Remastered albums aren't always for the better

LOL! Me too!

Proof in point? I bought the audiobook of “Not Dead Yet”.

He’s got some weird wide-boy accent, half East End, but he’s from Ealing, off Gunnersbury Avenue. And he makes weird faces when singing. Sorry, not for me, but he sold more albums than Genesis ever did, to fund divorces.

This man is cool. I almost bought a print of this from Ross Halfin a year or two back.

Yeah. Phil is a perfectionist. He suffers in relationships because of that. A difficult but super talented artist.

It was amazing how Ertegan who formed Atlantic Records had a nose for superstar potential…Eric Clapton, LED Zep, Phil and many others! Amazing considering nobody else saw it. Nobody thought the drummer from Genesis would make a successful solo artist; most and foremost Peter Gabriel couldn’t believe It!

[quote=“stevensegal, post:23, topic:9122”]
He’s got some weird wide-boy accent, half East End, but he’s from Ealing, off Gunnersbury Avenue. And he makes weird faces when singing.[/quote]

Your point?

It’s because he’s putting forth effort to hit those high notes at volume.

If you want to complain about musicians making faces while performing, how about all of the ones who make weird faces when hitting high notes on a piano or guitar, like they’re straining or something. There’s no need for that. The instrument is the one making the high note sounds, not the person.

Nor me, still don’t see it.

Why do all rock stars look the same?

As Tony said in “Genesis: The Sum of Parts”.

“We all wanted Phil to be successful, just not THAT successful.”


I’ve thrown away money on a ton of remasters (CD and high resolution downloads).

Excluding albums remastered by Analogue Productions, Audio Fidelity, XRCD and Mobile Fidelity, there are only two albums I think were an improvement over the original CD releases.

Bruce Cockburn: Stealing Fire
Thomas Dolby: The Flat Earth

Every other remaster CD has, to my ears, sounded brick-walled, full of glare, brittle and starved of excitement.

Just recently I was listening to Johnny Griffin’s “A Blowin’ Session” RVG Edition and it is unlistenable. Just noise.

Compare with the Analogue Productions CD remaster of Sonny Rollins’ Saxophone Colossus. Just look at that dynamic range.

Yay! Thomas Dolby.

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Perhaps this is off topic, and my sample size is small, but the few SACDs I’ve bought recently ( and played in my Oppo 205) do not sound better than the original CDs. Most remasters I’ve heard are worse than the original as well.

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This drummer interview is cool. Humble guy. His brother has more to say than he does!

Especially enjoyable the drum cam at 32:30 with odd time signatures for Rock/pop

One of my brothers bought a remastered CD copy of Pink Floyd’s DSOTM. It came in a regular CD jewel case, but that came in a sturdy cardboard box with the typical DSOTM artwork on it along with a small multi-page booklet. It was not the Original Masters version.

At any rate, they removed that low frequency rumble that gets louder and louder in “Money”, and in “Us and Them”, they changed the word bout to about, which was wrong. There were a bunch of other bad edits and additions to that disc.

Come on. Nobody uses lossy files to make a vinyl album.

Like I said, it’s what I’ve read. I don’t know how true it is or not.

I bought the six disc remaster of “The Beatles” (White Album) and I appreciate the sound, and I appreciate that they did not compress the hell out of it. But I gotta tell you, it sounds like Paul McCartney was riding over the mixer with a shotgun. His bass lines are SO VERY prominent and SO VERY clean. I have to dig out my old vinyl to see if it sounded that way back then. I have been listening to the original album since the week it came out. I know it inside and out. So far my only comment is what I said above. Its a good thing a like Paul and his bass.

But yeah, I’ve been a sucker for remasters far too long. Bah!

I agree! While there are remastering companies where one can really trust their releases to be much superior, there also are many awful remasterings done from others. I remember a Nina Simone LP remastering from 3menwithbeards which inherits 1 second gaps between the tracks and applause of a live concert. Means it was done in a very bad way from a CD.

