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#21 Pags

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 12:21 AM

QUOTE (Moonraker @ Oct 20 2004, 12:19 AM)
I think I have read this before somewhere (remember seeing those graphs of the P/G, PW, RTB, CP, and VT albums) but this is still a very good and important read.  I remember that a few months after the VT album came out, there were a few people who had remastered it and wrote an FAQ for how to remaster the songs in VT yourself.  I wonder if anyone knows where those pages are.....

(waits)

Ok THAT's interesting.  Remaster it myself??  Hmmmm.  I am intrigued.

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#22 Midway Hawker

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 12:49 AM

Let me just say again..   I love the VT album!!   But I am starting to understand why some people don't care for it sonicly.  I've never had that great of an ear for things like this..   But here is a test for you..   Put P/G in your cd player and listen for a bit.  Then leave the volume the same level and put in VT.  You will be running to turn it down when the drums for OLV kick in (it's frickin LOUD man!!)

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Oh, and HI DAVEYT (world traveler).



#23 launchpad67a

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 07:39 PM

QUOTE (paganoman @ Oct 20 2004, 12:21 AM)
QUOTE (Moonraker @ Oct 20 2004, 12:19 AM)
I think I have read this before somewhere (remember seeing those graphs of the P/G, PW, RTB, CP, and VT albums) but this is still a very good and important read.  I remember that a few months after the VT album came out, there were a few people who had remastered it and wrote an FAQ for how to remaster the songs in VT yourself.  I wonder if anyone knows where those pages are.....

(waits)

Ok THAT's interesting.  Remaster it myself??  Hmmmm.  I am intrigued.

Yeah, it's really not possible to 'remaster', 'in the true sense', something yourself. I am a studio/mastering engineer and I can tell you that once a recording is mastered, there is no re-working it! They need to go back, take the original recording and master it at -13db to get it right. And don't limit it nearly as much.
I 're-EQ' recordings all the time, but that is not remastering them. In my mind, Power Windows, Hold Your Fire and CP are the best recordings from a 'sonic' standpoint.
VT was just made to sound that way because the record company wanted it to be the loudest crap out there. A Huge mistake in any engineers mind. The mastering engineer was just doing what he was told, and boy did he ever.
To me, VT is completely un-listenable!!!!!



#24 Pags

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 09:39 PM

QUOTE (launchpad67a @ Oct 20 2004, 07:39 PM)
QUOTE (paganoman @ Oct 20 2004, 12:21 AM)
QUOTE (Moonraker @ Oct 20 2004, 12:19 AM)
I think I have read this before somewhere (remember seeing those graphs of the P/G, PW, RTB, CP, and VT albums) but this is still a very good and important read.  I remember that a few months after the VT album came out, there were a few people who had remastered it and wrote an FAQ for how to remaster the songs in VT yourself.  I wonder if anyone knows where those pages are.....

(waits)

Ok THAT's interesting.  Remaster it myself??  Hmmmm.  I am intrigued.

Yeah, it's really not possible to 'remaster', 'in the true sense', something yourself. I am a studio/mastering engineer and I can tell you that once a recording is mastered, there is no re-working it! They need to go back, take the original recording and master it at -13db to get it right. And don't limit it nearly as much.
I 're-EQ' recordings all the time, but that is not remastering them. In my mind, Power Windows, Hold Your Fire and CP are the best recordings from a 'sonic' standpoint.
VT was just made to sound that way because the record company wanted it to be the loudest crap out there. A Huge mistake in any engineers mind. The mastering engineer was just doing what he was told, and boy did he ever.
To me, VT is completely un-listenable!!!!!

Just how probable do you think a remaster of VT is?  I wonder what the trio might have to say about how their product was treated?

#25 RushRevisited

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 09:50 PM

QUOTE (paganoman @ Oct 20 2004, 10:39 PM)
QUOTE (launchpad67a @ Oct 20 2004, 07:39 PM)
QUOTE (paganoman @ Oct 20 2004, 12:21 AM)
QUOTE (Moonraker @ Oct 20 2004, 12:19 AM)
I think I have read this before somewhere (remember seeing those graphs of the P/G, PW, RTB, CP, and VT albums) but this is still a very good and important read.  I remember that a few months after the VT album came out, there were a few people who had remastered it and wrote an FAQ for how to remaster the songs in VT yourself.  I wonder if anyone knows where those pages are.....

(waits)

Ok THAT's interesting.  Remaster it myself??  Hmmmm.  I am intrigued.

