-

Jump to content



Photo
- - - - -

Rush Vapor Trails Remastered?


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
49 replies to this topic

#1 of 50 Michael Martin

Michael Martin

    Screenwriter

  • 1,129 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 26 2000

Posted September 22 2004 - 07:29 AM

Surfing on Amazon, I saw that Rush had released a remastered version of Presto (one of their more underrated albums, IMNSHO), and saw a listing for Vapor Trails remastered.

Wanted to ask any Rush fans in HTF - does this mean we'll finally get a properly mixed version of this CD? I normally don't like double dipping, but it would be great to have a "corrected" version of VT.

"You know, God has some really weird kids, and I find it hard to be in their company most of the time."
--Paul "Bono" Hewson

#2 of 50 TheLongshot

TheLongshot

    Producer

  • 4,119 posts
  • Join Date: May 12 2000

Posted September 22 2004 - 07:55 AM

Quote:
does this mean we'll finally get a properly mixed version of this CD?


And that's the question. I guess we will find out when the Atlantic remasters finally come out. Until then, who knows?

Jason

#3 of 50 Michael St. Clair

Michael St. Clair

    Producer

  • 6,009 posts
  • Join Date: May 03 1999

Posted September 22 2004 - 08:32 AM

They vinyl is still compressed but not clipped, there is a slight improvement. Just using the same master as the vinyl would help somewhat.

#4 of 50 Kevin C Brown

Kevin C Brown

    Producer

  • 5,713 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 03 2000

Posted September 22 2004 - 12:41 PM

Someone let us know when you find out. I liked the disc, but oh man could the mastering be improved...
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ...

#5 of 50 Paul.S

Paul.S

    Producer

  • 3,805 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 29 2000
  • Real Name:Paul
  • LocationHollywood, California

Posted September 22 2004 - 01:26 PM

This has been discussed by the usual suspects (Kyle should be along shortly with perhaps more info.) in a couple of other threads, including the "Rush and covers" thread.

The VT remaster has seemingly been cancelled. There's been no new release date announcement. All the other Atlantic remasters streeted 8/31.

No amount of remastering will fix the train wreck of a recording that is VT.

-p

#6 of 50 Jeff Ulmer

Jeff Ulmer

    Producer

  • 5,593 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 23 1998

Posted September 22 2004 - 01:52 PM

Quote:
No amount of remastering will fix the train wreck of a recording that is VT.

I disagree. Given the years of experience Rush have at making sonically excellent recordings, what ended up on CD as Vapour Trails HAD to have been screwed up in the mastering. It is quite possible that all that would be required are a few minor settings changes in the mastering chain, such as raising the threshold on the limiter, and lowering the output ceiling.

#7 of 50 John Wes

John Wes

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 202 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 23 2002

Posted September 23 2004 - 02:02 AM

I think what Paul S is getting at,is that is the master tracks were probably recorded to hot to begin with. How would you fix that?

Too bad, as imho, the album was probably Rush's greatest effort....I was bummed to say the least the first time I spun it up and my ears hurt for the next 3 days..

#8 of 50 Paul.S

Paul.S

    Producer

  • 3,805 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 29 2000
  • Real Name:Paul
  • LocationHollywood, California

Posted September 23 2004 - 02:55 AM

Quote:
I disagree. Given the years of experience Rush have at making sonically excellent recordings, what ended up on CD as Vapour Trails HAD to have been screwed up in the mastering. It is quite possible that all that would be required are a few minor settings changes in the mastering chain, such as raising the threshold on the limiter, and lowering the output ceiling.
So it's your position, Jeff, that Howie Weinberg--who has been involved in the mastering of way more recordings than Ged, Alex and Neil put together--was just out to lunch during his VT mastering sessions and the fault is exclusively his? It's sonically obvious that there were already issues with the VT master tape when it arrived at Masterdisk, which were then exacerbated in the mastering process.

