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What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #75
Beth Orton - Comfort of Strangers (2006)

Sounds great, and encourages me to turn up the volume rather than down, so I don't think is mastered too high. Seems to have clear treble frequencies, and yet doesn't unnaturally push them at higher levels than everything else. In fact, describing this reminds me of another album, which although in a different genre has many similar sonic tendencies...

Jamiroquai - The Return of the Space Cowboy (1994)

  • sketchy_c
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What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #76
Beth Orton - Comfort of Strangers (2006)

Sounds great, and encourages me to turn up the volume rather than down, so I don't think is mastered too high. Seems to have clear treble frequencies, and yet doesn't unnaturally push them at higher levels than everything else.

One of my favorite artists.  Great call.

  • Diow
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What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #77
Queen - Innuendo (1991) (album gain=-1.87)
I like so much of album and it sound pretty good to me.
Sorry for my bad english.

  • Silversight
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What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #78
Hybrid - Wide Angle (1999)

The CD is quite loud, yet I could not hear any distortions, and above all the high frequencies don't squeak at all, not the least bit, which is something I hear very rarely.
Nothing is impossible if you don't need to do it yourself.

  • mixminus1
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What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #79
  • Beck - Mellow Gold:  I've always been amazed by the sound of this album - it can change dramatically from song to song, yet it's always very "punchy" ("ballsy" would be another way to put it    ) and clean, with only occasional harshness.
  • Emmylou Harris - Wrecking Ball:  Top end can be a bit crisp at times, but the overall sound is big and expansive - a great listen on headphones, or even better, a pair of good speakers properly setup.
  • Neko Case - Blacklisted:  Strong midrange showcasing that wonderful voice, drenched in reverb, and overall quite loud, but not a trace of digital limiting (plenty of analog limiting, though  ).
  • Kruder & Dorfmeister - K&D Sessions: Disc 2 wanders off into nowhere, but Disc 1 alone is well worth the price of admission - great mixes, great sound.  I haven't looked at any waveforms, and I wouldn't be surprised if there was quite a bit of digital limiting, but you wouldn't know it from listening.
"Not sure what the question is, but the answer is probably no."

  • pianoman
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What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #80
Here's a German one, brand-new:

Die Fantastischen Vier - "Fornika" (2007)

Album Gain = -7.60 dB (Single Album)

This is NOT loud for an album with powerful music.
(They did pure hip-hop in the past, but now focused on a greater part of rock elements).

I think it's perfectly mastered for this year's standards. Hot yes, but not exaggerated.
I've seen INSANE RG values of -14 dB with so-called "radio pop" and everything squashed to pop porridge.
(Any Russians reading this post? So check Znayesh' li ty, Track #09 from MakSim's Trudniy vozrast. HORRIBLE.)
  • Last Edit: 20 April, 2007, 10:16:02 AM by pianoman
Kudos to all dev's not going like "Upgrade OS or f$%# off!"

  • mixminus1
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What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #81
and everything squashed to pop porridge.

Mmmm, pop porridge... 

Great description - I think it needs to be made an official ID3 genre. 
"Not sure what the question is, but the answer is probably no."

  • Nikaki
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What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #82
Dunno if anyone will agree with me, but I find the sound on Accept's "Restless and Wild" extremely good! It sounds as if I'm sitting right beside them in the studio and drinking a beer  You can hear every so little nuance of the drum kit very clearly; awesome dynamics.

Most others tell me it's not well produced, there's some noise in it. But I find this (very slight) noise typical for most recordings from that time period.

(It's from 1982.)

Edit:
Of course it might not matter as a "measurement of quality", but F2k's ReplayGain reports values very near to 0 on all tracks.
  • Last Edit: 27 May, 2007, 09:19:41 AM by Nikaki

  • Light-Fire
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What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #83
Neil Young Live at  Massey Hall 1971.

Excellent sound quality. And it is a 1971 recording!

  • Chungalin
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What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #84
I wasn't so strict with mastering until I improved my audio gear, specially the headphones. Now I detect a lot more mastering mistakes than before.

As a mainly soundtrack listener, I thought I was safe from the "loudness war" in mastering process, but there're exceptions. I've recently listened to Planet Earth BBC soundtrack by George Fenton. On the second CD it has traces of compression and even hard clipping (sound even crackles in loud passages). I had a few emails with mastering engineer Sean Magee, but we were unable to agree the origin of that anomalies.

You have mentioned several soundtracks in this thread. A common element between some of them is recording engineer Shawn Murphy. Other good professionals in mastering are Joe Gastwirt, Patricia Sullivan-Fourstar, Gareth Williams, Martin Giles...

  • ChS
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What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #85
Joe Walsh's Barnstorm MFSL release is a beautiful sounding CD, a lot of dynamics, and mastered just right.

  • Telix
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What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #86
James Taylor - Hourglass
Tool - Aenima
Tool - Lateralus
Holly Cole - Don't Smoke In Bed

  • Ragnarok
  • [*]
What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #87
I wasn't so strict with mastering until I improved my audio gear, specially the headphones. Now I detect a lot more mastering mistakes than before.

As a mainly soundtrack listener, I thought I was safe from the "loudness war" in mastering process, but there're exceptions. I've recently listened to Planet Earth BBC soundtrack by George Fenton. On the second CD it has traces of compression and even hard clipping (sound even crackles in loud passages). I had a few emails with mastering engineer Sean Magee, but we were unable to agree the origin of that anomalies.

You have mentioned several soundtracks in this thread. A common element between some of them is recording engineer Shawn Murphy. Other good professionals in mastering are Joe Gastwirt, Patricia Sullivan-Fourstar, Gareth Williams, Martin Giles...


