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Wish Remaster/Deluxe Edition?

Started by | SONA |, October 15, 2008, 20:00:23

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cheyler

The XFM version was on the first drive, too good to wait.

OWEI

Quote from: cheyler on February 14, 2020, 20:53:29The XFM version was on the first drive, too good to wait.


Ah, I missed out on the first drive ☹️

OWEI

Quote from: cheyler on February 14, 2020, 20:53:29The XFM version was on the first drive, too good to wait.


Ah, I missed out on the first drive ☹️

PJ4A

What is this "first drive" thing you're referring to?

Sorry, I have no idea what it means.

Matti

Quote from: SueC on February 14, 2020, 00:44:25We have a non-remaster version of Disintegration on which we can't hear the cymbals properly, nor other high-frequency sounds, and the whole thing sounds like an MP-3.  Always wondered if we got a dud and how that could possibly have happened.
Well, don't get your hopes too high. This is perhaps the only drawback on an otherwise flawless album: you can hardly hear cymbals in Disintegration, regardless of version.

I did a more or less thorough comparison of the "original" and the RM versions, using The Same Deep Water as You ripped from the 2010 re-issue and some standard CD. The RM is a may sound a bit crisper and clearer, and it's a bit more compressed to beef it up a little, but as for cymbals - "Computer says no."

I could imagine that this was done because the album in general is so reverb-laden and the snares are so trebly-tuned that there simply wasn't enough room left for the cymbals. Mixing them louder would have probably made the record sound too harsh.

It's funny that you make the mp3 comparison though. I had always taken that sound for granted, because when I finally got Disintegration on CD in the mid-90s, I had gotten familiar with the vinyl (both standard and picture disc) and tape editions - formats that were never really famous for outstandingly brilliant sound (at least with standard equipment). So when I got the CD, I was really pleased with the sound.

Other than that: if you don't have Wish yet, don't wait for the RM. Who knows how long this will take, especially with a new Album "scheduled" for this year. Get it now, and play it. Loud. It's a great album.


Quote from: PJ4A on February 15, 2020, 03:30:17What is this "first drive" thing you're referring to?

Sorry, I have no idea what it means.
See here and here  ;)
...hold me like this for a hundred thousand million days...

SueC

Thank you, @Matti, that's really interesting. :cool I wonder why it is that we can hear the cymbals and general high range fine on Trilogy but not on the studio album - I consider that to be the far better sound of the two alternatives.  Is there more space for sound on a Blu-Ray?

We had the Best Of before we had Disintegration, and I double took when I first heard Lullaby on the actual studio album, because it sounded "wrong" - muddy and no cymbals / general high end, compared to the same track on the Best Of (which in itself has less range than the live version on Trilogy or at Hyde Park etc).  Presumably both versions came from the same original studio tape.  I sat comparing both versions and it was a big difference.  What made it even more strange is that when Brett looked up their respective awfulness ratings on a Loudness Wars comparison site, the Best Of actually had a worse rating than most of the Disintegration releases we saw, so if anything it should have been the other way around.  That's why I wondered if we had a dud...

Re MP-3, friends gave me some soundtrack CDs they'd ripped off MP-3 way back when, and I can hear the compression - the music sounds "abbreviated" and simplified. It's hard to explain, but it sounds like a cartoon, not a photograph.  The comparison between those particular MP-3s and their "proper" CD versions is like the comparison between our version of Disintegration and Trilogy.

Looking forward to Wish - once I've "processed" KM and The Head On The Door (which is still in its wrapper!).  It's one at a time and slowly here.  But up loud, yeah! :)
SueC is time travelling

cheyler

Quote from: PJ4A on February 15, 2020, 03:30:17What is this "first drive" thing you're referring to?

Sorry, I have no idea what it means.

Sent out one 64GB drive full of Cure shows, then got it back and sent out another 64GB of Cure shows.  The third one is ready to go; another 64GB full of Cure shows...although this one has pretty much all the live-feeds from the festivals in 2019.  If you missed out on something you really want, no problem.  I can upload directly to you.  Send a PM with your e-mail address and clear about 1GB worth of space (just to be safe).

Matti

Quote from: SueC on February 20, 2020, 00:42:01I wonder why it is that we can hear the cymbals and general high range fine on Trilogy but not on the studio album - I consider that to be the far better sound of the two alternatives.  Is there more space for sound on a Blu-Ray?
This is nothing to do with the media format. Even though a BD can carry way more data than a CD (30 GB <-> 700 MB), the space reserved for the audio on a BD is roughly the same as on a CD, judging from the bit rate. Using a decent converter, a high-level mp3 will sound as clear and brilliant as as CD or BD.

