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joesilvey user not visiting Queenzone.com
joesilvey
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Posted: 01 Jul 11, 22:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

obviously i'm a huge fan, but i'm also a critical ear, audio producer, and tireless judge of remasters...

and the 2nd set of Queen albums is at worst: great, and at best AMAZING.

Everything sounds great - for sure - but somethings do stand out:  the entire New Of The World album, Calling All Girls on Hot Space, and others... it's wonderful to hear these albums so clarified...


Joseph A. Silvey
dysan user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 02 Jul 11, 08:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm not sure I get all this. They were clear in the first place.

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Posted: 02 Jul 11, 08:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

PS that was generally - not just to you :o)

joesilvey user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 02 Jul 11, 09:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I don't question anyone's opinion on something like remastering - it's subjective to personal preferences, not an absolute.  Some people love compression and noise-removal, others despise it.

but these are not run-of-the-mill compressed to be louder remasters.

and i can only go by my ears and report... but for example, when i A/B'ed Staying Power from the HR edition to the new remaster, it was like the difference between a pat on the head and a punch in the face.  clarified, eq'd without sounding doctored, louder, more presence.  louder i expected, but everything else was a wonderful bonus...

Jazz still has some sonic production issues that are innate to the recording, but it's improved as well.  always disliked "Fun It" but it sounded so fresh, i was compelled to listen through it!


Joseph A. Silvey
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Posted: 02 Jul 11, 10:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

@joesilvey ... as you mentioned "Fun It" I have to say I always liked it. One of the better tracks on a not very inspiring album. But I think of that when Roger goes on about not liking disco. :-)

Martin


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Posted: 02 Jul 11, 12:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hahaha - yes, I always think that when he goes on about Hot Space and AOBTD - 'You started it, man!'

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Posted: 02 Jul 11, 13:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Joesilvey wrote:  when i A/B'ed Staying Power from the HR edition to the new remaster, it was like the difference between a pat on the head and a punch in the face.  clarified, eq'd without sounding doctored, louder, more presence.  louder i expected, but everything else was a wonderful bonus...

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Sorry - but I have to contradict. You went completely into the "loudness trap".

Compared to the HR edition "Staying Power" is nearly 6 dB louder - quite a lot but that's it.
I put both in a multitracker and once the HR version is as loud as the new one, there is no difference audible.
Unlike "It's late" on NOTW they didn't even bother to remove rumbling or plopping noises like the "p" in Power at 0:54.....

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Posted: 02 Jul 11, 18:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I received mine today in the mail....I'm not an expert and do not have software to figure out levels, etc.  But, I do have a music degree.  :)

NOTW sounds fantastic.  This is my favorite Queen album (and the first one I bought when I was a teenager), and this version doesn't disappoint.  I still need to listen to Jazz some more.  I did think it was weird that "Mustapha" sounds soft in the beginning.  Why would that be intentional?  DSMN on the Bonus EP is rocking!  I think I like it better than the original.  "Jealousy" is interesting with the bass drum very evident.  The Game and Hot Space sound incredible!!!  I like more bass and I think the Ludwig remasters are superior to the HR remasters.  I am most impressed with "Hot Space."  (I didn't buy Flash Gordon)

After hearing these remasters, I KNOW the last 5 albums will be incredible!  I cannot wait!  I hope the Bonus EP's really deliver.

joesilvey user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 02 Jul 11, 23:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Soundfreak wrote:

Sorry - but I have to contradict. You went completely into the "loudness trap".

Compared to the HR edition "Staying Power" is nearly 6 dB louder - quite a lot but that's it.
I put both in a multitracker and once the HR version is as loud as the new one, there is no difference audible.
Unlike "It's late" on NOTW they didn't even bother to remove rumbling or plopping noises like the "p" in Power at 0:54.....

