Bill Inglot jazz mastering

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by petethomas, May 11, 2004.

  1. petethomas

    petethomas Guest

    I came across the following site via another newsgroup:

    (Boycott Inglotted CDs)

    Although I'm not sure about classic jazz recordings being remastered in this way, I'm not quite sure what to make of this boycott site: the opening part of the mp3 is an"improved" version of Inglot's EQ, though it sounds very odd to me. The text initially leads you to think you are listening to the original, but this is clearly not the case.

    I'd be very interested to hear what any of you pro mastering engineers (and everyone else) think.
  2. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    I took a listen to the mp3 and it sounds exactly like the eq curve in the pic. both sound horrible IMO although I think inglott (sp) version sounds a little better although the midrange in a little poky. But the "Improved" version sounds like it's way too bassy and muffled. I don't think either should be working on this stuff especially if that's the eq they are using.
  3. TeeME

    TeeME Guest

    The curve certainly looks like riaa emphisis prior to go to vinyl. I have a bunch of SACD's with that nasty curve as well. When one takes a master to vinyl, this is the general curve to use but NOT for CD. All phono preamps have this riaa curve (close not perfect) inverted for playback.

    This needs to be exposed if in fact it is going on. Sure sounds like it on several SACD's I have. This means someone has NO ears in mastering. It is shameful.
  4. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Since there is no way of knowing what the incoming material sounded like it is hard to "judge" what he did or did not do the material. Maybe he only transferred the material and did very little "mastering". It is also hard to know what he was working from. Maybe it was the mastered backup tape that sometimes were done along with the vinyl master for a reference and if so these would have been done off the mastering console with all the EQ settings used for the vinyl release. If you took the reference off post RIAA equalizer instead of pre RIAA equalizer the mixes would not only be equalized and compressed but would have the RIAA curve put on them as well and maybe this is what he was working with. It is hard to second guess.

    My own take on this matter....

    I recently had a client that wanted some material from the 1940's off of a 78 rpm disk put onto a CD for sentimental reasons. The disk was in really bad condition and she had not stored the disk under the best possible conditions. The disk contained her father and mother singing a popular song of the time and was done at Coney Island on an Embossograph phono recorder. We did the transfer and cleaned up the material to the best of our ability and gave it back to the client. Two days later I get a call from the lady and she is upset. She says "I am VERY DISAPPOINTED" "I thought this would be of CD quality and it is not" When I asked her what she meant by the phrase "CD Quality" she said there were all kinds of swishing noises and the voices were not clear and she thought that by transferring this record to CD that it would be as clear and as good as any "normal" CD in her collection. I tried to explain to her that by the simple fact of transferring a 78 record to CD that it would still sound like a 78 record but she did not want to hear the truth and only wanted to hear what she thought she wanted to hear. If this person put my name on the internet and said that I had not done a good job I would be upset since we did the best we could with what we were given on the incoming material.

    There are other horror stories I could tell you but suffice it to say that not everything is as it seems from one sided accounts.

    There is a record company called BLUE NOTE that does a lot of jazz recordings of older artists. One of the artist that was on BLUE NOTE was here at the college in town as a guest artist. He told me that lots of the recordings done by BLUE NOTE were recorded with a single microphone flown over the group in a bar. They were done under less than ideal conditions and were done in mono. The BLUE NOTE company has released a lot of these recordings on CD. In some cases they are very well done and in others not so well done. The one thing that shines though all the recordings is the quality of the playing by the musicians. If you were to judge these recordings on only their technical quality you would find most of them lacking. Some of these recordings have been stereoized or made into stereo with comb filtering or worse and they sound terrible but it was done to satisfy the masses that were looking for "stereo" recordings. In this case I am sure the mastering engineer said "hey this doesn't sound good why not leave them mono" but the record company says "do it or we will find someone else who will".....

