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SuperSlammer2

Remasters

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What do you guys think of like digital remasters of old Cds and stuff? I think alot of them sound really good and they improve the sound quality alot. For example, the remastered version of Megadeths "Peace Sells" is really cool, they made it sound heavier and louder. Most remasters I've heard are really good and clean the sound up quite a bit.

What do you guys think? Any bad experiences with them?

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I like the originals of most old albums the best and some times I even like the demo version of a song better then the studio version.

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Yeah I heard some 'remasters' of some Discharge songs and I was pretty dissatisfied.

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I dunno, remastered albums tend to throw me off. Not that I have a problem with the concept, it's just that when you've listened to an album enough, when you get to know every note, every beat, etc., even a small change stands out like a sore thumb - and even if that change is objectively for the better, there's still an element of, "Holy crap, I wasn't expecting that," which can sometimes pull me out of the music. Not saying I think the idea is wrong or bad or anything, it's just it can take some getting used to.

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Malinku said:

some times I even like the demo version of a song better then the studio version.


This happens to me a lot as well.

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Remasters are good if they actually clean up the sound and don't fuck with the volume too much. Simply taking the original and boosting the volume to high levels, therefore killing all the dynamic range, is unacceptable, and unfortunately is most common, it seems.

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If they bullshit it up with increasing the volume and killing the dynamic range with each remaster...it seems you can't trust the record labels without fucking things up.

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Loudness War sucks fucking ass. Also, I despise CD versions of LP albums that give reason for the whole "vinyl sounds better than CD" argument a reason to exist by "remastering" the music in such a way that it sounds muddy, tinny, or just butchers the music altogether.

However, there are several remasters I've gotten that I've been thoroughly impressed with. For example, the 40th anniversary remaster of Lizard by King Crimson is fantastic, and fixes a lot of the problems I had with previous versions of the album.

Also, I'm sure I'd love 5.1 remasters of classic albums if I actually had a 5.1 setup. But unfortunately I'm being left in the cold on this one at the moment. :(

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The loudness war seems to be over. I have been listening to some new 2010 releases (E-40 revenue retrieval) and they aren't super-compressed. Sounds great

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Genesis recently remastered their entire catalog and it sounds brilliant. There is a bit of compression, but past albums have always sounded weak and hollow to me no matter how loud the volume was, so it's an improvement for my taste.

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Remasters are a double edged sword. It's all depending on the master'r and the label. Recently it's a race to make all songs as loud as possible. It has come to a point where we have music as physically loud as possible before distorting on individual's systems (Peak at 0 and RMS at around 10).

AgentSpork said:

However, there are several remasters I've gotten that I've been thoroughly impressed with. For example, the 40th anniversary remaster of Lizard by King Crimson is fantastic, and fixes a lot of the problems I had with previous versions of the album.

I'm generally in love with the new Crimson remasters. They were remixed my child prodigy Steven Wilson. But they are loud albums. He brick-walled a few songs.

Mr. T said:

The loudness war seems to be over. I have been listening to some new 2010 releases (E-40 revenue retrieval) and they aren't super-compressed. Sounds great

You Japanese are some of the worst loudness abusive remasterers I've seen. I've picked up both New York Dolls albums and a couple Traffic albums on your new line of SHM-CD's (Bullshit by the way) and they gained the fuck out of them.

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Sorta depends on the genre for me, and there's always an exception, but most them are utter crap. If they don't screw with the mixing, they way over-compress them in mastering. Or both. Electronic music, especially the dance music, IMO, tends to be a bit more resilient to the over-compression depending on how its done, but they can still go too far sometimes.

Sometimes there's no reason for a remaster. Front 242's "Tyranny >For you<" comes to mind. Other times I almost wish for a reverse remaster, where they actually get rid of a lot of the compression and remaster it to a lower volume. here, KMFDM's "Blitz" comes to mind.

In general, if I have the choice between an original and a remaster, I'll take the original without a second thought.

That said... I'm looking forward to receiving my copy of Kraftwerk's "The Catalogue" in the mail soon ^_^

EDIT:

Technician said:

(Peak at 0 and RMS at around 10).

I've seen RMS values as high as -8. Although not a remaster, Muse's "Supermassive Black Hole" gets up to -9.2 RMS on the left channel and -8.5 on the right.

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I've fallen right in love with both Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab and Audio Fidelity releases. They basically make transfers from the original stereo master and leave em alone. Some albums show it's age by the odd crackle or hiss but they are as true as putting on the two inch tape and pressing play at the archives.

Partition36 said:

I've seen RMS values as high as -8. Although not a remaster, Muse's "Supermassive Black Hole" gets up to -9.2 RMS on the left channel and -8.5 on the right.

That's insane. Anything under -10 will fuck up your ears. The only album to beat those figures is The Stooges Raw Power, which actually reaching RMS of -4 dB.

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From recording to mastering, the entire field is filled with fudds. I remember one guy actually defending the loudness war- his argument was that if 9 songs out of ten are loud and one isn't, the listener has to adjust the volume, which is somehow bad.

