Saturday, November 17, 2012

Joy Division 8 Feb 1980 Univ of London Union 2012 master

NOTICE:  Please read this first!!!

In August 2006 I was approached to assist with the sourcing, cleanup and mastering of various Joy Division gigs for inclusion in the then-upcoming double-CD deluxe edition reissues.  The in-between story, between first being drafted into the project and then September 2007's Warner Brothers/Rhino release of the Unknown Pleasures, Closer and Still Collector's Editions, is boring and not really worth rehashing.

What is relevant is that six years is a long time ago, with regards to my skill set and general knowledge of audio theory and mastering.  I listen to the stuff I turned in to the band and Rhino in late 2006 and essentially cringe.  Not because it's bad, because it's not, but with where I've advanced to today my 2006 work sounds amateur to these ears.  And while it's out there for the world to enjoy (and the two sets I did, for Closer and Still, all got great reviews), I can no longer listen without wishing for a mulligan.

Well, with my blog avenue, I can finally take that mulligan.


I went back to the original raw transfers from Duncan Haysom's 1980 master cassette tapes, the very tapes on which he recorded the Joy Division gigs that we released.  I started from scratch - essentially, if Warners came knocking today and asked me to master these gigs, I did what I'd do for them with the skills, techniques, secret sauces and magic I've either advanced or flat-out learned anew since 2006.

They are spectacular.  Not to toot my own horn, but these now simply crush what was used on the 2007 releases.  Even the most hearing-challenged of listeners can tell the difference, and not just by minutiae.  Cymbals ring, drums go THWACK and not "thwop", guitars slice through the murk.

If there were any justice in this world, Rhino would pull the 2007 sets off the market and reissue with these masterings.  One can dream...

So we start, chronologically by performance date, with the set used in association with the Closer Collector's Edition.  Recorded by Duncan, this set from the University of London Union is a stormer.  You get the still in-development Closer tracks (which had yet to be recorded by Martin Hannett) mixed in with stridently-performed Unknown Pleasures and other pre-Closer choices.  You get "Dead Souls" brilliantly leading off the set, and you get "Digital" taking us out.  And thanks to Duncan, it's magically captured on C45 tape for us to enjoy 32+ years on.

JOY DIVISION
8 February 1980
University of London Union

Mastered in November 2012 by Analog Loyalist, from Duncan Haysom's master recording

01 Dead Souls
02 Glass
03 A Means To An End
04 Twenty Four Hours
05 Passover
06 Insight
07 Colony
08 These Days
09 Love Will Tear Us Apart
10 Isolation
11 - encore break -
12 The Eternal
13 Digital

FLACs here.

Please to enjoy!

102 comments:

  1. My favourite ever version of Dead Souls.

    I thank'ee, kind sir!

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  2. Don't beat yourself up too badly. The 2006-07 efforts did pass muster...but these...are on another level altogether...if it wasn't for Duncan and sundry talking near the mic, one could be fooled into thinking somebody had raided the late Harry DeMac's tape stash. I've noticed these also correct a big fault that was missed last time around...they are not OOP now.

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    1. WARNING - Techno dweebie audio nerdspeak ahead....

      Yeah, these (err, Duncan's recorder) did weird things to the raw tapes. Oddly they were essentially mid/side encoded, which I can't understand how unless the wiring was screwed up in his boombox (yes, he recorded these on a boombox...!). I don't know if he used external mics (doubtful), or just used the built-in mics in the boombox. The 2006 masters compensated for this mid/side problem without me actually knowing it, but not to any real degree (unlike this 2012 effort), and the 2012 fix of flipping the phase of the side channels also really brought out the clarity and stereo presence. My 2006 effort also kinda enhanced the OOP (out-of-phase) issues, while not really fixing the root of the phasing and mid/side problems. All better now. And, the EQ was really wacked on the 2006 efforts though it too was to compensate for poor EQ of the original tapes. Again, all better now.

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    2. They are fantastic historical recordings, regardless on what he recorded them on. Without his JD and early NO live recordings, we would be at a great loss of some of the most amazing gigs. And all JD fans are eternally grateful for that.

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  3. Possibly the best ever JD gig, imho! Thanks a lot!

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  4. Wow, all I can say is 'absolutely stunning'. Thank you so much. What an amazing improvement from what was already a good job. Keep up your invaluable efforts.

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  5. Hello there, amazing stuff as usual, the links of New Order singles on your blog http://neworder-recycle.blogspot.com/ are dead, can you reupload them? Thanx

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    Replies
    1. That's not my blog, though I did/do have association with it. We are aware links are dying/dead...

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  6. These are great - cheers bro!

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  7. Thanks for this – I downloaded the new version and had a quick listen to the Closer 2CD version back to back. I know I'm not the best judge of these things, but the CD version sounded much brighter with this new version sounding muddy in comparison.

    I'm sure I must be wrong given how pleased you are with the results of the new version, but can you recommend a section to audition where you think the results are most obvious?

