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Topic: Original vs. Remastered Albums? (Read 20975 times) previous topic - next topic

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Original vs. Remastered Albums?
What do you think which ones are better, original recordings or remastered editions of music albums? I'm not a professional but many times a remaster sounded much better than original for my ears for example clearer and softer sound, but also many times a remaster sounded worse than original with too much loudness . So what's your opinion?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UjQc0dM4H4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9N9mUhd7lY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkkqsN69Jac

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-v6ML2DsBfA


What do you think about deep purples remasters, first three albums remastered in 2000 and other eight Anniversary Editions? They sound better to me than originals.

What about black sabbath... the first 8 albums with ozzy from 2004 black box remasters sound much clearer but they are a bit loud, also the 2008 remasters of Heaven And Hell and Mob Rules sound very rough and there is too much loudness.

What about Dire Straits, 1996 remasters? They are a bit louder but i like the clearer sound and the crisp treble.


I always use a equalizer when listening to music 2 equalizers exactly, one from Windows Media Player and one from pc's onboard Realtek sound card.










I use "Deluxe DLS 2118" 2.1 speakers  2 x 12.5w 4 OHM speakers and 40w 8 OHM subwoofer. It's not a professional equipment but still can hear the difference.
  • Last Edit: 10 February, 2012, 08:04:12 PM by AlexanderMKD

  • dumdidum
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Original vs. Remastered Albums?
Reply #1
i cannot look at the clips you posted (in my country, performance rights organization hasn't granted YT permission).

but, fwiw, YT vids may not be the way to go when it comes to making any kinds of audio quality comparisons. it's not 100% clear that the bitrates you can get at YT are sufficient to ensure transparency. furthermore, on YT, you have many media encoding options. it is cumbersome to figure out which options yield the highest-fidelity audio. moreover, the comparisons i've seen on YT are sighted. not saying you couldn't design a rigorous test which relies on YT streams, but you might have to think about the setup. it's perhaps not the easiest way to experiment. lastly, do we need to be concerned about internet-connection problems/dropouts affecting our results when doing an experiment using YT?
  • Last Edit: 11 February, 2012, 05:19:27 AM by dumdidum

  • slks
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Original vs. Remastered Albums?
Reply #2
Yeah, I don't think you can make a generalization that remasters will sound better or worse than a previous master. It just depends on how each master was done - as you've already noticed, some remasters are better, some are worse.

I can't speak to any of the particular remasters you mentioned, except that I read somewhere that certain Ozzy remasters have re-recorded bass and drum tracks due to some kind of argument with the band. So, that would definitely make the recordings sound different.

Original vs. Remastered Albums?
Reply #3
Thanks for the replays.

One "newbie" question? What is Digital Mastering (Digitally Mastered)?

I DL'ed the Black Sabbaths official live albums and there are 3 editions for some albums. I will take for example the 2nd album, Live Evil.

1982 Live Evil ( 1989 ) [ Germany 826 881-2 Vertigo ]
1982 Live Evil ( 1996 ) [ UK ESM CD 333 Castle ]
1982 Live Evil ( 2010 ) [ Germany 2733929 Sanctuary ]



The 1982 Live Evil ( 1989 ) [ Germany 826 881-2 Vertigo ] on the CD scan it writes Digitally Remastered and its the best sound compared with other 2 editions

The 1982 Live Evil ( 1996 ) [ UK ESM CD 333 Castle ] is castle remaster edition and it is louder and lacks clarity.

The 1982 Live Evil ( 2010 ) [ Germany 2733929 Sanctuary ] is Deluxe Edition and at times it sounds like studio recording.


* back cover from 1982 Live Evil ( 1989 ) [ Germany 826 881-2 Vertigo ]


So i guess the first edition (Digitally Mastered) actualy is original recording?
  • Last Edit: 12 February, 2012, 07:31:38 PM by AlexanderMKD

  • mjb2006
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Original vs. Remastered Albums?
Reply #4
Some/many people in this forum are not going to be very helpful when you're asking questions about music you obtained from unauthorized distributors, especially material still in print, like the 2010 edition of this album you're asking about.

However, I will try to help you understand. In 1982, several concerts were recorded to multi-track tape (one mono channel for each voice or instrument, plus some for the audience). Portions were copied, mixed together into a single two-track (stereo) recording on another tape: this is the "original" stereo "master recording". This recording had to be copied and further "mastered" for consumer formats like vinyl, cassette, or CD. So there are "master" tapes for each format: one for each side of the record, one for each side of the cassette, one (in digital format) for the first release of the CD, and one for each "remastered" CD. These all sound a little different...sometimes a lot different, depending on who did the mastering, and when. Engineers do all kinds of things to "improve" the sound when preparing it for each format. What is better or worse depends on the listener and their preferences.