The sonical differences between Disintegration and Trilogy stem from both the recording situation and the mix. They were recorded and mixed by different people at different times, and in different situations.

Roughly speaking, Trilogy is just five guys on stage, with some backing tapes and perhaps a handful of overdubs here and there. Disintegration has this lavish wall of sound, with the already mentioned loads of reverb, delay, overdubs, multi-trackings, and all kinds of stereo effects. After all, it was the first time The Cure recorded on 48 track tapes which theoretically double the recording possibilities of the formerly used 24 tracks.

The problem that comes with these possibilities is that eventually you have to mix these 48 tracks down to just two. Apart from panning problems (what goes where in the left-right range), you will have multiple parts in similar frequency regions. As I pointed out above, if you want to have that kind of snare sound (trebly and crashing) and you add high-end cymbals, the result will probably sound harsh, shrill, and generally unpleasant. So I guess the decision had to be made what was more important, and the cymbals were lowered in the mix.

According to Producer Dave Allen, "we were trying to knit [Disintegration] into one long entity so it's obsessively non-diverse", and I think that goes for the songs themselves as well as for the sound. Considering the album a return to the early days' doom'n'gloom, a rather muddy sound was perhaps the most logical way to go.

Lullaby is a wonderful example to demonstrate how mixes can differ although they're basically the same. Again, I did a more or less thorough (aka quick and dirty) comparison of the album mix (A) and the single mix (S), the latter being ripped from the original 1989 CD single.

A: Bass VI with a hint of mono delay, spoken intro hardly audible, snare drum, cymbals hardly audible, bowed string part is mono, bass guitar somewhat buried, one-voice spiderman part from "Be still, be calm, be quiet now..."

S: Bass VI with a prominent stereo delay, spoken intro clearly audible, (sampled?) rim-shot instead of snare, cymbals audible with added off-beat section, bowed strings in stereo, dry bass guitar, second voice added for the spiderman part

So, even though the source material is the same, the mixes or arrangements are quite different. The single sounds way more polished, crispier and clearer. After all, singles are released to get radio airplay and promote the album, so it makes sense to make them a little more ear-friendly. And  considering that the "Best Of" version you're referring to is at least 8 years "younger" (Galore?) than the original release, it's only natural that it sounds even a bit more polished.

That being said, I'm not sure what "remaster" really means here. To me the RM releases are more or less enhanced or polished versions of the stereo masters, with a bit of EQ'ing here and there and different compression. I didn't think that they really took the time to work with the original multi-track masters and do a proper remix the way Steven Wilson did for Yes or King Crimson. Which is a pity I think - there would have been enough time.

That being said, I still think that the remasters have a point. Given the choice, I would probably go for the remaster for any album, but that might also be a Hi-Fi voodo phenomenon: if it's new, it has to sound better.
...hold me like this for a hundred thousand million days...

SueC

@Matti, we are both bowing in the general direction of the Northern hemisphere to thank you for this clear explanation with which you have answered our questions on this front. :cool  I would also like to award you a certificate like this:



It's great to talk to a walking encyclopaedia!  :)

It's also really nice to know I'm not imagining the differences between the two studio versions of Lullaby we have.  You have described those differences exactly (I also noticed the mono-stereo differences, and together with the other factors thought we had some kind of bootleg version of Disintegration).  And therefore, I take it that we have the single version on the Best-Of, which is a 2001 double CD called The Cure: Greatest Hits which Brett bought when it came out, having previously already acquired a couple of live albums and Bloodflowers, after being thoroughly impressed by the song Burn when he went to see The Crow at the cinema back in the 1994 and then bought the soundtrack (which was the start of that for him).

So do you actually prefer the "muddy" mix?  I have (as it turns out) spent years wondering what Disintegration would sound like if it the rest of it was mixed more like the single version of Lullaby... and it's such a relief to hear it live because then I don't have that sense that there's stuff missing!