 @Soundfreak... i'm not trying to get into a big thing here.  judging by your QZ handle and your posts, sonic stuff is a kind of obsession or maybe science for you.  As I said, how an album sounds is subjective... read the hundreds if not thousands of posts here that talk about which specific issue of a given album is THE definitive version for some fans because of how it sounds.  And I appreciate your direct approach to what's actually been improved on these new remasters, but simply turning up the volume of the HR version is also raising the noisefloor.  One of my points was of the CLARITY of these 2011 remasters.  Noise is not an issue, and not because they applied dolby and cut off the high end.  to my very experienced ears, they were much more meticulous.

read:  to my ears.  I am a reporter.  I report from my point of view.  I'm not writing a definitive review for Rolling Stone.

Part of my frustration with views like yours, with all respect, is the tone of explaining away a magic trick or scrutinizing something with such cynicism that  the sole purpose of the review is to expose every flaw and omission.  Why so negative?

i'm sorry, but i am a music lover, and i am a Queen lover, and i approach these new versions of their classic music with joy.  I know all about waveform analyses but my best judge is still my ears... and to MY ears (just mine) these sound the best ever (not truest to the original - i'm not a vinyl fanatic; not loudest - i have the Japan 2001 versions that cover that)... just pure, rich, and powerful.  in a word: Queen.


Joseph A. Silvey
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Posted: 03 Jul 11, 03:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

There is only so much they can do with these recordings without compromising the original albums. It would be easy to make them sound 'modern' but that would get as many people riled as would say triumphantly 'yeah! they sound like Foo Fighters now!' I'm just so happy to have Queen releases that I'm so excited about. The last time this happened was 1989.

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Posted: 03 Jul 11, 03:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Why so negative?

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@joesilvey
I do not think that I'm negative at all, but I'm critical. And over the years I have learned how cynical the music business is.
And what makes me angry is the fact that parts of the industry are always playing the same tricks on music fans and sadly people always believe the "hype". 
When you read my input on this site you will find, that I really appreciate the recent improvements on "Queen 2" or "A day at the Races". But I think I also was the first noticing that "A Night at the Opera" was simply the "30th anniversary remaster" disguised as "something new". And this is what really makes me angry. 
Or when an original album with a "bonus EP" containing 4 minutes of unheard material is sold for the price of a double CD-Set.

After "Jazz" I have stopped writing more detailed reviews here as many people obviously do not want to know the truth. 

But I also think that here are some people trying to push the hype around the new remasters as can be found wherever things are rated on the net.
So I think I sometimes have to contradict when I read how superior this fourth (?) edition of certain Queen albums is when in fact it isn't.

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Posted: 03 Jul 11, 12:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

@Soundfreak -

again - all respect to you, as you, I, and everyone else here are entitled to having and sharing their views.  I understand your frustrations with the sometimes dubious business practices of the music industry on the fans that support it.

it's actually good that our views contradict... now neither of us can get blamed when someone follows our advice solely on buying or skipping the releases.  Points them right back to their own choice - buy them, don't buy them, it's up to each one... =)


Joseph A. Silvey
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Posted: 03 Jul 11, 19:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Overall the new remasters are just OK. But that's about it so far. In the end I've only chosen 2 (possibly 3) as my 'go to versions'.
Queen - EQ not significantly different from the 1st press, just louder and less dynamic. = NO
Queen II - A vast improvement on the 1st press. Balanced and clear EQ. Oddly, the limiting actually helps to rein in what is a poor quality recording. = YES
SHA - EQ again reasonably faithful to the 1st press. Just way too loud in spots. = NO
ANATO - Same is the 2005, which is OK, but not even close to the DCC. = NO
ADATR - A little less muddy than the 1st press. In places it sounds great, but mostly it's just way too loud. Not a patch on the MFSL. = NO.
NOTW = Yet to decide. I've never been a complete convert to the MFSL. Quite like the 1st press. I'll live with it for a while.
Jazz - The 1st press is perfect IMO. Although the 2011 is faithful(ish) EQ wise, it's just a less dynamic version. + The addition of the kick in Jealousy is highly questionable. = NO.
The Game - Haven't heard it yet.
Flash - Brilliant. The EQ is both faithful to the 1st press while also delivering a lot more detail. Not overly compressed, and no hard limiting to speak of. ...well not enough to ruin the experience. = YES
Hot Space - Have only listened to it twice. My first impressions is that it is far too loud. = Yet to really decide.

