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Remastered cd's. Have I waited to long?
Marshack
post Dec 31 2005, 19:08
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I've recently started rebuilding my once large cd collection from scratch. To my horror, i'm learning about the destruction of old materpieces by the use of compression and execessive gain. As many of my favorites are 80's based, i'm lucky that a fair number of classics have not yet been touched. Some were remastered in the mid 90's and aren't as bad as the recent remasters. I'm currently on a mad dash to get these while I can. I'm sad to say that the librarys of 3 of my favorite bands have been destoyed. These include:

1 ACDC
2 Judas Priest
3 Iron Maiden

Loading the waves into an editor shows graphs of almost solid rectangles, this is really sad. Graphs of my unremastered discs are beatiful dynamic waveforms. Are these recordings lost forever, over at least another 20 years? The following cds are still not in my collection, and have been remastered or released recently.

The Wall
Is Any body out there (The Wall LIve)
The remastered Led Zepplin library

I'm looking for any info on these cd's. Any word on the replay gain values? Anyone seen the wave forms of these? If the Wall as been ruined than thats a shame. Any help here would be great!!!

Thanks!!!!

This post has been edited by Marshack: Dec 31 2005, 19:20
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Acid8000
post Jan 1 2006, 11:25
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I recently bought The Wall and it has plenty of dynamics. I got a 1994 release, however, so I don't know whether this is the version you're referring to.


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cliveb
post Jan 1 2006, 12:31
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QUOTE (Marshack @ Dec 31 2005, 07:08 PM)
....
The remastered  Led Zepplin library

I'm looking for any info on these cd's. Any word on the replay gain values?
*

As far as I'm aware, the Zeppelin catalogue has not been remastered since Jimmy Page and George Marino did them in 1990 (or was it 1991?).

Album ReplayGain values for the 10CD "Complete Studio Recording" box set:
Zep 1: -6.18
Zep 2: -5.23
Zep 3: -4.73
ZOSO: -6.08
HOTH: -5.71
PG: -6.20
Presence: -6.87
ITTOD: -6.23
Coda: -6.28

So, by no means catastrophic like many modern masterings, but I think they are a little too hot.

What's always intrigued me is that the 10CD box set and the two "Remasters" collections (4CD and 2CD sets) sound different, even though I was led to believe they are from the same remastering sessions. There are a couple of obvious glitches at about 45 and 47 seconds on "The Ocean" which are present on *both* versions, so the basic raw masters must be the same. I've studied the waveforms, and although the first of the glitches might be on the original analogue tape, the second doesn't look anything like an analogue artifact: it must be from the digital transfer. (Of course, it's possible that the remastering started from a previous digital transfer and that the glitches were introduced at that earlier stage. But I've never heard an old CD of Houses of the Holy, so can't check that hypothesis).

The Remasters collections sound better to me. 10CD box set has a slightly harsher sound, but of course has the artistic merit of having the albums in the correct running order with the original segues intact (eg. You Shook Me -> Dazed and Confused on Zep 1).

Here's a comparison of the Track ReplayGain values for "Good Times Bad Times":
Remasters collection: -5.67
10CD box set: -6.18

So clearly someone has done some additional tweaking (for the worse) to the 10CD box set (which came out after the Remasters collection). I did once start trying to reconstruct the original albums from the Remasters collection, but could never get the track segues right, so gave up.

It's my understanding that the individual album CDs use the same masters as the 10CD box set, although I've not heard them.
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keytotime
post Jan 1 2006, 15:01
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If you rip the cd are the replay gain value's removed?
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Marshack
post Jan 1 2006, 18:58
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Thanks for the replys gentleman!

The current zeppelin remasters have a release date of 1994. The first remastered boxset is 1990, and the 10 cd boxet is 1993. I bet your right and they are the same. That sucks bigtime!!! I guess the first box set is the way to go? Perhaps imports? It shouldn't be this tuff to get a freaking decent cd. Kinda makes you want to forget it!

The Wall has been remastered or rereleased again in 2000 it seems. Anybody got this one? If it was remastered a 2nd time that could be bad. After examining the wave forms in a editor of many of my disc I see a reoccuring theme. Original releases have a waveform with lots a headroom. All 90's remasters show the waveform expanded to the limits, but most still seem acceptable. Looking at remasters done after about 2001 one see's pure destruction. One exception seems to be ACDC. Their discography was pretty much destroyed during the first remastering in the 90's. Looks like they were leaders in the loundness race.

