iPod Remasterd CD's

Labi

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 28, 2005
143
0
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?
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,199
6
Adelaide, Australia
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. :)
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,922
168
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.
 

kretzy

macrumors 604
Sep 11, 2004
7,923
0
Canberra, Australia
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.
 

Labi

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 28, 2005
143
0
Blue Velvet said:
However, what I want to know is why things weren't properly mastered in the first place.
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.
 

JFreak

macrumors 68040
Jul 11, 2003
3,146
0
Tampere, Finland
Blue Velvet said:
However, what I want to know is why things weren't properly mastered in the first place.
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.

Labi said:
I guess it's because of the more advanced technology available nowdays as well as knowledge of the sound engineers and producers.
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.

Labi said:
they sound much better then the original
They certainly sound _different_ than the original, but is it really better? Or is it only LOUDER?
 

greg555

macrumors 6502a
Mar 24, 2005
644
7
Canada
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
 

JFreak

macrumors 68040
Jul 11, 2003
3,146
0
Tampere, Finland
greg555 said:
CDs in the last few years have no dynamic range any more.
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.

greg555 said:
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.
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!!

greg555 said:
So now when I see "remastered" on a CD I wonder if it will actually sound better, or just louder.
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).