Burning The Ground: DjPaulT's 80's and 90's Remixes

80's and 90's 12 Inch Mixes

Michael Sembello – Maniac (US 12″)

Posted by DjPaulT on October 23rd, 2014

BURNING THE GROUND EXCLUSIVE 1983

Side 1

“Maniac” is a synthpop song performed by Michael Sembello. The song was used in the 1983 film Flashdance.

“Maniac” appears during an early scene in Flashdance and is used as the backing track of a montage sequence showing Alex (Jennifer Beals) training strenuously in her converted warehouse.

The song was included in Flashdance after Sembello’s wife sent a tape to executives at Paramount Pictures who were looking for music to use in the film.

“Maniac” reached number one in the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks beginning on September 10, 1983 and is one of the highest-grossing songs ever written for a film. In addition to producing “Maniac”, Phil Ramone produced the song that would dethrone it from the top spot, Billy Joel’s “Tell Her About It”. The Original Soundtrack of Flashdance won the 1984 Grammy Award for Best Album of Original Score Written for A Motion Picture or a Television Special.

The song was nominated for an Academy Award. Another song from the film, “Flashdance… What a Feeling” performed by Irene Cara, won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1984.

 

About This Rip.You all know that I am constantly trying to improve my rips. I have been doing some research and studying different ripping and mastering techniques. I decided to implement some of what I have learned on this 12″. I think it sounds much better than my previous work. If the feedback is positive this will be how I do all of my rips from now on. Please let me know what you think.

I have also provided a second set of links to the untouched version of the files. These files have not been compressed or “Brickwalled”. Just so they can be compared.

 

SIDE A:
Maniac (Vocal) (Re-Mix) 5:53

SIDE B:
Maniac (Instrumental) 5:08

VINYL GRADE:
Vinyl: Near Mint
Sleeve: Near Mint (company)

U.S. CHART HISTORY:

Year Single Chart Position
1984 Maniac U.S. Billboard Hot 100 #1
1984 Maniac U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks #34
1984 Maniac U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks #34
1984 Maniac U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play #8

 

RELEASE INFORMATION:
Label: Casablanca Records ‎– 812 516-1
Format: Vinyl, 12″, 45 RPM, Single
Country: US
Released: 1983
Genre: Electronic, Pop
Style: Synth-pop

CREDITS:
Engineer – Jay Mark
Producer – Michael Sembello, Phil Ramone
Remix – John “Jellybean” Benitez
Written-By – D. Matkosky*, M. Sembello*

NOTES:
“Special Remix Version of Michael Sembello’s MANIAC from FLASHDANCE.

Find The 12″ On DISCOGS

Side 2

EQUIPMENT USED:
Turntable: Pro-Ject Debut III
Cartridge: Ortofon Super
Stylus: Ortofon OM Stylus 30
Platter: Pro-Ject Acryl-It platter
Speed Control: Pro-Ject Speed Box S
Phono Pre-amp: Bellari VP130 Tube Phono Preamp
Tube: Tung-Sol 12AX7ECC803-S Gold Electron Tube
Soundcard: ESI Juli@
Record Cleaning: VPI HW 16.5 Record Cleaning Machine
Artwork Scans: Brother MFC-6490CW Professional Series Scanner

SOFTWARE USED:
Recording/Editing: Adobe Audition 3.0 (Recording)
Down Sampling: iZotope RX Advanced 2
Artwork Editor: Adobe Photoshop CS5
Click Removeal: ClickRepair (DeClick Level 3)
FLAC/MP3 Conversion: dBpoweramp
M3U Playlist: Playlist Creator

RESTORATION NOTES:
All vinyl rips are recorded @ 32bit/float
FLAC (Level Eight)
MP3 (320kbps)
Artwork scanned at 600dpi

Username: btg
Password: burningtheground

 

**UNTOUCHED VERSION

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64 Responses to “Michael Sembello – Maniac (US 12″)”

  1. Dave Says:

    Sounds amazing. You have my blessing to use this new technique of ripping!

    [Reply]

    DjPaulT Reply:

    Thank you Dave!

