The post about re-masters ....... good or bad ?

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LarryD
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The post about re-masters ....... good or bad ?

Postby LarryD » Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:51 pm

Ok, so after all the talk about the Arena / The Visitor re-master, I thought it would be cool to start a post just on the concept of re-mastered discs alone, as I can see there is a good separation of those who do and those who don't .......

So the quick definition of a re-master is:

Remaster (also digital remastering and digitally remastered) refers to enhancing the quality of the sound or of the image, or both, of previously created recordings, either audiophonic, cinematic, or videographic.


In it's simplest form - yes. So now the question becomes, does a recording need a re-master ? And why is it being re-mastered ? Is the original recording bad ? Is it the record label like Claus said, to add more fans to the base ?

If you're a purist, then read no further, as I've had many discussions with folks about re-masters, who feel that they want the original recording and want it untouched forever..... but I consider myself a purist, in that - if I hear a disc with bad or no bass, or the vocals are too far back in the mix, or the guitars are too far back in the mix, etc etc -- then 20 years later someone comes along and corrects that, I'm all in. If something was missing, it has now been corrected.....or at least enhanced.

Now we can agree or disagree till the cows come home, which discs should and shouldn't be re-mastered....... and, for argument sake, should we include re-issues into the conversation as well ? They may not be re-mastered, but a disc like Threshold / Psychedelicatessan (my fav from the band) was re-issued and enhanced and it sounds completely bad ass without being re-mastered..... then along comes QR / Rage for Order, which you may think sounds awesome, and then you hear the re-master and you go "wow that is so awesome to hear " ...... and as we go through some discs, we can pick out what's good or not good about some of them -- but really, if you are against re-mastering period, what's the argument other than I want the original as it was recorded, right ?

These questions and more to be answered ........ but when I listen to discs like Rage for Order, Aquarius, some Kansas discs, and others of my favs that have been re-mastered, I say - how can one not like this ???? But it's all subjective - so chime in with your thoughts for or against re-masters, and let's throw some disc names out there in case anyone is looking for a re-master, or wants to know if the double purchase is worth the price .......

In my case - it's on a individual disc, of course, but sometimes it's necessary ........... I will start throwing some good ones out there, and some bad ones ........some of the better ones that come to mind are what I said originally, Arena / The Visitor, QR / Rage for Order, Haken / Aquarius, QR / Operation: Livecrime and many others........

What say ye ? Chime in here............

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Re: The post about re-masters ....... good or bad ?

Postby Nos » Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:17 pm

My take is that re-mastering is largely a sham. There's only so much you can do by pushing the volume a bit louder, or running a filter to boost a few frequencies. They might sound better in the sense they are louder or shinier like a new album, but that's usually at the expense of the original dynamics.

Now re-mixing is a different story. If they're taking the original tapes and starting from scratch, you can do amazing things with how far we've come. No amount of knob twisting will make "And Justice For All" have bass unless you start with the original tapes and mix the whole thing over again. You can ruin albums this way too, but at least re-mixes are more honestly trying to update and fix what might not have been good enough, while re-masters are often just about adding a layer of sheen that doesn't fix much.

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Re: The post about re-masters ....... good or bad ?

Postby LarryD » Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:07 pm

while re-masters are often just about adding a layer of sheen that doesn't fix much
.

***Even though I'm all for good re-masters, I agree with all of your thoughts on the facts of the re-master and the difference between it and a re-mix ......I also agree with your cool description of a layer of sheen..... the small part I don't agree with is the part of it not fixing much ......factually speaking, yes it's not fixing what's already there..... but, it is fixing what wasn't there to begin with ..... such as, the vocals being back in a mix; the guitars being too far back in the mix; the keyboards, etc etc......... but as I listen to "The Visitor" re-master, and I hear all sorts of nuances that I'm assuming were there originally but couldn't heard, but I now can .... and that alone is worth the re-master. I don't think a band "adds" things to a re-master, I could be mistaken; I thought that was a re-issue where they add different patches of maybe original music they had recorded but didn't include it, or recorded some new material and added it to the original recording ......

In the end - if I can hear the vocals clearer, or I can hear those nuances I speak of, or anything that pleases the ear because of the re-master, I'm in .......I don't recall too many "bad" re-masters, but strangely Operation: Mindcrime comes to mind as I don't hear too much difference between the two except for more bass and more kick drum which were lacking originally .....I'm not sure that added a whole bunch to that recording, but I remember thinking that it wasn't much ...... Rage for Order on the other hand, was amazing in it's re-master........

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Re: The post about re-masters ....... good or bad ?

Postby GaetanL » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:09 pm

Last time I remember a remaster sounded really better than the original is Heaven's Cry – "Food For Thought Substitute" re-released by Prosthetic Records in 2013. But it is also remixed.

When only remastered, most of the time I crank up the volume of the original and they sound to me pretty much the same.

I already talked on this forum of my bad experiences with remastered CDs. On some occasions, they fail my quality control and are only good for trash... Most of the time they are ok.
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Re: The post about re-masters ....... good or bad ?

Postby GaetanL » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:20 pm

GaetanL wrote:Last time I remember a remaster sounded really better than the original is Heaven's Cry – "Food For Thought Substitute" re-released by Prosthetic Records in 2013. But it is also remixed.

First half of this album is truly excellent. I have just played it and it's still great prog metal after all these years....
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Re: The post about re-masters ....... good or bad ?

Postby Sir Exar Kun » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:51 am

Personally, I am not a major audiophile so some of the issues others point out in a mix I really do not hear, or if I do it does not bother me to any major extent, so with albums like the aforementioned Aquarius or Visitor there is nothing in the original mix that makes me want to hear a "better" version. I know and love the original, and at no point in any of the dozens of times I've listened to either have I ever thought it sounded subpar..... There are other albums (Rage for Order, Nevermore's "Enemies of Reality", Brainstorm's "Memorial Roots") where as much as I may enjoy the disc, there are obvious major defects that detract from my enjoyment..... In those cases, as soon as a remaster/remix (I can't tell the difference!) became available I ordered it up.

In order for me to re-purchase an album, I need BONUS CONTENT. I want unreleased tracks, or cover tunes, or a bonus live disc.... Something I don't already have. Instrumental version of the original album, while certainly all the rage right now, do not count.

I am more open to new recordings of the original album, although they certainly are not necessary. When Theocracy re-did the self-titled album with actual drums instead of the drum programming, for example..... Secret Sphere tried (and slightly missed) with re-doing "A Time Never Come" with Luppi on vocals. These certainly don't all succeed, but they make for a unique experience.

Just my two cents, at any rate.....
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Re: The post about re-masters ....... good or bad ?

Postby Sparky » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:20 am

As I've said elsewhere, Evergrey's Solitude, Dominance, and Tragedy re-master sounds great, compared to the original.
I'll be the judge of what's good and what isn't, thank you... ;)

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Re: The post about re-masters ....... good or bad ?

Postby LarryD » Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:49 am

Sparky wrote:As I've said elsewhere, Evergrey's Solitude, Dominance, and Tragedy re-master sounds great, compared to the original.


***Definitely on my re-master to buy list ..... thanks for the reminder !!!!!


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