Saturday, January 9, 2016

I wish record companies would let me buy older masters of classic albums

I own a copy of Hotel California by the Eagles. Pretty iconic album. By the time I got into my mass CD buying binge, the 1993 remaster was released, and because it's digitally remastered," I assume it was better and grabbed it.

Then I discovered the loudness wars database in 2015 and took a peek at Hotel California to see how the dynamic range of the different versions stack up.

I look and I see that the 1993 remaster I have has an average dynamic range of 9. I look farther down the list and see that the 1984 CD release has an average dynamic range of 14. That's a pretty big difference. That's a whole lot of dynamic compression going on.

Well, the only way to get your hands on an older release it to buy it used, or torrent it from somewhere. Since I don't want to the same nasty letters from Verizon my coworkers are getting, I shlep down to the local used record store and nab a copy for $6.00 and rip to FLAC.

I fire up Foobar 2000, apply ReplayGain to the songs and start comparing.

And I have to say....

Holy crap is the older version better! Sounds way more detailed. The remaster just sounds "thick," I guess is the best way to describe it.

You know, it's 2016 now. You'd think I could log into an online music store, perhaps one geared more towards die hard music lovers, and let me pick Hotel California and it asks me if I want the 1984 master, the 1993, master, the DCC master, etc.

I feel like there would be little effort involved on the record labels part to offer older masters.

submitted by plazman30
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