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Author Topic: The remasters are horrible  (Read 9265 times)

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qwertyuio

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The remasters are horrible
« on: October 01, 2009, 08:03:55 PM »

The remasters are horrible, more hard panning than the old CDs and higher volume (meaning less quality)
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Sir John Johns

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Re: The remasters are horrible
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2009, 09:44:30 PM »

I bought the mono box - I don't hear any panning  ha2ha
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dcowboys107

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Re: The remasters are horrible
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2009, 01:36:42 AM »

I just read this review on Amazon a few minutes ago. What do you think about it?  Defend or pick apart this argument.

Quote
The 2009 remaster is not worth buying unless:

* You don't own the same album already on CD.
* You are an audiophile who is willing to pay big bucks for small improvements.
* You like collecting stuff and want the cardboard and booklets that come with the new version.

Everyone who is saying there is a dramatic audible difference between this release and the previous CD is wrong. I'm not saying their opinion differs from mine, I'm saying they're wrong. That's a strong statement, and I'll try to back it up without getting too geeky.

The Beatles remasters are a little louder than the 1987 CD releases. Music sounds better as it's turned up a little louder (up to the point where it starts to annoy the listener). Most people don't have a way to exactly volume-level the two releases to compare them. That's why they think the new ones are so much improved, when they're only slightly improved.

<geek mode on>

Conventional wisdom is that most people cannot detect a loudness change of less than 3 decibels. That's not quite right--most people cannot detect a volume change of less than 3dB AS A VOLUME CHANGE. They can hear the difference but they think it's something other than a difference in loudness. They think they're hearing more detail, better bass, etc.--and they are, because you can hear everything better when it's louder, and you'll like it better (up to that annoyance point).

When you go to an audio store to buy speakers, the salesman typically has a vested interest (commission) in steering you toward a particular speaker. The unscrupulous ones will set things up so their pet speakers are 1 to 2 decibels louder than the others. They don't push it too far, or people will detect that it's a loudness difference and ask to turn up the other speakers that the salesman wants to steer you away from.

The differences between the old and new recordings are not large, and the new recordings certainly haven't been ruined by being made a little hotter. You can easily measure the volume differences by ripping the albums to your computer with a program that can compute replaygain values. The differences on most of the Beatles tracks are....less than 3 dB. See where I'm going with this? The new recordings are louder, but not enough louder for many people to perceive the difference as a loudness difference.

For example, the 1987 version of Come Together from Abbey Road has a track replaygain value of -2.88. The remaster is -3.93, or 1.05 dB louder. (In the replaygain scale, things get louder as the negative numbers get bigger. Many horribly limited modern pop recordings have replaygain values of -8 or worse. Uncompressed audiophile classical recordings typically have replaygain values near zero or even a dB or two above zero.)

I ripped the new Beatles remaster to FLAC lossless format, storing replaygain values, and compared the new recording to my 1987 CD copy through a Logitech Squeezebox with Smart Gain enabled. This means I was able to listen to the new and old recordings at the same volume level. I also played them against each other with volume leveling off, and done this way it's easy to see why most people prefer the new release.

<geek mode off>

When volume-matched, the difference between the old CDs and the new remasters is audible AND minimal. And occasional. The most obvious difference is a slightly less restricted lower end.

We're owed better than this for all this money and hype. At the least, we should have gotten something as good as the Yellow Submarine remixes. Nobody who has heard Eleanor Rigby from that remix will ever confuse it with the original or prefer the original. Love and the Yellow Submarine remix and Let It Be Naked and the damn XBox game prove that the people who own the original tapes can do better and they know it.

They're milking us. Are you a cow?
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Bobber

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Re: The remasters are horrible
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2009, 06:54:37 AM »

I already suspected I was crazy.
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peterbell1

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Re: The remasters are horrible
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2009, 03:44:31 PM »

I'm no audio geek - but I agree with the reviewer's point at the top of his review ...

...
"The 2009 remaster is not worth buying unless:

* You don't own the same album already on CD.
* You are an audiophile who is willing to pay big bucks for small improvements.
* You like collecting stuff and want the cardboard and booklets that come with the new version."
...

I have listened to the new remasters but won't be buying them. I think that EMI are expecting us to pay a lot of money for what is a relatively small improvement (compared to what COULD and SHOULD have been done).

I have shelled out hundreds, probably thousands, of pounds over the years on official albums, singles, CDs, cassettes, etc, so EMI has done pretty well out of me.
I now own the Purple Chick Deluxe sets and they will do me until the catalogue is remixed.
And if I want to look at album artwork I will look at the original vinyl copies - not a CD-sized reproduction.
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: The remasters are horrible
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2009, 04:44:19 AM »

I think that EMI are expecting us to pay a lot of money for what is a relatively small improvement (compared to what COULD and SHOULD have been done).