    [Reply]

  2. Jeff Says:

    It’s nice that you kept the Michael Sembello songs coming Paul. This was a great remix by Jellybean, much different than the soundtrack version, and one that I’ll always cherish. I’m still here at work, but I’m always checking BTG to see what’s new. So delighted to have this new rip. I’m looking forward to hearing your new ripping techniques applied here. You constantly strive for perfection in what you do and we, as fans, very much benefit from your new skills. I can’t wait!!

    This post made me smile because, even though it may not be a Halloween record per se, the title still fits in with the genre in a way. This October has been incredible for all the music you’ve been giving us, especially the Rhythm Stick remix service from the other day. I’m so impressed with all the work you’ve done and the end result is more than wonderful!!! Thank you immensely!!!!

    Jeff

    [Reply]

    DjPaulT Reply:

    Thank you Jeff. Yeah not really a Halloween track but there seemed to be some interest in it yesterday so I thought I would throw it in the mix. It also gave me a chance to play with some new tricks that I have learned. I look forward to hearing what you think 🙂

    [Reply]

    woz Reply:

    The Halloween themed posts are nice but I really hope you give the same amount of love to other holidays too. I look forward to a month of Easter songs and Labor Day songs! 😀 😀 😀

    [Reply]

  3. Ezequiel Says:

    Paul, I love this song as much as the entire Flashdance OST, because it was one of my first cassettes at the time it came up (I was only 8 years).
    But this songs are like the good wine.
    I can’t wait to hear the new rips.

    Lots of hugs!

    [Reply]

    DjPaulT Reply:

    Thank you Ezequiel 🙂

    [Reply]

  4. Sean (D.J. Pegasus) Says:

    Thank you very much for this track, Paul! It’s one of my favorites!

    The clarity is really good, but that’s true of all of your rips! But it’s hard for me to compare because I haven’t heard this remix in a long time. Can you tell us what you did differently?

    After having a look in Audacity, it appears like the track has been dynamically compressed, which makes ripping easier but sacrifices dynamics, especially if it’s visible in an editor. If that’s indeed what’s going on, I vote against it because part of the great sound of vinyl is due to the fact that the “loudness war” could only go so far on the medium before needles would be jumping grooves. 🙂

    [Reply]

    DjPaulT Reply:

    Thanks for your input Sean. Are you looking at the mp3, flac or 24 bit?

    [Reply]

    Sean (D.J. Pegasus) Reply:

    I normally just grab the 16-bit FLAC. I just now downloaded the 24-bit as well and it too shows the same effect.

    I actually have the original rip you did on MP3 only in May of 2008 and it does not show it. (Yes, I’ve been following your posts for a long time! And as soon as I pick up a Pro-Ject deck, I’ll send you some of my rarities to share with the class. 🙂 )

    [Reply]

    DjPaulT Reply:

    Thank’s for the input Sean. The only thing I did different was I used the Mastering rack in Adobe Audition. I noticed it did make the wave form fatter and louder although it is not clipping.

    [Reply]

    Sean (D.J. Pegasus) Reply:

    Ah okay. The intent of that rack is to prepare a song for inclusion on a (CD) album. Songs already on records or CDs have already been mastered before being pressed onto the medium, so there’s no need to do it again for rips. But if you like the result, by all means use it, but if you do, I second Thomas’ suggestion to also include a version that hasn’t been passed through such effects, probably the 24-bit one for us audiophiles. 🙂

    In any case, thanks again for your great work and dedication!

    [Reply]

    DjPaulT Reply:

    Thanks Sean I have added above a second set of links containing the untouched version that I normally would have posted.

    [Reply]

    Thomas Reply:

    While we always appreciate your efforts to get the best sound quality and best rips possible…I have to say I agree with Sean. One of the best things about your rips is that you have always left the original dynamics of the music alone. I vote any further post also contain one version with the original mastering from vinyl.

    [Reply]

    DjPaulT Reply:

    I hear what you are saying Thomas. Thank you for your input.

    [Reply]

    Thomas Reply:

    What these mastering effects in programs like Audition or Magix ACL do is actually compress the dynamic range from the wav form to (nearly) equal levels and then expand (normalize) the wav up to its highest peaks equal level (usually 0db) thereby removing the dynamics of the original music. Everything will sound louder but you remove some of the subtleties of the original music. This is what the trend in mastering and remastering has been for the last 25 years. However most audiophiles and vinyl enthusiasts have rejected the trend and overwhelmingly prefer the original mastering and dynamics found in vinyl recordings. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war

    [Reply]

    DjPaulT Reply:

    Thanks Thomas I have added above a second set of links containing the untouched version that I normally would have posted.

