. I was ecstatic to be able to work on it. We dug out the original 1" 8 track master and xfered it to 2" so I could take it back to my studio. Pulling up that vocal at my place, with Marvin having passed away not so terribly long before, was cosmic.

I lovingly laid out a nailed tempo map by hand, locked up the trusty old Atari Mega 4/Notator and started going to town, having a great time. I started doing my "thing" and after about 4 hours, I thought I would get a reality check on how it was going. I muted my own drum and rythym tracks, pulled up all the original tracks, and listened through the intro, verse and first chorus. I nearly cried.

I then stopped the tape deck, picked up the phone and dialed Mr. Gordy. When I got him on the phone, I said, and I quote "I'm sorry Mr. Gordy, but I cannot do this. Anything I can do will only make this record worse, not better, and I will not be the white man that ruined this awesome record."

He was a little surprised, but in his heart I think he knew to leave it alone as well, because there was very little argument about shelving the idea.

And so, that is what I think of remixing a classic. Whatever made it a classic to begin with should be left alone. Mastering, yes, if it's done really well to transfer to a new medium. Remixing.........well, those boys need a gig worse than I did, unless they worked on the original and truly have both the perspective and skill to contribute something further, that remains in the sprirt of the original recording.

Then, and only then, maybe it's OK.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 28th May 2003
  #24
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally posted by BrianT
When I got him on the phone, I said, and I quote "I'm sorry Mr. Gordy, but I cannot do this. Anything I can do will only make this record worse, not better, and I will not be the white man that ruined this awesome record."Brian T
WOH! That story drives a point home. Good one Brian!
Old 28th May 2003
  #25
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

i dunno, i feel like i am getting taken when i hear an old song that was miximized for the playback of the systems of yesteryear... there is just so much more fidelity in the systems of today listening to old recordings you are only hearing half of it. MAYBE mastering could fix it...

i dont even think im talking about CLASSICS... but just a LOT of recordings that were less than mediocre.

just on a whim, i would LOVE to hear VU without all the nasally shreiking of their recordings. or hear black sabbath even heavier. i hear ACDC HtH was redone [remastered?], and i hear it sounds GOOD. im gonna go buy it.

im certainly not fixated on the past and keeping it "as-was"... just because they were what they were doesnt mean they can be done better.
Old 28th May 2003
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Steve Smith's Avatar
 

Didnt Ozzy re record a couple of his old records to get around paying royalties to someone or other? someone fill in the huge blanks here? or was that story just bull**** by the person claiming to be ripped off?
Old 28th May 2003
  #27
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
im certainly not fixated on the past and keeping it "as-was"... just because they were what they were doesnt mean they can be done better.
I agree but... dont you think that when you buy Derek And the Dominoes, or any classic album that is represented as the Original... it should be the same damn mixes?? Im not saying you shouldnt have "REMIX" albums but dont call them the original name. Call it Derek And the Dominoes 2003 or whatever... The mixes were part of the "art", and good or bad, that is what they were.

A model T had no Air conditioning, and no windup windows, but it is what it is, in the evolution of cars. I think we should respect the original craft for what it is/was, and for its place in the evolution of that craft. And yet it was beautiful in its own right.

However, I would never say that there arent bad mixes. <laughing>. My main belief is that when they put out an album with the original name, and represent it as the original.... That is what I want! You can remaster it, because that is just refinement, but dont mess with the balance of tracks and original mix of it.
Old 28th May 2003
  #28
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

well the mustang of today is nothing like the mustang of the beginning. should they rename it every year?

fwiw, the bill laswell albums i mentioned ARE renamed and dont tread of the existing.

pet sounds was done originally in mono, yet they made it into stereo, but its still called pet sounds... BUT both are available on the same disc. thank god they redid it in stereo. mono might of been what brain wilson had in mind, well... thats all he hears anyway, but the stereo version is [subjectively] better IMO.
Old 28th May 2003
  #29
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
pet sounds was done originally in mono, yet they made it into stereo, but its still called pet sounds... BUT both are available on the same disc. thank god they redid it in stereo. mono might of been what brain wilson had in mind, well... thats all he hears anyway, but the stereo version is [subjectively] better IMO.
Alpha, Thats a GREAT IDEA! I have no problem with that kind of thinking, where they still give you the original mixes. Also sometimes people did pseudo stereo mixes that got summed to mono at the mastering house in the old days. I consider those still semi-original mixes in a way cuz they were done at the same time, same people, same exact setup, just different pans. Also, Im sorry I missed the fact the Bill Laswell albums were renamed. Then its clear that something is different and I'm not getting the album that I spent months listening to up in my bedroom as a teenager, while fantasizing about Cheryl on the cheerleading team.
Old 28th May 2003
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Yeah, maybe we just need a tighter definition here.

When an original participant, like Brian Wilson, is involved in the remix, that's one thing.

What I don't dig, at all, is when some suit at the label decides to try and milk a little more $$$ out of a classic recording by hiring Joe Schmo, the current "hot" guy, to remix a record he doesn' t really love or likely even understand.

That sucks, IMHO.


Regards,
Brian T
Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+  Submit Thread to Reddit Reddit 
 
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
thenewyear / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
27
Paul Vnuk Jr. / Q & A with Michael H. Brauer
1
Robert / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
8
siambient / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
68
FOURTHTUNZ / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
10

Forum Jump