From Ged saying in interviews that he leaves his concert mic choices up to the engineers, to Neil saying in Work In Progress that--as long as they're not in his way--he also leaves mic choices up to his engineers, the boys are wicked terrific musicians, but not experienced engineers. I assume you've heard Victor? Sonically it is not impressive. I've yet to be impressed with the SQ of pretty much anything that's come out of Lerxt's home studio. At some point, perhaps while Neil was "riding on" and Alex was drinking somewhere, probably Ged listened to the VT final master and 'signed off' on it. I've read/seen/heard nothing about the band members disavowing/expressing dissatisfaction with the sound quality of the album since its release. Incidentally, VT is the first non-Terry Brown-produced album since GUP in which Rush is listed first in the production credit.

In case you haven't seen/read it already in the many discussions I've seen online in various places about this issue, please check out "Over the Limit: Ceiling Limited" by ProRec.com editor Rip Rowan which discusses the matter in depth, including amplitude graphs.

-p

#9 of 50 Herschel

Herschel

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 94 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 30 2004

Posted September 23 2004 - 03:12 AM

Quote:
So it's your position, Jeff, that Howie Weinberg--who has been involved in the mastering of way more recordings than Ged, Alex and Neil put together--was just out to lunch during his VT mastering sessions and the fault is exclusively his?
From reading that prorec article a few years ago, it sounded like the most likely cause was the pressure by the labels for the mastering to make everything LOUD. I've seen a number of discussions about this trend, and the general consensus is that the mastering engineers don't want to clip everything this badly, but the labels are forcing them to do it.

I think that's a much more likely explanation than the one that says the recording engineer was clueless and the original tracks are clipped.

#10 of 50 TheLongshot

TheLongshot

    Producer

  • 4,119 posts
  • Join Date: May 12 2000

Posted September 23 2004 - 03:32 AM

One thing I get the impression of is that the band was not satisfied with the mixes they were doing, which is why they brought in Howie to get something they could be happy with.

This is why I could believe that the problem could have been in the original recordings...

Jason

#11 of 50 Herschel

Herschel

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 94 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 30 2004

Posted September 23 2004 - 05:35 PM

Quote:
One thing I get the impression of is that the band was not satisfied with the mixes they were doing, which is why they brought in Howie to get something they could be happy with.
That doesn't sound quite right. I'm not saying you're wrong, it just sounds weird. If they weren't happy with the mixes, why not bring in someone different to make new MIXES, instead of trying to fix it in mastering?

I went back and looked at the graphs in that prorec article, since I remember being stunned by how badly clipped they were, and sure enough... ugly stuff. Badly recorded tracks aren't going to give you that kind of insane clipping, that's strictly a mastering issue.

#12 of 50 Jeff Ulmer

Jeff Ulmer

    Producer

  • 5,593 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 23 1998

Posted September 24 2004 - 04:24 AM

Quote:
So it's your position, Jeff, that Howie Weinberg--who has been involved in the mastering of way more recordings than Ged, Alex and Neil put together--was just out to lunch during his VT mastering sessions and the fault is exclusively his?

Speaking from experience as a mastering engineer, yes, that is my position. If the supplied masters are clipped, you request new ones. Getting a hot signal to replication by limiting the hell out of the masters is one thing, but allowing multiple, consecutive overs is sloppy engineering, and is easily correctable with today's tools.

#13 of 50 Paul.S

Paul.S

    Producer

  • 3,805 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 29 2000
  • Real Name:Paul
  • LocationHollywood, California

Posted September 24 2004 - 05:56 AM

Quote:
That doesn't sound quite right. I'm not saying you're wrong, it just sounds weird. If they weren't happy with the mixes, why not bring in someone different to make new MIXES, instead of trying to fix it in mastering?
I agree. And, based upon interviews WRT how the album came together, I don't think the band was under label pressure to meet a deadline such that they would forgo new mixes because of a lack of time if they felt they were necessary. Maybe this is an incorrect presumption though.
Quote:
Badly recorded tracks aren't going to give you that kind of insane clipping, that's strictly a mastering issue.
Please explain. It's my understanding that, given the brick wall that is 0dB when recording digitally, you can very much distort/clip a signal by recording it too hot.