This post has been edited by Marshack: Jan 1 2006, 19:16
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audiofile
post Jan 2 2006, 01:17
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I know this might be one of those questions that's shrouded in mystery or something, but how much did Jimmy Page actually work on remastering the originals for the CDs? I would assume he would really try to do a good job and not make them sound "better" as it were. As far as only being able to get new versions of things after they've "remastered" them, it's a possibility but as long as the originals are around that's the important thing, and also you can always still get the good-sounding versions of things somehow.

One famous example of this problem, although it involves actually re-recording the thing (as well as processing the original mastered cds, assumedly) are the original Ozzy Osbourne records, especially the first two. I had to buy the pre-2002 version of Diary of a Madman from Amazon, although it wasn't really that hard, but it was a used version. Oddly enough I think they still sell the new ones along with the old versions but they're just much harder to get. Bye.
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dreamliner77
post Jan 2 2006, 02:33
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QUOTE (audiofile @ Jan 1 2006, 07:17 PM)
One famous example of this problem, although it involves actually re-recording the thing (as well as processing the original mastered cds, assumedly) are the original Ozzy Osbourne records, especially the first two. I had to buy the pre-2002 version of Diary of a Madman from Amazon, although it wasn't really that hard, but it was a used version. Oddly enough I think they still sell the new ones along with the old versions but they're just much harder to get. Bye.
*


Yeah, but this actually had to do with royalties and songwriting credits.


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audiofile
post Jan 2 2006, 02:42
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[/quote]

Yeah, but this actually had to do with royalties and songwriting credits.
*

[/quote]

Yes, but this kind of crap all has to do with money somehow. The reason they process an old recording and make it sound sterile has to with someone making more money, I would assume. It's not because people want that, I think.
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Khushrenada
post Jan 2 2006, 03:18
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What wave editor or whatever program are you using, btw?
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Marshack
post Jan 2 2006, 04:32
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I'm using Audacity.


Can someone tell me the simplist way to determine RG, and dynamic range. Audacity doesn't give much info. I'm dealing with ripped wav's.

This post has been edited by Marshack: Jan 2 2006, 04:45
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krabapple
post Jan 2 2006, 05:57
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QUOTE (Marshack @ Jan 1 2006, 12:58 PM)
Thanks for the replys gentleman!

The current zeppelin remasters have a release date of 1994.  The first remastered boxset is 1990, and the 10 cd boxet is 1993. I bet your right and they are the same.
That sucks bigtime!!!


They are. Why does that suck? Those discs aren't excessively compressed/limited.

Anyway, you can almost always find the old versions of CDs on the used market.
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krabapple
post Jan 2 2006, 06:01
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QUOTE (keytotime @ Jan 1 2006, 09:01 AM)
If you rip the cd are the replay gain value's removed?
*



No. Replaygain values aren't 'on' the CD in the first place. They're computed after the fact by software, based on how loud the CD is.
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Marshack
post Jan 2 2006, 06:07
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"They are. Why does that suck? "

Going by the posted numbers. The first boxset has the lowest RG values. The second 10 cd boxset AND the individual cd's (that I want), have the crappier values. Thats what sucks. As for used. I had to buy an original used Ozzy cd due to the rerecording (mentioned by the other poster). It was reprensented as in good condition. The cd had more scratches than any I have ever seen! I won't deal with that again. First and last ebay transaction!

This post has been edited by Marshack: Jan 2 2006, 06:08
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krabapple
post Jan 2 2006, 06:09
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QUOTE (Marshack @ Jan 1 2006, 10:32 PM)
I'm using Audacity.


Can someone tell me the simplist way to determine RG, and dynamic range. Audacity doesn't give much info. I'm dealing with ripped wav's.
*


I don't know if Audacity outputs these data, but for 'dynamic range' a good approximation comes from subtracting the average level (in dB) from the peak level (in dB) (this is actually called the 'crest factor')

Cool Edit/Audition has a 'statistics' function for this.

Replaygain values are a more sophisticated measure of *perceived* loudness. They are calculated by....replaygain software. The Foobar2000 media player includes a replaygain scanner and display of values.
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clintb
post Jan 2 2006, 06:11
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QUOTE (Marshack @ Jan 1 2006, 11:58 AM)
Thanks for the replys gentleman!

The Wall has been remastered or rereleased again in 2000 it seems. Anybody got this one? If it was remastered a 2nd time that could be bad. After examining the wave forms in a editor of many of my disc I see a reoccuring theme. Original releases have a waveform with lots a headroom. All 90's remasters show the waveform expanded to the limits, but most still seem acceptable. Looking at remasters done after about 2001 one see's pure destruction. One exception seems to be ACDC. Their discography was pretty much destroyed during the first remastering in the 90's. Looks like they were leaders in the loundness race.
*

I have the 1990 Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab version of The Wall...the 24K gold disc layer (big pimpin'!) smile.gif IIRC, it album gained out around -2.53 or some-odd db.
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Acid8000
post Jan 2 2006, 07:06
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QUOTE (clintb @ Jan 2 2006, 03:11 PM)
I have the 1990 Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab version of The Wall...the 24K gold disc layer (big pimpin'!) smile.gif  IIRC, it album gained out around -2.53 or some-odd db.
*


This is the 1994 version of The Wall with an even lower RG value.



