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Remastered CD's

Discussion in 'Music' started by nick20, Oct 18, 2007.
  1. nick20
    Ever since listening to my two Remastered Bob Marley CD's, it's making it difficult to go back to anything else I have in my small collection, because of the bad reproduction.

    I don't know anything about "remastered" CD's, but I do know they sound better than anything I have. For instance, I cannot bear to listen to my Kayne West CD anymore. Everything seems muffled, bass is drowned, and is no longer enjoyable after listening to my Bob Marley CD's for the past few days.



    Is there like a master list of Remastered CD's? How does one go about getting a CD Remastered? Can one, for instance me, a normal person without any audio equipment (possibly willing to purchase), Digitally Remaster a CD on the computer, and reburn that to a 24k gold CD? Or is this all more complicated than I am imagining.

    A quick google search didn't yield what I was looking for. I'm just trying to find a general consensus of Remastered CD's, what they are, and how they come about.


    Eh, my questions are pretty vague, but I'm just trying to learn more about this. If you have anything to share, please do. Links are much appreciated!





    Thanks for your time,



    -Nick [​IMG]
     
  2. bigshot
    Remastering involves going back to the original elements and producing a new dubbing master. Sometimes this is a simple thing... other times it involves a total remix. Remastering is as much of an art as the original mix was, and unfortunately, a lot of times it's done by engineers without the input of the original participants in the mix.

    Basically, it's a crapshoot as to whether remastering will be good or bad. And even if you think a remastering job is great, others may find it too interventionist or inadequate.

    "Digitally Remastered" to me is a red flag to check it out before buying. I've been burned too many times by bad remaster jobs.

    See ya
    Steve
     
  3. nick20
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bigshot /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Remastering involves going back to the original elements and producing a new dubbing master. Sometimes this is a simple thing... other times it involves a total remix. Remastering is as much of an art as the original mix was, and unfortunately, a lot of times it's done by engineers without the input of the original participants in the mix.

    Basically, it's a crapshoot as to whether remastering will be good or bad. And even if you think a remastering job is great, others may find it too interventionist or inadequate.

    "Digitally Remastered" to me is a red flag to check it out before buying. I've been burned too many times by bad remaster jobs.

    See ya
    Steve





    Thanks Steve.. I'm just trying to learn more about this..

    The two remastered CD's I have aren't digitally remastered, at least they don't say it. It just says remastered..

    Anyways, what's the difference between digitally remastered, and remastered?






    -Nick
     
  4. MH79
    You could have a go at remastering yourself (with the right software) but it's not easy. The pro's have lots of expensive hardware, and can turn quite a bland mix into something special if it's done well.
     
  5. nick20
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MikeHunt79 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    You could have a go at remastering yourself (with the right software) but it's not easy. The pro's have lots of expensive hardware, and can turn quite a bland mix into something special if it's done well.




    Thanks. That's what I'm trying to get at.. more information on remastering at home. Even if I can improve it a little, I can get some experience under my belt and maybe even pick up some entry level hardware to do it myself.
     
  6. jilgiljongiljing
    Ripping off the audio cd and using software to modify it is not remastering.

    As mentioned earlier, it involves (atleast in the genuine cases) getting hold of the master tapes of the recording artist which will probably be owned by the record label. In many cases, the same record label releases a remastered version of an older release.

    You can buy all the equipment or software you want but without the master tapes, you are only going to work on an already mastered release. This IMHO is pretty pointless since the damage is already done.

    Digitally remastered is a whole other mass market strategy which involves transferring the source into the digital domain (WAV files for example) and working on those using production software to remove for example hiss and pops from older recordings. But in general, when you modify the source, while you might get rid of what you want to get rid of, you will also be losing something you dont want to lose.

    But in most cases, the majority of the consumers would rather listen to a hiss free pop free 128kbps recording rather than a Lossless hissing file with all the info from the original recording.
    I will not even get into compression techniques used during digital remastering process as that is another big subject already discussed a lot on these forums.

    The best bet for remastered albums are audiophile oriented sources like DCC and MFSL, who are well respected in this community and you have listen to an A/B of a commercial release vs their release (recently I heard the MFSL version of The Wall by Pink FLoyd, Hotel California by DCC is another good example)

    But this doesnt mean that other remasters are bad, there are quite a few good remasters out there, some even by the same record label that launched the original album that are pretty good. But as mentioned above, remastered doesnt necessarily mean better, even more so for digitally remastered.
     
  7. nick20
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jilgiljongiljing /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Ripping off the audio cd and using software to modify it is not remastering.

    As mentioned earlier, it involves (atleast in the genuine cases) getting hold of the master tapes of the recording artist which will probably be owned by the record label. In many cases, the same record label releases a remastered version of an older release.

    You can buy all the equipment or software you want but without the master tapes, you are only going to work on an already mastered release. This IMHO is pretty pointless since the damage is already done.

