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"Today" on FTD

Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:21 pm

Am I the only one who thinks the original session mixes blow away the commerical release masters? Why is it that so often the commercial masters are ruined by extra compression and echo? The same is true for almost all of Elvis' recordings where one can compare the studio mix vs the commercial master. It is very obvious with his Stax recordings too.

I am just so happy that at least we have an opportunity to hear some of these studio mixes with good quality sources thanks to FTD.

I go on and on about the Stax sessions, Vic Asesini (who likes to replicate the original commercial masters) vs Dennis Ferrante (who tends to favor the studio mixes). I guess they each have their purpose. One to give us the mixes we are used to, to be "historically accurate" and the other who tends to favor audiophile high fidelity.

On the FTD CDs, Good Times and Promised Land, the outtakes and studio masters sound superior to me as well.

It just bugs me that originally when these tapes were mastered for the consumer, they really blurred the transients, compressed the dynamics and almost always added echo. I really did not like the sound of most of these 70s recordings when they came out. But now with a chance to hear much of this material before it was dicked with, most of them sound fantastic.

Re: "Today" on FTD

Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:07 am

skatterbrane wrote:Am I the only one who thinks the original session mixes blow away the commerical release masters?


Yes....but not all of the original session mixes was good IMO
I have always loved Elvis` version of "I can help" but I dont like the original session mix.........
Also I think that had the Today been released on FTD now it would be a much better release compared to the old 2005 edition.

Re: "Today" on FTD

Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:31 am

skatterbrane wrote:I go on and on about the Stax sessions, Vic Asesini (who likes to replicate the original commercial masters) vs Dennis Ferrante (who tends to favor the studio mixes). I guess they each have their purpose. One to give us the mixes we are used to, to be "historically accurate" and the other who tends to favor audiophile high fidelity.

Dennis Ferrante did NOT favour "audiophile high quality", as evident by noise reduction, annoying (and very obviously digital) reverb on many recordings (including the Stax remixes you adore), and just generally weird mixes from time to time. Not everything he did sucks, but a lot of it! He did ok with the TTWII concerts, Afternoon In The Garden, and some of the 70s box but that's about it.

When Vic Anesini has remixed live and outtake material his remixes have trumped Ferrante's every-single-time. And his mastering aesthetic is way, way better.

Re: "Today" on FTD

Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:48 am

I prefer the originally released Felton Jarvis mixes except when the background singers overpowered Elvis (eg Susan When She Tried). The violins always made the songs sound fuller to me.

Re: "Today" on FTD

Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:23 am

The rough session mixes are the best thing about that troubled FTD, and a fitting tribute to Duke Bardwell, who has his bass tracks replaced on all but one song.

Re:

Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:13 am

Matthew wrote:
skatterbrane wrote:I go on and on about the Stax sessions, Vic Asesini (who likes to replicate the original commercial masters) vs Dennis Ferrante (who tends to favor the studio mixes). I guess they each have their purpose. One to give us the mixes we are used to, to be "historically accurate" and the other who tends to favor audiophile high fidelity.

Dennis Ferrante did NOT favour "audiophile high quality", as evident by noise reduction, annoying (and very obviously digital) reverb on many recordings (including the Stax remixes you adore), and just generally weird mixes from time to time. Not everything he did sucks, but a lot of it! He did ok with the TTWII concerts, Afternoon In The Garden, and some of the 70s box but that's about it.

When Vic Anesini has remixed live and outtake material his remixes have trumped Ferrante's every-single-time. And his mastering aesthetic is way, way better.



I really do not pay any attention to the concert albums, don't care for them (except for International Hotel and On Stage). But I invite you to compare Ferrante's "Loving Arms" to Asesini's. That alone should make a believer out of anyone. Ferrante's mix has a very dry and upfront Elvis vocal and the bass drum has "air" and great transient attack, and the imaging and soundstage is better, reminds me of the unfinished masters and outtakes on FTD, like he remixed the 16 track tapes to reflect the less processed approach found on the outtakes.

Asesini's mix has Elvis's vocals recessed and much more reverb and the bass drum is muddy. This is the most extreme example I could find comparing the two, but it is representitive of all the Stax masters. I find Asesini's work on the 50s and 60s material excellent. But for the 70s studio stuff, I prefer Ferrante, in fact his mastering has made the 70s material enjoyable for me for the first time. I basically have not liked Elvis since his 1970 Nashville sessions, (I'll still take Spinout over Elvis Now, Raised On Rock or Fool album any day) and now I am starting to appreciate his later stuff. With my original LP collection, I probably played any LP later than Elvis Country less than 3 times each, some of them no more than once! Elvis Country, Back In Memphis, For LP Fans Only, A Date WIth Elvis, King Creole, Elvis Is Back and FEIM I played to death!