    [Reply]

    Thomas Reply:

    Thanks Paul for uploading the original mastering. I definitely prefer the untouched version, but that is not to say what you did was not good…because it sounds much like what engineers for modern releases get paid big money to do and many people like the louder sounding result. It is that I am sensitive about the “brickwalled” compression/limiter technique of modern mastering.

    I agree with most everything Mjb brought up…When using signal processing, my rule of thumb is less is more. I think a little EQ correction and some brightening can be good. Or maybe even a little widening of stereo. As far as compression and limiting, a very small amount can go a long way and (in my opinion) should be used sparingly. But I do think it can be useful in small amounts to liven up an otherwise dull original master.

    Again. Thanks for this and all of the other fantastic rips you so painstakingly work on to share with us.

    Here are a couple of nice articles you may find interesting from a respected mastering engineer about this subject:
    http://www.justmastering.com/article-song-mastering-process.php
    http://www.justmastering.com/article-masteringphilosophy.php

    [Reply]

    Will Reply:

    Compression is something I’ve pondered, and I came to the conclusion that although on first blush a compressed song sounds better, ultimately it is fatiguing to listen to. The ears expect there to be changes (a wide dynamic range), and when there aren’t, it becomes much like a drone.

    Besides, most old singles tend to turn up on CDs compressed to almost no dynamic range at all. I always consider your rips to be an upgrade over that tendency.

    [Reply]

  5. Dave D Says:

    I did a listen between these Maniac tracks and yesterday’s Automatic Man tracks. Kind of a before and after comparison. I’m using Passion Audio Player with a generic sound card on a WinXP desktop. I purposely tested the mp3 versions in order to compare the lowest resolution versions first.
    This is what I hear on the Maniac versus Automatic Man tracks:
    1. Higher volume across the board. I’ve got the graphic equalizer displayed and the difference is noticeable.
    2. Noticeably better separation between left and right channels.
    3. The treble portions of the tracks are much clearer and come through very well.
    4. A much crisper sound overall.

    The fidelity of these mp3 tracks is remarkable. Sounds like I’m listening to a cd. Can’t wait to download and check out the flac versions. Bravo !!!!

    [Reply]

    DjPaulT Reply:

    Thank you for your input Dave.

    [Reply]

  6. mjb Says:

    The only real issue I noticed is that the background hiss “pumps” during the cowbell at the beginning of the B-side. I suspect this is a result of your processing. It’s minor, really.

    I happen to have a very good, not-very-processed mastering of the A-side on the 1994 compilation CD The Casablanca Records Story, so I compared your rip to it.

    The most obvious difference is that your tonal balance (EQ) is very pleasant and modern. The vocal and hi-hats are especially clear.

    Some listeners may be disappointed to find that you apparently have also “brickwalled” it with a compressor/limiter, removing about 4 dB of dynamic range (as very crudely measured by the peak-to-RMS ratio). In this particular song, it happens to be no problem, you can’t hear the 4 dB difference, but in other songs it can be noticeable. It depends on the music and also how the limiting was done.

    The EQ and dynamic range compression make it sound very much like how most music has been mastered in the mid-’90s to the present day. It’s a bit different than how it sounded in the ’80s when it came out. Now every instrument and vocal is very clear and “present”—nothing sounds “distant” or in the background anymore. Another technique that enhances this effect is stereo expansion (side channel boost), which pans off-center sounds further to the extreme left and right.

    Most people prefer the crisp, everything-up-front sound now, and it’s how pretty much all pop music is mixed nowadays. It’s why modern remasters sound the way they do. It’s also comparable to the kind of processing they’ve always done at radio stations, even in the ’80s. So if that’s what you’re trying to compete with, you were successful.

    Personally I have mixed feelings. With my hearing not being quite what it used to be, and because I can’t help but be exposed to how new music is mixed nowadays, I happen to really like the modern EQ. For the sake of keeping the “impact” in the percussion, I’m not a fan of messing with the dynamic range beyond whatever the EQ does to it. And although I don’t think you used it, I should mention that I loathe stereo expansion; it ruins headphone listening for me, and takes away some of the dreaminess and moodiness of ’80s music.