Yeah, it's really not possible to 'remaster', 'in the true sense', something yourself. I am a studio/mastering engineer and I can tell you that once a recording is mastered, there is no re-working it! They need to go back, take the original recording and master it at -13db to get it right. And don't limit it nearly as much.
I 're-EQ' recordings all the time, but that is not remastering them. In my mind, Power Windows, Hold Your Fire and CP are the best recordings from a 'sonic' standpoint.
VT was just made to sound that way because the record company wanted it to be the loudest crap out there. A Huge mistake in any engineers mind. The mastering engineer was just doing what he was told, and boy did he ever.
To me, VT is completely un-listenable!!!!!

Just how probable do you think a remaster of VT is?  I wonder what the trio might have to say about how their product was treated?

actually, didn't Alex do the mixing on VT?  I thought I heard that somewhere...

#26 launchpad67a

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 11:52 PM

There's really nothing wrong with the 'mix'. It just the way it was mastered that makes it so bad.

#27 Moonraker

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 11:55 PM

QUOTE (launchpad67a @ Oct 20 2004, 04:39 PM)
QUOTE (paganoman @ Oct 20 2004, 12:21 AM)
QUOTE (Moonraker @ Oct 20 2004, 12:19 AM)
I think I have read this before somewhere (remember seeing those graphs of the P/G, PW, RTB, CP, and VT albums) but this is still a very good and important read.  I remember that a few months after the VT album came out, there were a few people who had remastered it and wrote an FAQ for how to remaster the songs in VT yourself.  I wonder if anyone knows where those pages are.....

(waits)

Ok THAT's interesting.  Remaster it myself??  Hmmmm.  I am intrigued.

Yeah, it's really not possible to 'remaster', 'in the true sense', something yourself. I am a studio/mastering engineer and I can tell you that once a recording is mastered, there is no re-working it! They need to go back, take the original recording and master it at -13db to get it right. And don't limit it nearly as much.
I 're-EQ' recordings all the time, but that is not remastering them. In my mind, Power Windows, Hold Your Fire and CP are the best recordings from a 'sonic' standpoint.
VT was just made to sound that way because the record company wanted it to be the loudest crap out there. A Huge mistake in any engineers mind. The mastering engineer was just doing what he was told, and boy did he ever.
To me, VT is completely un-listenable!!!!!

Your right, you need the source tape that hasnt been edited and still has the peaks on it to do it correctly, but there was a website or a thread somewhere I remember before where people were going through and fixing it up a little better for themselves.  I didnt do it as I dont have any kind of sound editing programs and dont know the first thing about it, but I remember it being around.

#28 launchpad67a

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 01:17 PM

QUOTE
Your right, you need the source tape that hasnt been edited and still has the peaks on it to do it correctly, but there was a website or a thread somewhere I remember before where people were going through and fixing it up a little better for themselves. I didnt do it as I dont have any kind of sound editing programs and dont know the first thing about it, but I remember it being around.


Thats right, you need the original master recording to fix anything. As far as repairing the mastered version, I don't see how it can be done. Sure you could make it a bit quieter, eq it a bit differently, ect...But the clipping is always going to be there. It will always have that same sound to it. I have Wavelab, probably the best 'mastering software' on the market. It has tons of plug-ins that restore and correct bad audio but like I said, the damage has already been done and will always be present on any attempt to make it 'better'.
The worst thing any engineer can do to a recording is to leave no room for 'headroom', meaning, mix it too loud. The industry standard for loudness of a mastered cd is -13db. I tend to master around -12 but no louder, using as little 'limiting' as possible, to keep the dynamics intact. It would have been a whole different story if VT was mastered at -9db with little limiting. At least the dynamics would still be there. Instead it was done with the max amount and thats what we hear as being bad, along with the whole volume issue.
Music is all about dynamics and the average listener is not fooled by things that are louder, equaling better.
But one thing is so true, the mastering engineer can make or break a recording. A good one can make an average sounding mix come alive and sound great! As well as take a great mix and ruin it! Which I would say is probably what happened to VT.


#29 Pags

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 01:25 PM

QUOTE (launchpad67a @ Oct 21 2004, 01:17 PM)
QUOTE
Your right, you need the source tape that hasnt been edited and still has the peaks on it to do it correctly, but there was a website or a thread somewhere I remember before where people were going through and fixing it up a little better for themselves. I didnt do it as I dont have any kind of sound editing programs and dont know the first thing about it, but I remember it being around.


