Page 1 of 1

Deliver on CD

PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:33 am
by Alby
Hi,
lately I've been thinking about the original albums that have been quite well remastered refering to its sound and have been released with the orginal cover, and back cover with the liner notes and all of them except one have been released like that, that's Deliver, which has only been transfered to CD, as the twelve track album that originally was in '67, once - in 1990, with a very poor sound quality - starting with "Dedicated", the intro of which is simply cut and it¡s no longer available...In the fourth LP as a stand alone release from 1990 the intro to Gemini Child is totally cut, but the sound is still fine and the covers are the right ones...BGO even got to put the cut intro as a Bonus track: The right somebody to love (Alternative version)...that means lazyness to be well documented I'd say...

I skip the 1999 BGO version of Deliver that included tracks of the album taken from the "16 Greatest hits" CD from '86, which meant it was not done as the original...besides the All the leaves are brown (which spread the album in two different CDs - horrible) and the Complete Anthology from '04 which is the only release I could save for it's excellent sound quality, although once again we don't have the original material as a stand alone lp on CD.

Do you think we could ask the MCA/Universal label somehow to release it again with the original covers? now that the sound is so good? They may add the mono different versions as bonus tracks...
This way we could please those who just wanna get the album alone, besides maybe, get to own the mono versions finally on CD...

Albert.

Re: Deliver on CD

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:04 pm
by pufnstuf
well a few years back i went to la and while in hollywood visited mca/universal and spoke with andy mckaie about lack of mamas and papas/cass material at the time this was 10 years ago he told me that no bonus material or mono versions existed in the valuts they had all been destroyed. but i agree i think the mastering on deliver needs going over and bonus tracks from vinyl added. for instance on some cds michelles intro on dedicated can hardly be heard then there is the other version with quite a deeper intro someone may be a n independant label may get it right some day
T

Re: Deliver on CD

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:26 pm
by Ars_Nova_Chris
Did you say the Complete Anthology 4-disc box has excellent sound quality!? Not sure what you're talking about, but these CD's have pretty much the most horrid mastering in a long line of terribly mastered M&P's CD's.

They, along with All the Leaves are Brown and every other M&P's CD released in the last 10 years or so, are loud, compressed, and un-dynamic to the point of being offensive.

The only M&P's CD release that I'd say truly sounds great is the first one released, 16 of Their Greatest Hits, released June of '86, and mastered with great care by the amazing Steve Hoffman.

There are two huge problems to consider when discussing the M&P's sound quality on Compact Disc (or any digital format). The first affects every M&P's CD that has been, and ever will be, released. THE IDIOTS AT ABC THREW AWAY THE ORIGINAL MULTI-TRACK MASTER TAPES!!!

Yup, you read that right, aside from long ago destroying the original mono masters, the multi's were thrown out to make room for some acquisition (someone mentioned that it may have been the DOT Records catalog).

So, the person doing the remastering for each CD release nowadays has to work from poor quality copies of the original tapes. Here's a post from years back that Steve Hoffman made on his forum...


"Steve Hoffman
01-05-2002, 04:44 PM
Grant,

What did you want to know exactly?

I can ramble for a minute I guess...

I remember the project well for two reasons.

The first reason, is that I got to spend much time with pretty Mama Michelle in my office listening to all the old recordings. That was very fun.

The second reason, is that Irving Azoff gave me quite a verbal lashing when the CD came out and he played it. He said it sounded TERRIBLE. Sigh. I couldn't convince him that the tapes and earlier releases sounded much worse. He just walked away after tearing me a new butthole. Ah well, all in a day's work at MCA.

I remember putting my knowledge of mastering to good use here. Kevin Gray taught me a certain EQ style for bad sounding tapes that were usually recorded at Western. He called it "Mamas and Papas EQ". Simply put, it was a radical EQ move to get some kind of fidelity and warmth out of the tapes.

Problem was (is) that there are not enough knobs on a Sontec Paramteric to do the job in one pass. Yes, the stuff sounds that bad.

