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 Post subject: Frank Zappa - Mini Mofo
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 5:59 pm 
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Less of a "review" than a series of notes-in-progress.

I finally grabbed this today. First thoughts: I really love the packaging. Gail's liner notes are...well, Gail liner notes, but some of the new information is fascinating, and I absolutely LOVE that "songs we need to record" sheet.

So far, Disc 1 is...definitely the original stereo mix. That interesting high-end filter's authentically in place, it's compressed (analogue-like, not in mastering) to all hell...I don't understand how people are saying this is the best the album has ever sounded, but it's the best I've ever heard *this mix* sound.

Haven't quite dived into Disc 2 yet.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 6:35 pm 
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There are intimations in the liner notes that the stereo mix transfer itself dates from 1987. I actually wonder if it isn't even *earlier*...say, from when the Old Masters LP was prepped.

Some of the Disc 2 tracks aren't that detailed insofar as annotation is concerned. Is that the mono mix of "Brain Police?" What's the "basic tracks" distinction, given as some have vocals and some don't? 1970 mixes?

Still nice.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 6:55 pm 
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Continuing...

A large chunk of Disc 2 is mono...so I'm guessing it actually comes
*from* that FZ "log reel," and not the presumably
long-lost/hard-to-find session masters.

It's astounding, BTW, how much the outtakes sound (in timbre) to the
CD remix. The original mixes really have gobs of processing on them.

The '87 mix of "Wind" is a strange beast.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 7:09 pm 
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...A VERY strange beast. Gives me even more reason to believe that lots of tracks on the '87 weren't actually remixed, as this bears no resemblence to the version on the Ryko disc.
Head to http://download.yousendit.com/4504B4255AD1FFA1 for an MP3 comparison of the first verse of the Mofo stereo mix, the Ryko CD mix, and the MoFo '87 remix.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:09 pm 
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I haven't had a chance yet to do any comparisons. I've only skimmed through the set so far, but I do like what I hear and I'm glad they chose Doug Sax to do the mastering. I noticed the bit about the 1987 digital transfer in the notes too. I wonder if the masters have deteriorated since then. I also wonder what they'll be using for Absolutely Free and Money and the other albums that have appeared in their original mixes on Ryko. The '95/MFSL of Money sounds so crappy in spots - such as the right channel of Mom And Dad - I can't believe there are no usable stereo tapes that don't suffer from these problems. MOFO sounds great in comparison.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 1:40 am 
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Did you buy the 4CD box? My terrible admission: I didn't. Oh well. I guess I'll be the last to know now...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 3:30 am 
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Oh fuck yeah - I bought it - I've been waiting forever for something like this - you can piss and moan all you want about Gail Zappa and her methods - this set is gonna be great - hopefully the beginning of a long series - and whoever is in charge of the sound on the past few releases - I don't know if it's Joe or Dweezil or whomever - they have been doing a teriffic job.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 9:50 am 
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I've been waiting forever also. I'm just wary of buying anything sight-unseen...who knew it'd be any decent when it was first announced? Moreover, had I paid for it back in August, I'd be a lot more pissed about the delay than I am now.

I'll probably swallow my pride and put an order in today.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:32 am 
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A few mix comparison things I noticed:

a) The '95 Wowie Zowie folds in the channels somewhat--you can hear the percussion on the left channel. Also, what I previously assumed is the "mono section" isn't, really, as the percussion is still only in the right channel. Here's where it gets weird, though: at the "mono" edit point, the leakage in the '95 Wowie Zowie vanishes. Buh?

b) The fade on Motherly Love differs markedly between the two versions.


Here's something else that's interesting. The '95 and MoFo versions of several tracks (notably, the ones that probably weren't remixed on the '95) come perilously close to synching. They *do* drift, but on the order of miliseconds throughout the track (i.e. by the end they're just *barely* out of sync). Hmmm.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 6:37 pm 
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Well, looks as if my fears re. not quite filling the discs, interview segments, and tons of overlap came to pass.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 6:31 am 
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Xenu wrote:
...A VERY strange beast. Gives me even more reason to believe that lots of tracks on the '87 weren't actually remixed, as this bears no resemblence to the version on the Ryko disc.
Head to http://download.yousendit.com/4504B4255AD1FFA1 for an MP3 comparison of the first verse of the Mofo stereo mix, the Ryko CD mix, and the MoFo '87 remix.


I've read this thread a couple of times and still can't get it down how many Freak Out issues/mixes there are.

My 1987 discs IS a Ryko. Yet the statement above sounds as if there is a 87 mix, and then there is the Ryko disc. As the new one is nothing like the Ryko. Well, it should be different because it is the original mix? and the Ryko was a remix as far as I know.

What is the '87?

I know, I'm lost or I have lost it. I asked about some variations in a Stones thread here and nobody wanted to answer me. It's fine, nevermind.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:20 am 
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Jeff T. wrote:
I've read this thread a couple of times and still can't get it down how many Freak Out issues/mixes there are.

My 1987 discs IS a Ryko. Yet the statement above sounds as if there is a 87 mix, and then there is the Ryko disc. As the new one is nothing like the Ryko. Well, it should be different because it is the original mix? and the Ryko was a remix as far as I know.

What is the '87?

I know, I'm lost or I have lost it. I asked about some variations in a Stones thread here and nobody wanted to answer me. It's fine, nevermind.


I understand why you're confused.

The "87 Mofo" that he is talking about is an unreleased '87 remix of the song that was included on the fouth disc of MOFO.

The "87 Ryko" is basically the same as the '95 Ryko only it's a few dB's lower.

There are 3 versions of "Freak Out":
- the original mono (vinyl only)
- the original stereo (as heard on MOFO)
- the 87/95 Ryko (a mixture of remixes and manipulated original mixes)

There are also a few additional alternate mixes on Mothermania and MOFO (such as the afore-mentioned unreleased '87 remix).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:35 pm 
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Jeff T. wrote:
I know, I'm lost or I have lost it. I asked about some variations in a Stones thread here and nobody wanted to answer me. It's fine, nevermind.


There're three basic versions of Freak Out! that you need to worry about:

The original stereo
The original mono
The Ryko version.

Now, the Ryko version is *partially* a remix, but far less so than we used to think it was. A few tracks are definitely remixed (Hungry Freaks, Brain Police), but most are just futzed with...drastically re-EQed (which, eh, I like), reverb added, stereo spectrum screwed with.

The original stereo, in unadulterated-transfered-in-1987-form (in fact, I'm convinced that this transfer might have formed the basis for part of the Ryko disc) is on both MoFos. The mono mix seems lost.

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