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    1. I'll be honest here, I've never listened to the actual Closer CD2 though I own it. I of course auditioned pre-release CD-Rs sent out by Warners at the time, but was disgusted by the massive limiting they did to my work. So my go-to set was always my original work as delivered to Warners. Brightness isn't a measure of quality though it is a component. Overall the tonality is much better (listen specifically to the drums, guitars and other bits that occupy the upper midrange). Listen to the stereo separation. I really cannot fathom how a listener could perceive this 2012 effort as worse.

      Other listeners, care to chime in?

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    2. I disagree with bobbybhoy. I think your new remasters are vastly superior to the 2007 Closer remaster. However, keep in mind that the release company heavily compressed your remasters to make them sound louder. I don't know how the compression works exactly, but perhaps it makes the higher tonality more apparent? I don't know. Bobby said he wasn't an expert, so maybe his ear is just untrained. I have only heard the 2007 remaster in lossy MP3 or on Youtube. To me, hearing these new 2012 remasters was such a major revelation that I will be listening to it for years to come and NEVER look back.

      Perhaps you could post at least one song from the older 2007 remaster (in lossless) and let him compare? My money's on the 2012 remaster, because like you said, you really have improved over the years, Mr. Analog.

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    3. These files sound awesome.

      I'm playing them on a very resolving hifi; WAV's streaming from a USB stick into a Naim DAC > Naim amps > Focal speakers.

      Tonally it's perfect.
      Sounds very analog.

      Well done.

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  8. Thanks for the reply. I didn't say it was worse! They both sound great to me considering they have come from a 32 year old cassette tape. I guess my ears pricked up more for the old version with a bit more presence. It's only when I listen to them back to back that I notice it. I accept that the new version sounds more powerful and has better stereo separation. I'm starting to think that it only sounds muddy because the old version is so bright. Listening to it stand alone and it does sound amazing.

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    1. I thought the same thing at first listen (you are not alone in your opinion). However, I had a good listen with studio monitor headphones and changed my mind. I agree the old mix was much 'brighter' with far more pronounced vocals and treble on the drums.
      However the new mix is much nicer to listen to at high volumes. It's also quite nice to listen all the way through on headphones with getting a headache! The old mix is brickwalled for maximum volume during the mastering process, as mentioned in the comments above, and therefore much more IN-YOUR-FACE-ALL-THE-TIME.
      After a good listen, I've trashed the other mix in favor of this one. It's just great!

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  9. The 2007 versions were compressed at the mastering stage for retail release in a market which is virtually defined by the over use of such techniques. The result is that the recordings will sound louder but they achieve this by flattening out the highs and lows that give a recording dynamic depth. Just listening to a snippet of both, one might be inclined to like the "louder" compressed version more, but over the course of fifty minutes the ear grows tired of the unrelenting barrage of sound. So try listening to both versions through and then compare the experience. One will leave you fatigued, the other elated.

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  10. Unable to download part 1 for some unknown reason.

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  11. Holy Cow- This is amazing. Thanks!

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  12. Thank you so much for pulling this effort together. I would gladly provide cover art for this beauty if you like.

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  13. Thank you so much! Downloading it now.

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  14. Thanks so much. Sounds amazing :)

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  15. The .flac files are not recognised by my Mac. Am I doing something wrong? Very disappointed!

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  16. Sadly the .flac files are not recognised by my Mac. Is there a way to do this, or am I screwed?

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    Replies
    1. Check this out.

      http://all2mp3.en.softonic.com/mac

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    2. You may want to try a free app called All2MP3. Enjoy.

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    3. Jeez don't transcode flac, just lpay it with a descent player.

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  17. I don't have a Mac but I'm sure someone can pipe in with some freeware options to convert for you :)

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  18. Wow. You are a magician of the highest order. Many thanks.

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  19. .flac + mac = fail. Any ideas guys??

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    Replies
    1. Use Stephen F. Booth's Max or XLD to convert FLAC to ALAC which is apple's lossless format. Or you could always use VLC to play them.

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    2. Convert them with All2MP3, nice and easy: http://www.tresrrr.com/All2MP3/ENGLISH.html

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  20. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3337259?start=0&tstart=0

    Seems there's ways without having to convert to lossy mp3s

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  21. I use Max to convert files if I need to. It works fine. http://sbooth.org/Max/

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  22. Mac users can use the excellent XLD to convert .flac files to pretty much anything they like: http://tmkk.pv.land.to/xld/index_e.html

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  23. ALL2MP3 for straight to 320 mp3 if you like: http://download.cnet.com/All2MP3/3000-2140_4-190407.html

    Or xACT for converting to uncompressed audio:
    http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/14246/xact

    Both free and trusted and run grand on my mac.

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  24. Man- Pitchfork must have driven your traffic through the roof. by the way, xAct is your friend. 0.M.

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  25. For mac, use the free xACT to easily convert flac to apple lossless.
    http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/14246/xact

    While it doesn't help play the files, it's what I use to convert to ALAC to then play in itunes. It's a shame noone has been able to integrate a flac plugin for itunes yet.

