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Remaster vs. Remix


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I wonder why all the good stuff (e.g. Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, Cat Stevens and all this early 1970's) recently discussed here in the forum sound some kind of innocent even the newly released remastered HiRes.

Innocent compared to the feeling when i heard them the first time: Loud, dirty, some times angry and most of the time pure power! ...played loud with the so called loudness switch On and full Bass and Treble...

 

Without fideling around in my gear (no EQ, identical settings of volume and so on), if i play something different like

Soulacybin – Self-Existing Earth - Free Download at Ektoplazm - Free Music Portal and Psytrance Netlabel i experience what my gear, specially the sub is capable!

(found in the Thread of head-fi forum: Official Free FLAC File Music Sharing Thread)

No distortions nor compressed sound and a lot of punch -> pure energy like a long time ago... it's a totally different kind of music but i love it - I am no longer 18...

 

It is great to hear the beloved sounds without the clicks and drops of a dusty vinyl, but hey we have new gear and a new century, new possibilities why stuck with these old fashioned mixing?

 

What about a modern adequate Remix?

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A few reasons I can think of:

 

a) to do a remix you need tapes of the original tracks that were mixed to make the master - and often they aren't available anymore;

b) even if they are available, doing a remix is a lot more time consuming and expensive, so why do it if you can sell a remaster and still make the same money on the re-release;

c) sometimes artists/groups can agree on doing a remaster, but not a remix. A remix is generally thought of as being a more radical reworking of the original. Not everyone wants that.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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A remix is generally thought of as being a more radical reworking of the original. Not everyone wants that.

 

I fully agree - but for those who would appreciate a modern sound...

 

I do not like to say that the remasters seems to me like correcting former errors - and frequently in a bad manner, see the loudnesswar. I do not dare to criticize the work of sound engineers, as long as they do not follow the greed.

 

Today, the sound engineer's equipment is much better and gives some opportunities which weren't possible in the past.

 

 

Should i really pay again for the music which i have bought in the past? If it is a new interpretation of some 30 - 40 year old material, that would be an other case. As you wrote it's a radical rework but more for musicians than soundengineers, i think.

 

My modest knowledge of classical music show but interesting interpretations (e.g. a kind of remix) of earlier works and in electronic music, it is common practice to publish remixes with amazing effects.

 

Did you ever heard a live concert of THE MUSICAL BOX (The Musical Box) playing "The Lamb lies down on Broadway"? Do you know this double LP and it's weak sound? i was blasted away - i didn't recognized the well known pieces until i got familiar with the new crystal clear and dry punchy sound after a couple of minutes. They played tears in my eyes! After more than 30 years, it actually sounded like I always imagined in my head: A modern sound a new interpretation, the full package of all the power released. This is what i would pay for, no question. Unfortunately they didn't release a studio take...

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You asked why remixes aren't done, I tried to write a few reasons I could think of that they aren't.

 

Doesn't mean I wouldn't like to hear some remixes: I'm about the biggest Beatles fan there is, but I wish they would remix the original tracks and not just remaster them. They did that for both the "Yellow Submarine" DVD and for the "Love" show. I liked both a lot. The Yellow Submarine soundtrack didn't sound radically different, just better.

 

But I still don't think you'll see many remixes of classic stuff. It's not what most people want (they're conservative) and probably not what a lot of the artists want either.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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  • 2 months later...

Remastering is issuing a title anew with different definitions for equalization, compression, etc. using the original master source material.

 

Remixing is done from the original multitrack tapes to create a new master.

 

Many people use the two words interchangeably, but they are two separate and distinct operations.

hi

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Remastering is issuing a title anew with different definitions for equalization, compression, etc. using the original master source material.

 

Remixing is done from the original multitrack tapes to create a new master.

 

Many people use the two words interchangeably, but they are two separate and distinct operations.

 

I agree but where on your radar is an "alternate mix"?

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  • 2 weeks later...
I agree but where on your radar is an "alternate mix"?

 

When remixes are done (like Steve Wilson's work with Yes, Tull, etc) they have gone back to the original multitracks to create a new master (they especially have to do that when creating multichannel mixes, so the stereo ones get that same treatment too). Likely changes includes not only different soundstage presentation (drums in right center vs left far panned, etc) but different highlights and depth decisions (bring out the backing vocals, turn down the lead guitar, etc etc etc).

 

These creative decisions often produce many alternate mixes, some for the fun of it, some for the producers to vote on to decide which one gets used as the master. Since many times these remasters are delivered on storage mediums that can hold more than the allotted remaster (DVD, Bluray, etc) they add the alternate mixes for marketing value-add, if not creative output. Why not...a lot of times they are very much fun, say an alternate mix that is "naked" or significantly void of post-production.

 

Heck, even folks like Radiohead and Peter Gabriel have published out the individual multitracks and allow the public to create hundreds of mixes (dance mixes, wild electronica mixes, etc) and then even use their websites to allow for voting on favorite ones.

 

OTOH, many remasters (without remixes) are done for one purpose, to generate revenue into an older catalog. How do they do that? An easy way is to make them louder so they can compete in one's MP3 playlist.

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When remixes are done (like Steve Wilson's work with Yes, Tull, etc) they have gone back to the original multitracks to create a new master (they especially have to do that when creating multichannel mixes, so the stereo ones get that same treatment too). Likely changes includes not only different soundstage presentation (drums in right center vs left far panned, etc) but different highlights and depth decisions (bring out the backing vocals, turn down the lead guitar, etc etc etc).

 

These creative decisions often produce many alternate mixes, some for the fun of it, some for the producers to vote on to decide which one gets used as the master.

 

And in some cases the new mixes are subject to review - and modification - by the artist and the band.

 

When Dark Side of the Moon was mixed to 5.1 Surround for release on Multichannel SACD, members of Pink Floyd asked for and were able to make a number of changes to the initial mix by Producer/Engineer James Guthrie. So we will never know/get to hear how he initially mixed that album into 5.1.

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