I think that the EQ moves would have been like this for most of the songs:

Adding 10 db of bass
Subtracting 10 db of glaring midrange
Subtracting 3 db of glaring 10k

That would have put me in the ball park, sound wise, with most of the songs. A lot more tweaking was done, mostly subtraction, to get the sound I did.

I told a mastering engineer what EQ moves I did for that CD and he didn't believe me.

Ha!"


Additionally, even the original multi's didn't sound great, due to the way that they were recorded. Another post from Steve...


"Steve Hoffman
01-05-2002, 11:00 PM
LOL.

Ya do what 'cha gotta do to make it work.

In the case of The Mamas & Papas, you all know how those songs were recorded, right?

Western was too cheap to get an 8 track recorder, so the songs were just bounced from one three or four track machine to another, adding various layers of music each time.

When strings were added, for example, they just had one string player (to save money), and they just bounced him 3 or 4 times to get a string section!

Shocking, because the main part of the recording suffered during each bounce. Just 'cause they were too cheap to hire another string player.

John Phillips told me that the recordings sometimes went as high as 9 or 10 bounces a song, THEN they were mixed.

Sheesh. Each bounce (or redubbing) caused the transferred sound to become muddier. The engineers tried to fix that by shaving off the bass during each bounce. By 9 bounces, there WAS no bottom end at all, and tremendous hiss. Dreadful sound.

John remembered that the engineer would announce a take that was a high bounce like this:

"Take 1-K"

And everyone laughed in shock, because they always assigned the bounced takes a letter instead of a number, and this was an amazingly high letter.

Remember at the start of "Daydream Believer" by The Monkees, Davy asks "What number is this, Chip"? And Chip Douglas answers "7-A"?

That "A" denotes the first bounce. Take 1-B, on a new reel of tape would be the second bounce, and so on.

Only on the Mamas & Papas stuff did the bounces ever go higher than "C".

So, now you can see why a take number that ended in "K" would cause the engineering staff to squirm. That is 11 bounces, and of course the oldest bounced item would sound the worst----That would be the original music tracks.

No wonder most of the recordings sound like crap.

Great songs though."


The other problem to consider explains why the M&P's releases from the last decade or so sound so much worse and have so much less emotional impact than early CD releases - the industry's stupid "loudness war"...

Instead of me explaining this here, check out these links real quick:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/ ... h_fidelity

http://turnmeup.org/

Now, take a look at the waveform for Steve's re-mastering of Dedicated to the One I Love, and then the re-mastering on Complete Anthology...


Dedicated to the One I Love - 16 of Their Greatest Hits
Image


Dedicated to the One I Love - Complete Anthology
Image


It makes me really angry that a kid who first hears of the Mamas and Papas and wants to check them out is going to most likely end up with one of these modern CD's (or mp3 versions of the same discs). He or she might then completely miss the magic of the group and, what could have been something wonderful - an emotional connection to, and a passion for, this music - may never have the chance to exist.

If anyone here has not heard Steve's '16 of Their Greatest Hits' disc (not the same as the LP or cassette of the same title), get a copy, your jaw will hit the floor.

No other CD comes close in terms of sound quality, but there are some that are still pretty good (and amazing compared to Complete Anthology and All the Leaves are Brown...)
*Creeque Alley: The History of the Mamas and the Papas 2-disc set
*The Singles+ import
*The Reader's Digest Canada 3-disc set

The original MCA CD reissues may not be the greatest transfers, but at least they're not compressed all to hell like the newer releases, and sound far better.

Anything released in the last decade is almost sure to sound like garbage. Get the Complete Anthology, keep the wonderful booklet, and throw the CD's in the trash. There are better sources for every track on there.