Re: Re:

Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:44 am

skatterbrane wrote:(I'll still take Spinout over Elvis Now, Raised On Rock or Fool album any day)

I'll meet you half way on the Spinout album, skatterbrane.

Stop, Look And Listen... :oops:
Adam And Evil............ :oops:
Never Say Yes............ :oops:
Am I Ready............... :oops:
Beach Shack.............. :oops:
Smorgasboard............ :oops:

All That I Am.............. 8)
Spinout..................... 8)
I'll Be Back.................. 8)
Tomorrow Is A Long Time.. 8)
Down In The Alley......... 8)
I'll Remember You......... 8)
Last edited by Blue River on Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: "Today" on FTD

Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:50 am

I really like both Stop Look and Listen and Adam and Evil. I guess there are many songs Elvis recorded that I would not like if anyone else had done them. I love music, I have 6000 CDs but to me there is music and then there is Elvis music.

Re: "Today" on FTD

Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:52 am

skatterbrane wrote:I really like both Stop Look and Listen and Adam and Evil. I guess there are many songs Elvis recorded that I would not like if anyone else had done them. I love music, I have 6000 CDs but to me there is music and then there is Elvis music.

To be honest, I sort of like "Adam And Evil", too. Shhhhh... please don't tell anybody.

Re: "Today" on FTD

Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:10 am

I like most of the Spinout album. Rick Nelson recorded "Stop Look and Listen" as well.

Re:

Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:23 am

Matthew wrote:The rough session mixes are the best thing about that troubled FTD, and a fitting tribute to Duke Bardwell, who has his bass tracks replaced on all but one song.



I like the rough mixes and generally can't hear a problem with Duke's bass, but I can understand why they replaced it on I Can Help. It seems to be not so good on this track.
His playing on TROUBLE is terrific.

Re: "Today" on FTD

Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:31 am

RonBaker2003 wrote:I like most of the Spinout album. Rick Nelson recorded "Stop Look and Listen" as well.

I just listened to Rick Nelson's recording of "Stop, Look and Listen" a few days ago
from this cd >> http://www.amazon.com/Elvis-Heard-Them- ... here+first
... and I must say that I like Elvis' version better, but overall the song isn't great.

Re: "Today" on FTD

Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:30 am

rickeap wrote:
Matthew wrote:The rough session mixes are the best thing about that troubled FTD, and a fitting tribute to Duke Bardwell, who has his bass tracks replaced on all but one song.



I like the rough mixes and generally can't hear a problem with Duke's bass, but I can understand why they replaced it on I Can Help. It seems to be not so good on this track.
His playing on TROUBLE is terrific.

My understanding is that the need to get a single out saved Duke's bass on that track.

Re: "Today" on FTD

Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:38 am

skatterbrane wrote:But I invite you to compare Ferrante's "Loving Arms" to Asesini's. That alone should make a believer out of anyone. Ferrante's mix has a very dry and upfront Elvis vocal and the bass drum has "air" and great transient attack, and the imaging and soundstage is better, reminds me of the unfinished masters and outtakes on FTD, like he remixed the 16 track tapes to reflect the less processed approach found on the outtakes.

Asesini's mix has Elvis's vocals recessed and much more reverb and the bass drum is muddy. This is the most extreme example I could find comparing the two, but it is representitive of all the Stax masters.

Firstly, Anesini has not remixed Loving Arms, he has simply remastered Felton Jarvis' original 1974 mix. Secondary Ferrante's remix and remaster of Loving Arms is a nice alternative, but it is certainly not audiophile.

skatterbrane wrote:I find Asesini's work on the 50s and 60s material excellent. But for the 70s studio stuff, I prefer Ferrante, in fact his mastering has made the 70s material enjoyable for me for the first time. I basically have not liked Elvis since his 1970 Nashville sessions, (I'll still take Spinout over Elvis Now, Raised On Rock or Fool album any day) and now I am starting to appreciate his later stuff.

That's cool. What this reveals is that you don't much care for many of Felton Jarvis' (Elvis approved) original mixes, that you prefer contemporary remixes of that material. Nothing wrong with that. It just should be pointed out that most of the contemporary remixes produced by Ferrante are not audiophile, and my main problem with them is the fake sounding digital reverbs built into many of his mixes.

Re: "Today" on FTD

Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:19 am

Blue River wrote:
RonBaker2003 wrote:I like most of the Spinout album. Rick Nelson recorded "Stop Look and Listen" as well.

