Friday, February 26, 2010

Kraftwerk Remasters

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 (TMM) 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 apparrent noise floor to perhaps completely unacceptable levels. I have used high-priced NR 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.