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Thread started 05/06/11 10:59am

Spinlight

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The Vault:OF4S too loud?

I just put this album on because I was inspired by the recent mentions in other threads. Is it just me or is this album really loud? I compared it to Rave, which was released the same year, and it doesn't seem quite as sharp. It's almost painful to listen to The Vault at levels I would usually listen to any number of records at (even recent ones like 20TEN or whatever).

Any input? Is it strange for it to be mastered that loud? It was released in 1999, but I thought the material was compiled somewhere around 1995-6ish, around the same time as Chaos and Girl 6.

Why would they go back in specifically to master The Vault? They didn't do that with The Black Album 5 years prior and that material was 5 years OLDER than the earliest material on The Vault!

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Reply #1 posted 05/06/11 11:08am

PurpleLove7

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Hmm ... Yeah, some of the music is loud. P and or the studio engineers were turning EVERYTHING up that day ... LoL

Peace ... & Stay Funky ...

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Reply #2 posted 05/06/11 11:10am

TheFreakerFant
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I've always thoought it was remastered and when they do that they adjust the levels so it's louder in comparison to be similar to a newly released album. The fact the quality is far superior to other albums dating from around the times of those tracks seems to point to this.

The earliest stuff on The Vault CD dates from 1985 i think while TBA was 1987.

[Edited 5/6/11 11:12am]

[Edited 5/6/11 11:21am]

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Reply #3 posted 05/06/11 11:20am

Spinlight

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TheFreakerFantastic said:

I've always thoought it was remastered and when they do that they adjust the levels so it's louder in comparison to be similar to a newly released album. The fact the quality is far superior to other albums dating from around the times of those tracks seems to point to this.

[Edited 5/6/11 11:12am]

Yeah, but why would they go back in and master material from 1991-1992 in 1996 when they didn't go back in and master Black Album?

It just seems odd that this record got a remaster job (a way too loud one) when Black Album and Chaos didn't get them. :/

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Reply #4 posted 05/06/11 11:22am

TheFreakerFant
astic

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Spinlight said:

TheFreakerFantastic said:

I've always thoought it was remastered and when they do that they adjust the levels so it's louder in comparison to be similar to a newly released album. The fact the quality is far superior to other albums dating from around the times of those tracks seems to point to this.

[Edited 5/6/11 11:12am]

Yeah, but why would they go back in and master material from 1991-1992 in 1996 when they didn't go back in and master Black Album?

It just seems odd that this record got a remaster job (a way too loud one) when Black Album and Chaos didn't get them. :/

I would guess they had to master it all the same because if they only mastered some tracks it would sound weird when you skip from one track to another.

A remastered Black Album...got me all excited lol

[Edited 5/6/11 11:23am]

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Reply #5 posted 05/06/11 11:28am

electricberet

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IIRC, the version of D.M.S.R. on the current 1999 CD also sounds louder than the rest of the album, because it was not included on the first pressing. Not sure why the Black Album didn't get the loudness treatment.

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Reply #6 posted 05/06/11 11:53am

paisley2002

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And the opening track bursts on so suddenly. U hear silence before the CD starts, then all of a sudden.... "DON'T LOOK NOW BUT THERE'S ANOTHER ROCKY ROAD!!!!" Whoa, gotta turn it down....

Don't hate me 'cause I'm NOT beautiful
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Reply #7 posted 05/06/11 12:01pm

steakfinger

Spinlight said:

I just put this album on because I was inspired by the recent mentions in other threads. Is it just me or is this album really loud? I compared it to Rave, which was released the same year, and it doesn't seem quite as sharp. It's almost painful to listen to The Vault at levels I would usually listen to any number of records at (even recent ones like 20TEN or whatever).

Any input? Is it strange for it to be mastered that loud? It was released in 1999, but I thought the material was compiled somewhere around 1995-6ish, around the same time as Chaos and Girl 6.

Why would they go back in specifically to master The Vault? They didn't do that with The Black Album 5 years prior and that material was 5 years OLDER than the earliest material on The Vault!

I think he probably wouldn't allow a remaster of the Black Album as he was in his hate fuck mode. He was giving Warners what he considered to be his 2nd-rate material to finish off the contract, so it seems unlikely that he would spend the time or effort to remaster the Black Album or have it released other than how he originally intended it. He could take the lazy way out and seem rebellious at the same time. Maximum effect for the least amount of effort. This makes the most sense to me.

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Reply #8 posted 05/06/11 12:34pm

TheFreakerFant
astic

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steakfinger said:

Spinlight said:

I just put this album on because I was inspired by the recent mentions in other threads. Is it just me or is this album really loud? I compared it to Rave, which was released the same year, and it doesn't seem quite as sharp. It's almost painful to listen to The Vault at levels I would usually listen to any number of records at (even recent ones like 20TEN or whatever).