I just listened to Rick Nelson's recording of "Stop, Look and Listen" a few days ago
from this cd >> http://www.amazon.com/Elvis-Heard-Them- ... here+first
... and I must say that I like Elvis' version better, but overall the song isn't great.

Rick's version is much better to my ears, but I grew up listening to his version so I'm biased.

Re:

Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:22 pm

Matthew wrote:
skatterbrane wrote:But I invite you to compare Ferrante's "Loving Arms" to Asesini's. That alone should make a believer out of anyone. Ferrante's mix has a very dry and upfront Elvis vocal and the bass drum has "air" and great transient attack, and the imaging and soundstage is better, reminds me of the unfinished masters and outtakes on FTD, like he remixed the 16 track tapes to reflect the less processed approach found on the outtakes.

Asesini's mix has Elvis's vocals recessed and much more reverb and the bass drum is muddy. This is the most extreme example I could find comparing the two, but it is representitive of all the Stax masters.

Firstly, Anesini has not remixed Loving Arms, he has simply remastered Felton Jarvis' original 1974 mix. Secondary Ferrante's remix and remaster of Loving Arms is a nice alternative, but it is certainly not audiophile.

skatterbrane wrote:I find Asesini's work on the 50s and 60s material excellent. But for the 70s studio stuff, I prefer Ferrante, in fact his mastering has made the 70s material enjoyable for me for the first time. I basically have not liked Elvis since his 1970 Nashville sessions, (I'll still take Spinout over Elvis Now, Raised On Rock or Fool album any day) and now I am starting to appreciate his later stuff.

That's cool. What this reveals is that you don't much care for many of Felton Jarvis' (Elvis approved) original mixes, that you prefer contemporary remixes of that material. Nothing wrong with that. It just should be pointed out that most of the contemporary remixes produced by Ferrante are not audiophile, and my main problem with them is the fake sounding digital reverbs built into many of his mixes.


Okay please lend me a hand. On the 70s tracks, especially the Stax recordings and Today, I find that Ferrante's version has LESS echo than the Felton mixes/Asesini mastering. If you would be so kind as to give me obvious examples where Ferrante's version adds digital echo compared to Asesini's more "clean" version, I would love to compare and experience this for myself. I would appreciate it. I have so many versions of much of Elvis' material and I even find in some cases I prefer the old "Memphis Record" mixes, than any other, but only a few, one being Kentucky Rain. The Memphis record mix of that is what I prefer over all others. I like when each instrument can be heard individually, rather than a bunched up sound (I HATE Phil Spector's way of mixing and arranging, for example).

Re: "Today" on FTD

Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:45 pm

I think the best sounding recordings of Elvis' entire career were the 1960-1963 Nashville Bill Porter sessions. All I would wish for ie LESS echo on Elvis' voice. I think RCA just went overboard with echo, I guess it was because of the nice echo on the original Sun records that compelled them in that direction. I prefer the very dry treatment on Elvis' voice on some ot the sountracks, other considerations aside.

Re: "Today" on FTD

Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:32 pm

skatterbrane wrote:Okay please lend me a hand. On the 70s tracks, especially the Stax recordings and Today, I find that Ferrante's version has LESS echo than the Felton mixes/Asesini mastering. If you would be so kind as to give me obvious examples where Ferrante's version adds digital echo compared to Asesini's more "clean" version, I would love to compare and experience this for myself. I would appreciate it.

I haven't said there is more reverb on Ferrante's Stax remixes compared to the original Felton Jarvis mixes. I've said the reverb used, especially on Elvis' vocal track sounds obviously digital. That is the difference. It takes me out of the performance, in the same way a boom mic in shot takes me out of the narrative if a TV show or movie. I prefer contemporary remixes of vintage music to sound period correct.

skatterbrane wrote:I have so many versions of much of Elvis' material and I even find in some cases I prefer the old "Memphis Record" mixes, than any other, but only a few, one being Kentucky Rain. The Memphis record mix of that is what I prefer over all others. I like when each instrument can be heard individually, rather than a bunched up sound (I HATE Phil Spector's way of mixing and arranging, for example).

Man, I hated that record and got rid of it years ago.

Re: "Today" on FTD

Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:31 am

Yes, I understand one's negative opinion of The Memphis Record, but after revisting it recently, some of the tracks are pretty good. I like how they seemingly removed a lot of the reverb on some of Elvis' vocals and how the intruments on some of the track are more separate. But some of the track are pretty bad. I guess I would have to pick and choose individual tracks on just about all of Elvis' records to find the ones I think are mastered to my taste.

