T.Rex Remasters?

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Studio2roll
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T.Rex Remasters?

Post by Studio2roll » Sun Oct 29, 2006 7:20 pm

Recently I discovered the gold mine that is T.Rex's remastered early albums (It's before my time and was never on the radio near me.)

My thing is this. The remasters I have (especially "Electric Warrior", and "T.Rex Wax Co. Singles") both sound like no CD I've ever played. When you play them it sounds like a brand new vinyl on a really good turntable with a new needle; to me.
Like if you were playing the vinyl and stood close enough to the turntable that you heard the natural sound coming from the needle in the groove mixed in with the amplified sound from the speakers. It's so open and clear.

Does anyone know (if I'm not the only one who hears this) how this was done? Could it be an exciter mixed in really low? Just happens to be the way the original tapes sounded? I love the way it sounds and want to incorporate whatever it is into my recordings.

Plenty of recent remasters sound great to me (James Brown: In the Jungle Groove, Van Halen II for example) but this sounds ridiculously like vinyl (especially in the high end) to me and I must find out the secret!
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Post by honkyjonk » Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:02 pm

Yeah, I think my copy of Electric Warrior is pretty recent and I think it's really really good sounding. I can't remember if it's quote un-quote remastered or not, but compared to hmmm, let's say Goat's Head Soup or some of the other rediculous Stones' remasters, it sounds a lot closer to how it should sound.

I'm not sure if there was anything extra done. Maybe just less.

think about it. Most of the things that have been re-issued on CD were done in the eighties and 90's first (maybe at 20 bit to start with? At the best?) And now, sure, they'll copy from the original masters at 24 bit/192 etc. but then they want to just touch it up and add a bit of lexicon here or there and maybe just bring out the cymbals a little bit more, to the point where most of us prefer a lower resolution transfer CD with less doctoring. Good Lord.

Maybe we're just hearing a straight, modern, high quality transfer to 24/192 from the original tapes? And maybe that's rare. ???? I don't know. Just speculating. But my Electric Warrior does sound pretty good. Makes me wonder what it sounds like on LP. Maybe I'd change my tune.

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Post by Roman Sokal » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:47 am

i haven't had the chance yet to pick up the latest remasters of t-rex stuff.
however, i did have the slider remaster disc- the remaster from early-mid 90's and i noticed the same thing you mentioned somewhat- how the slider sounded so fucking great on cd, like a plush deep analog sound, with a sweet high end. maybe its just a damn great mix that no matter what its transferred to, the engineering magic shines through?

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Post by Studio2roll » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:01 pm

Thanks for the replies so far. The remaster versions I have came out around 2003 I believe.

There's a good chance it could just be the original tape's sound I guess, but no other recent remaster of an older record (that I own) sounds like this; and most of my collection is classic rock and r&b remasters. So I think it must be something unique that they did either during the actual recording, or the transferring.
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Post by Roman Sokal » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:06 pm

Studio2roll wrote:Thanks for the replies so far. The remaster versions I have came out around 2003 I believe.

There's a good chance it could just be the original tape's sound I guess, but no other recent remaster of an older record (that I own) sounds like this; and most of my collection is classic rock and r&b remasters. So I think it must be something unique that they did either during the actual recording, or the transferring.
come to think of it, it kind of has that sound quality thats akin to that super 'sweet' sound- by that i mean playing a vinyl slab and boosting the old school shelving filters on the amp/receiver- as in the cranking the treble (10khz) and bass knobs (100hz) full- (i can't remember- aren't they technically called 'shelving filters' or something like that?

anyway, thats my confusing/budget analogy!

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Post by nopenopenope » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:14 pm

Well, David Bowie's "Aladdin Sane" from 1973 is done by the same producer (Tony Visconti) and that also sounds amazing on CD on the latest remaster from 2003.

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Post by Roman Sokal » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:21 pm

JoshSites wrote:Well, David Bowie's "Aladdin Sane" from 1973 is done by the same producer (Tony Visconti) and that also sounds amazing on CD on the latest remaster from 2003.

i guess its his skill/style then!
i just remembered something- the intro to tape op book 1...the forward by visconti- he mentions how back in the day because of excessive track bouncing and such which starts to suck away at the high end, clarity etc, that they would have to work very hard in the mix stage to try to get back the sound quality whatever tracks before they were bounced...so maybe its all that eq'ing they did that translates through to these remasters!