Despite not liking that many of the 2011s, they are generally a vast improvent on the Hollywood releases (which not being in the US, I hadn't been exposed to until recently. Couldn't believe how bad they were). And it also goes without saying that the 2011s are a quantum leap ahead of the 93-4 DMS hash jobs.

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Posted: 04 Jul 11, 07:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Nice overview JoeSilvey and TyphoonTip.

I agree with your ANATO assessment, pales in comparison with the DCC.
I haven't heard any 2011 remasters yet, but after hearing how much better Hoffman's ANATO is over Ludwigs I just get depressed thinking how wonderful they all could have been so haven't bothered picking them up.

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Posted: 05 Jul 11, 04:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

For want of starting yet another thread about these reissues - I was upgrading my MP3 folders and I noticed that I had added the stand alone version of things like Funny How Love Is, Flick Of The Wrist and Tenement Funster to the correct albums from the various singles etc just for completeness. Wouldn't it have been nice if they had done that to the bonus EPs - made them more complete with all the single edits etc. I know we've all heard them, but just so the album could be considered complete. Like when the Pet SHop Bots did a reissue programme a few years ago.

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Posted: 06 Jul 11, 08:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Soundfreak may believe it's just louder, but on my setup, I've definitely heard a clear difference between my 93/94 remasters. I can't see how it's down to just being louder. Also, I dont' remember the recent ANATO remaster being the same as the 2005 remaster. But since I have only sat and listened to the first set of remasters, I'll have a 2nd batch to listen through when I'm back home. Otherwise, I've been very impressed by most of the 2011 remasters that I have heard.

Adam.

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Posted: 06 Jul 11, 09:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I reckon although they do sound "louder", that SURELY isn't the only thing remastered? If I turn the sound up on my old CDs, they still don't come close to the new remasters.

There is plenty of new sounds, instruments, vocals coming through that I never heard... especially guitars, which in a lot of songs imo were hidden behind lead vocals/harmonies. e.g March Of The Black Queen, Dreamer's Ball, Don't Stop Me Now, It's Late, to name but a few sound much improved.

I hear Brian's voice on Good Company, 39, All Dead with much more clarity... with a near live sound. Good Company for me is a particular highlight, as his voice sounds so rich. I've always thought Brian's voice lacked oomph, but now it sounds wonderful... really made me appreciate him more... and if I try turn up the volume on some songs on old Cds, it doesn't match the new remasters AT ALL.

Harmonies come through better on Bicycle Race, Fat Bottomed Girls, MOTBQ, Lap Of The Gods... Rev, with a nice balance between high and low parts, something that I've not noticed before... it's always sounded not enough of each on certain songs on old CDs.

I do respect your opinion SoundFreak, but I do agree that you may have a negative point of view which you are clinging too for the sake of argument. Which songs DO YOU LIKE from the remasters, I can't see you saying "none". (Please read this with the respect it is intended towards your opinions).

BTW, I really like the fact that you can at last hear the guitars on DSMN (long lost guitars). I'd never heard the guitars so strong on my old CDs so that there is a particularly strong argument FOR the reamsters.

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Posted: 06 Jul 11, 09:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

That last comment was a joke btw, before anyone mocks me! In truth, the bonus DSMN is AWFUL imo. The guitars sound like static or some sort of noise distortion!

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Posted: 06 Jul 11, 10:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm looking forward to making a nice edit of the guitarless intro leading into the guitarified main song. I wish it had the guitar vamping on the middle 8 breakdown like on Live Killers. I might add that myself.

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Posted: 09 Jul 11, 02:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think the remastered Action This Day is worse than the previous version.  The beginning part sung by Roger was very muffled.  Body Language sounds better in the remastered album.