If anyone's interested in learning more about compression, dynamic range, mastering, equalization, or any other audiophile-related topics, be sure and visit Steve's forum at http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/index.php

Re: Deliver on CD

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:40 am
by Alby
Ok,
now I have a question, tell me if you hear the left channel's sounds on "Dedicated" from the greatest hits CD a bit further compared to Deliver on vinyl and the rest of the CDs you don't like, the sounds in that channel are almost unheard from 00:00 to 01:29 as for instance: the harpsicord (too far) and Michelle's doubled voice in the intro not doubled here as is on the vinyl and the rest of the Cds.

Albert.

Re: Deliver on CD

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:53 pm
by Ars_Nova_Chris
Yes, it is a slightly different mix on Steve's "16 of Their Greatest Hits" disc that he obtained from John Phillips. That's another wonderful thing about that disc, you get previously unreleased alternate mixes of Dedicated, My Girl, Look Through My Window, and Dream a Little Dream of Me. For the original stereo mix of Dedicated, the best CD source I've found is the Creeque Alley: History of the M&P's MCA 2-disc set.

If anyone wants to know the best CD source for any specific or all M&P's related tracks, let me know, I have done very careful audio and waveform comparisons for each.

Oh, and Albert, if you're interested, there's no harpsichord in the intro that I hear, those are guitars. And you are correct in that, in the mix on Steve's disc, Michelle's vocal in the intro is not double-tracked. Also, those bad sounding discs I mentioned are not just "CD's that I don't like," they are bad sounding from a scientific point of view. Did you read the articles I linked?

Re: Deliver on CD

PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:20 am
by Eran
This thread has given me a newfound appreciation of my 5 Mamas and Papas MCA-released CDs from the early 90s, as well as my precious Creeque Alley 2-CD collection, which I picked up at a two-storey record shop in Luzern, Switzerland in August of 94, and caused an entire floor of shoppers to stare at me as I later found out, I shrieked in excitement upon finding that CD.

I have always thought that on the many greatest hits compliations I've bought over the years are several different opening takes for 'Dedicated'. One particularly stood out which had a richer Michelle into vocal but then a stripped down guitar sound well until the second chorus. I will have to dig through my CDs and find it but it is certainly there.

Another song which runs longer on several CDs is 'Look Through my Window', the longest version I've heard ending with a virtually lost lyric, when Denny is heard singing, "Look through my window...for the people" and then the song fades out.

It always struck me as odd that The Right Somebody to Love Part II was omitted from the MCA CD release but in truth, I would rather it be a poor quality track than a lost track altogether.

Going to play my 'Deliver' CD now, and think back to a long lost day back in the autumn of 95 when a shop assistant from a now long forgotten second hand record shop in Tel-Aviv called me and said that my 3-CD back order from the UK has finally arrived. Forgive the digression down memory lane...but if not here, where else?

Eran xx

Re: Deliver on CD

PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:06 pm
by Alby
Ars_Nova_Chris wrote:Yes, it is a slightly different mix on Steve's "16 of Their Greatest Hits" disc that he obtained from John Phillips. That's another wonderful thing about that disc, you get previously unreleased alternate mixes of Dedicated, My Girl, Look Through My Window, and Dream a Little Dream of Me. For the original stereo mix of Dedicated, the best CD source I've found is the Creeque Alley: History of the M&P's MCA 2-disc set.

If anyone wants to know the best CD source for any specific or all M&P's related tracks, let me know, I have done very careful audio and waveform comparisons for each.

Oh, and Albert, if you're interested, there's no harpsichord in the intro that I hear, those are guitars. And you are correct in that, in the mix on Steve's disc, Michelle's vocal in the intro is not double-tracked. Also, those bad sounding discs I mentioned are not just "CD's that I don't like," they are bad sounding from a scientific point of view. Did you read the articles I linked?


I was refering to the harpsicord that starts to play at 00:37, it sounds from quite further in the "16 greatest hits", it seems like the left channel has its volume turned down from the normal one until 1:29.

Albert.

Re: Deliver on CD

PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 5:15 pm
by John Sands
the instrumentation at the beginning of 'Dedicated' on the '16 Greatest Hits' cd is mixed so low that Michelle's vocal sounds like a different take,