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Post by pulse_divider » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:38 pm

I think the Electric Warrior reissue sounds good.
But The Slider.... am I the only one who thinks it sounds completely overlimited in the mastering stage? When I put on T Rex, I want to hear T Rex, not the Flaming Lips...

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Post by pulse_divider » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:39 pm

Oh, and Tony Visconti is amazing. As far as I'm concerned, he can do no wrong.

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Post by carlsaff » Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:52 am

Who was the ME on these? Just curious...
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Post by Studio2roll » Thu Nov 02, 2006 7:39 am

"Remastering: Dan Hersch and Bill Ingot for DIGIPREP"

Just out of curiousity I borrowed an old Aural Exciter and and old BBE maxie from my guitarist. Because the sweet high end on it made me think "exciter" for some reason. I had an hour or so to play around with it yesterday and I think I got pretty close to what I'm hearing on T.Rex when I mixed the exciter in next to my stereo mixdown really low on a seperate aux track with minimal drive, and the "tune" set to bring out the guitar buzz/hi hat attack. I was able to add a swirling high end in that gave it a little more of a 3D depth. Its not exact, cause my recordings aren't T.Rex, but I think I'm in the ballpark.

I never really use exciters, but when I get some time I'm going to try to test this out a little more. If it still seems right maybe I'll get a 204.
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Post by Slider » Tue Jul 15, 2008 7:59 pm

My copies are all older cd's and they still sound amazing.
Visconti could do no wrong at this time.
I'm going to have to hear this new remaster.

I recenty picked up the Pogues Rum Sodomy remaster and it was unlistenable.
The original was thin, but this new one was downright painful in the top end.
Out the car window with you painful CD.

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Re: T.Rex Remasters?

Post by roygbiv » Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:09 pm

Slider wrote: Out the car window with you painful CD.
dude, that's hilarious. If I wasn't so lazy I'd make it my new sig.
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Post by cgarges » Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:32 am

I have the remastered Electric Warrior and I think it sounds kind of cool but a friend of mine who is largely into vinyl tells me that this disc sounds nothing like the original release did. I haven't heard the original (or at least not in a REALLY long time), but I trust this friend's observation.

And for whatever it's worth, when I think of T. Rex, I don't think of Aural Exciters. I think of 10k on a Trident.

I will also say that I do think the remaster of In The Jungle Groove sounds pretty bad. That's one seriously kick-ass album and I'm glad they re-released it on disc, but it doesn't sound anywhere near as cool as the original.

I am really digging on the re-release of Tes Hombres, though. I haven't compared it directly to the original vinyl, but I'm really happy to at least hear the correct performances and something like the sounds that are on tape. That re-release alone has sort of restored my faith in Bob Ludwig, assuming he actually did the work on that one.

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Post by Studio2roll » Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:03 am

Since I posted this almost two years ago I've done a lot of research on the recordings, and bought up like every edition you can buy including the DVD-Audio version, an original pressing vinyl, and the 180 gram re-release of the vinyl. The sound on both vinyls is very close to what I hear and was talking about on the 2003 CD. The DVD-A sounds very good, but the sound/tone I was talking about isn't quite present on it.
Other Bill Inglot remasters which I've bought such as Black Sabbath's Symptom Of The Universe collection have a very close tone as well. I believe it's a combination of The original production style, and Bill Inglots remastering (which I know a lot of people dislike, but I happen to like it in this instance)
In my own (almost) completely digital recordings I was able to fake this sound/tone by using (very minimally) an analog aural exciter (the 204), the plug-in version was not the same seeming to add distortion, where the analog exciter seemed to just add "air" and "presence." Even if that's not how it was actually achieved I think I pulled off a close facsimile to it. You can hear my work at http://www.atomicfury.com in the flash player at the bottom of the screen: specifically the songs "My Last Dollar", "AM/FtheM", and "Mantra."
I also really like the ZZ Top Tres Hombres remaster, it's as close to both my original pressing and 180 gram re-release vinyls as one could expect a CD to get.
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