The Art of Re Mastering (2010)

This 30 min program, from 2010 was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 extra today and will be of interest to many.


Chris, I found this very interesting; thanks.

You or others may know the answer to this noobe question: the Re-Mastering broadcast said that an often-used technique is to raise the sound level. I am aware of the perceived effects of a volume increase. But does remastering the volume level produce different results than one could achieve by just turning the volume up on the original?

Also, is the remastering engineer’s job like that of a mechanic (doing as instructed), or is it perceived as artistry in its own right, with flexibility to “add bass”, remove “spurious sounds” etc. as s/he sees fit?

Finally, who are those people or labels who have a good reputation for remastering? Anyone out there with the opposite reputation?

The loudness issue can be done with just turning up your systems volume but there is room for more volume on CD than on vinyl.
If you look at the loudness wars you will see this technique has been taken to extremes and this does damage Music. IMHO
You need the range from quiet to loud, but if you make everything loud the dynamics are lost.

Personaly, I am in favour of cleaning up and getting the best from the recording but this should not effect the artistic intent. Also I like the idea of leaving mistakes in, like the way you here a phone in the studio ring, or a car passes by etc. As referred to in the show.

When we record our live gigs, these things stay in for the most part. Rainstorms mid gig are our biggest culprits, followed by the odd speeding car.
It all brings back part of the live experience.

I thought the way they compensate for the inadequacy of 1920/30’s microphones by the sound signature of a Steinway Piano and the noise floor, very interesting.

Also Thomas Dolby, baking his own tapes in his oven to save money was fascinating.

That would be re-mixing.

Good stuff all. I have the remastered DuPre piece on right now; trying to locate the ringing telephone.

I asked about the loudness thing because, IMO, that kinda seems like cheating or “cheap tricks”.

She also implied that a symphony has a sound signature. I get one piano, but 40+ instruments ?!

I hope, for Dolby’s sake, he used some throwaway tapes on his first bake. Me, I’d pay for that expertise. :slight_smile:

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Joel, all of the above jobs were mentioned in the context of “remastering” on Chris’ podcast, if I recall correctly. Don’t know if you’d had time to listen to it beforehand.