    Also, beyond correcting for known deficiencies in the record and your gear, I feel like the more you change, the less authentic it is. If people want the modern sound in an ’80s record, they should mess with plug-ins and other sonic enhancers themselves.

    On the other hand, who’s to say what the intended sound really was back then? Maybe they assumed you’d hear it on the radio or would play it through mediocre-quality speakers and with the bass & treble cranked way up (we all did it), and the end result is basically the same as what you’re doing here.

    Are you saving the rips in the original style in case you change your mind? Maybe you could even give downloaders a choice, as you do with the formats. Anyway, thanks for all the time and effort you put into this.

    [Reply]

    DjPaulT Reply:

    Thank you Mjb for all of your input I have added above a second set of links containing the untouched version that I normally would have posted.

    [Reply]

  7. mjb Says:

    I want to just add to my comment: If you do continue processing the audio this way, I would say just try to err on the side of always using a light touch, just like with the automatic declicking. Don’t push it any further than you did with this record. If every rip comes out sounding just like this one, or even halfway in between this and the old way, I think listeners will be VERY happy.

    [Reply]

  8. Jeff Says:

    Paul, I’m extremely impressed with your audiophile readers. These guys really know their stuff. I just listened to this rip and I love the way it sounds. I like the crispness and the punch-yness to the track. I also like volume, but that doesn’t mean I like distortion and clipping. My ears aren’t like yours and some others that are out there, but I do know what I like and I like this. It’s really a matter of personal taste and I can appreciate others’ input because it makes me look at my own point of view and really think about sound and the effect sound has on one. I particularly loved Mjb’s feedback up above. I admired his observations about the sound and sonics in general. Wow, this place is so fantastic that it boggles my mind!!

    Paul, thanks for this 12-inch. I can’t say enough on how much I adore this rip.

    Jeff

    [Reply]

    DjPaulT Reply:

    Thanks Jeff I have added above a second set of links containing the untouched version that I normally would have posted.

    [Reply]

  9. Wim Says:

    Paul,

    Thank you very much for all the fantastic rips over the time. I really enjoy your work as well as your musical taste, since it perfectly fits into mine.

    I have been listening this evening this rip a number of times and it sounds great on my ELAC FS 609 X-Pi ‘Superlabs’ speakers. As a true audiophile I used the 24-bit FLAC but unfortunately cannot compare this one to your “normal” rips. It sounds crisp and clear, but I would like to compare. Would it be possible to post the other 24-bit version as well to do a thorough comparison? I agree to previous comments that you have to be careful with changing what was originally meant to be, assuming that we know what that is … 😉 … ??

    Thanks a lot for this rip. This 12” has always been one of my favourites.

    BTW, I always convert your rips from FLAC to ALAC with XLD and this one behaves strange meaning that no tag information is copied from the FLAC to the ALAC version, I had to include that manually contrary to your other rips where this all runs automatically. Strange.

    Thanks a lot for all the hard work Paul,

    Wim

    [Reply]

    DjPaulT Reply:

    Thanks Wim it was a mistake I forgot to tag the files.

    [Reply]

  10. woz Says:

    Thank you for the rip, Paul! I look forward to hearing it – not sure if I’ve heard this particular mix before.

    As far as the sound quality goes, I have not listened yet and do not have good equipment to listen on, so I’m afraid I won’t be of much help. I would only say that in general, and if you asked my opinion, I would prefer minor audio corrections to the original file to keep it as close to original recording as possible. Honestly though, I try to simply trust my ears, if it sounds good – then it sounds good, I try not to over analyze it too much. 🙂

    [Reply]

  11. woz Says:

    After reading about the history of the song, I had to chuckle at the fact that his wife was responsible for getting the song on the soundtrack and it ultimately becoming a smash hit. I hope he found a way to show her some gratitude for her role in launching this song. 😎

    [Reply]

  12. JTF Says:

    Thanks Paul… always a song that makes me want to do that “running” move! LOL

    [Reply]

  13. Jeff McKeehan Says:

    Paul, the tweaks you’ve incorporated are simply excellent!

