Top critical review
Digital remastering just doesn't cut it
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on May 18, 2017
It is VERY HIGHLY UNLIKELY that any of these remastered songs were remastered from the original multitrack masters. Here's why. The technology for recording between 1960 and 1969 was 1/2 inch 3 or 4 track. Typically the vocals were put on 1 or 2 tracks and the instruments were put on the remaining track or tracks. This is why when any of this material was released in stereo generally all the vocals were on one side and all the instrumentals were on the other side. There was a lot of separation. If these Eric remasters were actually using the original multitrack masters there would also be a lot of separation with the vocals on one side and the instrumentals on the other side, but these Eric stereo remasters have minimal, if any, stereo separation so it is VERY HIGHLY UNLIKELY that they are using the original multitrack masters. When anybody tries to remix any previously released material, they are basically saying that the original artist, producer and engineer were wrong and we are right. Mixing is basically an opinion about levels of vocals versus various elements in the instrumental tracks, how to equalize each track and how much compression and limiting to use on each track. Eric Records is obviously using all digital software versus the original tracks being mixed on analog and most likely tube equipment depending upon the year. The state of the art compressor/limiter from 1964-69 was the Teletronix LA-2A. It is still a highly sought after piece of equipment today. The going rate for them on the used equipment market is between $3750.00 and $5000.00 and you need two for stereo. The solid state Urei LA-3A replaced it in 1969 and goes for about $2500.00 on the used equipment market and you need two for stereo. There's a good chance that every hit record was mixed with one or the other starting in 1964 even though some studios used other compressors. Why am I telling you all this? It's because the songs on these Eric cds were remastered digitally with a computer program. What does this mean? It means that the Eric remastering will have cleaner audio and sound more like a current recording. Unfortunately, when you do anything digitally, while the audio is cleaner, the music loses the depth, punch and warmth that the original recordings had. It's particularly obvious on anything Eric releases in stereo or phony DES stereo for the first time. All the hit records from 1955-71 were mixed to sound good on AM radio. These Eric remastering jobs wouldn't sound good on AM radio because they lack the mid range punch and various other elements that the original recordings had. Most AM radios rolled off over 5000 cycles and the record companies mixed their songs with a heavy dose of 4000 cycle eq. If you read about the Fletcher Munson Theory, you'll understand why. That 4000 cycle punch is missing in Eric's remastering. That takes away a lot of the excitement that these recordings had and makes them sound flat and dead versus the original recordings. One more thing...Digital compression and limiting sounds inferior and doesn't have the warmth or depth of the vintage equipment listed above. That's why vintage compressor/limiters go for so much money on the used equipment market. My suggestion to Eric is to remaster future recordings with a pair of Teletronix LA-2As.