Any input? Is it strange for it to be mastered that loud? It was released in 1999, but I thought the material was compiled somewhere around 1995-6ish, around the same time as Chaos and Girl 6.

Why would they go back in specifically to master The Vault? They didn't do that with The Black Album 5 years prior and that material was 5 years OLDER than the earliest material on The Vault!

I think he probably wouldn't allow a remaster of the Black Album as he was in his hate fuck mode. He was giving Warners what he considered to be his 2nd-rate material to finish off the contract, so it seems unlikely that he would spend the time or effort to remaster the Black Album or have it released other than how he originally intended it. He could take the lazy way out and seem rebellious at the same time. Maximum effect for the least amount of effort. This makes the most sense to me.

Yes, and if is was souped up and remastered he may have felt it would detract from the unauthorised/bootleg/raw feel that fans would want.

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Reply #9 posted 05/06/11 12:37pm

OnlyNDaUsa

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if only there was not some mechanism on the player to make the music not so loud?!

Being a die-hard civil rights champion,
Being a die-hard libertarian,
Sometimes I have to defend
that which I find distasteful.
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Reply #10 posted 05/06/11 1:04pm

novabrkr

It was released at a time when they had just started to limit records to shit. 1999 would be pretty much THE year when that started happening, because things like the Waves L1 "ultramaximizer" limiter had just gotten released. That was "the new sound" and they applied it to pretty much everything regardless of the genre of music or whether or not it was wise to do so. People's ears got tired of it pretty fast, even if it sounded "modern" or "exciting" at first. You know, the classic David Bowie albums from the 70s and the 80s were remastered during that time and then they had to be remastered again a few years later, because the first round of remasters were just so bad. It was uncharted territory then as far as audio engineering goes and people realized their mistakes only a few years later.

Let's pop "The Vault" CD into the computer and see what the files looks like...

Yeah. It's just excessive brickwall limiting and it's obvious that whoever did the job wasn't terribly interested in preserving the dynamics of the tracks. I can't listen to the CD right now with my speakers turned up loud - it's midnight here now - but it's easy to hear that the drum hits on the first couple of tracks are squashed and distorted. Not a good sound at all in my opinion. I suppose "The Vault" is louder than "Rave" just because the material itself allowed it to be made louder. A CD can be only as loud as the mixes allow it to be even when using brickwall limiting. Dense mixes are actually quite hard to make sound loud, so it's sometimes the live band type of material that is easier to make loud. I doubt it took a lot of time for them to do these masters at all, so that could be one answer to the question "why" they chose to "master" the material in 1999.

btw, I don't think anything on the record dates back to the 1980s. The liner notes just state that the material was written between 1985 and 1994. Presumable that's when the original version of "Old Friends 4 Sale" was written, although the version included on the CD is from the 90s.

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Reply #11 posted 05/06/11 1:12pm

IamFunkay7

OF4S is too loud, I sleep with my mp3 player on and when that song comes on it always wakes me up, why does it have to be so loud! omg

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Reply #12 posted 05/06/11 1:17pm

steakfinger

TheFreakerFantastic said:

steakfinger said:

I think he probably wouldn't allow a remaster of the Black Album as he was in his hate fuck mode. He was giving Warners what he considered to be his 2nd-rate material to finish off the contract, so it seems unlikely that he would spend the time or effort to remaster the Black Album or have it released other than how he originally intended it. He could take the lazy way out and seem rebellious at the same time. Maximum effect for the least amount of effort. This makes the most sense to me.

Yes, and if is was souped up and remastered he may have felt it would detract from the unauthorised/bootleg/raw feel that fans would want.

No, I really think he just didn't give a dman about the record. He had it mastered originally in the 80s, (it sounds no better or worse than SOTT) and when he wanted out of the contract hee said, "Here's the master tape. Take it."

I don't think the fans wanted it to sound like a boot, raw or unauthorized. Actually, I think 99.99% of the fans wanted it to sound BETTER than their douchey boots.

But maybe...

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Reply #13 posted 05/06/11 1:18pm

Tom509

paisley2002 said:

And the opening track bursts on so suddenly. U hear silence before the CD starts, then all of a sudden.... "DON'T LOOK NOW BUT THERE'S ANOTHER ROCKY ROAD!!!!" Whoa, gotta turn it down....

Yes! There have been times when I put this CD in, and forget to check the volume, and . . .BAM! eek . . .It's time to change the ol' shorts again.confused

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Reply #14 posted 05/06/11 1:23pm

OnlyNDaUsa

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Tom509 said:

paisley2002 said:

And the opening track bursts on so suddenly. U hear silence before the CD starts, then all of a sudden.... "DON'T LOOK NOW BUT THERE'S ANOTHER ROCKY ROAD!!!!" Whoa, gotta turn it down....

