independent and unofficial
Prince fan community site
Wed 24th Jul 2019 1:37am
Welcome! Sign up or enter username and password to remember me
Forum jump
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Best sound quality out of 1978 - 1988 CDs?
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Page 1 of 2 12>
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
Author

Tweet     Share

Message
Thread started 05/20/19 10:38am

AvocadosMax

Best sound quality out of 1978 - 1988 CDs?

Everyone knows the absolute worst is SOTT. Lovesexy isn’t the greatest either
But to your ears, which album from 1978 - 1988 has the best sound quality on CD in contrast to the vinyl or just in general?
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #1 posted 05/20/19 11:22am

jaawwnn

avatar

I'd argue Parade has a perfectly flat transfer that would allow you to do what you want with it on a decent system. It sounds very quiet if you just rip it to an mp3 but that's a whole different issue, as a CD it's fantastic.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #2 posted 05/20/19 11:37am

billymeade

avatar

Purple Rain sounds like it was mastered on a completely different planet than the others. Controversy sounds pretty great, especially the piano on "Do Me, Baby" and the synths on the title track. Just wish they were all louder!!

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #3 posted 05/20/19 11:38am

TrivialPursuit

avatar

AvocadosMax said:

Everyone knows the absolute worst is SOTT. Lovesexy isn’t the greatest either But to your ears, which album from 1978 - 1988 has the best sound quality on CD in contrast to the vinyl or just in general?


Get out of here w/ that shit. You don't get to speak for everyone. What a bitch-ass, corny statement.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #4 posted 05/20/19 11:59am

AvocadosMax

TrivialPursuit said:



AvocadosMax said:


Everyone knows the absolute worst is SOTT. Lovesexy isn’t the greatest either But to your ears, which album from 1978 - 1988 has the best sound quality on CD in contrast to the vinyl or just in general?


Get out of here w/ that shit. You don't get to speak for everyone. What a bitch-ass, corny statement.


Interesting response
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #5 posted 05/20/19 12:01pm

Dandroppedadim
e

Lovesexy is pretty good, and yes SOTT is quite muddy and quiet.innteresting to see if remastering would fix these problems or is it the recording process that Prince used (a la Sly’s Riot Goin On)
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #6 posted 05/20/19 12:05pm

AvocadosMax

Again just so no one else gets confused, this topic is on the sound quality itself of the early albums on CD or digital. For example when a Prince fan hears ‘SOTT’ and the word ‘remaster’ they feel excited about the idea because everyone knows what’s on the CD sounds flat and thin compared to the vinyl
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #7 posted 05/20/19 12:07pm

AvocadosMax

Dandroppedadime said:

Lovesexy is pretty good, and yes SOTT is quite muddy and quiet.innteresting to see if remastering would fix these problems or is it the recording process that Prince used (a la Sly’s Riot Goin On)

I’m sure remastering could work wonders versus me sitting at the desk, messing with Audacity and adding bass and treble and EQing it all to hell
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #8 posted 05/21/19 12:28am

PeteSilas

funny, but back at the time, i never thought twice about the sound quality of his work and only heard a couple references, one by Prince himself in a late 90's interview, that his earlier stuff was poorly mixed. I honestly never thought of it at the time, but then that kind of stuff has rarely been that important to me. susan rogers makes a major point of saying that "he wasn't a perfectionist" and he couldn't be because of the pace he worked at, but did it make any difference? hell no, not to me. I did however, believe that his 90's stuff was more polished when I heard it and was one in the minority who after hearing the symbol album in full thought "my god! he's just getting better and better.".

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #9 posted 05/21/19 12:47am

TheEnglishGent

avatar

TrivialPursuit said:

AvocadosMax said:

Everyone knows the absolute worst is SOTT. Lovesexy isn’t the greatest either But to your ears, which album from 1978 - 1988 has the best sound quality on CD in contrast to the vinyl or just in general?


Get out of here w/ that shit. You don't get to speak for everyone. What a bitch-ass, corny statement.


Did you understand that they were talking about the mastering and not the music?

RIP sad
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #10 posted 05/21/19 5:07am

lurker316

avatar

.

I'm no aduophile and most of his albums through 1988 sound fine to me. The one exception is The Black Album (yes, I realize it was officially released in the '90s, but it was produced in 87/88).

.

To me, the Black Album sounds very muddy or muffled. The instruments are not sharpe or distinct. I first heard it on bootleg and assumed that (it being a bootleg) was the issue. When it was officially released I was excited because I figured I'd finally get a good quaity version, but to me the official release was only slightly better than my bootleg copy.