Thats right, you need the original master recording to fix anything. As far as repairing the mastered version, I don't see how it can be done. Sure you could make it a bit quieter, eq it a bit differently, ect...But the clipping is always going to be there. It will always have that same sound to it. I have Wavelab, probably the best 'mastering software' on the market. It has tons of plug-ins that restore and correct bad audio but like I said, the damage has already been done and will always be present on any attempt to make it 'better'.
The worst thing any engineer can do to a recording is to leave no room for 'headroom', meaning, mix it too loud. The industry standard for loudness of a mastered cd is -13db. I tend to master around -12 but no louder, using as little 'limiting' as possible, to keep the dynamics intact. It would have been a whole different story if VT was mastered at -9db with little limiting. At least the dynamics would still be there. Instead it was done with the max amount and thats what we hear as being bad, along with the whole volume issue.
Music is all about dynamics and the average listener is not fooled by things that are louder, equaling better.
But one thing is so true, the mastering engineer can make or break a recording. A good one can make an average sounding mix come alive and sound great! As well as take a great mix and ruin it! Which I would say is probably what happened to VT.

That's actually very sad.  I mean.... can you imagine listening to VT with the sound quality of CP?  The songs on VT are incredible.  I can't believe we've been forced to listen to such great material under such lousy conditions.  You should see me in my car trying to mess with the 5 band graphic equalizer switches.  It's a nightmare.   sad.gif


#30 ragin

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 10:14 PM

May I also venture to say that Rush in RIO also sounds like dogshit.  The crowd is amazing, but I find it hard to enjoy the music over the crowd.  I only have the DVD, maybe the CD is better??  unsure.gif  I guess it's cuz they missed the soundcheck?

Different Stages is very well done IMHO.


#31 RushRevisited

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 11:34 PM

QUOTE (ragin @ Oct 21 2004, 11:14 PM)
May I also venture to say that Rush in RIO also sounds like dogshit.  The crowd is amazing, but I find it hard to enjoy the music over the crowd.  I only have the DVD, maybe the CD is better??  unsure.gif  I guess it's cuz they missed the soundcheck?

Different Stages is very well done IMHO.

Hey ragin!  Welcome to the board!  trink38.gif

On the Rush In Rio DVD, I agree that the 5.1 dolby sounds horrible, but the normal mode sounds ok to me...  

#32 CygnusX-1Bk2

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 02:43 AM

QUOTE (launchpad67a @ Oct 20 2004, 09:52 PM)
There's really nothing wrong with the 'mix'. It just the way it was mastered that makes it so bad.

Thank you for being the first person other than myself on these forums to understand this. I have tried to explain the difference between mixing and mastering, but alas... Many still think this is part of the mixing stage. Oh well.

Edited by CygnusX-1Bk2, 22 October 2004 - 02:45 AM.


#33 launchpad67a

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 11:54 AM

QUOTE (CygnusX-1Bk2 @ Oct 22 2004, 02:43 AM)
QUOTE (launchpad67a @ Oct 20 2004, 09:52 PM)
There's really nothing wrong with the 'mix'. It just the way it was mastered that makes it so bad.

Thank you for being the first person other than myself on these forums to understand this. I have tried to explain the difference between mixing and mastering, but alas... Many still think this is part of the mixing stage. Oh well.

It's not something everyone understands. I'm sure there are more than a few musicians here that don't even get it. It's what I do, engineer, mix, master, burn. So I fully understand the entire process.
Thanks for realizing that, glad there is another studio junkie out there, other than me. blah.gif  

#34 Pags

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 12:11 PM

QUOTE (launchpad67a @ Oct 22 2004, 11:54 AM)
QUOTE (CygnusX-1Bk2 @ Oct 22 2004, 02:43 AM)
QUOTE (launchpad67a @ Oct 20 2004, 09:52 PM)
There's really nothing wrong with the 'mix'. It just the way it was mastered that makes it so bad.

Thank you for being the first person other than myself on these forums to understand this. I have tried to explain the difference between mixing and mastering, but alas... Many still think this is part of the mixing stage. Oh well.

It's not something everyone understands. I'm sure there are more than a few musicians here that don't even get it. It's what I do, engineer, mix, master, burn. So I fully understand the entire process.
Thanks for realizing that, glad there is another studio junkie out there, other than me. blah.gif

That's actually always been my dream.  Looking back... I can't think of a reason why I didn't pursue it.  I get what you guys are saying (based on the thread, anyway).  Can I, like, be your second skin for the next year?  laugh.gif   I love to be around this stuff.

#35 ragin

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 05:47 PM

QUOTE (RushRevisited @ Oct 21 2004, 11:34 PM)

Hey ragin!  Welcome to the board!  trink38.gif

On the Rush In Rio DVD, I agree that the 5.1 dolby sounds horrible, but the normal mode sounds ok to me...

Thanks for the welcome!  I never thought to play the DVD in Stereo, I have a 5.1 setup so I figured it would sound best.  Tried out stereo and sure enough.. a noticeable improvement!  

trink38.gif Thanks!!


