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What's this fascination with remasters?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by radiocaster, Nov 23, 2020.

  1. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Cheaper, easier, and faster than recording an actual band in an actual studio.

    Same thing as a remake of a classic film. Yawn.
     
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  2. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Friend of Leo's

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    Nah. The "re-releases" marketed with remastering are a different bag. They might even be from original mixdown tapes (doubtful). But they are specifically a different authorized version of an already released authorized version for whichever media in question.

    They're like bad radio mixes. Just some brickwalling and bass enhancement.

    As a few have mentioned, they are money makers. Nothing more. It's taco bell audio production. All the same ingredients, marketed as new, but with less taste.
     
  3. erratick

    erratick Tele-Holic

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    1) Some of the things in this thread are correct: sometimes technology has advanced or the masters have been lost, or due to contract arguments, the artist wants a master out there that they own.

    but primarily it is:

    2) ever since the loudness wars (google it)- and even more so since the advent of streaming- old songs with proper headroom played back to back with new songs that are mastered "flat out" will sound thin and weak. So to sound similar or louder- the songs are re-mastered with brick wall limiting and compression. They usually sound worse _at the same sound pressure level_ but sound louder and therefore better without moving the volume knob.

    That is the real reason.
     
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  4. Wulf

    Wulf Tele-Afflicted

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  5. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

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  6. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Agreed. I think a big part of the problem is trying to move stuff originally recorded on analog equipment (tape and vinyl) to digital (CD, MP3). When digital came along it was sold as the best thing since sliced bread and everyone ditched their "bulky" albums and tapes in favor of CD. The problem is that the sound reproduction was not better overall. Analog (particularly vinyl but tape as well) has a wider frequency range and warmer, richer sound reproduction that digital cannot match (you may have heard it described variously as "cold", "flat" or "sterile"). Also, I've seen very little done to seriously advance the quality of sound reproduction in recent decades. As we've gotten more digital, the quality seems to have gone down or remained flat overall and the greater focus has been on compactness and convenience. Contrast this with the 1960s...they heyday of analog music reproduction...when every year some new album or stereo technology was touting "wider range" or "higher fidelity." To me, I would analogize the remastering issue as "trying to present 3D sound in a 2D environment", hence, the need for remastering. But, as others...including the OP have noted here, they often don't sound better. This may be as much due to the fact that digital does not sound better than analog as that remastering failed to improve the sound quality. In fact, remastering may indeed have improved the sound quality...for digital...but relative to analog, not so much.
     
  7. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Oh yes...I forgot to mention compression...another big culprit.
     
  8. Mr. St. Paul

    Mr. St. Paul Tele-Meister

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    And the recent remaster of Abbey Road has Lennon's orginal "Shoot me" on 'Come Together'.

    Some remasters are necessary. The first-generation CDs of Motown releases sounded horrible, because the original records were mixed and mastered to sound good coming out of a car radio speaker.
     
  9. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Friend of Leo's

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    Right? We're not talking about albums that never got digitized in the first place.

    Not to minimize the tragedy of the loss, by any means. But when we're talking about "remasters" we're generally talking about well known albums of yesteryear. Every one of them was more than likely digitized and pressed in CDs, beginning in the 80s.

    A new "remastered" version could easily have never even come from the original tapes, but a digital master copy.

    A little eq and compression, and.... Check out the all remastered "box set"! Only $199 on sale at Best Amazon Wall!
     
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  10. Wulf

    Wulf Tele-Afflicted

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    All these things could easily send me into a John Lydon type rant!!!
    outspoken with the truth and about as subtle as barbed wire bogpaper
    some spotty git who wouldnt know his bum from his elbow suddenly makes a name for himself because he "remastered" an already great recording?
    PAH n bollox
     
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  11. Wulf

    Wulf Tele-Afflicted

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    they were originally engineered for AM radio in mono....nowt wrong with that...thats how they were meant to be heard if they wanted a clinically clean version they would have put that on an album...some music sounds best raw
     
  12. Wulf

    Wulf Tele-Afflicted

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    what next...hawkwind...remasters of the universe?
     
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  13. Wulf

    Wulf Tele-Afflicted

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    techno danceclub remix of the sex pistols god save the queen...?
    John Lydon would have done that when in public image ltd if he thought there was a point or need for it
    or...motorhead ...ace of spades remastered trance dub mix...i think if Lemmy was still alive and heard that he would make sure whoever did it got to find out the taste of their own left testicle
     
  14. Lost_N_Austin

    Lost_N_Austin Friend of Leo's

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  15. Wulf

    Wulf Tele-Afflicted

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  16. buster poser

    buster poser Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Most of the ones I have are tops. Smiths, Gabriel's "So," many others.
     
  17. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    Mostly the problem is waaay to much compression/limiting. I usually dislike remasters for that reason
     
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  18. Wulf

    Wulf Tele-Afflicted

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    an articulate way of saying "lazy copout"
     
  19. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

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    The Universal studio fire doesn't explain the dreadful vinyl remasters of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin I've heard
     
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  20. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Many food producers slap 'New and Improved' on their products to increase sales--when the only actual new and improved aspect of the product is the outer package with the updated copy.

    The stuff inside the container is most often the same ol' same ol'. Really.
     
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