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Should they leave the hiss in?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by TheoGB, Jan 14, 2002.

  1. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    I often think that the real problem with older albums 'remastered' on CD is their attempt to remove the hiss from analogue. They often sound compressed and sort of 'hollow'.

    I thinking here of The Beatles and Rolling Stones. It's just weird because if you hear the vinyl versions they can, pretty much, match a modern digital-produced CD, but the CDs are very quiet and 'flat'.

    So is this due to hiss removal? I've used some fairly low-key processes like this on my computer with cassette versions of things and it does have a 'hollowing' effect.

    There must be some hiss on the masters but I think I'd prefer to hear some hiss on the CD so I could have a big sounding album.
     
  2. MikeAW

    MikeAW Second Unit

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    Don't touch nothing that works !

    Keep It Simple, Stupid !
     
  3. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]
    Is that a yes or a no?[​IMG]
     
  4. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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  5. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    If the master tapes have hiss in them, then leave the hiss in. By removing the hiss, some aspects of the music will be removed.

    Of course with CDs, even if the hiss is left in - the compression will always lessen the detail of the music.

    Which is why SACD is a great format. You can hear all the detail of the original master tapes, warts and all.
     
  6. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    They should do their best to reproduce the master tapes as they were heard when the original mix was done and then they should stop. Could you imagine if they attempted to remove the noise from, or even worse, re-mix vintage Phil Spector productions. The accumulation of the tape noise as he kept bouncing down tracks on his three track recorder was almost as much a part of his "wall of sound" as the doubled up instrumental parts. [​IMG]
    Regards,
     
  7. Alex Shk

    Alex Shk Stunt Coordinator

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    What audience does the mastering engineer remove hiss for anyway? The "low end" listener? Boom boxes and portable units hardly have the resolution in the frequencies that are common to the hiss (at least they aren't sensitive enough to make it a distraction). The mid-fi listener? A set of good book shelf speakers and decent wattage to drive them will reveal a hissy source, but they are also sensitive enough to reveal compromise in the frequencies that suffer due to No-Noising. The high end listener? The compromises to the overall sound quality are readily apparent and grating.

    I can think of two users that may benifit - the headphone crowd (not your high end, independently amped type either. I'm talking your basic walkman unit), and radio programers that apply so much compression for broadcast that the hiss is equal to the music. Either this segment of the audience is much more important than most of us would care to acknowledge, or we are being subjected to 5th generation analog masters using No-Noise as disguise for the real thing.

    The more I think about it - the more I believe the latter. I think proper cataloging and storage of master tapes was often a secondary thought. Some companies came clean about it (Sony/Columbia on the necessity of re-mixing portions of the Simon and Garfunkle catalog), some just keep on re-mastering No-Noised disasters. Has anyone noticed that many US based artists have stopped using excessive noise reduction, while their European counterparts revel in it? I think many of the original European masters, from the british invasion on, were never properly stored, and we are being subjected to sub-par masters.
     
  8. KrisM

    KrisM Second Unit

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    What is the story with the Simon/Garfunkel catalog?

    KrisM
     
  9. Alex Shk

    Alex Shk Stunt Coordinator

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    Re: Simon and Garfunkel:
    It seems that the original masters were used multiple times, handled by multiple people, over a period of many years to cut lp plates, cassette masters, reel to reel masters, 8 track masters, - until they wore out. So they were replaced by safety copies, which were also over-utilized. So they made safety copies of the safety copies. By the time the initial CD era began - SOME (but not all) of their albums were dubbed from 5th generation copies. Even then, it seems like these were in better shape than the original masters. This represented a practice that has since been discontinued at the Columbia vaults. The story came from an article that USED to be here:
    http://www.clark.net/bholland/Bill_Holland/vault.html
    but the link appears to be dead. Too bad, it was a GREAT article concerning the mis-storage of some of our favorite masters.
     
  10. KrisM

    KrisM Second Unit

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    Thats sad. I have the three disc collected works as well as the Bridge Over Troubled Water gold Mastersound disc.

    I have the John Coltrane Complete Atlantic Recordings and in the booklet it tells about Atlantic storing all of their masters in a wood framed building that also housed a hardware store.In 1976 a fire destroyed the building. It makes you wonder who is charge of these things.

    KrisM
     

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