I'm curious, peterbell1.  What do you feel "COULD and SHOULD have been done?"
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peterbell1

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Re: The remasters are horrible
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2009, 09:44:59 PM »

Hi Hello Goodbye,
Basically, I think the catalogue COULD and SHOULD have been remixed - along the lines of the Yellow Submarine Songtrack.

I know there are people who think the 1960s mixes are sacred because they were overseen by the band themselves and this is how they wanted their music to be heard. Fair enough, but the mixes were made for the technology back then - vinyl records, tinny record players, etc etc - so if someone wants the authentic experience let them buy the albums on vinyl. I still listen to my original vinyl LPs and 45s and I love it. Mint condition copies of 1st issue records are obviously expensive, but you can buy excellent quality re-issues at a fraction of the price, and all with the original mixes.
I read about people praising the quality of the artwork on the remastered mono CDs because it's exactly like the original vinyl releases. If people are that bothered then why not buy the real thing - the original LP sleeves look fantastic at the size they were meant to be seen at!!

Technology has moved on since the 1960s, so listening to the original mixes on CD, with modern equipment, shows up how basic those mixes were - especially on the albums from the early and mid-60s.

The YS Songtrack proved how great the Beatles can sound on CD - what a fantastic way of winning over new and younger fans, of making the best music in the world sound fresh and exciting for a new generation of Beatles fans.
Each album could have been remixed and released with the original mixes as bonus tracks on the same CD - give the fans some value for money for once, instead of expecting them to pay more for Beatles product purely because it IS the Beatles, as we've been doing for years.

This - in my opinion - was an opportunity to bring the Beatles into the 21st century and I see it as an opportunity missed. I've been really surprised at how few people I have seen on forums such as this who feel the same.
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: The remasters are horrible
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2009, 12:26:40 AM »

Hi peterbell1,

Thank you for your thoughtful response.  First, let me say that I have kept my original vinyl collection in excellent condition over the years.  This includes the US Capitol releases and the British Parlophone albums.  I've always preferred the warmer sound my vinyl collection provides.  I purchased the CDs in the late 80s and have listened to those since in an attempt to preserve my vinyl collection.

I bought both the mono and stereo box sets.  I'm pleased with the mono set but, like you, I had higher hopes for the stereo set.  The one CD I never purchased was the Yellow Submarine Songtrack.  I had expected the remastered stereo set to sound like the remixed Love album.  Of course, it didn't.

If the quality of remixing of the YS soundtrack is similar to the Love album, then I understand exactly what you mean.

I'm still happy with the stereo box set and do notice somewhat of an improvement over my 22 year old CDs.

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Euan Buchan

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Re: The remasters are horrible
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2009, 02:41:25 PM »

There are some differences in Please Please Me & I Should Have Known Better
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dcowboys107

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Re: The remasters are horrible
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2009, 03:45:23 PM »

I agree with all of the above. The 60's mixes were special for their time and great, etc, but I think the world deserved a change and an update. I remember listening to the Rolling Stone interview of John Lennon I'm guessing from the early 70's about how he would like to go back and remix/rework the older albums especially.  If John had talked about even then I'm surprised that nearly fourty years after those comments, nothing has been done. . .

I agree, if you still wanted to hear the 60's mixes, go out and buy the LP's from ebay. They may not be "first pressings" but who really gives a rip unless you just want to show them off or have them for collection sake.  I'm sticking with the LP's for now;however, I did buy the White Album and Help! but that's it. I'll just bum the rest of friends or listen online. I'm content with what I have.  I hope that in the next fourty years we will finally get what this beautiful recordings and we as fans deserve.
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dylanjohn

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Re: The remasters are horrible
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2009, 12:37:13 AM »

I don't think the remasters are horrible, but they aren't a big difference from what we already have.

Remember the Beatles were always about staying ahead of the times, and being new and fresh.
They were always changing, and growing.

I believe that if John and George were still alive they would have loved the LOVE mash up,
esp John, and wanted us to push the music to new heights.

The music needs to be remixed, and pushed to the limits of technology.  We don't need the 1987 cds all over again,
and that is basically what we got.

« Last Edit: October 08, 2009, 12:39:36 AM by dylanjohn »
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tkitna

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Re: The remasters are horrible
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2009, 01:17:51 AM »

I was hoping that there was a major difference from the older cd's, but I guess theres not. I'm buying the stereo set anyways because my old cd's are pretty shot with a few songs skipping and so forth.

I didnt take very good care of them.

dcowboys107

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Re: The remasters are horrible
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2009, 02:56:54 AM »

Quote
I believe that if John and George were still alive they would have loved the LOVE mash up,
esp John, and wanted us to push the music to new heights.