    Digitally remastered is a whole other mass market strategy which involves transferring the source into the digital domain (WAV files for example) and working on those using production software to remove for example hiss and pops from older recordings. But in general, when you modify the source, while you might get rid of what you want to get rid of, you will also be losing something you dont want to lose.

    But in most cases, the majority of the consumers would rather listen to a hiss free pop free 128kbps recording rather than a Lossless hissing file with all the info from the original recording.
    I will not even get into compression techniques used during digital remastering process as that is another big subject already discussed a lot on these forums.

    The best bet for remastered albums are audiophile oriented sources like DCC and MFSL, who are well respected in this community and you have listen to an A/B of a commercial release vs their release (recently I heard the MFSL version of The Wall by Pink FLoyd, Hotel California by DCC is another good example)

    But this doesnt mean that other remasters are bad, there are quite a few good remasters out there, some even by the same record label that launched the original album that are pretty good. But as mentioned above, remastered doesnt necessarily mean better, even more so for digitally remastered.






    Good information. It's a little difficult, at least when I was looking for information on remastering on google.

    Is there a website for DCC? I found one for MFSL.







    Thank you for you time..




    -Nick [​IMG]
     
  8. Lord Chaos
    In the old days they just took the master tapes made for the LP, changed the equalization (CDs don't need any) and wrote that to a master CD. This meant that the CD inherited all the qualities of the LP, mistakes and all, but also was at least no worse than the LP.

    Then we had "middle-period" remasters, where some effort was made to clean up the sound. Sometimes, as with Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run," the remaster was truly better than the old one. In most cases they were no worse, but in some the noise reduction was too aggressive. Still, even the worst weren't too bad.

    Now we have a real roll of the dice. The current fashion is to compress the sound so that the average loudness is greater. People with Ipods like the loudness. People with good ears hate it. This is why the "digital remaster" can be a real disaster: some mastering engineer gets ahold of nice clean originals and makes them LOUD! If not done sensitively this will drive the person interested in the music back to the LP. I read the reveiws on Amzon carefully. It's amazing what shortcuts engineers take with our music. Good reviews mention the mastering job.
     
  9. tot
    The problem with DCC and MFSL releases is that they are very limited and short running prints. You'll find older releases from ebay but they are not cheap anymore.

    Steve Hoffman is one of the remastering gurus who has done many (if all?) DCC remasters. You can go to Steve Hoffman forums if you want to know more. There are even more nuts than here [​IMG]
     
  10. nick20
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tot /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    The problem with DCC and MFSL releases is that they are very limited and short running prints. You'll find older releases from ebay but they are not cheap anymore.

    Steve Hoffman is one of the remastering gurus who has done many (if all?) DCC remasters. You can go to Steve Hoffman forums if you want to know more. There are even more nuts than here [​IMG]





    Yeah, I found a Bob Marley Exodus Original Recording on 24k go for around $75. [​IMG]
     
  11. nick20
    Thanks for the help guys... [​IMG]


    It's making more sense now.. and I'll be sure to visit Steve's forum sometime soon as well.






    -Nick
     
  12. electrathecat Contributor
    Remastering isn't limited to DCC or MFSL, they just do a particularly good job of it. An easy way to find remastered albums is to do such a search on Amazon. Because not all remastering is equally good, Amazon is also helpful because you can read buyer reviews to see if it's worth your $$.
     
  13. bhjazz Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nick20 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Yeah, I found a Bob Marley Exodus Original Recording on 24k go for around $75. [​IMG]



    Yeah, now you're getting in the ballpark! But that's just for something that is out of print right now. Currently you can get your hands on the aforementioned Steve Hoffman stuff. (I currently own an older copy of DCC's "The Cars" (which I had Steve sign at Headfest 2007...nudge nudge).) The sound is just really great.

    So, I'll stop blathering. Hit Hoffman's site and read the list of things he's worked on, then head out and find them. There should be a decent crop of "affordable" current releases out there right now. (I just checked. Looks like the most recent releases listed there are under Audio Fidelity. I know there are more, though.) You might try searching for his name in at Amazon. I know for sure you can get Donald Fagen's "Morph the Cat" or Yes's "Fragile" out at musicdirect.com. These are remasters by Hoffman.

    I really enjoy his work. His style and ear take sometimes drab recordings and breathe real life and music into them.

    Outside of Hoffman, as with other engineers (or artists, or musicians) find a few you like and mine the catalogs as best you can!
     
  14. TheSonicTruth

    I replaced most of the so-called remastered CDs in my collection with original CD releases going back at least thirty years. The process has taken five years, and is mostly done. The 256kb mp3s ripped from tracks on these CDs sound just fine and are loud enough for iPod or phone listening, through buds or even low-impedance cans for my needs. If I need to raise volume up on them beyond the arbitrary midpoint, so what? That's why there is a volume slider, not a single point, lol!

    Secondly, it's mostly the clients(labels, producers, artists themselves) where this 'squash and limit' remastering request is coming from. Sometimes the artists don't know it's being done or anything about it, and the producers or labels are calling the shots, not the engineers. Blame must be levied accordingly.
     

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