.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #11 posted 05/21/19 5:08am

Kares

avatar

PeteSilas said:

funny, but back at the time, i never thought twice about the sound quality of his work and only heard a couple references, one by Prince himself in a late 90's interview, that his earlier stuff was poorly mixed. I honestly never thought of it at the time, but then that kind of stuff has rarely been that important to me. susan rogers makes a major point of saying that "he wasn't a perfectionist" and he couldn't be because of the pace he worked at, but did it make any difference? hell no, not to me. I did however, believe that his 90's stuff was more polished when I heard it and was one in the minority who after hearing the symbol album in full thought "my god! he's just getting better and better.".

.

Mixing and sound quality are unrelated. A bad mix can have high sound quality and a good mix can sound bad.

Friends don't let friends clap on 1 and 3.

The Paisley Park Vault spreadsheet: https://goo.gl/zzWHrU
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #12 posted 05/21/19 7:40am

radicalrojo

I think Parade, Purple Rain, and Controversy all sound the best, but even Parade could do with a touch-up or two. I think the most immaculate "sounding" Prince records are probably Love Symbol and The Rainbow Children. They're not my favorites or anything but they just sound so wonderfully meticulate, nuanced, and clear while avoiding total glossy-ness. I think Come also sounds pretty great.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #13 posted 05/21/19 8:06am

ForbiddenFruit

Prince (1979) sounds great

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #14 posted 05/21/19 8:27am

lurker316

avatar

Kares said:

PeteSilas said:

funny, but back at the time, i never thought twice about the sound quality of his work and only heard a couple references, one by Prince himself in a late 90's interview, that his earlier stuff was poorly mixed. I honestly never thought of it at the time, but then that kind of stuff has rarely been that important to me. susan rogers makes a major point of saying that "he wasn't a perfectionist" and he couldn't be because of the pace he worked at, but did it make any difference? hell no, not to me. I did however, believe that his 90's stuff was more polished when I heard it and was one in the minority who after hearing the symbol album in full thought "my god! he's just getting better and better.".

.

Mixing and sound quality are unrelated. A bad mix can have high sound quality and a good mix can sound bad.

.

If the original engineer didn't do a good job capturing the sound, can a remaster improve it, or are you limited by the quality of the original recording?

.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #15 posted 05/21/19 8:52am

Kares

avatar

lurker316 said:

Kares said:

.

Mixing and sound quality are unrelated. A bad mix can have high sound quality and a good mix can sound bad.

.

If the original engineer didn't do a good job capturing the sound, can a remaster improve it, or are you limited by the quality of the original recording?

.

.

Let me put it this way: if something (e.g. the high range) is missing from the original recording, you can't really put it back, but you can apply some trickery that will create the illusion of sounding good. So yes, there are ways to improve it during mastering or remastering, but there's only so much you can do.

.

People often have high hopes for the next process magically fixing the previous errors. "Tracking wasn't done right, but we'll fix it during mixing!". Then "mixing turned out not so great, but we'll fix it during mastering!". Etc. Sooner or later you'll end up hoping the shrink wrap will fix it... wink

Friends don't let friends clap on 1 and 3.

The Paisley Park Vault spreadsheet: https://goo.gl/zzWHrU
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #16 posted 05/21/19 9:43am

TrivialPursuit

avatar

Kares said:

Let me put it this way: if something (e.g. the high range) is missing from the original recording, you can't really put it back, but you can apply some trickery that will create the illusion of sounding good. So yes, there are ways to improve it during mastering or remastering, but there's only so much you can do.

.

People often have high hopes for the next process magically fixing the previous errors. "Tracking wasn't done right, but we'll fix it during mixing!". Then "mixing turned out not so great, but we'll fix it during mastering!". Etc. Sooner or later you'll end up hoping the shrink wrap will fix it... wink


That's very true. A few folks on here, who have an even deeper understanding of mixing and mastering, noted how high the needles were on many of Prince's albums anyway. So it'd be impossible, or not worth while, to raise volumes on stuff or try to EQ the fuck out of it. I do think there is room for some improvement, but none of these records are going to come out sounding crisp and clear like later records.

A difference in remastering lies so clearly when listening to a demo album like Dirty Mind, that was remastered by someone who knows what they're doing (aka Bernie Grundman) versus Purple Rain, which was done to the point that so many of the dynamics of the original were lost; and listeners were duped into believing they're hearing something they're not (much like MP3s did for music across the board). Dirty Mind, while not a crystal clear sound even to begin with, has a noticable and marked improvement. But only so much can be done. To assume SOTT is going to sound like Musicology or whatever is simply unreasonable.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #17 posted 05/21/19 1:00pm

JoeyCococo

billymeade said:

Purple Rain sounds like it was mastered on a completely different planet than the others. Controversy sounds pretty great, especially the piano on "Do Me, Baby" and the synths on the title track. Just wish they were all louder!!

