Album "premasters" that are superior to Remasters

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Joined: 9 Sep 2012
Age: 33
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Location: Maryland, United States

15 May 2013, 8:04 pm

Some examples:

The recent remasters of Death's albums. I've only heard the remasters of Human and Individual Thought Patterns. Certain changes are fine, you can hear the bass better, and all the other tracks come across crisper and clearer. However there were also some weird "creative" altercations to the recordings, such as removing vocal reverb on certain tracks or adding weird new vocal tracks that weren't there before. Just sort of destroys the flow of the album when random things are out of place like that.

Another example is the "Dark Side Of The Moon" 30th Anniversary Edition. Again, for the most part it sounds fine, except for one glaring flaw, they use editing tricks to "correct" Nick Mason's drumming "mistakes". Again this has the adverse effect of throwing someone off who is familiar with the original recordings. They also kind of fail to realize that Nick Mason's awful drumming is one of the things that makes Pink Floyd unique.

Can anyone think of any other examples?


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Joined: 12 Feb 2010
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15 May 2013, 9:14 pm

pink Floyd signed on to the lastest surround-sound remastering by somebody other than the original engineer [alan parsons], to the detriment of the album, from what I've read.


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Joined: 18 Oct 2006
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17 May 2013, 11:52 pm

Is the question about albums whose original master is better than the remaster? Or is this about albums where there's an "unmastered" version floating around the 'Net?

Unfortunately, "Remaster" these days usually means just make the original source louder. I haven't done many A/B comparisons between original/remaster, but I try to avoid remasters whenever possible, unless there are an amazing selection of bonus tracks.

Brighten The Corners by Pavement had a 2008 remaster that's loaded with audible digital distortion and clipping, for example. However, the remaster has about 30 bonus tracks, some of which are really good. Still haven't gotten around to hearing the original CD master, from the late 1990s, but I hear it's a lot crisper and more dynamic.

For "unmastered" recordings, anyone heard the story about the "unmastered" version of Death Magnetic by Metallica? Basically, the CD master of that record was extremely loud -- the song I heard was pretty much clipping and digital distortion from start to end -- even the pianissimo parts of the song fill up all the volume range of CD audio. However, it turns out that there was an "unmastered" version with full dynamic range on a Guitar Hero game!