    The sound, overall, is much more “rounded”. The channel separation is more evident, yet not artificial-sounding. (It doesn’t sound binaural, yet is has a pleasant space between the ears, and you know what I mean in this context, I’m sure).

    Lower-register has more balls, yet isn’t grossly overstated.

    I offer my opinions as a retired DJ, Hot Tracks contributor and classically trained musician.

    Well done!

    Jeff McKeehan
    Phoenix AZ

    [Reply]

    Jeff Reply:

    Jeff,

    Are you the same person who worked on the Hot Tracks medleys with Glenn Cattanach and Greg Lee? If you are, WOW and Oh My God!! Those medleys from 1984 and 1985 are two of my favorite medleys….EVER!! You guys did incredible work and I’m honored that I’ve got the chance to say thank you!!

    I also read your post about your dog Max and thought that was beautifully written. It made me cry actually. I love when people love their pets as deeply as you.

    Thank you again for all your hard work on those tracks!!

    Jeff

    [Reply]

    Jeff Reply:

    I want to share with everyone a link concerning a medley Jeff McKeehan worked on. I’m quite sure all of you will find it interesting:

    http://www.hotdiscomix.de/remix_services/hot_tracks/medley/making_of_best1985.htm

    Jeff

    [Reply]

    Jeff McKeehan Reply:

    Hi, Paul…..
    Yes, I’m *that* Jeff.

    Thanks for your kind comments about both the Hot Tracks medleys and my beloved Max.

    Jeff

    [Reply]

  14. Stefano Says:

    Hi Paul, first of all thanks for this Michael Sembello post. Very happy with the instrumental too!

    About you new ripping technique: I prefer the uncompressed standard rip. If I want some more dynamics or treble, I can easily adjust my equalizer.
    I hope you keep posting the untouched versions as well, if you decide to transfer to the new technique.

    [Reply]

  15. CL Says:

    Many thanks Paul!

    [Reply]

  16. hkfriends Says:

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks so much for the rip 🙂
    I compare both version (new rip and untouched version)

    the new rip is much higher in volume (too loud), and the treble is too high…

    so I compare the both version with Dynamic Range Meter in foobar2000, It seems the untouch version got higher Dynamic Range value or 14 (while the new rip down to 9)

    You can check this out with more info:
    http://www.pleasurizemusic.com/en/faqtech-info

    foobar2000 1.3.4 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
    log date: 2014-10-24 23:37:09

    ——————————————————————————–
    Statistics for: 01-Maniac (Vocal Re-Mix)
    Number of samples: 33888000
    Duration: 5:53
    ——————————————————————————–

    Left Right

    Peak Value: -0.45 dB — -0.45 dB
    Avg RMS: -10.39 dB — -9.91 dB
    DR channel: 8.78 dB — 8.41 dB
    ——————————————————————————–

    Official DR Value: DR9

    Samplerate: 96000 Hz
    Channels: 2
    Bits per sample: 24
    Bitrate: 1620 kbps
    Codec: FLAC
    ================================================================================

    foobar2000 1.3.4 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
    log date: 2014-10-24 23:36:30

    ——————————————————————————–
    Statistics for: 01-Maniac (Vocal Re-Mix)
    Number of samples: 33888000
    Duration: 5:53
    ——————————————————————————–

    Left Right

    Peak Value: -0.89 dB — -0.19 dB
    Avg RMS: -16.49 dB — -16.01 dB
    DR channel: 14.10 dB — 14.56 dB
    ——————————————————————————–

    Official DR Value: DR14

    Samplerate: 96000 Hz
    Channels: 2
    Bits per sample: 24
    Bitrate: 1398 kbps
    Codec: FLAC
    ================================================================================

    [Reply]

    DjPaulT Reply:

    That’s good to know. Thanks for the info. I downloaded the Dynamic Range Noise Meter for Foobar2000 but it says it’s expired and will not work. Any ideas?

    [Reply]

    hkfriends Reply:

    you can download from
    http://www.metal-fi.com/measuring-dynamic-range/

    If the song has the same resolution, it is better to keep high dynamic range value.
    Loudness is no mean for a good sound.