    I am not jumping into this to defend every mastering engineer for every mastering job but I am saying that without knowing what he or she were faced with and how good the incoming material was that it is impossible to make a judgment such as has been done on the website. It is one person's opinion about some music that he holds a special attachment for and without knowing the background of how and why it is impossible to know the real story. Maybe their were fiscal limitations or maybe the material was already trashed or maybe the original recordings were not well done or well preserved. I also know of cases where the tones at the beginning of tapes that are used to align the playback machine prior to transfer were missing and that there was no information provided on the box as to what type of noise reduction and at what level that tapes were recorded so that the poor mastering engineer had to guess what was on the tapes. If he is not conversant with older technology, and a lot of new mastering engineers are not, he may have never heard what Dolby A or dbx Type I sounded like and have no clue that the tapes he is about to master were noise reduced and would therefore try and make them sound good but without decoding them which would result in a mess.

    I wonder if the mastering engineer knows of this site and has ever been asked to respond to the allegations and tell it from his side. In a former life I was a journalist and my news director always said "you have to hear BOTH SIDES of the story before you can know what is the real truth so never write a story with only one side feeding you information".

  5. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    yes that's kind of true in a lot of circumstances like you described. but this is kind of a different story. If he's remastering old catalog then this is something he should be looking out for and correcting. maybe in the early days of CD you would get something like this and it might get through. But we all know to watch out for this now.
  6. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    We do a lot of restoration and reclamation for individuals and for companies. A lot of the time they don't want ANYTHING done to the original materials other than a transfer to a new medium. They are very adamant about that point and even though we have suggested on numerous occasions that we can make the material sound better all they want us to do is transfer it - PERIOD.

    Again I do not know, nor does anyone else seem to know, the how or why or when these tunes were mastered by the mastering engineer or even if they were touched by him at all and what you have is the mastered tape transferred to a new medium EXACTLY as it was without any processing done to it.

    It is very easy to besmirch someone's work (especially when they are not around to defend themselves) but without all the facts it is hard to tell exactly what was or was not done.

    I have worked with producers that wanted material boosted 10 dB at 100 and 10000 Hz for reasons only they knew. After trying to talk them out of it I did as I was told and then asked that my name NOT appear on the CD case as Mastering Engineer.

    Not too long ago we did a restoration job of some radio shows done in the 1950. The person who requested the work did not want us to remove any of the scratches and none of the hum or rumble from the turntable. He wanted them transferred from the original 16" transcriptions to CD and that was all. He did not even want the needle drop or the locked groves at the end of the record where the needle goes swish....swish...swish until you pick up the arm. He wanted all of that included. I told him that we could remove the noise, the hum, and edit the selection(s) but he wanted it the way he remembered it being when he was able to play it on his turntable....somewhat like a virtual turntable on CD.

    There are lots of people who make lots of requests (or demands) on a mastering engineer (like the group that wants 24 songs mastered and wants to have you master them in two hours because that is all the money they have to spend.) Not knowing all the facts in this case it is very hard for me to make a judgment as to how good a job he did or did not do....
  7. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    hog wash. most of the time a label doesn't even know what they have and can't play it anyways. we are talking about completelly different things here. it's one thing to transfer something un altered, it's another to transfer something with a curve intended for vinyl, if that's what indeed happened in this case.
  8. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    I am not defending this person. I do not know him or his work and listening to an MP3 is not indicative of the quality of the final product IMO. What I am saying is that all of this is needless and pointless unless we hear HIS side of the story since HE is the only one that really knows what HE did. Has anyone contacted him and asked him? Has anyone sent him an email with a link to this discussion? If you were in his position and someone on the web was besmirching your reputation on a website but a) you did not know about it and b) you were unable to defend yourself I think you would be pissed as he!!. This is my only point THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO EVERY DISCUSSION SO LET US HEAR FROM THE OTHER SIDE. Maybe, just maybe, there are reasons he did what he did but without his input you will NEVER know. If he is as bad as the person says he is then why does he keep getting jobs like this to do? Someone must be listening to his output on CD (even if, as you say, they cannot listen to the original material) and making decisions on the quality of that work.....even record companies, as bad as they can be, still have to sell their products and if they are not good they will not sell.

    Have a good weekend....

    By the way what is hog wash? H20 or something more caustic?
  9. TeeME

    TeeME Guest

    RIAA Curves

    1954 to 1976

    76 and after

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