MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index
 FAQ & Terms of UseFAQ & Terms Of Use   Wiggler RadioMW Radio   Muff Wiggler TwitterTwitter   Support the site @ PatreonPatreon 
 SearchSearch   RegisterSign up   Log inLog in 
WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Kraftwerk Remasters
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Artist Discussion  
Author Kraftwerk Remasters
Peake
I've purchased The Man Machine and Radioactivity. I've only opened TMM out of concern regarding the character of the remastering, and wasn't far off-base...per Kraftwerk, the remaster is stately, controlled, and adult, not rocking and bopping and =loud=!

The plusses: A bit louder, fuller, musical in terms of spectral balance. Not overdone.

The Minuses: Perhaps just a touch underdone in terms of punch/volume. Noise reduction was implemented to the extent that it may have caused the character to suffer, and to reduce the treble a bit (not due to the illusion of tape noise adding highs). Perhaps some slight loss of midrange and treble solidity as a result (my only example of this was an LA2a plug-in used with a card DSP engine which provided the LA2a characteristic compression, but caused the image to collapse a bit and definitely caused grain in the treble). It's a digital remaster, after all. Don't expect Manley, Fairchild or Avalon punch and gloss and euphoria. "Expanded Edition" means the booklet contains several pages of photos of the wax versions of the band, doing things like standing at a 24-track analog machine, at a small mixing console, etc. No text in the entire thing, excepting mixing/editing names/studio names etc. on the back.

I didn't want something over-louderized, and it's definitely not that, but it's not rock-and-roll. Or even as punchy as modern techno. I dunno; limiting it as much as they have would definitely increase the already apparent noise floor to perhaps completely unacceptable levels. I have used high-priced NR outboard hardware during sampling sessions, and a single pass with a decent amount of reduction can cause obvious artefacts. Several passes of slight reduction produced better results, but still ate into the overall character. Shrug...I don't know if I'm even going to open Radioactivity. Just because you can remove all of the noise, doesn't mean that you should. I find the same undesirable change in character in the Wim Wenders film "Wings of Desire" Criterion version, which was Aslihad'd. The library/choir sound was weird, unbalanced in character. Too much!

Anyone else? I'm (obviously) disappointed.
Suburban Bather
Hhmm, I'm happy with my copies of Computer World and The Man Machine on cd. I just crank the bass and volume up on the stereo, sounds great SlayerBadger!

Do these "remastered" versions have a ridiculous mark up? Do record companies still re-release albums on gold cd's with 24bit audio resolution lol
loydb
Since my audio memories of this involved cassette tapes grabbed off the radio when I was a teenager mostly, I'm really enjoying the remasters. smile
Peake
Suburban Bather wrote:
Hhmm, I'm happy with my copies of Computer World and The Man Machine on cd. I just crank the bass and volume up on the stereo, sounds great SlayerBadger!

Do these "remastered" versions have a ridiculous mark up? Do record companies still re-release albums on gold cd's with 24bit audio resolution lol


It appears that only the Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs gold CDs were "The Ones". I have a few of their titles and they are truly remasters, are superb-sounding, and of course the life of a CD is typically 25 or so years...and the gold versions last far, far longer.

Haven't you recorded in 24-bit and dithered it down to 16, and noted how much better it sounds than recording in 16-bit?

And man...I know that a single pass through a Fairchild or Manley, even without limiting occuring, just for the timbre, would have brought it up another level. Maybe Imma rent some gear...

seriously, i just don't get it
Peake
loydb wrote:
Since my audio memories of this involved cassette tapes grabbed off the radio when I was a teenager mostly, I'm really enjoying the remasters. smile


Ah Mr. Green

I'm actually old enough to have had The Man Machine on 8-Track.

I can't remember if it was better-sounding than the CD. wink
Suburban Bather
Peake wrote:
Suburban Bather wrote:
Hhmm, I'm happy with my copies of Computer World and The Man Machine on cd. I just crank the bass and volume up on the stereo, sounds great SlayerBadger!

Do these "remastered" versions have a ridiculous mark up? Do record companies still re-release albums on gold cd's with 24bit audio resolution lol


It appears that only the Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs gold CDs were "The Ones". I have a few of their titles and they are truly remasters, are superb-sounding, and of course the life of a CD is typically 25 or so years...and the gold versions last far, far longer.

Haven't you recorded in 24-bit and dithered it down to 16, and noted how much better it sounds than recording in 16-bit?

And man...I know that a single pass through a Fairchild or Manley, even without limiting occuring, just for the timbre, would have brought it up another level. Maybe Imma rent some gear...

seriously, i just don't get it


I was under the impression that cd's encoded in 24bit will not play on a common cd player. Yes, I always record in 24 bit since I upgraded my soundcard to a Metric Halo. Big difference!

I just think that the original recordings sound fine. Plus, paying the marked up price for a gold 24bit disc does not appeal to me at all.

Yea, I would love to own some uber $$$ channel strips. In due time though.

