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Music - Shit remastering


NowDoINotLikeThat
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im no audiophile but the Nirvana Nevermind remaster of last year is noticably woeful

Its been brickwalled - Any of its dynamics completely brickwalled

when is this stupid "loudness wars" going to end?

Thing is it was remastered by Bob Ludwig -who actually has a fine reputation in mastering over decades - and has mastered all sorts before (Rolling Stones , Queen , Madonna ,McCartney etc) including Nirvana before and himself has been a vocal critic of loudness wars things himself

And yet ....hes completely brickwalled the Nevermind re-master to stupid degrees! (tho admitedly have heard worse)

This stupid brickwalling of stuff must be insisted on by record companies

Its **** madness

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I agree. I think they do it for radio. So the songs sound "punchy" on the radio and it stands out.

Trouble is, they're all at it, and it overpowers everything.

It's as annoying as autotune.

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I could punch people responsible for this shit. The amount of destroyed music is a travesty. The Metallica Death Magnetic album is utterly ruined.

I go a fair bit to have good gear at home and every time I stumble on a bricked album it pisses me off no end :rant:

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I agree. I think they do it for radio. So the songs sound "punchy" on the radio and it stands out.

Trouble is, they're all at it, and it overpowers everything.

Yeh is pressumably done for radio.

Thing is youd forgive a rookie mastering but Bob Ludwig has been mastering countless records since the 70s or 80s. Including the original In Utero.

It is sooo annoying. Especially when done retrospectively for a remaster. It clips all over the place.

An album like Nirvana's - Nevermind relied a fair bit on its dynamics -the loud /quiet thing.

To have a rematser where its all compressed to just LOUD is just stupid.

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For a pretty fanatical music fan, I must have cloth ears.

Because I can rarely, if ever, hear any of this stuff that people get so agitated about. I mean, if I like a song, I like the song. I don't really give a flying **** whether I listen to it on CD, mp3, vinyl, cassette, top-end hi-fi, mono record player, transistor radio, whatever. If I can hear the words and the tune, I'm not remotely bothered about wow, flutter, hiss, rumble, or even the odd scratch. Remastering? Dolby? Meh.

You're not listening to music, you're listening to SOUND.

Same goes for TV, HDTV, Blue-Ray, aspect ratios and all that shite, as it happens. The best films are black and white anyway.

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For a pretty fanatical music fan, I must have cloth ears.

Because I can rarely, if ever, hear any of this stuff that people get so agitated about. I mean, if I like a song, I like the song. I don't really give a flying **** whether I listen to it on CD, mp3, vinyl, cassette, top-end hi-fi, mono record player, transistor radio, whatever. If I can hear the words and the tune, I'm not remotely bothered about wow, flutter, hiss, rumble, or even the odd scratch. Remastering? Dolby? Meh.

You're not listening to music, you're listening to SOUND.

Same goes for TV, HDTV, Blue-Ray, aspect ratios and all that shite, as it happens. The best films are black and white anyway.

Well i am not talking about music format (CD Vs vinyl Vs MP3 Vs FLAC Vs whatever).

Im talking about pretty blatant shit mastering /remastering. Which is noticeable.

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For a pretty fanatical music fan, I must have cloth ears.

Because I can rarely, if ever, hear any of this stuff that people get so agitated about. I mean, if I like a song, I like the song. I don't really give a flying **** whether I listen to it on CD, mp3, vinyl, cassette, top-end hi-fi, mono record player, transistor radio, whatever. If I can hear the words and the tune, I'm not remotely bothered about wow, flutter, hiss, rumble, or even the odd scratch. Remastering? Dolby? Meh.

You're not listening to music, you're listening to SOUND.

Same goes for TV, HDTV, Blue-Ray, aspect ratios and all that shite, as it happens. The best films are black and white anyway.

Well i am not talking about music format (CD Vs vinyl Vs MP3 Vs FLAC Vs whatever).

Im talking about pretty blatant shit mastering /remastering. Which is noticeable.

All the same to me. I can listen to two CDs, one remastered "well" and one not, and - while I may hear a difference - the point is that it won't really bother me one way or the other.

I have bought umpteen remasterings of albums in my collection, but only because they usually have bonus tracks.

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Maybe it's the era of music, Mike?

It's hard to describe sound, obviously, but if you were to put radio 1 or a commercial pop station on, I'm sure you'd notice that a lot of the music sounds like it's kind of created by a machine, not by people, or certainly not by "artists".

Part of that is because it is manufactured pop, and part of that is the mastering - they turn stuff up to give it a kind of constant level, with no contrast (and they use bloody autotune on the vocals).

Well this practice/technique is also apparent in a lot of the kind of music which might not get played on radio 1, but is nevertheless popular enough to be remastered or on new releases.

It's not about listening to SOUND, it's about trying to hear the music that's underneath the ruddy sound that someone's superimposed.

It also happens in concerts sometimes - the worst example I can think of was Editors in Preston a while back. The mixing desk engineer had turned up the mix settings so that it was almost painful - not just the volume, which was too high, but the punch of the music. This might make no sense at all, but I've seen Editors enough times to know that gig was harmed by the mixing, as is the case with a number of CD releases.