Yes! There have been times when I put this CD in, and forget to check the volume, and . . .BAM! eek . . .It's time to change the ol' shorts again.confused

years ago some tape we had on was playing and it went off and it was quite for a few minutes then all of a suddend it say "Hello baby" and I about jummped out of my skin!

Being a die-hard civil rights champion,
Being a die-hard libertarian,
Sometimes I have to defend
that which I find distasteful.
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Reply #15 posted 05/06/11 1:34pm

TheFreakerFant
astic

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novabrkr said:

It was released at a time when they had just started to limit records to shit. 1999 would be pretty much THE year when that started happening, because things like the Waves L1 "ultramaximizer" limiter had just gotten released. That was "the new sound" and they applied it to pretty much everything regardless of the genre of music or whether or not it was wise to do so. People's ears got tired of it pretty fast, even if it sounded "modern" or "exciting" at first. You know, the classic David Bowie albums from the 70s and the 80s were remastered during that time and then they had to be remastered again a few years later, because the first round of remasters were just so bad. It was uncharted territory then as far as audio engineering goes and people realized their mistakes only a few years later.

Let's pop "The Vault" CD into the computer and see what the files looks like...

Yeah. It's just excessive brickwall limiting and it's obvious that whoever did the job wasn't terribly interested in preserving the dynamics of the tracks. I can't listen to the CD right now with my speakers turned up loud - it's midnight here now - but it's easy to hear that the drum hits on the first couple of tracks are squashed and distorted. Not a good sound at all in my opinion. I suppose "The Vault" is louder than "Rave" just because the material itself allowed it to be made louder. A CD can be only as loud as the mixes allow it to be even when using brickwall limiting. Dense mixes are actually quite hard to make sound loud, so it's sometimes the live band type of material that is easier to make loud. I doubt it took a lot of time for them to do these masters at all, so that could be one answer to the question "why" they chose to "master" the material in 1999.

btw, I don't think anything on the record dates back to the 1980s. The liner notes just state that the material was written between 1985 and 1994. Presumable that's when the original version of "Old Friends 4 Sale" was written, although the version included on the CD is from the 90s.

I believe Old Friends For Sale was recorded in 1985 - these songs are from the vault they weren't re-recorded later as far as i'm aware, I took the liner notes to mean the songs were taken from between those dates and then remastered to sound newer.

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Reply #16 posted 05/06/11 1:40pm

Spinlight

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TheFreakerFantastic said:

novabrkr said:

It was released at a time when they had just started to limit records to shit. 1999 would be pretty much THE year when that started happening, because things like the Waves L1 "ultramaximizer" limiter had just gotten released. That was "the new sound" and they applied it to pretty much everything regardless of the genre of music or whether or not it was wise to do so. People's ears got tired of it pretty fast, even if it sounded "modern" or "exciting" at first. You know, the classic David Bowie albums from the 70s and the 80s were remastered during that time and then they had to be remastered again a few years later, because the first round of remasters were just so bad. It was uncharted territory then as far as audio engineering goes and people realized their mistakes only a few years later.

Let's pop "The Vault" CD into the computer and see what the files looks like...

Yeah. It's just excessive brickwall limiting and it's obvious that whoever did the job wasn't terribly interested in preserving the dynamics of the tracks. I can't listen to the CD right now with my speakers turned up loud - it's midnight here now - but it's easy to hear that the drum hits on the first couple of tracks are squashed and distorted. Not a good sound at all in my opinion. I suppose "The Vault" is louder than "Rave" just because the material itself allowed it to be made louder. A CD can be only as loud as the mixes allow it to be even when using brickwall limiting. Dense mixes are actually quite hard to make sound loud, so it's sometimes the live band type of material that is easier to make loud. I doubt it took a lot of time for them to do these masters at all, so that could be one answer to the question "why" they chose to "master" the material in 1999.

btw, I don't think anything on the record dates back to the 1980s. The liner notes just state that the material was written between 1985 and 1994. Presumable that's when the original version of "Old Friends 4 Sale" was written, although the version included on the CD is from the 90s.

I believe Old Friends For Sale was recorded in 1985 - these songs are from the vault they weren't re-recorded later as far as i'm aware, I took the liner notes to mean the songs were taken from between those dates and then remastered to sound newer.

The version of OF4S on the album is definitely from 1991. It was the version offered to Joe Cocker. The original version sounds way better and doesn't have those overly brassy horns.