    [Reply]

    hkfriends Reply:

    the developer remote the trial date validation.

    and the version 1.1.1 is here

    http://www.metal-fi.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/foo_dynamic_range_1.1.1.zip

    [Reply]

  17. synthman Says:

    Hi Paul
    Sound is great. I love it.
    Keep the 80s MAXIs alive!

    Thx for the good and hard work.

    [Reply]

  18. Sam Lowry Says:

    I have listened two both and prefer the untouched one. The compressed one is too loud and the high notes are too extreme. Thank you for giving us both version and giving us the ability to voice our opinion. Whatever you choose to do, I will continue following your blog as you introduced me to very interesting music.

    [Reply]

  19. Dave.S Says:

    Hi Paul

    Please keep your transfers unprocessed…. They sound great!
    Keep up the good work
    Thanks…. Dave

    [Reply]

  20. DLG Says:

    Paul – I’ve followed your blog for years, and love your work restoring all these old classics. As a lifelong musician using software to record, clean up and master all sorts of recordings for almost 2 decades, I thought to chime in. Where it comes to flat mastering vs. compression techniques, I understand the “audiophile” argument about dynamic range. It *can* be an issue, depending on the source and especially, the style of music. It’s absolutely critical in classical and jazz to preserve the distance between the highs and lows.

    But the focus on peak and average volume levels (RMS) is only one piece of a larger topic. On the other side, most radio-driven popular music (which would include almost everything on this blog, and most others) was designed to have steady dynamics (a regular, driving instrumentation that doesn’t change in volume much), and should be played at consistent, high, volume levels.

    In fact, a big reason the pop music of the 80s sounded so electric and dynamic (beyond the great voices and production techniques), is the processing tools utilized by almost all radio stations: They used peak limiting to keep the volume at a steady level without clipping (in the -10 to -15 db range), and they utilized a “smiley-face” EQ setting. For reference, the smiley-face EQ setting boosts the emphasis in two areas: First on the higher-end frequencies such as voices, higher-pitched keyboard & guitar sounds, etc. And then on the bottom end, a slight emphasis on the upper bass levels to create a driving, consistent “thump” in the bass drums and bass guitar. Apply this and voila – you have great highs, consistent mids and a driving (but not overpowering) bass. And that’s how these tracks sounded on the radio / TV back in the late 70s and 80s.

    The producers and engineers of the era knew this process, and so provided flat masters so that the DJ’s could EQ and compress to get the “fat” sound that radio demands.

    A technical note about vinyl and old tape: 30 years have passed (!) Due to all that time, a slight high-end EQ push is usually warranted, given that the higher frequencies have gotten lost over time.

    My iPod for the car has hundreds of DjPaulT vinyl rips because they sound great. For reference, my own sound processing goes:

    1. Download the 16-bit FLAC version, convert to wav format.
    2. Open up the wav file, compare the version to other rips / masters I have and see which levels sound best.
    3. Compare EQ settings (generally don’t need to do this step with rips from 2012 and beyond. Your rips kick ass!)
    4. Determine the best average RMS for the song before creating a Q=0 VBR MP3 for the car. I typically find the following:

    heavy driving music (rock, mostly) – target RMS of -12 dB [no louder than -10.5 dB]
    fast-paced pop/rock/R&B with a “full sound” – target RMS of -13 dB to -14 dB [no louder than -12.5 dB]
    R&B/pop/rock/hip hop with more spare instrumentation – target RMS of -13.7 dB to -14.5 dB [no louder than -13 dB]
    ballads with a full band throughout – target RMS of -15 dB to -16 dB [no louder than -14.5 dB]
    softer music – target RMS of -16 dB to -18 dB [no louder than -15.5 dB]
    classical music – target RMS of -19 dB to -25 dB [no louder than -18 dB]

    And while this rough guide works ~80% of the time, I still have to review the changes to the wav to ensure that a quiet song that gets loud doesn’t get TOO loud. Say Sister Christian by Night Ranger, for example – the breaks and verses are fine boosted to -16 dB, but the end chorus might get up to -9 dB as a result. To my ears these tracks shouldn’t get louder than -10db for any protracted period of time, because instrumental separation can suffer from compression and the loudness can get shrill. It’s a bad combo.