As an aside, I have a CD of Sinead O'Connor - the reggae covers one she did, and you can hear what sounds like the old dial up modem noise underneath the Music. Really irritating, it stands out in the quiet bits, particularly, and once you know it's there, you can't ignore it.

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I first noticed this a good few years ago when some Who album was released that was trumpeted as a 'digitally remastered' set of hits and 'best of' stuff.

It's as if the guys doing the remastering just didn't understand the immediacy of the original. Rather than just taking out a few hisses and crackles and imperfections, they thought turning every dial up and softening the contrast showed how good modern mixing could be. They were proving they could twiddle nobs and change music, rather than bringing purity to scratchy originals.

Thanks all the same, but I tend to avoid anything labelled as remastered these days.

Give me the original, give me a remix by a trendy name. But don't bother with a re master.

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For a pretty fanatical music fan, I must have cloth ears.

Because I can rarely, if ever, hear any of this stuff that people get so agitated about. I mean, if I like a song, I like the song. I don't really give a flying **** whether I listen to it on CD, mp3, vinyl, cassette, top-end hi-fi, mono record player, transistor radio, whatever. If I can hear the words and the tune, I'm not remotely bothered about wow, flutter, hiss, rumble, or even the odd scratch. Remastering? Dolby? Meh.

You're not listening to music, you're listening to SOUND.

Same goes for TV, HDTV, Blue-Ray, aspect ratios and all that shite, as it happens. The best films are black and white anyway.

Well i am not talking about music format (CD Vs vinyl Vs MP3 Vs FLAC Vs whatever).

Im talking about pretty blatant shit mastering /remastering. Which is noticeable.

All the same to me. I can listen to two CDs, one remastered "well" and one not, and - while I may hear a difference - the point is that it won't really bother me one way or the other.

I have bought umpteen remasterings of albums in my collection, but only because they usually have bonus tracks.

You're listening to sound, yet you're not bothered how the sound, erm, sounds? Because I am. Production, how the music is presented to your ears can be just as important as the content. Ever tried using the equalizer on your iPod set to classical and stuck a Queens of the Stone Age album on? It becomes utter nonsense, it loses all of it's drive and verve and it's certainly not how the artist intended it to be heard.

I know it's your opinion and to a degree it might depend on the type of music you listen to. But honestly Mike, you're talking shite :winkold:

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As an aside, I have no idea what brickwalling means.

It's when they crank up the dynamic range so high the equipment cant handle it. Instead of large differences between high and low, everything is high.

When brickwalled, a snare drum sounds like a distorted thud instead of a distinct slap. You also get a clipping sensation the the ranges are exceeded.

Funny/ironic/tragic:

Metallica's newest album Death Magnetic is so distorted and clipped that even mastering engineer Ted Jensen has criticized it, adding that he couldn't do anything since the preliminary mixes came in already "brick-walled". Interestingly, the version made for Guitar Hero 3 was based on a "rough mix" that features far more range, and those tracks have been subsequently ripped and distributed via peer-to-peer services. To sum up: Metallica, the anti-Napster poster boys, now have an album that can only be truly appreciated via piracy, and a video game featuring a guitar with 5 buttons on the fret-board is the best way to enjoy an album... the irony boggles the mind.

However, said Ted Jensen has brickwalled a few more albums than just this one. Which just goes to show how badly Death Magnetic was screwed up if even he complains about it being too brickwalled.

It's worth noting that even the vinyls of Death Magnetic were horribly clipped, and Metallica charged $100 for the 5LP version. The Guitar Hero 3 version is definitely the only way to go.

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I think this brickwalling thing is more of an issue with classical music, which tends to have a stupidly wide dynamic range. Classical buffs are always going on about how it annoys them when the mastering narrows it down. Me, I like it. I mostly listen to classical in the car, so quiet passages tend to get lost in the engine noise. So I turn the volume up. Then when a loud passage comes in, it's WAY too loud and splits my eardrums. I like to be able to set the volume at a given level and leave it alone - and still be able to hear all the music. Brickwall away, fellers.

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It's when they crank down the dynamic range so the equipment can handle it. Instead of large differences between high and low, everything is high.

I think this is what you're trying to say.

Wiki

Compression is a useful tool at the recording stage for steadying unpredictable sources (such as vocals or real drums) before they hit your recording medium, thus avoiding clipping and distortion and helping out your hungover drummer.

It's also essential for that razors edge heavy metal guitar sound.

It can be applied to a whole mix and makes the individual parts sound clearer and louder - at the expense of losing the top and bottom of the frequency spectrum.

Compression is a bit of a fix all patch really, in a perfect world you shouldn't need it. Some engineers/producers will gleefully espouse about sessions where they used little or no compression at all - ie "Our choice of microphone and positioning allied to our general studiocraft made compression unnecessary".

It's often used at the mastering stage too, especially on vinyl.

Advertisers use it to get in your face - It's why ads appear loud in commercial breaks.

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