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Noteworthy Photography

  • Burning Flags Press
    The website of Glen E. Friedman. Renowned for both his work with musicians like Fugazi, Minor Threat, Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys, Slayer (and many, many more) as well as his groundbreaking documentation of the burgeoning skateboard phenomenon in the late `70's, Glen has been privvy to (and has summarily captured on film) some of the coolest stuff ever. He's also an incredibly insightful and nice guy to boot.
  • SoHo Blues - Photography by Allan Tannenbaum
    Allan Tannenbaum is a local photographer who has been everywhere and shot everything, from members of Blondie hanging out at the Mudd Club through the collapsing towers of the World Trade Center on September 11th. You could spend hours on this site, and I have.
  • Robert Otter Photographs
    Amazing vintage photographs of New York City, specifically my own neighborhood, Greenwich Village.
  • oboylephoto
    Just some intensely cool photographs of abandoned places.
  • Rikki Ercoli's Legends of Punk
    Much like Glen E. Friedman (see above), Rikki Ercoli has managed to catch some amazing bands in their manic element.
  • Lost & Found Film
    A fascinating website devoted to undeveloped film found in vintage camers. A curious mixture of interesting and spooky.
  • Pinhole Photography by Veronica Saddler
    NYC landmarks shot through a pinhole lens. Neat-o.
  • Eugene Merinov
    Compelling shots of Punk, Post-Punk and New Wave band performing live in various long-lost venues in a pre-sanitized New York City. Great stuff!
  • Edward Colver

Big Laughs

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June 01, 2017

Comments

David George

As a musician who's been around recording studios for many years, I think I can contribute something here. The big distinction with remastering (which as you pointed out involves all elements of an entire song treated as one stereo track) is that it really only involves applying compression. Without getting too technical, compression squashes the high and low frequencies and tends to make everything sound louder. (Not necessarily better, just louder.) It is best used sparingly and if done well, can help overall perceived fidelity.

Here's where the problem comes up with "some" remasters: If you Google "Loudness wars" you'll find a zillion hits for a trend that started in the early 2000s, but is luckily starting to go away: to compete with one another at a time when listeners were starting to consume their music on smaller and smaller devices (with crappy earbud headphones), the quickest fix was to just make everything louder, by applying higher and higher levels of compression. This trend is evident when you compare remasters of the same album. For example, on the 1994 remaster of "Sticky Fingers," released by Virgin, the quality was leaps and bounds above the circa-80s CD (the 1st-generation CD, when basically all CDs sounded harsh and sterile). Fast forward to the 2015 release and remaster and there's a very different story. This remaster is the poster child for the worst aspects of the so-called loudness wars: Charlie Watts's drums took a severe beating, as did Keith Richard's guitar. I never listen to that version--ever. It sounds like shit, IMO.

Regarding this:

>>There have been the odd exceptions to that rule, most notably the 1997 remixing of Raw Power by Iggy & the Stooges, which noticeably restored much of the band’s original heft to David Bowie’s comparatively anemic original job.

The date tells me that this one also pre-dates the loudness wars. This was certainly remastered (are you sure it was remixed as well?).

For the record, I despise .mp3s as a format: they will never and cannot be expected to ever compare to a CD-quality .wav or .flac file. This is simple math: A high bit-rate .mp3 of the "Hot Rocks" version of "Jumping Jack Flash" is 9.85 MB (10,086.4 KB). A CD-quality .wav file of the same song ripped from the same CD is 37.3 MB (38,195.2 KB). An .mp3 that's ~71% smaller than the corresponding .wav contains a lot less data. It will never sound as good. Add to that earbuds as your delivery device and you are truly screwed.

Things have gotten a little better with the resurgence of vinyl and an overall greater respect for fidelity. (Though selling LPs in home furnishing stores is wrong on so many levels.)

The point of mentioning .mp3s is that if you're going to drop serious coin on any reissue, don't limit yourself to listening to .mp3s on your fucking phone with those uniformly dreadful earbuds. They were not designed for what the audio engineers were attempting to deliver.

Tom

I went to SGT PEPPERS listening party at AMC 25
to hear the Giles Martin ATMOS mix.
It was incredible, actually gave me chills....
Unfortunately this kind of event is not planned to occur EVER again.
Truly amazing

Tom

I went to the ATMOS listening party at the AMC 25 for Sgt Pepper
Stunning truly amazing

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