There is a complex of problems with older recordings – starting from the first CDs. We all know about the loudness wars – even to the extent of apparently using broadcast style audio processors for music releases. There had been a historical problem also – when transitioning from vinyl to CD (or other digital medium.) This problem happened because of both a process and convienience problem.
First, a lot of older recordings used a tape noise reduction system called DolbyA. The audible result of the DolbyA system, when not being decoded, is a general sound of HF boost and HF compression – we’ll talk about that later…
There is a general procedure (even as documented by the Library of Congress), where analog tapes are copied to digital media, but using the NR decoding is not one of the steps. Obviously, common sense says that the material has to be NR decoded somewhere, but that doesn’t always happen.
So, we have digital tapes(media) with material that is DolbyA encoded. It is sitting in an archive until it is used. So, we have this ‘tinny’ sounding material, with a mention of DolbyA on the label. That darned DolbyA box only does it’s job in real-time, and ‘my boss’ says that we cannot spend much time on doing this release. So, with a little bit of EQ, then the material sounds good enough to sell. The problem is, that even with EQ, the DolbyA leaves a bit of a harsh sound. In fact, another side ‘defect’ of undecoded DolbyA is a flattened stereo image.

When staying in the digital domain, there is no need to play the material AT REAL TIME through an analog DolbyA unit (sometimes multiple times to get the correct sound), however the resulting sound has that harsh edge (in the example below, listen carefully to KarenC’s voice on the -6dB EQed undecoded version.)
So, when creating a digital release, the material is sometimes just EQed instead of fully decoded. The vinyl release is done either from an analog tape or from a digital copy, but the standard DolbyA decoding is still done on vinyl because it was the traditional process. (I have found some vinyl which hadn’t been decoded, but that shouldn’t be happening very often.)

The result (of undecoded DolbyA) has been on CD re-issues of material from between the late 1960’s through the early 1990s, there is a bit of a harsh edge to the sound, and a somewhat flattened stereo image. I am sure that EQ is getting a little more carefully done so that the material sounds a bit better, and a lot of compression can even hide some of the artifacts of undecoded material. The problem still persists (The ‘The complete studio recordings’ of ABBA appears to BOTH be undecoded and broadcast-style compressed – really dense, and about 6dB louder.)

I have an example below that I made for another forum – but the inferior results are still applicable…
(This problem is probably a part of the genesis of the ‘vinyl is better than digital’ syndrome, but not the whole thing.)

An example:
30seconds of ‘Rainy Days & Mondays’ from the Carpenters, first the -decoded copy. It perhaps is a bit too mellow, but vinyl processing often requires a bit of a mild bass cut, and with that cut – the old traditional sound is returned. Next there are two EQed versions of the undecoded versions – one has -3dB at 3kHz, and the other is -6dB at 3kHz. I have found that one of the two values are commonly used for ‘decoding on the cheap’ with EQ. Finally (and probably least important for this discussion) is a fully undecoded copy – pure encoded DolbyA, so you can hear the raw DolbyA sound.

Most often, the EQed version will be sold as the normal digital release, while the vinyl got the full DolbyA processing, because that was the normal procedure for vinyl.
(Up until a few weeks ago, there wasn’t a digital DolbyA decoder that met the standard of sounding like a true DolbyA HW – doing clean/accurate DolbyA decoding in software, because of the audio feedback architecture and various patents, hasn’t been successfully done until now. The distributors can now produce – in faster than realtime, with the convienience of software/no conversion – a fairly (very) accurate decoding of previously DolbyA encoded material) Of course, nowadays, loudness wars will probably trump any other priority.

The examples are mp3, but of high enough quality to tell the differences. If really interested, I can also produce other examples, show the ‘flattened’ stereo image, and other variations of the ‘decoding on the cheap’ EQ. The Rainy Days and Mondays example (listen esp to Karen’s voice) is fairly obvious.

Japanese pressings, cd or vinyl, always sound bright to me. Not sure why that is.

Except for the mono set (which is definitive), 2009 Stereo Beatles remasters.

This has been a sore spot for me as well. When listening to CD’s I now go back an reach for the CD’s from the 80’s. The better my system gets the better the CD’s from the 80’s sound and the remasters sound worse. (Of course there are exceptions)

As for the Beatles. The 2009 remasters are goosed up as well over the 1987 CD’s. Although not so bad.