The Mighty Monkey Of Mim wrote:
...and yet, his work still sounds better than just about anyone's out there...
He put out some good stuff on the DCC label fifteen or twenty years ago. His recent remasters for Audio Fidelity are more miss than hit. Most of his fame also comes from the Emperor's New Clothes cult around him. For instance, one of his Doors CD had audible clicks. Somebody on his forum mentioned it and Hoffman replied that it was due to the guy's system not being resolving enough. The more resolving a system is, the smoother the CD would sound...
On the GH album, Hoffman's claims are close to grandiloquence. This is the album for which Dylan will be reminded, and he's giving us the definitive version.
Ain't Talkin' wrote:
DAT? I didn't know that was still used in professional settings (though probably some hobbyists still do, almost no format dies in hobby land.)
I mentioned DAT because it was responsible for one of the strangest events in Hoffmanistan. A few years ago, Hoffman bragged about his Roy Orbison CD being the first to be straight out of the original master tapes. It turned out that the Sony guy who had "helped" Hoffman then was now working for rival Mobile Fidelity and had an account on his forum. He corrected Hoffman and explained he had done the transfers himself, then sent a DAT to Hoffman. The post was removed, the account was closed, and the MoFi bashing is the official sport on the forum now, the biggest expert being a guy who had his system wired out of phase for years...
More recently, there was another polemic with an actual Nashville engineer who had fallen out of favor with Hoffman. The guy claimed, months after being banned, that some Simon & Garfunkel Gold CD that Audio Fidelity released was basically the '80s CD re-EQ'd, as all the tracks synced perfectly (If you do a new transfer from analog tapes, there will always be a few milliseconds of difference in tracks, as two different tape machines don't have the same exact speed). He was sued by Audio Fidelity and settled out of court by removing all offending mention of his claims, but nobody so far has proven him wrong.
The guy had anyway been pushed to his limits. His posts on the forum had been re-edited to make him look more aggressive, courtesy of the host himself. It was confirmed by a former forum moderator.
Of course, there's still some useful information to find there, as it's one of the only places where people compare different versions of the same albums with some seriousness. I still have an active account, for instance. But many valuable contributors have left due to heavy censorship and the place has turned into a cesspool for sycophants and guys who're convinced that "flat transfer" is the answer for everything.
good luck in finding out which tapes he used. i think it would be a gas if it turned out he used a store bought cd. or even better from a 'vintage' 8 track tape.
i betya that cat of his gonna be eating caviar soon.
If Mark Wilder is mentioned, that means that some work was actually done on that project.
The dog story about chocolate is that one of his dogs had eaten a large bag of M&M's that he had forgotten about after Halloween. And chocolate is poisonous to dogs. Rather than bringing her to the vet or keeping her in the garage, they let her in their living room and she threw up everywhere during the night, ruining the carpets they had spent $1,000 to clean a few days before. He explains that his wife was even in tears...
Am I kidding? Actually, not:http://stereocentral.tv/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=5018
Ain't Talkin' wrote:
After some Googling I managed to access the thread on that 'vanity site' because I don't have an account there.
Didn't see much of anything at all except literally page after page after page of people posting their online ordering information and stuff. One person found it for two cents less, one for three three cents more, etc. Jeez.
The good stuff (mostly about Hoffman's various encounters with Hollywood legends) is usually in the "Off-Topic" section that non-members cannot see.
But there's the long letter of praise written by "music biz legend Ernie Campagna who basically ran A&M back in the day":http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showp ... tcount=215
Campagna is actually one of the two permanent employees at Audio Fidelity (Hoffman is just contracted) and is in charge of the artwork.
From what I've been able to understand, Hoffman is basically a trust fund kid who fancies himself as the only worthy translator of the magic lying in master tapes recordings. He definitely has (or rather had) a good ear, and put some extra care in cult albums, while the record companies would do transfers by the truckload during the 80s and 90s by their house teams, before adding too much compression and limitation to recent releases. Sound was never their actual priority. Bonus tracks, packaging and promo have always sold more.
But it's more a hobby for Hoffman than an actual job. George Marino, who mastered Led Zeppelin in the 90s and who was in charge of the surround layer on the Dylan SACD remasters, passed out a few days ago. Even when he was fighting cancer, he still did several major releases a month. Hoffman does a reissue from a 60s, 70s or 80s album a month, and that's it. And it's always with another guy in the room.
Sorry if this sounds quite harsh. I have never had a personal beef with Hoffman, even if I've spent too much time having fun over his attitude or about some of the lemmings who haunt his forum. And, more importantly, too much stuff in hi-fi is self-delusion. Even if this limited Greatest Hits ends sounding great, does that mean, as implied, that every release of Bob's music from the 60s had zero power and didn't bring the true energy of the original recordings? Of course, not.
If you need a high-end system and an audiophile pressing of a particular album to fully appreciate an artist, the problem isn't with the recording or the mastering, it is about you. As the guitar player from Radiohead once said, "hi-fi is just about middle-aged men trying to make music sound as good as it did when they were teenagers, and it never will. They'll never be as excited as they were when they first heard that music coming out of just one speaker. They'll never get that close to it again."
Of course, some masterings are better than others, some are just a chore to listen to (because of the "loudness war", or an intrusive use of DNR), but when some guy claims you really need to hear (and buy) his mastering, because he's the first one to really get what makes Dylan great, the only sane attitude is to ask him back how this Dylan guy could actually have a career and fans without the help of a particular mastering guy.
Ain't Talkin' wrote:
Says here that the analog masters were put through the new Kensei Audio Transformer, whatever that is.http://www.musicdirect.com/p-89517-bob-dylan-bob-dylans-greatest-hits-gold-cd.aspx
No way! Is that a copy-paste from another project? Because if the Kensei Audio Transformer is back, it's definitely the biggest joke ever tried by Hoffman.
It was mentioned three or four years ago for a series of Audio Fidelity remasters. It's apparently some kind of Japanese prototype. But it's so secret that when Hoffman spoke about it, he never said if it was an A/D converter, or whatever function the device served in the audio chain. Nobody actually saw the device or could say if there's an actual company or engineer named Kensei. And there's no other Kensei Audio Transformer in use anywhere else.
Draw your own conclusions...