I boil at every mention of a "mastering engineer" that is needed to bring the product to the public. If the product was properly engineered in the first place, there should be no need for further adulteration. At Columbia the remix to two track from the three track classical original tapes was straight foward 3 to 2 mixdown. The resultant two track "master tape" had NO cutting eq or other crap added. That tape was then used to make two track dupes for Europe and Japan. It was also used for cutting the lp master disc. The only changes at that point were the normal cutting precautions for hi freq. limit (depending on whether it was an Ortophon or Westrex cutterhead) and diameter eq. In some cases, low freq content was adjusted for lpi, as was level. At independant sessions (not Columbia), I have witnessed god-awful manipulation of the recorded material without the albums' producer being in control of the situation. You hear this every day in Rhino
remastering and others whio have never listened to the original hit record for comparison. The result is stilted eq and distortion. Compare, for instance the session I did for the Four Seasons as re-released by Rhino on the "Anniversary" album-silver cover), and the remastered same songs on Ace records out of London. The differences are jaw-dropping. It apparently involves where the copies were obtained and how many generations...add to that (as I discovered during my years with Dolby)
the fact that many copies had NO TONE or Dolby tone for reproductive calibration. Those copies were "fly by the seat of your pants" so-called
engineers. At Columbia, every tape that came in for disc mastering were previewed for level...and then we set the "tone" for a 3db possible overshoot. This small step insured that the disc was an accurate transfer
without any meddling to the program. The results are obvious when listening. While there may be situations that arise when mastering for cd,
that require some adjustment for technical reasons...still it is not cause for remixing (which has been done in the name of "improving the material".
Best, George S.