The MP-3s I referred to were done in the early 2000s and low-quality, and that's what I meant when I said, "It sounds like an MP-3!"  I can, by the way, still generally tell an iPod version of a song from the CD version, when the iPod is played through the same system as the CD!  Brett says that's partly to do with the iPod hardware, and not all compression.  I always think of it as a backward step that I do in order to have portable music, sort of like way back when, when you'd make a tape from a record (an actual vinyl thing :angel) to stick into your Walkman so you could go cycling without getting bored.  The quality would be diminished, both of the actual copy and the hardware that delivered it to your ears, and that's something you just put up with, but boy was it always nice to hear that music again on its original carrier on a decent system.  :)
SueC is time travelling

Matti

Oh please don't... I'm just trying to share my bit of knowledge about music and production technique, so the pleasure is mine.  :)

Quote from: SueC on February 20, 2020, 12:17:56So do you actually prefer the "muddy" mix?

I'm not entirely sure. On a "historical" level I do, because I imagine that's what the album was intended to sound like. As I wrote, my own history with the Album goes back to the early 90s, and I would mostly play a tape on a small radio cassette recorder or a walkman, so the muddyness never really bothered me. Considering the acquired knowledge I have now about sound, I'd love to hear a remixed version though. But I guess I'd stick to the historically correct version and live with the mud. After all, once you're through Plainsong, you've gotten used to the sound.
...hold me like this for a hundred thousand million days...

SueC

Quote from: Matti on February 20, 2020, 13:41:52Oh please don't... I'm just trying to share my bit of knowledge about music and production technique, so the pleasure is mine.  :)

I get your position! You just don't see it that often.  :)  Which is why I want to make awards when I come across it.  Because there are so many unsung people who deserve them.  Also it's a reflex from teaching high school for 15 years.  I gave out chocolate frogs there too.  Want a chocolate frog?  :angel

Thank you for sharing your understanding with us.  It's stopped us wondering, and now we don't have to research it - it's so much easier if someone with the background knowledge just explains it to you.  :cool  And this is a very specialised area!

If you ever have any questions in the areas of passive solar design, sustainable agriculture, ecology, livestock management (including beekeeping), nutrition, and pretty much anything academic to do with the natural sciences, fire away.  We're science geeks. Or Dr Who - Brett's a long-time fanatic (although he says more fanatical Dr Who people than him exist).  And we'll discuss literature anytime too.  :)
SueC is time travelling

Matti

Quote from: SueC on February 20, 2020, 12:17:56always nice to hear that music again on its original carrier on a decent system.  :)
Would you mind elaborating on this?
...hold me like this for a hundred thousand million days...

cheyler

Quote from: SueC on February 20, 2020, 14:28:47
Quote from: Matti on February 20, 2020, 13:41:52Oh please don't... I'm just trying to share my bit of knowledge about music and production technique, so the pleasure is mine.  :)

I get your position! You just don't see it that often.  :)  Which is why I want to make awards when I come across it.  Because there are so many unsung people who deserve them.  Also it's a reflex from teaching high school for 15 years.  I gave out chocolate frogs there too.  Want a chocolate frog?  :angel

Thank you for sharing your understanding with us.  It's stopped us wondering, and now we don't have to research it - it's so much easier if someone with the background knowledge just explains it to you.  :cool  And this is a very specialised area!

If you ever have any questions in the areas of passive solar design, sustainable agriculture, ecology, livestock management (including beekeeping), nutrition, and pretty much anything academic to do with the natural sciences, fire away.  We're science geeks. Or Dr Who - Brett's a long-time fanatic (although he says more fanatical Dr Who people than him exist).  And we'll discuss literature anytime too.  :)

If you're trying to be sarcastic, you'll have to do a better job than that.

SueC

Quote from: cheyler on February 21, 2020, 00:32:28If you're trying to be sarcastic, you'll have to do a better job than that.

Well, I'm not.  But it's strange you should think so.  Perhaps you're projecting?

You're certainly rude, and not adding anything pleasant to the conversation.  :neutral-face

Apologies will be accepted, if you're big enough to offer one.
SueC is time travelling

SueC

Quote from: Matti on February 20, 2020, 19:09:34
Quote from: SueC on February 20, 2020, 12:17:56always nice to hear that music again on its original carrier on a decent system.  :)
Would you mind elaborating on this?

Haha!  :)  No, I don't think we can join that thread, because we're not the kind of people who can spend thousands on sound equipment.  We have some basic good stuff that we're happy with and that multi-tasks as well.  You can turn it up loud without distorting anything and it sounds fine to us.  We do have lovely room acoustics in the room we play our music in, and that makes a big difference.  It's a large space that's lime plastered, has a high ceiling, and no carpets - just rugs.  Nice place to practice too.  Sort of like singing in the shower.  And we built and plastered it ourselves.  Took a while.



Should be nice for playing Wish in.  ;)
SueC is time travelling