Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Queen Albums Being Digitaly Remastered!!!

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Localboy80 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 06:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I know the albums of Queen are classed as being digitally remastered but let us be fair here, apart from the fact that we would all prefer and love new and rare releases from Queen Productions, I would personally like all the albums of Queen to be re-released in much better sound quality.

I listen to the albums of Queen and then put some of my other CD's on (all on exactly the same CD player at the exact same volume) and I would say 90% of my other CD's are better in sound, louder and more clearer.

On top of that, is it just me, or was 'A Kind Of Magic' and 'Innuendo' never digitally remastered? As every Queen CD I have was purchased when the digital remasters were released (1994 I think) but where as every album has the gold digitally remastered sticker on the front, 'A Kind Of Magic' and 'Innuendo' does not and all versions of these two albums I see in shops only ever has 1991 on the back of it.

I just find it so frustrating the albums are so quiet. Prime examples, 'Spread Your Wings' from 'News Of The World', all the 'A Kind Of Magic', 'Innuendo' and 'Live Killers' albums.

Does anybody else agree, that the general sound of Queen albums is poor? I do have the Hollywood Records versions of 'The Works' and 'The Miracle'. Again, the sound is far from excellent but it does sound better than the other Queen albums I have.

All your points and opinions on this would be very much appreciated!!! :-)


"I'll Face It With A Grin, I'm Never Giving In. On With The Show... The Show Must Go On!!!"
liam user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 08:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

yes i have definetly noticed that the queen albums are incredably quiet. even compared to other old music. i recently bought beatles numbers 1's and its twcie as loud.


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cmsdrums user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 08:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yeah, that's just what we need instead of, for example, Live At Hammersmith 79 DVD - another batch of half arsed remasters to go with the 1994, 1998, and 2001 ones!!

Tero user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 08:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

liam wrote:

yes i have definetly noticed that the queen albums are incredably quiet. even compared to other old music. i recently bought beatles numbers 1's and its twcie as loud.


The volume seems to have gone up in the late 90's on every album release, so that's bound to be "corrected" on the next re-release.

I don't see that as a problem because my "stereo" system has a volume control, but I suppose others can buy the upcoming set for that reason alone. :P

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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 11:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

If you make a copy of the albums with low volume and use the option "Normalize to 0 dB", you will raise the volume as high as possible. I've done it on a couple of albums with low volume and it works great. You can store the original CD's as "backup".

Nero 6 for example, has this "normalize" option.

There are also other ways to do this, but this is one of the easiest.

/Adam S


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Localboy80 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 11:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi cmsdrums!

Well, like I said in my post, we would all obviously love new and rare material from Queen Productions, including myself, much more than re-releases with better sound but I was just highlighting a point!


"I'll Face It With A Grin, I'm Never Giving In. On With The Show... The Show Must Go On!!!"
bitesthedust user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 12:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

A Kind Of Magic and Innuendo were digitally remastered...

the Japanese mini-LP series :)

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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 12:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

If your problem is that the individual discs aren't loud enough, then simply use your volume control...........

I've always had a problem with this in terms of the fact that many discs (notably The Who's Odds And Sods and A Quick One albums) were mastered WAAAAAAYYYY too loud. Music is supposed to have areas of light and shade and LOUD mastering detracts from that.

The beauty of the Mini LP series is that the discs have been nmastered at the same levels as the original LPs were, and therefore, you're getting the closest digital replication of that original vinyl sound as you will get.

Re-mixing however will DRASTICALLY change ALL of that, hence I have no desire to hear the 5:1 surround versions of the albums whatsoever.


Benn
Wilki Amieva user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 16:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

cmsdrums wrote:

Yeah, that's just what we need instead of, for example, Live At Hammersmith 79 DVD - another batch of half arsed remasters to go with the 1994, 1998, and 2001 ones!!


...Not to forget the ones released in 1991!!!

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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 16:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I don't think Innuendo and The Miracle, A Kind of Magic etc were digitally remastered, because CDs had already been invented. They were probably recorded using some of the first CD equipment around


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Wilki Amieva user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 17:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Localboy80 wrote:

I just find it so frustrating the albums are so quiet. Prime examples, 'Spread Your Wings' from 'News Of The World', all the 'A Kind Of Magic', 'Innuendo' and 'Live Killers' albums.


"Louder" is not always "better".

