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On EP mastering


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6 replies to this topic

#1 Lane Visitor

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 08:34 AM

So ON EP is easily in my top 5 favorite Aphex releases. Gorgeous aquatic machinery drilling and grinding beneath beautiful and mysterious melodies from beyond the oceans of distant planets.

I purchased the CD version off Discogs a bit ago, as all I used to own were shitty mp3s of it from the Napster/Kazaa days. Sorry Richard.

What's odd is when I put the CD into my car stereo, I noticed that the high hats and treble were very prominent. And I do realize that shitty mp3s cut out highs, but that's not what I thought was odd. I also have the 51/13 Singles Collection on CD which I've owned for a long time, so that's actually my frame of reference for the On track.

The 51/13 version of On is mastered quite differently than the maxi-single version, am I wrong? I almost couldn't listen to the original version as the hhs were grating in my ear, though both times I listened, were after heavy cardio sessions, so I wonder if my ears were more sensitive or something at the time. When I immediately put on 51/13, it was like ahhhh we're ok now ears.

I'm assuming the EP CD version - which was the original - was intended to be slightly abrasive in the high-end for mindfuckery experimental Aphex reasons ala Ventolin, or is it just this catalog #'s re-mastering, oooor is it just my ears adjusting to the non-compilation version?

Edited by Lane Visitor, 11 August 2018 - 08:37 AM.


#2 Jamesqdot

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 09:17 AM

So ON EP is easily in my top 5 favorite Aphex releases. Gorgeous aquatic machinery drilling and grinding beneath beautiful and mysterious melodies from beyond the oceans of distant planets.

I purchased the CD version off Discogs a bit ago, as all I used to own were shitty mp3s of it from the Napster/Kazaa days. Sorry Richard.

What's odd is when I put the CD into my car stereo, I noticed that the high hats and treble were very prominent. And I do realize that shitty mp3s cut out highs, but that's not what I thought was odd. I also have the 51/13 Singles Collection on CD which I've owned for a long time, so that's actually my frame of reference for the On track.

The 51/13 version of On is mastered quite differently than the maxi-single version, am I wrong? I almost couldn't listen to the original version as the hhs were grating in my ear, though both times I listened, were after heavy cardio sessions, so I wonder if my ears were more sensitive or something at the time. When I immediately put on 51/13, it was like ahhhh we're ok now ears.

I'm assuming the EP CD version - which was the original - was intended to be slightly abrasive in the high-end for mindfuckery experimental Aphex reasons ala Ventolin, or is it just this catalog #'s re-mastering, oooor is it just my ears adjusting to the non-compilation version?

 

It's most likely the mastering. You find this a lot with old versus newer CD mastering. Before vinyl really took off again as a format you'd see a lot of "remastered" CD reissues coming out, and they frequently sacrificed a lot of the top end for boosted bass, but what you actually get is brick-walling and significantly reduced dynamic range.

 

With a decent player/output, I've found that the older CD's range from at the very least more well-rounded all the way up to just flat-out better than more recent remastered ones.

 

It's a hangover from the loudness wars.

 

Anyway, the vinyl mastering is similar in terms of the top end for 'On'.



#3 Lane Visitor

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 09:37 AM

So ON EP is easily in my top 5 favorite Aphex releases. Gorgeous aquatic machinery drilling and grinding beneath beautiful and mysterious melodies from beyond the oceans of distant planets.

I purchased the CD version off Discogs a bit ago, as all I used to own were shitty mp3s of it from the Napster/Kazaa days. Sorry Richard.

What's odd is when I put the CD into my car stereo, I noticed that the high hats and treble were very prominent. And I do realize that shitty mp3s cut out highs, but that's not what I thought was odd. I also have the 51/13 Singles Collection on CD which I've owned for a long time, so that's actually my frame of reference for the On track.

The 51/13 version of On is mastered quite differently than the maxi-single version, am I wrong? I almost couldn't listen to the original version as the hhs were grating in my ear, though both times I listened, were after heavy cardio sessions, so I wonder if my ears were more sensitive or something at the time. When I immediately put on 51/13, it was like ahhhh we're ok now ears.

I'm assuming the EP CD version - which was the original - was intended to be slightly abrasive in the high-end for mindfuckery experimental Aphex reasons ala Ventolin, or is it just this catalog #'s re-mastering, oooor is it just my ears adjusting to the non-compilation version?


It's most likely the mastering. You find this a lot with old versus newer CD mastering. Before vinyl really took off again as a format you'd see a lot of "remastered" CD reissues coming out, and they frequently sacrificed a lot of the top end for boosted bass, but what you actually get is brick-walling and significantly reduced dynamic range.

With a decent player/output, I've found that the older CD's range from at the very least more well-rounded all the way up to just flat-out better than more recent remastered ones.

It's a hangover from the loudness wars.

Anyway, the vinyl mastering is similar in terms of the top end for 'On'.

Interesting, yeah that was my hunch- that On EP had intended to be really zingy in the top end, almost shrill to give off that harsh industrial vibe, while the remasters (like On track in 51/13) were toned down a bit in the highs for more of an accessible listen.

Can't wait to eventually grab a vinyl version of it, even if it's mastered the same.

#4 Rhombix

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 01:51 PM

as i remember, the On EP was different in the US - it just has On, 73-Yips, Xepha and the Reload mix (and leaves out the other mixes and D-Scape original). but most importantly, the US masters of those tracks are different, and they have fades at the end instead of ending as they should.

if you have the 51/13 Singles Collection, then you'll have heard the US versions of On and 73-Yips. moreover, if you tried to download any of the On tracks from p2p networks, you'll have found the US edits were overwhelmingly more common because the US single was uploaded first, and then it became one of the more popular releases and the same mp3s were getting shared etc.

you've made me nostalgic - the On EP might've been the first thing i ever downloaded from p2p, wayyyyy back in the day. now i have the double gatefold vinyl, and it remains one of my favourite releases :)

#5 killabyte11

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 05:35 AM

Also one of my favorites.  The whole period between that and ICBYD and a few others that are in that vein is my favorite period of Aphex Twin.  I got the On CD in the mid 90's and it's just so characteristic of that time.  Every time I hear his work from that period I'm instantly transported back to memories of the time.  Such a magical, other worldly sound. 

A few years ago I bought the vinyl as well which is really nice because it's pressed at 45rpm which equals higher quality...it sounds exquisite.

 

  To address your original question...I've never noticed any difference between the versions and I have the 51/13 CD.  I'll have to go back compare.  I think the highs in tracks like 73 yips are supposed to be sharp, They're designed to slice your head off.  That and similar sounding Start As You Mean To Go On are among my very favorite Aphex tunes.

The vinyl probably softens the highs a little since it rolls off at a certain frequency not nearly as high as CD. 



#6 Rhombix

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 03:24 PM

Start as you mean to go on is probably my most-played track, by aphex or any other artist! i'm one of those lucky people who heard 73-yips BEFORE icbyd, so i had time to appreciate those fucking strobe lightning flashes beforehand - then out of nowhere your house vanishes and you're flying through an oriental cosmos.

Start as you mean to hear the EP :)

#7 Time Tourist

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 03:43 PM

Start as you mean to go on is one of my favourites too. Icbyd is just so great, more so after the store extras. Ventolin is the only track that i skip mostly, too hard on my ears.