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Vinyl to CD conversion service?
Chjmu
post Jul 29 2008, 04:12
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Hi
As most of us know, the CD remasters of The Beatle's albums are very poor. I have the Mobile Fidelity release of Abbey Road on vinyl in fairly good condition (light surface noise and clicks, no real scratches). Does anybody know of a good service that can transfer this to CD or other formats?

p.s. Some of the services no-noise their stuff to death. I'm looking for a service that will keep the recording's fidelity, especially because it is a MoFi release
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DVDdoug
post Jul 29 2008, 19:19
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I don't know anything about these services. (Sorry to reply without directly answering your question.)

Have you looked for a non-remastered copy? I have a CD copy of Abbey Road, but I don't have it with me, and I don't know if it was remastered.

Unless you have "unlimited funds", you should probably consider doing it yourself. In order to do this right, it's going to take a few hours, and maybe several hours, of "professional time". If someone is "no-noising it to death", they are probably using a fully-automated process. You need someone to take the time to listen before, after, and during processing/adjusting. Since this record is in fairly good condition, maybe someone could do it in 3 or 4 hours... But 6 to 8 hours is probably more like it. I have no idea what the professional hourly rate is for something like this, but I'll bet its more than $100 an hour... The dealer charges me almost $100 (US) an hour for a mechanic to work on my car!

Besides cost savings, if you do it yourself you can take the time to do it to your own satisfaction. And, you can make your own compromises (if necessary) when it comes to over-doing it (with side-effects and artifacts) or under-doing it, leaving some noise. (If you want a few suggestions for software, take a look at this post.)
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krabapple
post Jul 29 2008, 19:40
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QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Jul 29 2008, 14:19) *
I don't know anything about these services. (Sorry to reply without directly answering your question.)

Have you looked for a non-remastered copy? I have a CD copy of Abbey Road, but I don't have it with me, and I don't know if it was remastered.


Except for a rare Japanese 'Abbey Road', all Beatles catalog CDs are from the same CD mastering...there have been no 'remasters' since they were first released.

And not everyone thinks they all sound bad.
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greynol
post Jul 29 2008, 19:50
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'remasters' - exactly!

Not to be pedantic, but all Beatles CDs are remastered.

This post has been edited by greynol: Jul 29 2008, 19:51


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Tobes
post Jul 29 2008, 22:58
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try masterpiece in London http://www.masterpiece.net/ wink.gif

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This post has been edited by greynol: Jul 29 2008, 23:24


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DVDdoug
post Jul 29 2008, 23:56
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QUOTE
Except for a rare Japanese 'Abbey Road', all Beatles catalog CDs are from the same CD mastering...there have been no 'remasters' since they were first released.

And not everyone thinks they all sound bad.
I haven't listened to Abbey Road recently, but I have Rubber Soul and Help! in my car right now, and they sound amazing!

QUOTE
'remasters' - exactly!

Not to be pedantic, but all Beatles CDs are remastered.
I've had my Beatles CDs for several years, and they were probably remastered before "remaster" meant "make louder".


QUOTE
pedantic
ohmy.gif I had to look that one up!
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mikenet
post Jul 30 2008, 00:59
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I'm listening to a flac of the MFSL vinyl right now. It's definitely worth doing, the difference between the CD and the MFSL vinyl is staggering. My copy has had the pops and clicks manually removed, but without overall/automatic noise reduction. And you know what, it does have a very high level of background noise and distortion. Yet my brain gets used to the noise fairly quickly and focuses on the music. I don't want to ramble on about my subjective opinion, you have the vinyl and can do the comparison yourself, but I do think taking the time on this album(or any Beatles MFSL release) is very much worth it.

QUOTE (Chjmu @ Jul 28 2008, 20:12) *
p.s. Some of the services no-noise their stuff to death. I'm looking for a service that will keep the recording's fidelity, especially because it is a MoFi release


I'm sure you can request that they don't no-noise it. If you don't want to do it yourself, and you're willing to pay, ask if they can manually remove the pops and ticks. If you'd like to do it yourself, request a flat transfer, and use something like Wave Repair to clean it up. Again, I'd highly suggest only manual clean up and no automatic processing; you have a good release, and the background noise and distortion don't detract from the music at all. The automatic no-noise would do more damage than the noise does in the first place.

This post has been edited by mikenet: Jul 30 2008, 01:00
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AndyH-ha
post Jul 30 2008, 11:23
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Graeme will do what you want. You have to decide if the product is worth the cost.
http://www.personal-cd.com/
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2Bdecided
post Jul 30 2008, 13:51
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Andrew Rose's "Pristine Audio" seems to be taking a holiday (his commercial releases obviously earned him more money), otherwise that's a good service.

Do you have a turntable, pre-amp, and PC with reasonable sound card? That's "all" you need for a straight transfer.

I'd be interested to hear samples comparing the CD with the MFSL vinyl (digitised) - IIRC for Abbey road, the CD is from the master tape, while the MFSL is from a dub.

http://www.friktech.com/btls/mfsl/

There are those (George Martin included) who think the original UK issues are definitive, and the MFSL issues are inferior.