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Reply #17 posted 05/06/11 1:41pm

novabrkr

The original version of "Old Friends 4 Sale" from 1985 is very different from the version that's included on "The Vault" album. The version on the album is believed to be recorded during the D&P sessions and it is a re-recorded version.

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Reply #18 posted 05/06/11 1:46pm

novabrkr

Oh sorry, you got to comment on it first.

The short answer to why C&D and Girl 6 aren't as loud as The Vault is that the technology for making them sound as loud as The Vault didn't exist then. smile

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Reply #19 posted 05/06/11 1:48pm

Spinlight

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novabrkr said:

Oh sorry, you got to comment on it first.

The short answer to why C&D and Girl 6 aren't as loud as The Vault is that the technology for making them sound as loud as The Vault didn't exist then. smile

Couldn't they have just opened up something like Soundforge, lol?

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Reply #20 posted 05/06/11 1:52pm

novabrkr

Hah, you wouldn't believe how primitive those programs were still in the mid-90s.

This is a good thread though. It made me think why I so seldom listen to that album even if it has some of my favourite songs from his 90s output. It could be partially due to the harsh, digital mastering.

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Reply #21 posted 05/06/11 1:55pm

Spinlight

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novabrkr said:

Hah, you wouldn't believe how primitive those programs were still in the mid-90s.

This is a good thread though. It made me think why I so seldom listen to that album even if it has some of my favourite songs from his 90s output. It could be partially due to the harsh, digital mastering.

The mastering is why I don't pull it out as often as I would like to. I actually love pretty much every song on here and would play it much more often, but I need to turn it down so low that it messes up the groove. There is also that bad clip job on the intro to Five Women. It's either a bad clip job or its a double-hit snare that is really too sharp to listen to.

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Reply #22 posted 05/06/11 3:08pm

gunner82

I was just listening to this album last night & I totally agree that it is too loud. It's kind of weird that they did that. "OF4S" sounds distorted in a number of places. And I did notice the clipping at the beginning of "5 Women" also. I'm suspecting that they just threw this album out there real quick to squeeze a last bit out of Prince....I still like it though...

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Reply #23 posted 05/06/11 4:03pm

dannyd5050

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Tom509 said:

paisley2002 said:

And the opening track bursts on so suddenly. U hear silence before the CD starts, then all of a sudden.... "DON'T LOOK NOW BUT THERE'S ANOTHER ROCKY ROAD!!!!" Whoa, gotta turn it down....

Yes! There have been times when I put this CD in, and forget to check the volume, and . . .BAM! eek . . .It's time to change the ol' shorts again.confused

lol And I thought I was the only one that got the shit scared out of them the first time I heard it. What a fucked up way to start an album. omfg

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Reply #24 posted 05/06/11 4:40pm

robertgeorgeak
abob

i use the original "old friends 4 sale" to drift off to sleep but the rerecorded version could rouse a coma patient!

don't play me...i'm over 30 and i DO smoke weed....
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Reply #25 posted 05/06/11 7:40pm

eyewishuheaven

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I found Crystal Ball to be on a similar loudness-level to The Vault, though CB starts more subtly, so you don't notice it as much (unless you're starting with disc 2, that is).

I made a mix disc with Movie Star on it for somebody once, and that song just beat the shit out of everything else in the vicinity... razz

PRINCE: the only man who could wear high heels and makeup and STILL steal your woman!
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Reply #26 posted 05/06/11 7:45pm

mzsadii

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IamFunkay7 said:

OF4S is too loud, I sleep with my mp3 player on and when that song comes on it always wakes me up, why does it have to be so loud! omg

music Yeah, I have to remember it comes on laud too...It'l blow an ear drum otherwise.

Prince's Sarah
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Reply #27 posted 05/06/11 8:17pm

jpnyc

electricberet said:

Not sure why the Black Album didn't get the loudness treatment.

Probably because Warner didn't expect anyone to buy it anyway.

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Reply #28 posted 05/07/11 6:24am

802

TheFreakerFantastic said:

The earliest stuff on The Vault CD dates from 1985

The title track was written in 1985, but the version used is from 1992. Most of the stuff on the album is from 1991/1992.

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Reply #29 posted 05/09/11 1:43am

PurpleHigh

I remember when the Black Album was released, there was a reference...somewhere...about it being released "in its original format" or "as it was intended" or something to that effect. I wish I could remember where I read that; I think it was in newspaper reports. Was it possibly on the CD jewel case sticker, or a sticker on the outside of the shrinkwrap, or the NPG fan club poster/catalog that listed it for sale? I can't dig those out to find out right now.

I was initially surprised about the audio quality, but then interpreted that as why the audio wasn't touched; it was released as it would have been in 1987.

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