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 Post subject: Distant Early Warning
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:43 am 
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My CD copy of Grace Under Pressure is the original release that came out in the mid eighties. On the opening track, Distant Early Warning, there is a strange annoying distortion that begins about 13 seconds into the track fades out about 20 to 21 seconds and then reappears at about the 25 second mark fading out for good around 31 to 32 seconds into the track. I have always thought this was an unintended by-product of a mastering mistake.

I know the album, along with virtually all of Rush's earlier catalogue, has been re-mastered more than once over the years and I expected that on subsequent releases this mistake would have been eliminated.

Recently however, I listened to the album on Tidal and was surprised to hear the distortion still there. Is it possible Tidal.is simply using the original master? This would be out of the norm for the streaming service as they tend to offer the most recent re-master of any specific recording.

The possibility that this noise was an intended part of the original mix never occurred to me and still seems highly unlikely as it sounds completely disconnected from the rest of the recording.

Is there anyone who can shed some light on this? Hearing this distirtion has always annoyed me.

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Last edited by good sound on Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:04 am 
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I suspect that Tidal is NOT using the original master, which probably does not have those distortions.

I suspect that Tidal has cheaped out by using the same (or similar) recording as you are using and that's why you hear the same distortion.

It is a sad fact that many (most?) digital "remasters" of originally analogue recordings do not take the time, trouble, and expense of tracking down the original master tapes. These of course are not always available, but the brisk trade in reel-to-reel master tapes (actually copies thereof) suggests that many are.

That's why companies such as Mobile Fidelity produce such consistently excellent recordings, digital and analogue: they actually do license the original masters to produce their recordings.

Anyway, that's my two dBs worth. . .


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:12 am 
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The version of the record I have is the original CD release from Rush's label. It came out in 1984 the same year that the album was released, therefor I believe it does use the original digital master created for the CD format. I don't remember specifically but like most CD releases of that time it was most likely not in stores the same day as the LP or cassette version but released a few weeks later. Does anyone else remember the days when this was the norm for new releases put out in the early days of the CD format?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:26 am 
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That distortion found at the beginning of the track has always been there.
It is a 'static' sound effect....to add to the feel and emotion of the song.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:32 am 
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motionmover wrote:
That distortion found at the beginning of the track has always been there.
It is a 'static' sound effect....to add to the feel and emotion of the song.


Are you positive. I mean I guess it's possible, but it just sounds so disconnected from the recording. It would go along with the distopian theme of the song and the rest of the record, I suppose.

BTW I have always felt that this is Rush's most underrated record. I much prefer it over Signals, Power Windiws, Hold your Fire, even possibly Hemispheres.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:37 am 
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Supposedly some kind of nuclear explosion sound effect off in the distance.
Refer to song title.

G


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:56 am 
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sasquatch wrote:
Supposedly some kind of nuclear explosion sound effect off in the distance.
Refer to song title.

G


+1

I have the album in various formats....and that song, on every format, has that sound effect at the beginning of the track. Guess that was what Rush intended artistically.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:59 am 
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It must be. If it was a mistake it surely would have been corrected by now on subsequent re-masters and releases. Love the album but questionable artistic merit with that distortion choice in my opinion.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:06 pm 
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good sound wrote:
motionmover wrote:
That distortion found at the beginning of the track has always been there.
It is a 'static' sound effect....to add to the feel and emotion of the song.


Are you positive. I mean I guess it's possible, but it just sounds so disconnected from the recording. It would go along with the distopian theme of the song and the rest of the record, I suppose.

BTW I have always felt that this is Rush's most underrated record. I much prefer it over Signals, Power Windiws, Hold your Fire, even possibly Hemispheres.


I would have to say that Hemispheres and Grace Under Pressure were my 2 most favourite Rush recordings. I did read once in some music publication several years ago, that G.U.P. took nearly 13 months to complete and that Geddy, Alex and Neil actually were fighting a lot during the making of this record for some reason, some speculated the very deep rooted political opinions and overtones and a number of other reasons. Whatever the real story was, when I listen to this recording I feel a sense of anxiety and urgency about it, sometimes even anger. Strange....


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:15 pm 
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vinylbrother wrote:
good sound wrote:
motionmover wrote:
That distortion found at the beginning of the track has always been there.
It is a 'static' sound effect....to add to the feel and emotion of the song.


Are you positive. I mean I guess it's possible, but it just sounds so disconnected from the recording. It would go along with the distopian theme of the song and the rest of the record, I suppose.

BTW I have always felt that this is Rush's most underrated record. I much prefer it over Signals, Power Windiws, Hold your Fire, even possibly Hemispheres.


I would have to say that Hemispheres and Grace Under Pressure were my 2 most favourite Rush recordings. I did read once in some music publication several years ago, that G.U.P. took nearly 13 months to complete and that Geddy, Alex and Neil actually were fighting a lot during the making of this record for some reason, some speculated the very deep rooted political opinions and overtones and a number of other reasons. Whatever the real story was, when I listen to this recording I feel a sense of anxiety and urgency about it, sometimes even anger. Strange....


Yes, in later years members have admitted that the band very nearly broke up over the recording of GUP. I find it fascinating that so many of the best records have been produced when the artists are under extreme emotional stress. Bad times so often make for great music.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:20 pm 
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good sound wrote:
It must be. If it was a mistake it surely would have been corrected by now on subsequent re-masters and releases. Love the album but questionable artistic merit with that distortion choice in my opinion.


Bob Ludwig most likely asked the same question when it was mastered.
He would need the approval or he would need a re-mix.

G


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:16 pm 
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It’s part of the “motorcycle” sound effect.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:24 pm 
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the video for the song looks like low budget https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrDj5XvZXX4


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:30 pm 
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rednecknber wrote:
the video for the song looks like low budget https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrDj5XvZXX4


Ya, to say that videos were not Rush's strong suit would be a massive understatement.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:00 pm 
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good sound wrote:
rednecknber wrote:
the video for the song looks like low budget https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrDj5XvZXX4


Ya, to say that videos were not Rush's strong suit would be a massive understatement.



My 1st pressing first release LP copy of GUP is unplayed...except for that opening track - I disliked that bit so much...

I don't think I even took the plastic off of it... (just an a nagoaka inner and a plastic outer on top. not one fingerprint or speck of dirt..., just checked. same for power windows.)

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