FLACs (or even mp3s) from original UK issues are circulating on the internet. Whether obtaining these counts as piracy, when one has already bought the official LPs and/or CDs, is an interesting question.

Help and Rubber Soul were digitally remixed for CD.

PPM, WTB, AHDN, and BFS are all mono only on CD (and, on some tracks, terrible quality). The others are stereo only on CD.

Recordings on the Red and Blue album CDs are remastered (in a good sense) compared with the corresponding recordings on the album CDs and the sometimes terrible quality past masters CDs.

Of all the Beatles recordings that I'd want to listen to from LP rather than CD, Abbey Road would probably be near the bottom of my list. The first four UK albums in stereo, and the next four in mono (i.e. the opposite of what's available on CD), are far more interesting. The tracks that sound faulty/damaged on the official CDs (including many of the early mono mixes) are worth hearing from vinyl too.

Cheers,
David.
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Chjmu
post Jul 30 2008, 21:22
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Hm, if the service is too expensive, I might drop the idea. Yet, It's disappointing that nobody has released any audiophile CDs of the Beatles (at least that I know of).
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Kitsuned
post Jul 31 2008, 01:37
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QUOTE
Yet, It's disappointing that nobody has released any audiophile CDs of the Beatles (at least that I know of).


Remember you are talking about 1960s recordings despite the utmost care. You can only go so far before there really is no audible difference due to limitations of equipment of the recording era. You can't make "Love Me Do" sound 'sparkly' and 'full' when the only recording out there is monophonic. You'd probably get all the originalists up in arms who don't want the recordings tampered with. tongue.gif


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2Bdecided
post Jul 31 2008, 11:01
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QUOTE (Kitsuned @ Jul 31 2008, 01:37) *
Remember you are talking about 1960s recordings despite the utmost care. You can only go so far before there really is no audible difference due to limitations of equipment of the recording era.
Some of the current CDs are about a million miles short of being as good as they could be, given the sources.

For straight to stereo recording (not that The Beatles did this), recording equipment circa 1963 was good enough to capture pop and jazz about as well as needed. There are plenty of recordings from the early 1960s, carefully transferred to CD, that sound about as good as you could want a recording to sound. (You might hear hiss on quiet intros if you crank the volume I suppose).

When you're not doing straight to stereo (or 3-track), 1960s recording methods fall down IMO. At the start of the decade there weren't enough tracks; at the end of the decade there were more tracks, but they were audibly lower quality.

Cheers,
David.
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bbt-hh
post Jul 31 2008, 14:40
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http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/20200609/page/20
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Kitsuned
post Jul 31 2008, 21:17
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Hmm...I didn't notice a night and day difference in those file clips. Could be the environment. Kudos to the fans for the remixes, and if it makes them all the happier to do this, then all the more power to them.


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mikenet
post Jul 31 2008, 23:05
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For comparison, here's the first 30 seconds of "And Your Bird Can Sing" from a popular MFSL bootleg.

I only have HORRIBLE laptop speakers here, but here is what I listened for: The vocals during "You say you've seen seven wonders and your bird is green" seem to be squashed, and the reverb sounds strange and sort of comes and goes on the Rolling Stone original. The MFSL sounds more like real natural vocals to me, and the reverb serves it's purpose. Then, listen to the instruments during the same section. They seem to disappear and get pushed into the background during the vocal part in the Rolling Stone original clip, which doesn't happen on the MFSL. The Beatles used a lot of compression while mixing, but maybe the CD has even more global compression added.

This really isn't the best clip to compare with...but it looks like it's what we have. Personally, I find the vocals and the music overall much more natural sounding on the MFSL, it's easier to listen to for long periods of time, and I enjoy the music more. It's probably just a case of more global compression being applied along with bad/wrong master tape playback on the original CDs.

A more dramatic example of bad CDs like 2Bdecided was mentioning is CCR's "I heard it through the grapevine." It's a song I heard on the radio often as a child(was old enough that DJs were playing from CDs at that point), and I always just assumed recording technology wasn't that great at the time. I heard it again on the radio recently, and thought wow...that sounds like it was recorded with a tin can and string. So I played the DCC "remaster" (a lot of DCC's "magic" is just finding the *original* master tape(not some vinyl or backup master) and playing it back on a tape machine similar to the one that recored it), and WOW. Technically, I could have believed it was recorded yesterday. The main give-away that it was older material was the drum miking technique...something that's evolved over the years.

This post has been edited by mikenet: Jul 31 2008, 23:12
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krabapple
post Aug 1 2008, 07:43
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QUOTE (greynol @ Jul 29 2008, 14:50) *
'remasters' - exactly!

Not to be pedantic, but all Beatles CDs are remastered.


well, yes, and that last D in the SPARS code was always redundant too wink.gif
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ckelker
post Aug 15 2008, 14:19
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Talk to the boys from Reclaim Media - www.reclaimmedia.com.

My company has partnered with them, so I know they do good work and are trustworthy.

Craig
Moondog Digital
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Paul Sanders
post Sep 24 2008, 21:28
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Are you in the UK? Try Soundsgood studios - small and friendly:

http://www.vinyltransfer.me.uk/


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