Herschel said:
Quote:
I've seen a number of discussions about this trend, and the general consensus is that the mastering engineers don't want to clip everything this badly, but the labels are forcing them to do it.
Jeff said:
Quote:
If the supplied masters are clipped, you request new ones.
So Howie would insist upon clean masters from the recording engineer/band, but then roll over when the label insists on distorting those clean masters in the mastering process? It doesn't make sense.

I think ideally, Jeff, a mastering engineer should get/ask for clean masters, but saying that that always is what does happen is like saying that whatever the cinematographer wants is how the shot will look, director be damned.
Quote:
Getting a hot signal to replication by limiting the hell out of the masters is one thing, but allowing multiple, consecutive overs is sloppy engineering, and is easily correctable with today's tools.
How do you know that this is a case of the latter not the former? Is there something about the album's sound that points you in one direction versus the other?

Ultimately, I think we'll probably never know. We're arguably both speculating but it seems very unlikely to me that Ged (who does have experience as an audio producer) would sign off on such mastering after providing clean masters. I think it stands to reason if not to truth that the band knew their masters were distorted/too hot and that there was therefore only so much a mastering engineer could do given that. If Ged fought Atlantic to get My Favorite Headache in a Digipak, it doesn't make sense to me that he/the band would cave on a SQ issue involving their first album for the label in several years.

Although I think I understand your perspective WRT what should happen based upon the role the mastering engineer plays in the process, Jeff, it seems to me that--in this case--there were other larger, extenuating circumstances at play.

And yes, some of my position is informed by a recalcitrant desire on my part not to believe that Ged listened to Howie's work and said "Yeah okay fine." I'd sure like to believe that something else was at work here, and it seems to me that their own less-than-stellar recording is a fundamental, partial culprit.

-p

#14 of 50 Michael St. Clair

Michael St. Clair

    Producer

  • 6,009 posts
  • Join Date: May 03 1999

Posted September 24 2004 - 06:04 AM

The vinyl is maximized/compressed but without clipping. There is an at least slightly better master out there somewhere.

But I fear the whole mix is probably very LOUD. That is my guess.

#15 of 50 Jeff Ulmer

Jeff Ulmer

    Producer

  • 5,593 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 23 1998

Posted September 24 2004 - 07:58 AM

Quote:
Please explain. It's my understanding that, given the brick wall that is 0dB when recording digitally, you can very much distort/clip a signal by recording it too hot.

Yes, you can, but it is also possible to remove those clips. The problem I suspect is that the final mastered product was not distorting when played back through the mastering studios DACs, which are almost certainly of a very high quality. The same is not the case on consumer equipment.

Most DACS are intollerant of full scale signal, and will clip. If the mixed masters are too hot to begin with, it is up to the mastering engineer to correct the problem, not exascerbate it. While the band may not be expert engineers, they certainly have enough experience in hearing the effect mastering will have on their mixes.

#16 of 50 Paul.S

Paul.S

    Producer

  • 3,805 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 29 2000
  • Real Name:Paul
  • LocationHollywood, California

Posted September 24 2004 - 09:29 AM

Herschel said, "Badly recorded tracks aren't going to give you that kind of insane clipping . . ." I replied, "Please explain. It's my understanding that, given the brick wall that is 0dB when recording digitally, you can very much distort/clip a signal by recording it too hot." Jeff replied:

Quote:
Yes, you can, but it is also possible to remove those clips. The problem I suspect is that the final mastered product was not distorting when played back through the mastering studios DACs, which are almost certainly of a very high quality. The same is not the case on consumer equipment.
Herschel, since you were the person who made the comments I asked for explanation of, might you have any comments?