    Ironically, Maniac is a song that to my ears should hum along at about -13 dB RMS. And sure enough, your master is exactly that! So I thank you for saving me some steps. (And no, I didn’t mention the minimal EQ boost that you used, but it’s a perfect usage of the smiley-face EQ I mentioned above. Well done.)

    One final point: I love working on music and striving for better sound. You’re obviously the same thing x 100. But most people, even those that visit your blog, are rightfully going to have glazed-over eyes due to the talk about compression, artifacts, RMS and decibels. My advice? Provide them the best sounding version to your ears, and/or the version that you think best represents how that piece of music sounded in its day. That’s a great thing. And if beyond that you also want to cater to that small (but vocal) group of flat master fans as well? That’s nice too.

    The end result is that we have Maniac the way it sounded in 1983. Plus a flat rip for the minority of people that like things flat. The best of both worlds – so thank you for your great work, as always, and sorry for the ramble!

    [Reply]

  21. Diego Says:

    Oh my god! The sound of the new rip is superb! (Clap clap clap)
    I vote for the new ripping technique.
    Congratulations Paul and huge thanks.

    [Reply]

  22. Dave Says:

    New rip is much better, no comparison, IMO!

    Thanks for all you do!

    [Reply]

  23. Marcos Says:

    Hi Paul! Thanks for all the time and effort you put into this, but vinyl is HDR, there are already too many remastered editions, vinyl lovers appreciate the high dynamic range.
    I vote for untouched rip.

    Thanks, thanks, thanks for your work. Thanks Paul for music!

    [Reply]

  24. ric Says:

    Hi Paul,
    Great to know you’re feeling better and apologies again for my long absence.
    I’ve downloaded both versions to give you my humble and personal opinion. I’m no expert in the world of spectrum analysis and audio software, so I can only based on what I hear to my bare ears.
    The untouched version sounds fuller and more “3-D” while the remaster louder and punchier. While the remaster has more punch, it lacks depth to me. May sound paradoxical but that’s how I feel.
    My vote goes to the untouched version. You have done an amazing job on that already!

    As for this not being a Halloween post, think twice.
    Michael Sembello actually wrote this song after watching a rented VHS of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre! He wrote and recorded it just for the fun of it.
    When he got a call from Paramount asking for his contribution for the Flashdance movie, he demoed some tunes he thought would be suitable and got his wife to record these demos onto a cassette and sent it to the studio executives. None of those demos were suitable but the execs went crazy over one particular song – Maniac.
    His wife was mortified!
    That Maniac demo wasn’t supposed to be sent out, but she has mistakenly included it. The studios didn’t care and insisted that it was perfect for a particular movie sequence – yes, THAT famous dance scene.
    So while the song ended up in the movie and countless aerobic classes, its genesis is actually linked to Horror.
    Happy weekend, Paul and all!

    [Reply]

    DjPaulT Reply:

    Thank you Ric. I hope things are going better for you. I miss your comments. As a matter of fact I do remember the Texas Chainsaw Massacre connection to this track. Thanks for reminding me of it. I hope this comment means we will be hearing more from you again 🙂

    [Reply]

    Wim Reply:

    Hi Paul,

    I now had a chance to listen thoroughly to both versions and I agree to Ric’s comment. At first instance the touched version sounds great, louder and more punch. However, after I while it tends to become too much and I started to re-like the untouched version which appears to be broader in spectrum. I therefore also vote for the untouched version.

    [Reply]

  25. Greg Says:

    This sounds great (I downloaded the ‘remastered’ version), as do all of your uploads. Thanks for all your amazing shares. You are very generous.

    [Reply]

  26. Pat Says:

    Hey Paul, thanks for the Michael track. I downloaded this mix from another blog one time, and this rip was extreamly better sounding. That being said, I much prefer the newer ripped version verses the untouched version. The untouched version still sounds better then the mix I already had, but to me, the new tricks you tried make it sound 100% better in my opinion. I don’t know what you’ve decided to do, if the majority decide on the untouched version, so be it. Or, maybe do what you’ve done here and provide seperate links for the untouched version. That would work well. Good job as always!

    [Reply]

  27. Budesonide Says:

    Thank you for all the work you do DjPaul! You’ve got a great collection of “essential” music 🙂

    I wanted to put in my vote to keep the releases UNTOUCHED, please. Or at least always have the untouched version available.