Parade probably sounds the best on CD. SOTT, the worst. As for Controversy..i also found it 'cleaner' and more precise so I asked an engineer why and to my great surprise, Mick Guzauski was involved. For those audiophiles...Mick did Random Access Memories for Daft Punk and Dirty Computer for Janelle. Both are INCREDIBLY sounding modern albums.

As for the other Prince albums...I found a vinyl rip of 1999 that sounded a lot better than the cd. I heard details on Lady Cab Driver that I had not heard before. I'm not talking about hearing totally new vocals or anythign that amazing but there were cool bits I just had not heard.

Purple Rain - the new remaster is bad. It is just loud.

Lovesexy, very tinny/metallic....they have to do something here.

Around the World - bad. low. In desperate need of a revsit...like SOTT.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #18 posted 05/21/19 1:04pm

JoeyCococo

PeteSilas said:

funny, but back at the time, i never thought twice about the sound quality of his work and only heard a couple references, one by Prince himself in a late 90's interview, that his earlier stuff was poorly mixed. I honestly never thought of it at the time, but then that kind of stuff has rarely been that important to me. susan rogers makes a major point of saying that "he wasn't a perfectionist" and he couldn't be because of the pace he worked at, but did it make any difference? hell no, not to me. I did however, believe that his 90's stuff was more polished when I heard it and was one in the minority who after hearing the symbol album in full thought "my god! he's just getting better and better.".

He worked too fast to be precise but the 80s stuff is really not good. All that I have spoken to about his recording habits say the same thing - he did not care. He just did not care about how things sounded, it was no real concern to him. This is kind of why he went through so many engineers. I have heard he had some of the biggest names come through Paisley and many left w/o doing any work. Prince was not easy.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #19 posted 05/21/19 1:06pm

JoeyCococo

radicalrojo said:

I think Parade, Purple Rain, and Controversy all sound the best, but even Parade could do with a touch-up or two. I think the most immaculate "sounding" Prince records are probably Love Symbol and The Rainbow Children. They're not my favorites or anything but they just sound so wonderfully meticulate, nuanced, and clear while avoiding total glossy-ness. I think Come also sounds pretty great.

To me, the best sounding Prince albums are:

Rainbow Children

HIT and RUn Phase 2

One Night Alone

NEWS

prince

Diamonds and Pearls

Gold Na

Come - parts of it

The Truth - some parts. It's overall too loud.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #20 posted 05/21/19 1:10pm

jfenster

the sign tracks on Forever CD release sound "loud" as compared to the sign CD itself....

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #21 posted 05/21/19 2:10pm

PeteSilas

most people didn't care, i never heard anyone say at the time "oh it sounds horrible" no one cared or even noticed. my ears can pick up changes though, when i downloaded the parade cd, it had a bottom that i don't remember being on the vinyl or cassette, it does make some difference, sure but for me, only me i'm talking about, it's the art that's first and foremost. whenever elvis' or the beatles recordings were redone, i never felt any better or worse listening to the stuff, it was great the way it was, mono, stereo, i didn't care. also, whoever said that not everything can be fixed with processing and mixing, it's true, if it wasn't caught during the initial recording, it's lost forever. same with film, some things cannot be "fixed in post". All in all, who cares, lots of great music on record all the way back to the days of early jazz. in fact, i hate the polish of todays sound, it doesn't sound real and the singers try to sing about fake drama trying to make it sound real, it just doesn't work. People are faker today as well as the music.

JoeyCococo said:

PeteSilas said:

funny, but back at the time, i never thought twice about the sound quality of his work and only heard a couple references, one by Prince himself in a late 90's interview, that his earlier stuff was poorly mixed. I honestly never thought of it at the time, but then that kind of stuff has rarely been that important to me. susan rogers makes a major point of saying that "he wasn't a perfectionist" and he couldn't be because of the pace he worked at, but did it make any difference? hell no, not to me. I did however, believe that his 90's stuff was more polished when I heard it and was one in the minority who after hearing the symbol album in full thought "my god! he's just getting better and better.".

He worked too fast to be precise but the 80s stuff is really not good. All that I have spoken to about his recording habits say the same thing - he did not care. He just did not care about how things sounded, it was no real concern to him. This is kind of why he went through so many engineers. I have heard he had some of the biggest names come through Paisley and many left w/o doing any work. Prince was not easy.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #22 posted 05/21/19 2:42pm

Electrostar

avatar

lurker316 said:

.