Quote:
While the band may not be expert engineers, they certainly have enough experience in hearing the effect mastering will have on their mixes.
But that once again begs the question of band q.c. If you posit that "they certainly have enough experience in hearing the effect mastering will have on their mixes," that's not far from extrapolating to their having enough experience to know that the equipment at Masterdisk is not representative of consumer listening and they should/could have addressed the issue to which you're referring (e.g., Bruce Swedien mixes on tiny Auratone speakers [some call them 'horror tones'] to ensure the mix sounds good on arguably lower resolution equipment). And in furtherance of devil's advocate mode, I doubt Ged et al. listened to the final mastered product at Masterdisk. Howie probably couriered Ged a CD that he listened to elsewhere . . .

Still curious about the questions I posed in my post #13, Jeff ("How do you know that this is a case of the latter not the former? Is there something about the album's sound that points you in one direction versus the other?").

-p

#17 of 50 ElevSkyMovie

ElevSkyMovie

    Supporting Actor

  • 575 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 28 2003

Posted September 27 2004 - 03:54 AM

I think there was distortion induced in the recording, mixing and mastering. VT was recorded digitally, so I think all the stages are to blame. I know Geddy mixed the album forever and wasn't happy with the mixes. I think he finally just gave up and said "put it out". Alex agreed, and it came out. Where was Paul Northfield and Howie Weinberg in all of this? I don't know. I suspect they said, "He guys this is insanely distorted." The band thought about fixing it, which would mean starting over from scratch. Being musicians, the may have thought the current mixes had a certain vibe they didn't want to lose, so they put it out despite the distortion.

#18 of 50 ElevSkyMovie

ElevSkyMovie

    Supporting Actor

  • 575 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 28 2003

Posted September 27 2004 - 03:57 AM

Also, according to Rush.com, VT was never scheduled for a re-master. It did start showing up on amazon and other retailers, but when the other four re-masters came out, VT did not. I suspect there was an error with the label. I don't expect a VT remaster, although I would love one.

#19 of 50 Andrew Bunk

Andrew Bunk

    Screenwriter

  • 1,825 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 02 2001

Posted September 27 2004 - 04:24 AM

I love Rush. I have listened to Vapor Trails exactly two times (once when it came out and once last month). I doubt I will listen to it again in its current form. It's like watching something through a dirty picture tube. I was so hoping there would be a remaster, but maybe they think a remaster of a 2 year old album would be some sort of admission of error on the previous release.

On a related Rush note, I didn't find much of a difference on the recent Atlantic remasters. They all sounded slightly louder and brighter, but Presto and Roll The Bones still seemed a little anemic in the low end. I don't think Counterparts even needed it-that is still one of the best rock recordings I've ever heard.
My DVD, Blu-Ray and HD DVD Collection @ DVDSpot

#20 of 50 Paul.S

Paul.S

    Producer

  • 3,805 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 29 2000
  • Real Name:Paul
  • LocationHollywood, California

Posted September 27 2004 - 09:58 AM

Kyle:

Knew you'd join in eventually . . . Posted Image

Quote:
Also, according to Rush.com, VT was never scheduled for a re-master.
Where is Rush.com now making this revisionist claim? On the day Gwon Chang posted this, I went to the second link therein--the "News" page of Power Windows--and remember a reference to a VT remaster. The site states that this information is as announced on Rush.com. Of course, this verbiage could have changed since I read it back in July--I don't remember.

My point is that, although Rush.com may be now saying that VT was never skedded for a remaster, there was a fan site quoting them around the time of the announcement as having said that there would be.

Of course, none of this obviates (it actually reinforces) your suspicion that there was an error with the label (giving Rush.com incorrect information). I tend to agree with that conclusion.

-p


Back to Music & Soundtracks



Forum Nav Content I Follow