Exactly  This is the guy who "wrote" (can you really call it a song? xD) "Revolution 9" thinking it was the new route in popular music. Of course John without a doubt would have pushed an actual remix on top of who knows what else. 
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Blue Meanie

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Re: The remasters are horrible
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2009, 03:04:45 AM »

Hello Forum ... 1st post here.

These new releases are toted as being from the original master tapes. I have every vinyle LP release by Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs which were also original master recordings. I wish I had a USB turntable now to compare. Has anyone else done this as of yet?

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Cofszils73

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The remasters are horrible
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2009, 08:46:58 AM »

Ok thanks a lot It is now displaying, but the picture doesnt extend over the sidebar. Im pretty sure the div is correct so would there be a reason why the image stops displaying after that point?
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sregis

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Re: The remasters are horrible
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2009, 03:37:37 PM »

I was hoping that there was a major difference from the older cd's, but I guess theres not. I'm buying the stereo set anyways because my old cd's are pretty shot with a few songs skipping and so forth.

I didnt take very good care of them.

good decision; they're worth it.
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sewi

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Re: The remasters are horrible
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2009, 06:12:33 PM »

I have read that some USED remaster CDs are on sale.Why would people buy those "expensive" CDs to sell them some weeks later at low price?This is something I cannot get.Only to rip them and get some cash later???Why would someone buy them if he/she is not a fan?And if so why a fan would sell such a "treasure"?
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I_Will

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Re: The remasters are horrible
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2009, 08:26:00 PM »

The only reason I'm getting the stereo remasters is because a) I'm getting them as a Christmas present so it's not actually my money, and b) call me a bad Beatles fan, but I don't actually own any records on LP OR on CD. I only have crappy downloads from torrents (shhhhhhhh...). So I'd like to actually have a more physical representation of the music (and DEFINITELY better quality than Limewire provides)
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The name's Emily :)

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Re: The remasters are horrible
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2010, 09:55:33 PM »

I listened to a few of the stereo remasters on Youtube, and they convinced me to buy the box set. The later albums have fairly negligible differences, I admit, but for the earlier albums (Please Please Me through Rubber Soul, and maybe for Revolver too although I haven't listened to any tracks from that yet), it's like night and day compared to the old CDs. The old CDs, up through Revolver, plus Past Masters Volume 1 and the first few tracks on Volume 2, have a thick layer of hiss and a distinctly grainy sound. Furthermore, even for the later albums, I would love to have them if only for the enhanced liner notes with original album art.

The only problem is that on the songs that were originally in mono are now in false stereo, creating a weird "echoey" effect. It's especially noticeable and distracting in "Misery", on the "dun dadun dadun dadun dun dun" piano bit, where it seems to bounce from right to left.

This could be reason to get the mono box set, hypothetically. I got the stereo box set, however, for two reasons. One, it's cheaper. I got mine for $105, including USPS Priority Mail. Second and more importantly, while I don't want stereo versions of the early one-take mono tracks, I also don't want mono versions of tracks that were created in full stereo. Luckily, I can have it both ways while still only having one box set, simply by ripping the false-stereo albums as WAVs, using Audacity to make the stereo tracks into mono tracks (I tested it with a YouTube video of Misery and it works wonderfully, the compressed-stereo seems to sound the same as the mono, also on YouTube), and then burning the now-mono tracks to CDs, putting them in the boxes, and placing the original false-stereo CDs into jewel cases and storing them. Problem solved.

One more note regarding what sewi said. Most people who listen to the Beatles (or any other musicians) are not die-hard fanatics like us. Most people just want something to listen to while jogging or driving or whatever, and so they buy the CDs, get the uncompressed WAVs or FLACs that they can't find online, and then sell the used-once CDs again. It's still legal to buy and own these CDs, however. As long as you own the physical medium, you have the license to listen to it. So when you buy the used-once CD, the license is transferred from them to you, and thus it's not you, but THEM who are illegally pirating the music. So while it may irk the die-hard fan, it's still something you can take advantage of, because the artist still gets his money, but the resold CDs are usually much cheaper than list price.
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Re: The remasters are horrible
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2010, 05:35:13 PM »

Listening to some of the later albums on YouTube, the improvement is even noticeable there, especially on quiet songs like "Long, Long, Long", "Julia", and "Sun King", where you might turn up the volume to hear it and get hit with that everpresent hiss on the old CDs, but there's no hiss on the remasters! I would therefore say that the remasters are definitely a significant improvement, and that they're not horrible.

Personally, I prefer the wide panning of Beatles music over the modern trend of putting everything close together in the middle, so I don't see the fact that they didn't "fix" that as a problem either. It allows the listener to hear a given part and mentally block out the others more easily, for instance if you're trying to learn the song or just be able to listen to it more thoroughly, among other benefits.
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