Generally, a louder recording means that its signal was compressed. This compression has nothing to do with lossy or lossless formats - its the compression of the sound dynamic range (the range comprising all possible volumes). When you reduce the dynamic range, you have to take several things into account.

One is the quality of the source. For example, if you have a noisy source and you are not careful, you may drastically reduce the signal-to-noise ratio. This would bring up the noise. If you apply denoising algorithms prior compression, the distortion produced by them would also be increased, adding strange effects to the sound.

Even more important is the kind of recording you are treating. If its music, the reduction of the dynamic range could kill some of the interpretation subtleties. Most of QUEEN music is full of light and shades. So applying too much compression to that songs is not a good idea.

The bottom line is that you should not remaster all QUEEN albums to sound loud in your car. Because if you do so, you will regret that when you are in quieter environments.

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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 17:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

pcgenius9 wrote:

I don't think Innuendo and The Miracle, A Kind of Magic etc were digitally remastered, because CDs had already been invented. They were probably recorded using some of the first CD equipment around


Nevertheless, A KIND OF MAGIC and THE MIRACLE were remastered by Hollywood Records in 1991. And, ten years later, the last four studio albums (along all the others) were remastered by request from Toshiba-EMI.

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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 19:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I ripped my 2001 remaster CDs using EAC and Lame 3.96 @ constant 256kbps, the result was phenomenal compared to my hollywood '90s CDs that I ripped at constant 224kbps. The Volume was louder and the calrity overall was much better, even on the later albums like the miracle through made in heaven.

I 'm sure some is due to technological advances since I first ripped my hollywood CDs, but that cannot be the only reason for the massive gain in quality I observed. I can really tell the difference on the remasters.

I understand the older albums being quiet, but I think there's only so much you can do with old recordings.


Also just because the albums came out on CD does not mean they are initially "digiatlly ramstered" from what I understand a modern day "mastering" is to ensure an overall quality and accurate reproduction of the material, it also helps maintain quality when its converted to other formats. If you've ever heard an amateur band rip their songs to mp3 and the quality sucked it is usually becase cause they could not afford the extra mastering process.


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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 19:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm glad to see Wilki's comments on this as he's absolutely right. Dynamic range is very important and that's one of the reasons for people thinking the Queen albums are quieter than other cd's. Unfortunately, we live in an age where your cd has to be as loud as possible. And this sound is due to the compression as mentioned by Wilki.

What's even more unfortunate is that the latest remasters seem to bow to this way of thinking as Deacon Fan did show that songs like Don't Stop Me Now had been compressed more than ever before. If you want your albums louder, just up the volume level on your hi-fi, etc.

I made a comment on here that some laughed at. I was interested in seeking out the original vinyl copies of Queen albums. Now, the only reason I'd do this is because I don't like where the Queen remasters have been going since (from what I've read) 1998. I'm happy enough with my 94 remasters. But from what I keep hearing, the vinyl transferred correctly will sound even better. And on top of this, the way the latest 2001 remasters have actually altered the sound so it's now different from how it used to be? I can't listen to those because I know how they should sound. Unless the Queen camp do something really, really good with the next set, I may have to go this way with the vinyl.

Peace,
Adam.

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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 21:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Localboy80 wrote:

I know the albums of Queen are classed as being digitally remastered but let us be fair here, apart from the fact that we would all prefer and love new and rare releases from Queen Productions, I would personally like all the albums of Queen to be re-released in much better sound quality.

I listen to the albums of Queen and then put some of my other CD's on (all on exactly the same CD player at the exact same volume) and I would say 90% of my other CD's are better in sound, louder and more clearer.


On top of that, is it just me, or was 'A Kind Of Magic' and 'Innuendo' never digitally remastered? As every Queen CD I have was purchased when the digital remasters were released (1994 I think) but where as every album has the gold digitally remastered sticker on the front, 'A Kind Of Magic' and 'Innuendo' does not and all versions of these two albums I see in shops only ever has 1991 on the back of it.

I just find it so frustrating the albums are so quiet. Prime examples, 'Spread Your Wings' from 'News Of The World', all the 'A Kind Of Magic', 'Innuendo' and 'Live Killers' albums.

Does anybody else agree, that the general sound of Queen albums is poor? I do have the Hollywood Records versions of 'The Works' and 'The Miracle'. Again, the sound is far from excellent but it does sound better than the other Queen albums I have.

