Remasterd CD's

Discussion in 'iPod' started by Labi, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. Labi macrumors regular

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    Sep 28, 2005
    #1
    Please excuse me, if this has been discussed before, and point me to that thread. Here's my worry. I have a collection of around 600 pre 80's rock CD's. Many of them are being remastered lately and allthough they sound much better then the original, it gives you the feeling that you're being ripped off for buying the same thing twice. Thus I think that it should be legal to have copies of the remastered versions of CD's which I already have (not remasterd) I know it's not but will anyone agree with me?
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    When making a CD purchase, you're agreeing to pay a fixed amount of money for a standardised product. The fact the product improves, doesn't mean you now deserve it on the basis of the original deal. When Apple releases a new Mac, I don't feel I deserve a free upgrade. :)
     
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #3
    I don't agree with you. Sorry.

    Sure, I would love to have free copies of the entire remastered and new Talking Heads back catalogue that I purchased on vinyl, then CD. If I like something that much and want the better quality, I'll go and buy it again.

    However, what I want to know is why things weren't properly mastered in the first place.
     
  4. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

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    Sep 11, 2004
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    #4
    Sorry but I agree with mad jew and Blue Velvet. You can't honestly expect any company - whether it be cars, cds, computer etc - to upgrade every single customer with new versions of old products that it produces. If they were required to, there would be very little insentive to continue producing/improving anything.
     
  5. Labi thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 28, 2005
    #5
    I guess it's because of the more advanced technology available nowdays as well as knowledge of the sound engineers and producers.

    And I agree with all your replies.
     
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #6
    That's a bit of a turnaround. Surely we're not that influential and infallible. :p

    Are you sure there aren't any retorts? :)
     
  7. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #7
    It's not that the old material was mastered badly, but rather that the "70's and 80's standard" of listening to music was very different compared to the "90's and today's standard". It's more like transferring old music from analog to digital in a different way than before, allowing the original material to change a little during the transfer.

    Mostly the only gripe about the old material is that it isn't AS LOUD as today's material, but with analog media it didn't matter so much. When that material was transferred to digital media untouched, then what happened was a lot of digital quality was being wasted; however, not all not-as-loud-as-today records actually waste bits, as the first bit is wasted only when the top 6dB from the full scale are not being used ever. If some of that top 6dBFS is used somewhere in the album, then it becomes subjective: it's a matter of dynamics, and today we have used to expect less dynamic music (about 12-14dB of dynamics, or less god forbid) compared to about 20dB that the oldies and today's movie soundtracks are mixed. The difference between a 14dB bubblegum-pop mix and a 20dB dynamic movie soundtrack is 6dB -- it sounds like a huge difference (and it is!), but it's only one bit.

    To give mastering engineers a little more credit, yes, remastering is more than just making it louder. A whole lot more than that. But the loudness of a CD has become a quality factor for most people, and that may only change once 24bit becomes mainstream.

    Top engineers use surprisingly lot old technology. It's the ears and experience that counts, not the available gear. Mostly it's because OUR listening habits have changed but we still want to listen to some great albums from the old times.

    They certainly sound _different_ than the original, but is it really better? Or is it only LOUDER?
     
  8. greg555 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    There was a thread I read somewhere (slashdot maybe) that CDs in the last few years have no dynamic range any more. Some group that gives out an award for the best engineered album basically had to pick the least-bad one to give the award to. The cause of this I've read is to have the CD sound the loudest on the radio, though once they all do it no one stands out.

    So now when I see "remastered" on a CD I wonder if it will actually sound better, or just louder.

    Greg

    Here are a couple of articles on the subject (though not the one I read):
    http://www.prorec.com/prorec/articles.nsf/articles/8A133F52D0FD71AB86256C2E005DAF1C
    http://www.cdfreaks.com/news/10109
     
  9. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #9
    Exactly what I told before. They try to gain one _bit_ of "quality" but lose 6dB of dynamics. That's too much, in my opinion. Even 3dB would be awfully lot.

    Good intentions. Too bad the broadcasting limiters work better if there is actually some dynamics left in the material -- flat signal does not stand out at all!!

    Perhaps both. It will be louder that's for sure, but if the mastering engineer is good, then he can make it better even though the producer wants it louder. Those are two totally different concepts (better and louder) but fortunately they can coexist.

    ==> a big hand for really good mastering engineers (like Bob Katz).
     
  10. quigleybc macrumors 68030

    quigleybc

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    Jun 17, 2005
    Location:
    Beautiful Vancouver British Columbia, Canada

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