#36 Dave G

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Posted 23 October 2004 - 09:27 PM

The excessive limiting in the mastering stage is probably the biggest offender with VT's sound quality from the sound of it, but some things I read a long time back suggest some of the problems might have started earlier than that. It seems like Alex said something about them trying to get the hottest possible signals recorded. To some degree, of course, engineers have always tried to do that within reason, but the fact that he placed so much emphasis on that almost suggests to me that maybe some things got overcompressed while they were being tracked trying to get those scorching hot levels and maybe even got digitally clipped a little bit in places during tracking. Geddy mentioned problems surfacing late in the game and having to go back and attempt to remix things. The mastering was probably the big "boo boo," but I think a few other flub-ups might have happened long before it got to that point.

#37 launchpad67a

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 04:23 AM

No, it was all in the Mastering. The mix is fine, and I see/hear no problems with the original tracking. Any good engineer won't record anything that is 'clipping'. So, I don't think it was in the mix. It 'was' the mastering which makes it sound so bad, period!
Although, I would love to hear it remixed/remastered. I think everyone here will agree with that.

Edited by launchpad67a, 24 October 2004 - 04:35 AM.


#38 Dave G

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 07:22 AM

QUOTE
No, it was all in the Mastering. The mix is fine, and I see/hear no problems with the original tracking. Any good engineer won't record anything that is 'clipping'. So, I don't think it was in the mix. It 'was' the mastering which makes it sound so bad, period!


I'd never be comfortable making a blanket statement like that in regard to a recording project I wasn't involved in. Indeed, a really good engineer won't record things that are clipping...too bad Rush didn't have one around for much of the tracking process. I think these are the quotes that led me to think that maybe some problems got started earlier on.

Alex from the Jam!Music article:
"We found problems that we didn't hear in mixing that were apparent in mastering. To get the kind of levels (we wanted), we had digital distortion. We remixed a couple of songs half-way through the mastering, through the remix, back to mastering. The poor guy (Geddy Lee) was doing this on his own. It really shook him up."

Stereoid.com review:
" As Rip Rowan says, the damage is generally done at the mastering stage, when the album is given a final "polish", usually outside the control of the band or artist. That article doesn't have the whole story, however, since the seeds of the problem were sown while laying down tracks. Alex Lifeson (Rush's guitarist) had this to say:" (he goes on to use the same quote from Alex above).

Personally, I have some problems with the mix too. In places, there's too much going on with the guitar tracks and the guitars are mixed in such a way that they're fighting with the vocals. It doesn't sound like they were always conscious of making sure to "carve out a space" for the vocal and keep everything else out of its way. In the process of that whole "battle to be heard," there's a buildup in the upper mids in a lot of places that's really fatiguing on the ears. I'm sure the excessive limiting in the mastering stage exacerbated that, and it's hard to say...if we could hear the mixes prior to mastering without the squashed dynamics and smeared frequencies, it might not be nearly as much of an issue.

In the end, though, whether the mastering engineer is the sole culprit who ruined an otherwise fine recording or the band shares some of the blame by being too loose with recording levels and compression during tracking, the end result is the same: a CD that isn't what it could have been. I'm optimistic, though, and don't think the band is going to allow that to happen again. I've no doubt the next disc will be more up to the standard everyone has come to expect.

#39 faultline

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 09:56 AM

QUOTE (launchpad67a @ Oct 24 2004, 04:23 AM)
No, it was all in the Mastering. The mix is fine, and I see/hear no problems with the original tracking. Any good engineer won't record anything that is 'clipping'. So, I don't think it was in the mix. It 'was' the mastering which makes it sound so bad, period!
Although, I would love to hear it remixed/remastered. I think everyone here will agree with that.

Dave G replied fine to this comment, better than I will. Launchpad, I respect your expertise, but I must admit that my first response to the article was thinking how alex did the mix for this album.  In light of the quotes of Alex in the Jam music article, it seems plausable that the some of the clipping could have been in the mix, and that there is notheing that a remastering will do  to fix it. I have been under the impression that ever since the late 70's, that Rush has always been involved with overseeing the mixing, mastering processes closely ,because of being burned by an unsatisfactory product. I am talking AFTK and Hemisheres.
Because of Alexes quotes, I would bet that they screwed up in the mixing, and if not, then in light of Alex's sentiments to wanting the "hottest signals", then may that gave the engineers a directive to go "loud"...I dunno...I will say this though, This album is born from a damaged Neil. The emotions are high , and though it would sound better slonicly if there was not so much clipping on the signals, it doesnt. Its damaged...seems fitting! nothing you can do about it.




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