All your points and opinions on this would be very much appreciated!!! :-)


hey localboy i hear ya mate!! thats what i do and noticed it a long time ago, there not much different to the originals:( i understand were your coming from, i listened to jacko's re-mastered back catalogue and they sounded so crytal clear and the vocals really stood out honestly they sounded like they were just recorded yesterday!! lol then i put queen on and queen's sound quality was no were near the quality of jacko's (im not really a big fan of jacko just his 80's hits) the technology we have today queen could re-master those albums as if they were recorded yesterday i'd love to hear the innuendo album done to that standard!, listen to how quiet good old fashioned loverboy is i love that song and the quality is shit. for example checkout the quality of queen on these various artists compilations ive just listened to radio ga ga on one and the quality was much better than from the re-mastered albums, i.e. clearer, instruments sounded fresh, vocals really stood out,


oo la la
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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 23:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I wish I had the strength, but I've talked so much about this subject that I just can't do it again.

It's interesting to hear you change your views on the volume level, Adam :)

The bottom line is that all series of remasters (1991, 1994, 1998, 2001) have good and bad among the albums. (edit: except the 1998 ones) Well, I can't speak for the 1994 series actually, though I've heard they're a bit hissy and there is of course the Fat Bottomed Girls glitch..

Overall my choice with the most good sounding albums is probably Hollywood's 1991 series. They were done by 3 or 4 different people including Queen's own favorite Kevin Metcalfe. The only one that I think really sounds bad is 'The Game'.

The high-volume thing really works on the 2001 'The Game' and 'News of the World' I think.. thse two struck me as the best sounding of that series.. 'Queen' and 'Innuendo' tied for worst sounding.

Oh well, I'm starting to go too in-depth again. Basically you need all of the remasters from every series and have to pick the best from each.

Except the 1998 ones.. ugh...

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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 23:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Wigglepuppy wrote:


It's interesting to hear you change your views on the volume level, Adam :)


Did I say something different about volume? Are you sure? I'm just starting to think more about the double-edged sword that the 2001 remasters really are for those earlier albums. Damn that compression!!

Peace,
Adam.

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Posted: 21 Sep 05, 03:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well at the time my argument was basically what you're saying now.. that it can kill the dynamic range..

And I believe you sort of defended them at the time, saying that the compression was probably used on purpose to enhance the sound.

While it's true that Queen have stated they pushed things to edge to get compression, it's a whole different can of worms when it comes to digital.. as I'm sure you know, Adam.

It's just been my experience in listening to stuff.. and looking at wavs, that the quieter stuff has more room to breathe.. I sense better bass response in them also and I'm not sure why. Perhaps this is why they boost the bass and treble at the expense of midrange on some of these newer masters. Just a theory..

Actually the 1998 versions are not near as loud as most of the 2001s.

Someone mentioned 'Lover Boy' as having speed problems too.. well here's one minute of uncompressed .wav from that remaster:

http://rapidshare.de/files/5348266/goflb1998.wav.html

I sold my 'Crown Jewels' because it seemed pointless to have after I got all of the them in card sleeves, but I kept copies of them of course, for reference ;)

I can hear the 'muddy' sound but don't detect speed problems, but maybe I just picked a good section. It looks like this was possibly over-amplified and then brought down again, based on the uniform size of the wav at the loudest parts.

What's your opinion on that practice Adam? They did it for the whole of the 2001 'Made in Heaven' also and I noticed it on 'No-One But You' on GH 3.. they seemed to have taken to extremely loud 'Rocks' version and just cut it down for the compilation.

http://members.cox.net/breakfree/gh3.gif

Something similar was done with AOBTD but it's disguised better with compression of some sort.. though really, who cares about that one? :-P



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Posted: 21 Sep 05, 08:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi Wigglepuppy!

I have just read what you said about the 'Fat Bottomed Girls glitch' on the 1994 remasters. Now that you mention it, the introduction to it is terrible in sound. This is the first I have heard about a known 'glitch'. Can you shed some light on this for me? Many thanks in advance!


"I'll Face It With A Grin, I'm Never Giving In. On With The Show... The Show Must Go On!!!"
Penis - Vagina user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 21 Sep 05, 14:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's just a little squeaky sound during the 2nd vocal line in the intro.. it was repeated on the 'Rocks' compilation since they used the same masters and apparently don't listen to what they've created before it gets released... *sigh*

Here's a letter I wrote along with a reply from Justin Shirley Smith at Brian's site:
http://www.brianmay.com/brian/brianssb/experts.html#errors
which talks about this and other errors..