All CDs were "digitally mastered".

The 1989 CD is not older than the vinyl 1982 LP, so is it "original"? No, it can't be, but it's probably the first edition of this album on CD, and it's probably more true to the original recording than what's on the vinyl, although the vinyl probably isn't that different. CDs (re-)mastered in the mid-1990s to the present day tend to be a mixed bag, some aspects being made better and others being made worse, such as by the over-use of dynamic range compression. Again, what you prefer depends on the recording and what was done to it during remastering.
  • Last Edit: 12 February, 2012, 08:53:37 PM by mjb2006

  • Porcus
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Original vs. Remastered Albums?
Reply #5
In good'ole days, they tried to indicate what kind of equipment was used in what stage of the process with the three-letter combinations AAD, ADD and DDD. First letter for recording, second for mixing and third for mastering.

  • slks
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Original vs. Remastered Albums?
Reply #6
Mhm, "Digitally mastered" on a CD doesn't really tell you anything. All CDs have to be digitally mastered at some point, since CDs are a digital format that only stores digital data.

Like mjb2006 said, the true original master recording is the tape reel that was sitting backstage recording the gig in 1982. The labels will have that one locked up in a vault somewhere. Everything else is a copy of some sort.

I don't think they usually do "flat transfers" from master tapes when pressing a CD. (Flat transfer = straight analog-to-digital conversion with absolutely no processing whatsoever.) Now the one that's closest to the master tape is probably going to be the 1989 CD. By 1996, though, the "loudness war" was already underway, so the 1996 and 2010 releases are likely to have stronger EQ, and possibly compression and clipping. It's been my experience that most remasters since the loudness war tend to be like that.

You say the 2010 version sounds "like a studio recording" at times - do you mean, less crowd noise? It's possible that they've remixed it to make the crowd quieter.

I know of one live album (The Kinks "Live at Kelvin Hall") where it was mixed much, much differently when it was re-released for CD, seemingly to reduce crowd noise. However, it made one of the guitars nearly inaudible... I guess they had an open mic in front of the amp to record, and it picked up a disproportionate amount of crowd noise, so that they lowered that channel way down in an attempt to mitigate the screaming girls.

  • GeSomeone
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Original vs. Remastered Albums?
Reply #7
the true original master recording is the tape reel that was sitting backstage recording the gig in 1982.

No that is not a master tape. It's the source and probably a multitrack. So it is not yet mixed and not mastered.
A master is the thing with the exact format of the copies which are going to be produced.
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

Original vs. Remastered Albums?
Reply #8
What about black sabbath... the first 8 albums with ozzy from 2004 black box remasters sound much clearer but they are a bit loud, also the 2008 remasters of Heaven And Hell and Mob Rules sound very rough and there is too much loudness.


No way do the recent deluxe remasters of Black Sabbath suffer from too much loudness.

The ReplayGain of Heaven and Hell is -1.3dB. One of the quietest albums I have bought in recent years! Plenty of dynamics!
Mob Rules is slightly louder, at -4.3dB.

They sound amazing! Probably you should switch off your equalizers for these albums
  • Last Edit: 18 February, 2012, 10:08:43 AM by Boiled Beans

  • db1989
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  • Global Moderator
Original vs. Remastered Albums?
Reply #9
Good point.

Having an equaliser with any frequency bands set to positive gain risks generating clipping that will damage the signal—never mind having two bands set to +6 dB, three set to +12 dB, and then another EQ alongside that with more positive amplification of its own.

AlexanderMKD, I must recommend that you do some basic reading about mastering, equalising, and the like, rather than using highly suboptimal settings yet still trying to draw conclusions about quality.
  • Last Edit: 18 February, 2012, 04:08:19 PM by db1989

  • bilbo
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Original vs. Remastered Albums?
Reply #10
I remember many years ago, there was a booklet ,published every month, that would rate the content and recording quality of each album. IIRC it was called the Schwarms Catolog.

I also remember many years later, but still a while ago, a website which did the recording quality.

Does anything like these exist today? I remember seeing something like this for the King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King album that was very detailed, but I have no idea where I found it.

Can anyone suggest some way to find this information? It would be of great use to me and ,I think, the OP.
Glass half full!