Re: "Today" on FTD

Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:41 am

Too much fake reverb created in a spring in 1973 does not preclude a recording from being "audiophile"

Too much fake reverb created in a microchip in 1999 precludes a recording from being "audiophile"

Makes sense.

Re: "Today" on FTD

Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:55 am

joeroberts wrote:Too much fake reverb created in a spring in 1973 does not preclude a recording from being "audiophile"

Too much fake reverb created in a microchip in 1999 precludes a recording from being "audiophile"

Makes sense.

That's not what I've said. I've simply stated that Ferrante's remixes/masters are not audiophile.

Also, it's not that the reverb is necessarily generated in a digital environment either, it's the type of reverb effects used. Probably the worst offender is Ferrante's mix of And I Love You So on Platinum. Listen to the sibilance on Elvis' vocal track - a bright sounding reverb with a really, really long decay. It sounds horrible - and this meant to be a studio outtake! The best digital reverbs are those that don't draw attention to themselves and reveal themselves to be obviously digital.

Re:

Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:05 am

Matthew wrote:Also, it's not that the reverb is necessarily generated in a digital environment either, it's the type of reverb effects used. Probably the worst offender is Ferrante's mix of And I Love You So on Platinum. Listen to the sibilance on Elvis' vocal track - a bright sounding reverb with a really, really long decay. It's sound horrible - and this meant to be a studio outtake!

The reverb plates chosen for the outtakes of I'm Movin' On and After Loving You on the 1999 "Suspicious Minds - Anthology" are atrocious too.

Re:

Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:57 am

Matthew wrote:
joeroberts wrote:Too much fake reverb created in a spring in 1973 does not preclude a recording from being "audiophile"

Too much fake reverb created in a microchip in 1999 precludes a recording from being "audiophile"

Makes sense.

That's not what I've said. I've simply stated that Ferrante's remixes/masters are not audiophile.

Also, it's not that the reverb is necessarily generated in a digital environment either, it's the type of reverb effects used. Probably the worst offender is Ferrante's mix of And I Love You So on Platinum. Listen to the sibilance on Elvis' vocal track - a bright sounding reverb with a really, really long decay. It sounds horrible - and this meant to be a studio outtake! The best digital reverbs are those that don't draw attention to themselves and reveal themselves to be obviously digital.


I will go listen to that now. But reviewing the Stax recordings on Promised Land with the 8 extra track from Good Times, I only hear some electronic artifacts from Elvis' voice being so prominent in the mix....not much in the way of digital reverb. The excessive reverb on the Jarvis mix/Asesini master, plus the fact Elvis' voice is so recessed, that ringing and smear from the original recording is not apparent. It is the dryness of his vocal track that I LIKE about Ferrantes' mix, even though the short comings from the equipment is also much more apparent. Ferrante's mix and mastering actually has such resolution, all the flaws of the equipment can be heard as well.

I have one set of speakers whose cheapo crossover is in exactly the right (read: wrong) spot that accentuates the ringing and smear from various microphones. On another set of speakers, (8 times the price of the other set) the crossover is of much higher quality and that crap is not as apparent.

Re: Re:

Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:58 am

elvisalisellers wrote:
Matthew wrote:Also, it's not that the reverb is necessarily generated in a digital environment either, it's the type of reverb effects used. Probably the worst offender is Ferrante's mix of And I Love You So on Platinum. Listen to the sibilance on Elvis' vocal track - a bright sounding reverb with a really, really long decay. It's sound horrible - and this meant to be a studio outtake!

The reverb plates chosen for the outtakes of I'm Movin' On and After Loving You on the 1999 "Suspicious Minds - Anthology" are atrocious too.

Almost all the reverb used on Elvis' vocals on the Memphis sessions are atrocious.

Re: "Today" on FTD

Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:12 am

Okay I just compared And I Love You So take 2 on the Platinum box, and the one on FTD by Lene Reidel, and the nod goes to FTD, however, I do not hear any MORE reverb on one vs the other. I think it is a matter of different frequency emphasis between the two, the Ferrante having more high frequency, which would exacerbate any offensive silibance. I do not thing it is a digital reverb artifact.
But I have never read any literature on the various techiques these various people doing the mastering have used. Maybe some of you are armed with information I do not have.

On the other hand, I am getting old and there are things I remember hearing on various recordings above 10Khz that I cannot hear these days. Example would be the synthetic cricket-like sounds during the chorus of Carlene Carter's Alabama Morning from her ST debut album. I know it is there, I cannot hear it, but my wife can still hear it.