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  26. Thank you! Going to listen now. My favorite recording of their's has been a show from Amsterdam that someone posted on youtube. I have a feeling this one may match or surpass that one. Nothing matches that voice, that bass, those drums, that guitar and those synths when they are firing on all pistons.

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  27. For mac users: either convert it to another format - for that you could use Max (free open source software) - or download a player that can read flac - there are also foss for that.

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  28. You are, as always, purely awesome! I hope this won't catch you any hell though, especially since Pitchfork posted a link to your site in a front page story about your work. That reminds me, if I was going to pester you for a mastering job, how would I go about that? ;)

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    Replies
    1. @The Unheard: email me at DCmastering at gmail dot com and we'll talk.

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  29. Here are some photos of both Brussels Plan K gigs,
    enjoy !
    http://www.newwavephotos.com/gallery.php?name=JoyDivision&num=
    http://www.newwavephotos.com/gallery.php?name=JoyDivision&num=

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  30. On this version of "The Eternal", does Ian play guitar? There are sounds throughout the song that are akin to Ian's guitar in "LWTUA". Does Bernard not play both keyboards at the same time in this version as well?

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    Replies
    1. Ian does play guitar on The Eternal. On the High Wycombe soundcheck, you hear the sound guy say "Ian, can you play a song where you play guitar" or some such thing, and then they launch into The Eternal. His guitar is treated through some sort of box though.

      I think Barney is playing the ARP Omni-2 throughout.

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  31. Looks like the link is dead? Permanently "Loading…"

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  32. Looks like the link is dead? Anyone got a mirror?

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  33. Amazing work.

    Should you be of the mind to perform more audio magic on old cassettes, I have a bunch I made at various LA club gigs from 1980-1990 or so, most recorded on a Sony TCD-5M with sundry mics, ranging from Schoeps and Sennheisers to cheesy lavaliers and yes, some M-S models.

    No? Figured not, but I can dream, can't I? "-)

    Thanks for this, much appreciated.

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  34. Wonderful to have such a strong gig in flac format that's also easier on the ears, thanks for your clean-up efforts! You said you also did work on the material included on Still? Any chance you'll be revisiting those tracks?

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  35. Encoded to mp3 @ V0 quality for those who'd prefer it ;)
    http://www.filedropper.com/joydivision-198002-08ulu2012master

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  36. Thank'ee kindly! It's already up on What.CD but has been reported (wry grin).

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  37. Thanks for time and effort in resurrecting these tapes.

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  38. An outstanding job, sir - as a Joy Division fan, I love it. Contratulations and thank you very, very, very much!

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  39. Thanks Man!!!
    It's simply awesome!!!
    No words to express how important is this masterpiece.

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  40. Thanks Man!
    This is a masterpiece of the Music Universe,
    it sounds gorgeous now.

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  41. Thank you so much, this is amazing. All the best to you good Sir!

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  42. amazing! great great job!
    greetings from Chile!

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  43. Thank you sooo mucj for the amazing work !

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  44. The link to mediafire is dead ! :(

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  45. Thank you dude. I'm from Turkey and I love it.

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  46. Fantastic!! I 'd love to be kept posted as your work progresses and more shows become available.
    much love

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  47. I don't have the CD version to compare, but I'm happy to accept that this is an improvememt upon it. At any rate I'm amazed that a boombox cassette recording from 1980 could return results of this quality (also delighted to see it available lossless). Can't wait to hear the Still remaster now.

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  48. Thank you so much for sharing this with us! Great prompter to dig out the old JD stuff for a re-listen.

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  49. Wow, what an improvement on the official release. Crystal clear sound and the voacals sound beautiful, not so rude and aplomb. I can totally understand why you where so disappointed with the 2007 edition. And the rec.company who "mastered" your work. I followed the story on Marko's site at the time.
    Thanks a lot for al your effort.
    Greeting from Holland, Flip

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  50. Wow what an improvement on the official version. Crystal clear instruments and the vocals sound beautiful, not so rude and aplomb. I can totally understand your frustration and disapointment with the rec.company and the 2007 edition when they "mastered" your work. I followed the story on Marko's site at the time. This sounds so much more natural. Thanks a lot for your effort and sharing.
    Greetings from Holland

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  51. congratulations!! i love joy division thanks you for sharing these audios

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  52. ...sucks, Mediafire account suspended...anymirrors anywhere?

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  53. Just created a torrent from the original post's contents, but it's my first ever torrent file I've ever made, so stil not sure if it'll work or not. By the way, I'm seeding until I can. :)

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  54. Just created a torrent from the original post's contents, but it's my first ever torrent file I've ever made, so stil not sure if it'll work or not. By the way, I'm seeding until I can. :)

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  55. Oh, and by the way: http://rapidshare.com/files/1919365897/jd80univlondon.zip

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    Replies
    1. says traffic is exhausted.
      Anyone have a mirror?

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    2. http://j40ghv.1fichier.com/

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  56. Dammit! I just heard about this, and all the links seem to be dead. Can anyone help out?

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  57. I just heard about this! Can anyone help out? I can give you upload credentials to my FTP site, if necessary. Please contact me.

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  58. Is there a link to try? The media fire one doesn't work.

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