Edit: Ahh drat I just realised the lossy compression would have affected the results slightly. unsure.gif

This post has been edited by Acid8000: Jan 2 2006, 07:24


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Marshack
post Jan 2 2006, 07:33
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"I have the 1990 Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab version of The Wall...the 24K gold disc layer (big pimpin'!) IIRC, it album gained out around -2.53 or some-odd db."

I just checked a online dealer for that release.

It's only $400.00
shock1.gif

I may just have to buy the new remaster and check it. It's a lot of dough to throw in the trash though rolleyes.gif

This post has been edited by Marshack: Jan 2 2006, 07:49
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clintb
post Jan 2 2006, 09:53
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QUOTE (Marshack @ Jan 2 2006, 12:33 AM)
"I have the 1990 Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab version of The Wall...the 24K gold disc layer (big pimpin'!)  IIRC, it album gained out around -2.53 or some-odd db."

I just checked a online dealer for that release.

It's only $400.00
shock1.gif

I may just have to buy the new remaster and check it. It's a lot of dough to throw in the trash though rolleyes.gif
*


Edit: That was +2.34 on the first disc and +.69 on the second...album mode.

And to think, I purchased that back in 1990 for, oh, around $30 or so. Talk about appreciation! My copy is pristine...



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cliveb
post Jan 2 2006, 11:44
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QUOTE (Marshack @ Jan 2 2006, 06:07 AM)
"They are. Why does that suck? "

Going by the posted numbers. The first boxset has the lowest RG values. The second 10 cd boxset AND the individual cd's (that I want), have the crappier values. Thats what sucks. As for used. I had to buy an original used Ozzy cd due to the rerecording (mentioned by the other poster). It was reprensented as in good condition. The cd had more scratches than any I have ever seen! I won't deal with that again. First and last ebay transaction!
*

To keep a sense of perspective, the difference between the ReplayGain values for the first and later box sets is fairly minimal. I've just done a more detailed analysis of "Good Times Bad Times" (because I happened to have that track from both sets easily to hand). On the earlier box set, it peaks at -0.4dB/-0.51dB (L/R), while the later box set peaks at 0dB/0dB. However, after normalising the earlier one to 0/0, the RMS values are still very slightly different between the two sets (-14.6/-14.2 v. -14.1/-14.4). So clearly something other than simple linear amplitude adjustment was done for the later release, but the differences are so minimal that I suspect it may be subtle EQ changes rather than additional compression.

To be frank, after seeing how close these measurements are, I'm amazed that the two sets sound different. But the fact is that I think they do sound different, with the newer set somehow sounding a little harsher to me - fortunately that's not too great a problem for a band like Zeppelin, which benefits from a little roughness in the sound. Maybe it's just some kind of psychoacoustic effect caused by the marginally different level and/or EQ.

But the bottom line is that the current Zeppelin CD releases sound pretty good, not like modern CDs that are completely butchered with hypercompression.
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Marshack
post Jan 2 2006, 13:45
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Thanks for taking the time to do that!

BTW I checked the RG on a friends original pressing of "Good Times Bad Times".

3.75

Still in search of RG values for the 1997 -2000 Wall remaster
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markanini
post Jan 2 2006, 14:28
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Wouldnt it be nice to have a RG datbase?
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Marshack
post Jan 2 2006, 17:34
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I'm giving some thought on setting up a site. something simple listing Album RG and pehaps a wave pic of one song.
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cliveb
post Jan 2 2006, 18:19
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QUOTE (Marshack @ Jan 2 2006, 01:45 PM)
Still in search of RG values for the 1997 -2000 Wall remaster
*

Sorry, can't help you with that. My copy of The Wall is an original UK release from way back in the 80's. It sounds great, and has an album RG value of +0.86dB (yes, you read that right: a *positive* RG value). And it's not because the peak levels are low: tracks like "In The Flesh" and "One Of My Turns" peak at 0dB. This old CD has genuine dynamic range.
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Sebastian Mares
post Jan 2 2006, 19:48
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john33
post Jan 2 2006, 19:50
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The "Shine On" remaster of "The Wall" RGs at -3.63dB for CD 1 and -3.26dB for CD 2, both in Album mode and there's pretty much all the dynamics left in those.


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