I will say that are some albums that just flat out need to be re-recorded all together, such as Metallica's And Justice for All.
ndkent
I'm sure some KW sites had more info, but I'd heard the remasters were going to get released a couple years ago and everything scheduled but supposedly Ralf had second thoughts and they were extensively reworked. I'm sure it is a thankless task to make it sound better without alienating people fond of the originals. So long as they aren't aggressively fixing what isn't broken it's a good thing to do it slowly and have the artists approve. It's a crapshoot. Sometimes a third party with good ears might improve things in ways the artist might not have thought of or even wanted. It's quite possible, if someone is actively changes things, unfortunately I think the odds are more likely to sound messed with than improved.

What I can say is provided the master tapes have not deteriorated, simply re-transferring from an analog master say 10 even 5 years after a prior transfer can sound a world better with no attempts at improving it. Many classic albums were transferred to digital in the 1980s sometimes and still sold today... then crap sound gets blamed on analog tapes. An example is (other than Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner, and a pair of less known collaborations with Irene Papas and Heaven and Hell only sold in Japan) all the Vangelis albums out now are the same digital masters from 1986-1988! You'd think someone would have transferred them with something better than 20+ year old converters by now but that's not the case. It looks like Vangelis got frustrated and did it himself a couple years ago but the labels are so far happy to sell you the 1980s CD masters.

Rerecording is something artists do to attempt to access and market their best tracks away from unhappy contracts. You can cover your old track or do another remix but you can't go back. (Jarre, Prince, Froese, etc.)

Anyway as for Kraftwerk, I thought the "live" album Minimum Maximum way exceeded my expectations of excellent engineering and software synths and samples (other than dubbed in concert audiences). That's probably a good album to look at for people who want a "newer" sound.

Yes there certainly is much snake oil. Anything to resell what consumers have already bought. If you just have a 16 bit digital original it's really tough to do a fix that doesn't degrade more than it improves. Though start with tape, transfer it from analog with care and good gear, do fixing to at least a 24 bit transfer and skillful work will mean a much better CD.

My unproven theory is Mobile fidelity transferred from analogue at least 5 years after what was on the market with good equipment. Since many classic albums still are sold with 1980s crap transfers they are still a big improvement. My rule about 5 years without ineptitude applies as a guarantee for sounding better. (so long as the master hasn't been damaged in between). So the DA was better then and often still is as labels tend to do anything to save money and use use the same primitive early digital masters for decades. Then someone at Mobile Fidelity tweaked things not to offend fans who'd buy it. The gold in theory maybe lasts longer from decay but was mostly to make it a premium price item. I don't think it was the magic, it sound great mainly because the badness of the label's ancient transfer.
Atticus
I have to say after buying the box set and giving them a few listens that I still like the old crap tinny 80s CDs. It's strange how it's nice to blast those out, turn the bass up, without my ears getting tired, yet I can listen the remastered CDs at half the volume and they sound too loud somehow.

I've bought lots of remastered stuff and the Kraftwerk ones are far from ruined like some, but there still seems a lot less dynamic range to me.
Peake
Real, undithered to 16-bit, 24-bit recordings would not have much room on a CD, so they are probably recorded in 24-bit and dithered down.

Yeah, you definitely cannot please all of the people all of the time! To each their own. I love love love Kraftwerk but I'm cautious about these items. I truly respect them and their attention to detail, so I know that the remasters are to their standards. Perhaps they'll grow on me? I'll give them a chance.

Yeah, the new ones are more limited so they are both louder and less dynamic. I like the old versions, excepting the lack of punch and "full" bass.
Monobass
The Computer World remaster is terrible IMO.
It has totally sucked the life out of it.

I think the TEE remaster is a lot better, Autobahn sounds pretty good, Radioactivity has terrible noise reduction artifacts.

Ralf has bad hearing or just doesn't care anymore, a real shame.
Peake
funtykigs wrote:
The Computer World remaster is terrible IMO.
It has totally sucked the life out of it.

I think the TEE remaster is a lot better, Autobahn sounds pretty good, Radioactivity has terrible noise reduction artifacts.

Ralf has bad hearing or just doesn't care anymore, a real shame.


Dang, I just opened Radioactivity but haven't yet listened. Computerwelt was my next choice confused

"Neon Lights" seems to be the worst victim on TMM; the difference between it and the other tracks is noticable- it starts much darker and the wonderful pulsing solo is the correct brightness- but the difference is stark. Dang.
Monobass
Well terrible is perhaps too strong.

However to my ears every remaster on computer world is worse than the original CD and nowhere near as good as the Vinyl.... so when it is possibly my favourite album and the most listened to in the last 20 years... to me it's terrible.

It doesn't ruin the original for me, but the original clearly was a little lacking in certain areas which would have been very simple to solve.

The Box set is beautifully presented and it's a very nice item with the booklets and stuff.. but I'm going to sell it seriously, i just don't get it
miditerranean
Interesting comments! I haven't purchased the complete remastered Catalogue yet but I do have the regular CDs that I have been listening to for a decade. This won't stop me from buying the remasters however, but now I am curious as to how different they will sound to my ear. I would still love to see the remastered Kraftwerk 1, 2, and Ralf & Florian albums but am satisfied with my bootleg discs for now.
Peake
Gave a cursory listen to Radioactivity...definitely the same "No noise is best" philosophy, no suprise. I'll have to compare it to the original and hope that it's not another disappointment.

Thank to everyone for the interesting comments.
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Artist Discussion  
Page 1 of 1
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group