Those crakles from clipped music really piss me off. apart from the fact they just shouldn't be there they sound horrible.

My pick for well masters cd's Smashing pumpkins - Siamiese Dream

  • pianoman
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What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #88
I'm just listening to Pet Shop Boys' 2006 masterpiece Fundamental + Fundamentalism (limited edition).

That's another flagship of good mastering IMHO for the 2nd half of the 2000's.
Album gain -7.70 dB.

Single-track scans revealed a lot of ear-soothing RGs ("Psychological" -5.77 dB, "Luna Park" -5.84 dB, "Gomorrah" (last track on 2nd CD) -4.74 dB!!!)
It appears to me that PSB seriously do take care in order not to have their music over-compressed. It pops into the eye that a lot of pieces which have the "soothing" RG values are mainly using ACOUSTIC instruments, so they did take care not to destroy their dynamic range too much; hence, acoustic bass drums have very good punch and do not sound clipped.

Exception: The Sodom & Gomorrah Show, -8.68 dB, which is a bit too much! The track uses a huge apparatus of acoustic instruments and IMO the track would've been a bit more dynamic by using less compression!
"Fugitive" - -8.95 dB but *NOT* too much! It must be noted the track is 100% electronic and thus digital. Despite hot mastering, I found no clipping at all.
(OT note: I can't see any reason what kept them from releasing "Fugitive" as a single. This IS a hit, also for disco people!)

Way to go boys!
  • Last Edit: 16 July, 2007, 10:01:15 AM by pianoman
Kudos to all dev's not going like "Upgrade OS or f$%# off!"

  • Wombat
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What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #89
There are so many well recordings but one of the best i have in my collection is "Patricia Barber - Modern Cool".
You may argue about a tiny bit of to much bass here and there but the clarity is just amazing. I only have the regular Parlophone version. Maybe the Mofi version is even better.
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

  • aharden
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What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #90
One of my recent favorites has exquisite engineering and mastering:  the hi-res stereo mix from Porcupine Tree's Fear of a Blank Planet Limited Edition DVD has a Replaygain Album value of -4.01dB.  I think the CD release is in the -7dB range.  Steven Wilson (songwriter/vocalist/guitarist/producer) took on the mixing and mastering chores for that album himself and has been quoted in interviews that he did so primarily because of the "louder is better" problem.
Alex Harden * http://alexharden.org

  • skamp
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  • Developer
What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #91
Beastie Boys - The Mix-Up. Very well mastered record.
See my profile for measurements, tools and recommendations.

  • pianoman
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What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #92
There are so many well recordings but one of the best i have in my collection is "Patricia Barber - Modern Cool".
You may argue about a tiny bit of to much bass here and there but the clarity is just amazing. I only have the regular Parlophone version. Maybe the Mofi version is even better.


Maybe we should support Parlophone more by buying more of their CDs?

Guess what - the Pet Shop Boys release described above *IS* a Parlophone release, too!
Kudos to all dev's not going like "Upgrade OS or f$%# off!"

  • Roetoes
  • [*]
What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #93
Beastie Boys - The Mix-Up. Very well mastered record.

Any RG values please?

  • hushypushy
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What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #94

Beastie Boys - The Mix-Up. Very well mastered record.

Any RG values please?


Not like it matters (use your ears!) but to answer the question, mine is -3.09dB.


I'll add one to the list: the new remaster of Monolake - Interstate. It sounds great, very clear and it seems to have great range. RG is -4.22 for those who are interested.
  • Last Edit: 18 July, 2007, 02:34:33 AM by hushypushy

What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #95
5 of the top of my head

Seal - 1st and 2nd
Roger Waters - Amused To Death
Madonna - The Immaculate Collection
Bran Van 3000 - Discosis

  • Borbus
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What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #96
Beastie Boys - The Mix-Up. Very well mastered record.

Licensed to Ill and Paul's Boutique are mastered well too. -2.87dB and -0.94dB respectively.

I'm sure somebody has mentioned this already but:

Pink Floyd - The Wall MFSL Gold Disc. Album Gain: +1.35dB, Album Peak: 0.999969

The Wall was the first album I can remember actually thinking "wow, this is really high quality"
  • Last Edit: 25 August, 2007, 10:22:47 PM by Borbus

  • Roetoes
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What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #97
I think record companies should at least try releasing well-mastered cd's. Even people who aren't aware of "the Race" subconsciously hate the sound of
cd's, I'd guess. Then they might start buying more records.

  • slks
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What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #98
The 2004 Brian Eno remasters (Here Come the Warm Jets, Taking Tiger Mountain) are exceptionally good.

  • Borbus
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What are some well-mastered cd's?
Reply #99
I think record companies should at least try releasing well-mastered cd's. Even people who aren't aware of "the Race" subconsciously hate the sound of
cd's, I'd guess. Then they might start buying more records.

I agree. Trouble is at the moment, the big labels are doing it.. so the independent labels feel they have to or else their stuff will sound quiet in comparison. The big labels have got to make a move... they can't exactly sell less CDs than they do now. With iTunes and digital sales on the up, ReplayGain could become a standard which would end the war right away. Unfortunately Apple couldn't care less about the music so they wouldn't do something like that.

I stumbled upon another well mastered CD in my collection. 2Pac - 2Pacalypse Now: Album Gain +0.18dB, Peak 0.994.

It's a 1991 CD so not really surprising but it just shows that Hip Hop is suffering from the war too and not all the compression is done in production.

Some good news I suppose.. I've got an advance copy of the new Kanye West album.. it is still loud with about a  -7dB but he previous album was -8.9dB so at least this is a step in the right direction. If you're reading this Kanye.. tell your mastering guys to aim for 0dB for your next one, ok?