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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:05 pm 
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If Bob Ludwig mastered these horrible Monkees and Kinks deluxe editions, with the extreme brightness and heavy compression that smears the stereo image, do you think he would get called out? Or would he get the patented SHTV ball massage like Sandoval does?


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 5:08 pm 
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I put some Monkees on my Zen players for the gym, and many of the recordings, some of the the early albums/tracks are fucking ear bleeders, or those 1994 expanded remasters are jacked in the high end anyway.

I don't care for Sandoval in general. And that forum seems to have past it's prime.

Imagine a living room you have been invited to join into for some nice music conversation. You would watch what you say right. You would respect the owner of the house, or/and person who invited you in for the chat. That is the way it was explained some time a while back about the subject of censorship, and the excuse for deleting any content that does not promote the music sales that they wish to promote there, or could rub certain people in the industry the wrong way.

Some of this makes sense to me. That said, I might add that when you are invited to be a part of a conversation in that living room, you are never expected to open up your wallet and drop some cash into the hat. I'm ok with the expectation that comments will get deleted even when no rules were broken, so long as they never expect me to drop one thin dime into the hat. I don't pay to share my wonderful musical knowledge with the lesser, lower levels, or newbies, and I keep my expectations low.


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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 7:29 pm 
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Choice of colorful imagery aside...

True story: Luke and I have been discussing this Monkees-Deluxe Edition mastering matter just this past week via e-mail, and I wasn't even aware that someone had started a thread on the very subject. Spooky!

While I don't think anyone would ever call the bulk of Rhino's/Inglot's earlier Monkees (or many other releases for that matter) sonic work, "rich, lush and full," I don't know what the heck happened with this series? When I first heard the new DE stereo remix of "She Hangs Out" from Headquarters, my jaw nearly hit the ground noticing the sheer amount of treble applied (and the lack of bass). If this is a monitoring/playback issue, something needs to be looked into. If someone actually thought that this sounded natural or "good," well then...

The sad part is, I actually really, really like most, if not all of the new bonus track stereo mixes. The mastering just kills it for me.

On a related note, has anyone checked out this latest round of straight, 2011 Monkees album reissues from Rhino? Sampling the clips on AMG, and using something like the stereo "Mary, Mary" as an example, while it sounds like they may have used the "best" album tape sources of the original mixes that they have or have located in recent years (much like the DE series), the treble doesn't sound as if its set *quite* to stealth as on the DEs. At least, it *seems* that way with those admittedly dodgy AMG samples (if they're even the corresponding, correct ones for these discs to begin with).

All this said, I've never been much of a personal fan of Bill Inglot's or (in the old days) Ken Perry mastering style. Definitely top heavy and bottom light (in general). Furthermore, Inglot nearly always seems to like to brighten, sharpen and overemphasize percussive things like tambourines, triangles, hi-hats and such. Like a dentist's drill on the brain. Basically, make the mastering *not* transparent or fairly neutral. Although, obviously a tape researcher extraordinaire, I just don't get his high-standing with so many as an engineer or his personal sound preferences? Oh well...that's just me. From what I've heard, I'm sure he's still a nice guy.


Yet, these DE discs...mega ouch.


(Please note: the above is not a personal attack on either Inglot's [or even Sandoval's] work. I'd reckon both are good guys who truly care about what they do. Just a single observation on the sonics of these discs.) :)


PS - And to answer your question, JWB, I'm not sure some would even notice regardless of who mastered it. At the risk of sounding (hopefully not too) elitist, I'm beginning to believe that it's more about jumping on the prevailing thought bandwagon -- on any music board. If people start raving about it...others soon follow. Vice versa as well. Of course, in some cases, it's actually warranted.


