Brian Wilson's "Smile"

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Don Grossinger, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    Since the middle of August I have been working on the vinyl cutting for a 2 record set of the album "Smile" by Brian Wilson. This is a project that was originally attempted in 1966-67 by the Beach Boys, but was never released. It has since attained mythical status among followers of the band. Brian has decided to revisit the project after these many years. The results are quite unique.

    I would like to encourarge our community to find the limited edition vinyl (when it is released in a few weeks) and the best turntable setup you can get and do some comparitive listening to the vinyl vs. the CD just released this week. I have done some listening and have heard a striking difference and would like your opinions. As a bonus, the album Side D is a colllection of 4 instrumental versions not on the CD.

    The vinyl is scheduled for release in England, Europe & the USA. Also, Brian is currently touring with the band that made the recording, along with a string section & horns. This promises to be quite a show.

    This gives us all a chance to do a direct comparison between a digital and analog media for a current project with a variety of natural sounds, great dynamic range, and up to the minute production techniques.
  2. mikE@THECAVE

    mikE@THECAVE Guest

    hello thanks for posting --boy this is hard to believe that your doing it on vinyl.I don't think thats gunna go over to good.
    Boy i was listening to the Friends/20 20 Cd by the boys.I dont like any of Friends and i like all of 20 20.I wonder if i should pick up smile.I dont remember if i've ever heard it.
  3. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    you've never heard it because this is its first release. And do check out the vinyl because I think you're in for a surprise

  4. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    That sounds very interesting Don!!
    I'm in for a listen... although it has been prooven many times that even a digital production sounds better on vinyl.

    Do you mean that there is severe production/processing differences involved in this one? it a pink LP you are holding in your hands on your avatar?

    Best Regards,
  5. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    I already know which version will sound better.

    No contest.

    But, you're gonna need a nice turntable to get the intended results.

    It makes my heart warm and fuzzy to hear that it's coming out on vinyl.
    Way to go!

  6. recarbo

    recarbo Guest

    Last year a friend from UK sent me the vinyl LP of ONE by the
    Beatles. Compared to the CD it is sooo warm, so present.
    (I have just an average turntable.)

    I hope its not just having the vinyl that's skewing my hearing on
    this. btw. the LPs are really thick, much heavier than I remember
    LPs being. Why is that so? and will Brian Wilson's be cut like that?

    I for one, am eager to snap up anything Mr. Wilson is part of. I really enjoyed his collaboration with Van Dyke Parks. On his newest CD: while I think the songs are pretty nice (warm fuzzy, 60s kinda jams with a few stars sprinkled around) it sure was mastered cold/clinical to my ears. Not at all like the CD of Orange Crate Art. There is something special about how that one was mastered. Something in the midrange... anyone know?
  7. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    Yes, it is indeed a pink colored vinyl record I'm holding in the avitar. (thanks Chris for getting it up there).

    This IS a modern digital pro tools recording; but I cut from 1/4" CCIR, NNR, 15IPS analog tape.

    The pressings will be 180 gram, audiophile pressings. We are working on getting it just right.
  8. mikE@THECAVE

    mikE@THECAVE Guest

    Don great that your talking to us beach boy freeks--isn't HEros and Villins on that smile ?i know i've heard that someplace before.This is great but is it gunna scratch like all the other albums?And is this Brians idea?
    Also why do most CD recordings seam so harsh whats up with the record companies dont they listen to that stuff they make.?
  9. markwilder

    markwilder Guest

    I HAVE to know who the brave (but brilliant) engineer who mixed to 1/4 inch, NNR, 15ips, CCIR is. Let's buy this (wo)man a drink!!!

    Also, I have a decent table/pre setup in my room. I'd be willing to do a listening session for anyone who wants to come over to SONY (with management's OK).

  10. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    I love 1/4" 15 ips. I have a couple of clients that mix exclusively to that format and it just sounds great. It just glues everything together.

    Count me in for a listening party!!!
  11. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    Mike: Yes, Heros & Villains is on Side 1, but again, it's different from the version you know already: new arraingement, some new sections & lyrics.

    Mark: Let's put this together! I have a set of test pressings that we can use for comparison.

    Let's give credit to Mark Linnet, the engineer for the album & Bob Ludwig, the mastering engineer, who gave me such good stuff to work from. The analog tapes were the quietest I've ever heard. As for the sound of the voices & instruments: there are many good old-fashioned analog instruments played, fewer synths, and so many vocal sections, that it is real easy to enjoy the un-hard, un-digital aspects of the mix especially on the vinyl. Bob did EQ for Sides A/B/C. I did EQ for the instrumental bonus tracks on Side D.
  12. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    I would love to be at your listening session... but I can't affort the plain ticket right now. But maybe I will come by after a few month or so...
  13. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    I'm sure we would welcome you whenever you can make it over here!!!
  14. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Thanks Don, that means a lot to me!! :D
  15. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    You can hop on a boat and be here in a month... it's much cheaper...

    just kidding.

    anyone going to the aes convention this year? i'm going mostly because my sister lives in San Fran so I can see the kids and write it off while seeing a few new toys.

    I just saw a screen shot of waveburner pro OSX, does anyone know anything about this?
  16. markwilder

    markwilder Guest

    Sorry for the delay. Currently it's pretty tight schedule-wise here. When I can get time, I'll post it.

  17. Ed Littman

    Ed Littman Guest

    Hey Mark,
    I'd love to come by as well. We also have somthing in common...Great drum foundation.

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