    I personally much prefer the dynamics high even though it may not “conform” to the modern pop releases these days. Most pop music sound terrible these days on very good equipment and I believe this is why LPs can sometimes sound better. So please, let’s not have these releases degraded to the modern standard.

    Another benefit of releasing an untouched version is that the individual can process the 24/96’s themselves if they prefer a loud and punchy compressed version. There would be no way to reverse back the other direction.

    [Reply]

    Budesonide Reply:

    If nobody mentioned it previously:
    Why not release the 16-bit version using the compression & EQ algorithm and keep the 24-bit untouched for the purists.

    With dynamic compression, there is no benefit to keeping it 24-bit since the dynamic headroom is never used!

    [Reply]

  28. Locutus Says:

    I vote “No Limiting” everytime. There is barely any reason to compress a 12″ singles’ dynamics. That was part of the selling point in calling them maxi sound ect. back then.

    I could see adding a bit of peak limiting if you were adding the 12″ version to the album itself in a compilation just to average out the volume. That is not too difficult for the one who’s doing the compiling anyway.

    Full blown compression is horrible no matter the intention & is the devils own trap. Don’t fall into it. If you do, then there’s no reason to rip from vinyl anymore.

    [Reply]

  29. Pablo Says:

    I vote for the new mastering technique.
    It sounds so much better. I respect the other comments above, but I don’t care about numbers, logarithms, levels, statistics and ranges. Music is not mathematics, music is to hear with our hears and feel with our souls, and my ears and soul tell me that the new ripping technique sounds a way better.
    Please Paul, keep using the new technique, maybe from now on you can post the 24bit version untouched for the purists, and the 16bit version with the new technique.
    Thanks for reading and for all the effort you put in this blog!
    Blessings.

    [Reply]

  30. Chris Says:

    ..and the winner is: UNTOUCHED!
    It’s because
    *track MAY lack that super dynamics, but at the same time all necessary bits and pieces are present. Track is dry, without bouldness and rich midsections, sounding like V-shaped eq. car stereo (sorry). First impression can be even promising. But not.. ;
    *1300 vs 1700 kbps doesn’t mean the track IS better with louder sound. At this point i found the untouched-one much quieter, but when turning volumes up to the level all comes back. And it sounds brilliant;
    *i personally hate “tuned” soundings, exept some remixed versions prod. by well known dj’s :)) My ears love natural, open and wide-range sound. Period. That’s why the untouched.
    PS. Keep the tubings! It will improve sound drastically.
    Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    I’ll correct one thing. About the dry-sounding track part – i mean TOUCHED sound, not untouched. My bad.

    [Reply]

  31. opoder Says:

    Thank you for UNTOUCHED Version!

    [Reply]

  32. woz Says:

    Finally got a chance to compare both versions of the 16bit FLAC. I love the sound of the rip on the untouched version – and I can’t really tell a whole lot of difference in the other version, other than it is louder. So I would vote for the untouched version.

    Thanks for the excellent rip! 😎

    [Reply]

  33. Waltz Says:

    Hi, Paul. Just popped in to say that the untouched 24/96 transfer sounds absolutely phenomenal. Massive thanks for both sides (the instrumental track is pure gold), keep it pure, and recuperate soon!

    [Reply]

  34. Rock Slag Says:

    Hello,

    I have only recently found your site. Your rips are excellent. Thank you!!!

    In my honest opinion the “untouched version” is greatly superior! I will say that in a 5-15 or even 20 second sampling it does not appear that way, however when listing to the complete tracks back to back the untouched breathes nicely and sounds more natural and musical almost like it was from a superior recording. Hoping you will not change to the “new style” or will at least offer untouched versions going forward.

    On a different note any chance of a re-up of:
    http://burningtheground.net/2010/07/neil-diamond-america-us-7-single/

    Man Thanks for all you efforts!

    [Reply]

  35. Rollo Says:

    Hello dear DjPaulT,

    love your past time music, which is so long out of print and unavailable in remote parts of the world.

    The UNTOUCHED version is a pleasure to listen to.
    Please preserve the original Vinyl sound by not processing it, it saves your time and preserves the dynamics and the transients of the music too!

    The music selection is very enjoyable 🙂
    Thanks for your collection.

    [Reply]

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