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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 2:06 am 
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Dan Hersch is responsible for the Monkees & Kinks deluxes...not Bill Inglot. I find Hersch's mastering style to be the antithesis of what the Hoffman board is supposed to stand for. Harsh, bright EQ & a very generous dose of compression. The only thing missing is noise reduction. But nobody seems to mind, because Sandoval is involved, and he can do no wrong apparantly. It's actually a shame that so many great rarities are included on these sets, because it makes them somehow relevant, despite the terrible mastering. The most horrible example is the "Headquarters" deluxe, which is the most ear-splitting remastering I've ever heard, outside of "The Yardbrids Ultimate" (also mastered by Hersch). And then you've got the "Birds/Bees" and "Head" deluxes which actually sound much worse than the 1995 CD's, despite being mastered from "super secret lost masters" that had Monkees fans cumming in their pants. It was a scam, and they fell for it hook, line & sinker. And then the mono tracks are all loaded with stereo artifacts, dropouts and splices. Nobody thought to make them true mono. The "Birds Bees" mono LP tracks & acetates sound like they were transferred on a cheap record player, with horrible hum & feedback during the fadeouts, as if someone turned the volume way up at the end of the song to make sure they got the whole fadeout on tape. Horrible shit. Unfortunately, the Kinks deluxes are "next in line", getting the same shoddy treatment as the Monkees stuff. The acetate sourced stuff on the first album deluxe actually sounds much better on the bootlegs. And the compression...it's out of control. Blah. It's aggravating that nobody has the balls to call out Hersch & Sandoval.


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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 1:25 pm 
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JWB wrote:
Dan Hersch is responsible for the Monkees & Kinks deluxes...not Bill Inglot.


Interesting. I only have "copies" and was simply going by the credits listed on AMG and within some internet reviews. That is, here on AMG they simply have Inglot, Sandoval and Hersch listed as "remastering," and the following reviews state Inglot.

Do you have originals, JWB? I'd be curious how the credits are exactly listed? Thanks!


http://www.allmusic.com/album/headquart ... 61/credits

...and "Inglot's mastering" of the DEs mentioned in these reviews that I found while searching Google:

http://sinatraguide.com/Monkees/deluxe.htm

http://www.puremusic.com/69monkees.html

http://www.amazon.com/review/R3H29S0RPX ... &linkCode=

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... us&strip=1


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 2:43 am 
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I've never heard Headquarters sound great. I currently have a mono needle drop coming in on demoniod, but I'm not expecting much. Ill report back on that. But it is up seeding now if anyone needs it.

I should throw on the Handmade Sessions set for a listen one of these days.

Come to think of it, besides I'm Not Your Stepping Stone, and She, I can't recall very many Monkees tunes with good sound.

It was RCA Hollywood right?


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 4:57 am 
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Jeff T. wrote:
I've never heard Headquarters sound great. I currently have a mono needle drop coming in on demoniod, but I'm not expecting much. Ill report back on that.


It's always been pretty much a given that the two-track stereo master of "Headquarters" that Rhino's had to work with all these years has never sounded particularly stellar (or probably the fidelity of that stereo mixdown for that matter). Hence, the decision by Inglot to remix it in its entirety back in the 80s for that old Arista CD. To the best of my knowledge, and I'm far from a Monkees expert, while better stereo tape sources have been located in recent years for certain albums (e.g. "Pisces"), that still hasn't been the case for "Headquarters."


BUT, as noted, this isn't really the issue at hand with the "Headquarters" DE. It isn't *just* the stereo portion of album proper that they...Hersch...Inglot...an assistant...whoever...decided to tweak. All I can suggest is, listen to the new stereo remix of the Kirshner, Canadian single version of "She Hangs Out." If those highs aren't the definition of unnaturally excessive, and with most of the upper low-end region missing as well, then I don't know what is? I do like the style of the bonus remixes and the possibility that comes with hearing something derived from the multis: just not the way they decided to *master* that particular album and most of those bonus tracks. As far as that stereo album-proper goes, they didn't manage to improve any of the inherent nastiness by what they did. They just made it worse.

Any other DE mastering sins aside, this one could stop insects in their tracks.

http://lukpac.org/~dave/sample.wav


PS - I saw those mono needledrops, too. :)


Last edited by David R. Modny on Mon May 16, 2011 4:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 4:58 am 
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David R. Modny wrote:
Do you have originals, JWB? I'd be curious how the credits are exactly listed? Thanks!


You were right about the first four Monkees albums. It lists Sandoval, Hersch & Inglot.

However, the Birds/Bees & Head deluxes (which are arguably worse) list only Hersch & Sandoval, as do the Kinks deluxes.


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 5:28 am 
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I'll also add that I just managed to snag the DE of "MOTM," not simply listen to lower-fi AMG clips, and that one, at the very least tonally, doesn't seem to sound quite as extreme to my ears as what went on with "Headquarters." At least on first listen, and nothing as bad as that remix above.