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Mr. Freeze said:

I remember one guy actually defending the loudness war- his argument was that if 9 songs out of ten are loud and one isn't, the listener has to adjust the volume, which is somehow bad.

I really wish replay gain would catch on in mainstream technology. Apple fixing their terrible, terrible SoundCheck algorithm would instantly do wonders for a lot of people.

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It all just depends on whether the person remastering is a fucking idiot or not. For a band like Krimson, or say Gentle Giant who just released their new remasters, the material is respectfully treated and the waveforms don't look like fucking blocks. Even with these more respectable bands, however, the CD remasters when the album was first re-released in the 80s is often of very poor quality. I have a few really old CDs from bands like Jethro Tull that just sound atrocious compared to the original mastering on vinyl.

I hate revisionist remastering, like what Zappa did with a handful of the 60s Mothers albums. We're only in it for the Money and Cruisin' with Ruben and the Jets are great examples on par with George Lucas making Greedo shoot first. Excising the whole drum and bass tracks and redubbing it with "modern" sounding tracks recorded in the 80s just ruins the whole feel and point of these albums.

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I guess it depends. Most remastered albums tend to be victims of the loudness wars, where they just pump the amplitude on every track, killing any sort of dynamics. All the mainstream producers think it's awesome and those motherfuckers keep getting accolades for it. In reality, I think it's what's really killing the music industry. Even if a good band came along, you wouldn't know it because it sounds flat as shit.

Also, yeah, the remasters of the Mothers stuff was rather terrible. I grew up listening to the CD versions for the most part, and it wasn't until later when I heard the originals, and they really were a lot better.

I tend to prefer a more raw and organic sound as opposed to stuff that has been produced to hell. I like it when they don't hit the exact same note every single verse because that way it doesn't sound like a machine is making the music. I kind of prefer live versions of songs for that reason, but at the same time I can't stand them due to all the background noise. :P I kind of like Morissey's philosophy on recording where he refused to do more than one take of any song unless it got really messed up.

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Coopersville said:

I like the Iced Earth remasters.


This so much. I have the Burnt Offerings remaster and it is perfect.

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Nomad said:
Coopersville said:

I like the Iced Earth remasters.


This so much. I have the Burnt Offerings remaster and it is perfect.


=]

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Nomad said:

This so much. I have the Burnt Offerings remaster and it is perfect.

GOTTA GET, FAV ALBUM

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Csonicgo said:
Beatles Remasters are eargasmic.

This.

AgentSpork said:
Also, I'm sure I'd love 5.1 remasters of classic albums if I actually had a 5.1 setup.

I've been collecting surround/quadraphonic music for a couple of years now, most of the mixes are quite awesome.

Actually, I'd combine those last two. Unfortunately only a quarter or so of the Beatles' catalog is available in surround. (Or closer to half if you count the short segments used in the Anthology documentary and the mashups done for Love.)

Mr. T said:
The loudness war seems to be over. I have been listening to some new 2010 releases (E-40 revenue retrieval) and they aren't super-compressed. Sounds great

I think you're right... Some of the stuff I've heard from the last year or so is still loud, but somehow doesn't sound as compressed as things from a few years back.

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White Wizzard's new album averages at around 97.7 dB. While loud, that's a far cry from some albums I've heard within the past 5 years ("Virus" by Hypocrisy, "Death Magnetic" by Metallica). I don't exactly want to say that the loudness war is coming to an end, but it seems some newer releases ARE getting a little quieter, which is a good sign.

Still, as far as actual remastering goes, the volume should be left alone, or boosted only slightly at best. The main focus should be cleaning up the sound and actually making it sound better, not worse.

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CODOR said:

I think you're right... Some of the stuff I've heard from the last year or so is still loud, but somehow doesn't sound as compressed as things from a few years back.

This is just speculation, but they might be approaching compression differently, or using multi-band compression a lot more (divide up the frequencies into bands and apply a different amount of compression to each band). I'm pretty sure these have been around longer than just recently, but maybe they're using them more intelligently and not relying on single-band compressors as much during the mastering stage.

Again, just speculation :)

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I think it comes down to the band and the people mastering the albums. I have all of the Judas Priest and Iron Maiden remasters and I love them. On the other hand I do have Megadeth's R.I.P. and So far, So good, to be honest I'm not a fan of the Megadeth remasters and will not be buying any more of them. To me the sound is far to "clean" for those albums.

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Oh, I am fucking upset.

D.R.I.'s "Crossover" just got reissued recently and I didn't even know. This is an awesome album and hearing of its reissue made me happy. However, I also saw that it got remastered, which is kind of like a red flag to me in some cases. I figured "well, the original producer behind the album did the remastering, so it can't be that bad, right?"

WRONG

Just by hearing the samples on Amazon.com, I can hear how fucking bad of a trainwreck this is. The production on the original album was great, and the drums were punchy and present as hell. NOT ANYMORE! They're now buried under everything else and totally compressed to hell, just as I feared.

This is a travesty, and I will most certainly not be buying this new version. Call me an obsessive audiophile if you will, but some things are better off unchanged, and this was certainly one of them. This is just bad. Bad bad bad.

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