I'm no aduophile and most of his albums through 1988 sound fine to me. The one exception is The Black Album (yes, I realize it was officially released in the '90s, but it was produced in 87/88).


.


To me, the Black Album sounds very muddy or muffled. The instruments are not sharpe or distinct. I first heard it on bootleg and assumed that (it being a bootleg) was the issue. When it was officially released I was excited because I figured I'd finally get a good quaity version, but to me the official release was only slightly better than my bootleg copy.


.




That "sound" gives the album a darkness. I think it was intentional.
Get up, come on let's do something.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #23 posted 05/22/19 7:23am

JoeyCococo

PeteSilas said:

most people didn't care, i never heard anyone say at the time "oh it sounds horrible" no one cared or even noticed. my ears can pick up changes though, when i downloaded the parade cd, it had a bottom that i don't remember being on the vinyl or cassette, it does make some difference, sure but for me, only me i'm talking about, it's the art that's first and foremost. whenever elvis' or the beatles recordings were redone, i never felt any better or worse listening to the stuff, it was great the way it was, mono, stereo, i didn't care. also, whoever said that not everything can be fixed with processing and mixing, it's true, if it wasn't caught during the initial recording, it's lost forever. same with film, some things cannot be "fixed in post". All in all, who cares, lots of great music on record all the way back to the days of early jazz. in fact, i hate the polish of todays sound, it doesn't sound real and the singers try to sing about fake drama trying to make it sound real, it just doesn't work. People are faker today as well as the music.

JoeyCococo said:

He worked too fast to be precise but the 80s stuff is really not good. All that I have spoken to about his recording habits say the same thing - he did not care. He just did not care about how things sounded, it was no real concern to him. This is kind of why he went through so many engineers. I have heard he had some of the biggest names come through Paisley and many left w/o doing any work. Prince was not easy.

Most may not care but great sound is something MANY do care about. I do agree, the music comes first of course but it sure is great to hear fantastic sound as well.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #24 posted 05/22/19 7:32am

PurpleCreme

They all sound terrible. Shame that Purple Rain will never be properly remastered. Stick to the vinyl pressings, the 2011 remaster series sounds great. Looking forward to hear how the 1999 remaster sounds; hopefully it'll be done by Bernie Grundman's team.

[Edited 5/22/19 7:34am]

Prince: 1958-infinity. Thank U for everything.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #25 posted 05/22/19 5:37pm

ufoclub

avatar

Compare all the CD's and The Black Album is hands down the worst sound quality of all of them. Sounds like all highs and lows are cut down. I have one of the re-ssues on vinyl, but I haven't played it to see if the midrange emphasis is there too.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #26 posted 05/22/19 7:09pm

TrivialPursuit

avatar

ufoclub said:

Compare all the CD's and The Black Album is hands down the worst sound quality of all of them. Sounds like all highs and lows are cut down.


Now that's the truth!

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #27 posted 05/23/19 3:59pm

lurker316

avatar

ufoclub said:

Compare all the CD's and The Black Album is hands down the worst sound quality of all of them. Sounds like all highs and lows are cut down. I have one of the re-ssues on vinyl, but I haven't played it to see if the midrange emphasis is there too.

.

I said the same thing earlier in this thread. I'm no audiophile and have a very unsophisticated ear, but even I can tell the sound quality of the Black Album is horrible.

.

EXAMPLE:

.

At the 6:18 mark in the song Le Grind all of the instruments cut out for a couple seconds to highlight a quick bass riff. It should be awesome, but you can barely hear the bass it's so quiet; and it's so muddled the individual notes blurr together.

.

Seriously, everyone should queue it up to about 6:15 mark and listen to the next 10 seconds. You'll hear exactly what I mean. It's actually far worse than bootleg quality.

.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #28 posted 05/23/19 5:55pm

sro100

avatar

I'll tell you that I was prejudiced against Sign O The Times because at the time I owned the cassette, and the tape was stretched to the max to accomodate the lengthy project; I got used to Sign sounding flat and the CD did't do all that much to change it.

Purple Rain seems to be the best sounding; not necessarily including the remaster.

Sign underwhelms on CD quality.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #29 posted 05/23/19 5:57pm

soladeo1

SOTT is absolute shite! It’s a pure travesty that this masterpiece is sonically so underwhelming.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Page 1 of 2 12>
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Best sound quality out of 1978 - 1988 CDs?