Maybe...it was mastering by committee?


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 4:03 am 
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I just listened tonight to the HQ mono needle drop from what I gather was an original US LP.

I'm very rarely impressed with others' needle drops, as I am one of the most intense about vinyl condition, deep H20 cleaning, brand new stylus, micro-line tip (if appropriate), dead on levels, and correct speed, etc.

This mono LP sounds worn, groove wear even on early tracks, some improvement as it goes forward, but and a dull sounding cartridge I think was used.

But anyway, the mono is a more involving mix musically, and the LP was warmer sounding than any CD I've heard - even if SQ was fairly poor with this LP.

I'm going to rip the tracks to hard drive from the Headquarters Sessions CD set, and see if I can come up with some new mixes using Sony Vegas video editor for PC. See this NLE system is based on Sound Forge. And it can handle an infininte number of audio tracks. An amazing chunk of software, and you can do 5.1 mixes as well.

In fact some of the old crew over at QQ actually did some Quad or 5.1 mixes of Monkees using some various tracks - I would guess some came from that Rhino Handmade set. It's really easy to line them up in sync, say 6 or 8 tracks in the timeline, and lock them, and then pan them where you want, adjust levels, and output to quad or whatever. Monkees being a simply four piece band, I would stick with a 4-channel mix. You then convert that to a DTS file, and burn to CD-R, and your are done. It might not be a bad idea to hit the bass up a notch or two as well (or pull down the highs), kill off that dentist drill to the brain effect if needed. But you can sync up all takes, and pick your parts you wish to use, mute what is not being used, and go to town.


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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 2:11 pm 
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I can't believe the endless love these are getting on SHTV...people saying they sound better than the PRT's...what a load of b.s.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:59 pm 
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Man, the mastering on these Kinks deluxes suck ass. All it needs it a layer of noise reduction and we're in Jon Astley territory. Meanwhile, the intense scrotum licking continues unabated.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:35 am 
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Jeff T. wrote:
to share my wonderful musical knowledge with the lesser, lower levels, or newbies, and I keep my expectations low.


Of course I'm joking (sort of) about lesser, lower levels, etc.

But I do keep my expectations low.

JWB wrote:
Man, the mastering on these Kinks deluxes suck ass. All it needs it a layer of noise reduction and we're in Jon Astley territory. Meanwhile, the intense scrotum licking continues unabated.


But what do you expect? Do you expect the gospel truth and nothing but?

Without turning this into the Stereo Snake Pit, it is what it is. Every now and again I find out info that is useful. Sometimes info about a new release, a 5.1 this, and a Mono that.

I havn't been around that forum much lately, not because of the issues mentioned in this thread. But mainly because I have finally recently figured out how to get those quadraphonic reel conversions on DVD-A, via downloads. I got 20 titles thus far. Never knew how easy it was to grab ISO images. That and rippin' my own collection to flac for server has kept me pretty busy.

Oh, I did find that I have the Monkees - Quarters Vol. I & II, the fan made DTS surround 2CD set in the collection if anyone is interested.

I gotta go, I'm catching a flight this morning to GA for my Dad's birthday.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:51 am 
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Oh yeah, you can learn good stuff there. It just seems like forum consensus doesn't make sense any more. The new Neil Young, which sounds fantastic to my ears, is getting slammed for being from "crappy sources" (ie, a DAT of a board mix). Meanwhile these mediocre Kinks reissues are the greatest thing since sliced bread. I don't get it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:54 pm 
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JWB wrote:
Meanwhile these mediocre Kinks reissues are the greatest thing since sliced bread. I don't get it.


I just read last night the entire Kinks thread, or at least pr. 2, and then some of pt. 1. And yes, they are really going at it, and one member says that he gets a warm and fuzzy feeling with some releases like these. No mention of ice cold dentist's drill that I could find.

I'd kind of lost count with Kinks CD issues. Kind of like Monkees, they just keep redoing the over and over again. Essential/Castles, & Vevel/Koch I though was going to be it for a long while. I'll have a listen to some of the newly remaster tracks when they become available for downloading which should be soon.

Speaking of the forum, there seems to be many of the older members MIA, and newer ones not really filling in the void. A long term member and I were on the phone the other day and were talking about this. Stuff like what were the last 5 CDs you bought? Or biggest quality jump from debut to second album? It is a bit desperate ain't it.


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