Noobie question about recordings
Feb 13, 2007 at 2:47 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

noobie72

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Hi,

I hope this hasn't been asked before, but I did not find anything with a search. Here's my question. When you go buy a CD, how do you choose which recording of songs you want to buy?

For example, Aerosmith's Sweet Emotion is one of my favorite songs. If I listen to the recording from one of their Greatest Hits CDs, the song is only 3 minutes, 15 seconds long. The same song on the O' Yeah CD is 4 minutes, 35 seconds long. The big thing to me is that the O' Yeah recording sounds much better to me.

Is there a general rule I can follow so that I choose the CDs with the best recordings? I know best is subjective, but I find this to be the case quite often and would like to avoid buying multiple CDs for the same song.

Thanks.
 
Feb 13, 2007 at 3:10 AM Post #2 of 7

mrdeadfolx

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The only way to know for sure is to do a little 'net research before you go CD shopping, or oftentimes I come here and ask everyone else' opinions, most of the people here seem to know what they're talking about. But theres not going to be a sticker on the CD packaging that says "supreme quality recording!" or anything. They should start doing that.
 
Feb 13, 2007 at 5:24 AM Post #3 of 7

Rock&Roll Ninja

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The track from the original studio album is the track people will be familiar with (radio/Mtv) . 'Greatest Hits' may be longer or shorter or even mastered different, and the live tracks will vary by performance.
 
Feb 13, 2007 at 7:16 AM Post #4 of 7

infinitesymphony

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I know yours was a general question, noobie72, but I'll say that Aerosmith's Greatest Hits with the red and white cover and logo is one of the worst mastering jobs I've ever heard. It must've been done with either cheap or badly-calibrated tape gear, with probably very little attention paid to the mix. I've heard that it was originally released by the group's label as a cash-in when it seemed that they were to become victims of excessive lifestyles.

Perhaps the mastering is only a problem with the CD and not the original LP, because after all, the CD transfer was done in the early '80s when digital converters weren't so great. Either way, it sounds thin, quiet, unbalanced, and hiss-filled (either from the tape or from the playback method).

Album mastering can go the other way, too. My 2003 remastered CD of Cocteau Twins's Blue Bell Knoll sounds utterly squashed compared to the original 1988 CD release.

So, for these old albums, it's good to read up about which is the best recording. The Steve Hoffman forums seem to be brimming with this sort of information.
 
Feb 13, 2007 at 12:54 PM Post #5 of 7

noobie72

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That's what I figured. Maybe Amazon can put in a Quality of Recording rating for CDs. That would be really useful.

Thanks for the information.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrdeadfolx /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The only way to know for sure is to do a little 'net research before you go CD shopping, or oftentimes I come here and ask everyone else' opinions, most of the people here seem to know what they're talking about. But theres not going to be a sticker on the CD packaging that says "supreme quality recording!" or anything. They should start doing that.


 
Feb 13, 2007 at 12:58 PM Post #6 of 7

noobie72

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Thanks.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rock&Roll Ninja /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The track from the original studio album is the track people will be familiar with (radio/Mtv) . 'Greatest Hits' may be longer or shorter or even mastered different, and the live tracks will vary by performance.


 
Feb 13, 2007 at 12:59 PM Post #7 of 7

noobie72

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I think that the CD I was listening to. Sounded like they recorded it in an emtpy tin room. Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.



Quote:

Originally Posted by infinitesymphony /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I know yours was a general question, noobie72, but I'll say that Aerosmith's Greatest Hits with the red and white cover and logo is one of the worst mastering jobs I've ever heard. It must've been done with either cheap or badly-calibrated tape gear, with probably very little attention paid to the mix. I've heard that it was originally released by the group's label as a cash-in when it seemed that they were to become victims of excessive lifestyles.

Perhaps the mastering is only a problem with the CD and not the original LP, because after all, the CD transfer was done in the early '80s when digital converters weren't so great. Either way, it sounds thin, quiet, unbalanced, and hiss-filled (either from the tape or from the playback method).

Album mastering can go the other way, too. My 2003 remastered CD of Cocteau Twins's Blue Bell Knoll sounds utterly squashed compared to the original 1988 CD release.

So, for these old albums, it's good to read up about which is the best recording. The Steve Hoffman forums seem to be brimming with this sort of information.



 

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