Jethro Tull 5.1 (“Bursting Out” box set with Steven Wilson 5.1 mixes out in June 2024!)


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I've got a question that I haven't found the answer to yet,
In short, were the original 1982 masters recorded to analog or digital files?
I found the inner detail captured and then transferred to the new multich masters
to hint at being from an digital source but I wouldn't bet the farm on it. LOL
Full analog!

Under Wraps is an analog recording also.
Do you record analog or digital? I think some older artists have stuck with the analog style of recording despite all the advances in technology.

Ian Anderson - Hmm, well, that’s interesting. The world of digital recording really began I suppose around the mid-80s and in 86, when I was recording Crest of a Knave, that was mastered on digital, the formats that existed in that day which were not quite what they are these days, but the mixing was done to both 30 inch per second half inch tape, and also to a new digital format that Sony had come up with. I mixed the albums in a digital format but the multi-tracks were analog at that point.

But then around the turn of the decade it started to become a little more sophisticated. There were a number of multi-track formats available and I started work really on the fully fledged digital stuff with not only digital recording, but a digital mixer as well somewhere around 94 or 95.

I rather like the fact that there are some things that don’t have to change, that we can appreciate the engineering excellence and the functionality of a whole lot of perhaps mundane tools of the trade.

A hammer is still in the toolkit of your average carpenter or a plumber and a wrench. Some of this stuff just goes on and on. I like the permanence of certain things but on the other hand, in the world of technology and music making there are always going to be evolutions but the big changes came in a rush really between the mid-80s to the mid-90s. Since then, everything has just been marginal refinements of what was already in place.

After all these years, you’ll still find people playing traditional guitar amplifiers with tubes. You’ll still see not only the Fender Strat and the Gibson Les Paul, but all the multitude of derivatives of those two guitar designs. 99% of anything that you might call an electric guitar is based on one or the other of those types of instruments. There’s something rather satisfying about the permanence of musical instruments, at least the analog ones and those that are purely electronic don’t seem to have quite that appeal for anybody, they are merely tools of the trade, but you can love your electric guitar. I don’t know that anybody loves the electronic keyboards.

There’s a whole generation now that’s gravitated towards classic rock music and collecting Vinyl. When CDs first came out, digital music, I was impressed by the clarity and I thought, “Oh, well, we have to go this way because no more hissing and crackling on records, but I think over time It just seems sterile and you lose a lot of the nuances of that old technology and I think that’s what’s drawing people back.

Well, that was 16-bit technology. When the CD came about it was an improvement over vinyl in terms of its clarity and transparency, but it didn’t have the dynamic range of vinyl. However, 24-bit digital recording came along and that was a whole game changer because all those extra eight bits aren’t just a little bit better, they are hugely, hugely better and 24-bit is really what we still tend to use today although there’s not much point in going beyond 24 bit and I would argue 48kHz sampling rate because the human ear is not really capable of discerning any difference between music that’s been recorded at 48kHz and that that’s been recorded at 96kHz. There are people who claim they can tell the difference and

I have to say that I really think they’re bull$h1tting, they’re kidding themselves.
Interesting to note that the new Leica M 11, which was announced a week ago that has a 60 mega pixel sensor that interestingly, you can set to record an image at 36 mega pixels, or at 18 mega pixels and the only reason they really did that was in order to have the option at a flick of a switch to record at smaller file sizes.

For the speed of operation not only of the camera, but for what you could cram onto its internal memory or the speed with which you could transfer it. I have a 60 mega pixel camera, and I’m used to it takes a little bit longer sometimes to move things across, but the chances are overwhelming that my final developed image is not going to be retained at that kind of resolution.

I would usually end up finally making a master out of it that was a high quality, low compressed JPEG just for ease of movement. So, I might start off with 60 mega pixels and by the time I’m done, I probably got it down to 10 or 20 because at that point, again, you really can’t see the difference. I think we know we’ve reached the point with both audio recording and with photography where increases in the resolution don’t necessarily translate into something that we can visually benefit from.

At the end of the day, you know that the best images that were produced by film cameras in the years leading up to around the end of the millennium when digital really was coming of age are some of the best photographic images ever taken, and yet they don’t stand scrutiny. Compared to your sophisticated smartphone camera, it will probably produce something perhaps not quite as good as an image from a film camera in the 60s or 70s but it’s pretty close.

I don’t think necessarily that the continued improvements are of benefit to the consumer and I think in music that’s pretty obvious and in photography, and yet, I too, am seduced by the latest camera or the latest piece of musical software just because you get lulled into that. You get lured into this is better than the other one but in reality, what you’re doing with it is going to make very, very little difference.

I am an appreciator of old technology and analog technology, craftsmanship engineering, but I bite the bullet and keep up to date with the gadgets because I feel I have to. Either that or I’ve got to employ someone to do all that stuff for me which I don’t want to do.
I've got a question that I haven't found the answer to yet,
In short, were the original 1982 masters recorded to analog or digital files?
I found the inner detail captured and then transferred to the new multich masters
to hint at being from an digital source but I wouldn't bet the farm on it. LOL
Thanks for all the replys!
As I said I was a bit fooled by the excellent inner detail I hear in this release, something I
find missing in much of the pre-digital days...

Ian Anderson - Hmm, well, that’s interesting.
What an excellent reply by Ian, he see's things exactly as they are with no BS!
Bursting Out (The Inflated Edition)

I enjoyed the 5.1, hope all enjoy it too.
It seems like a good chunk of Bursting Out may be redundant with the live Bern show included with the Heavy Horses New Shoes edition?

Wikipedia Bursting Out description.
"The exact date for every single song has not been made public, but the introduction by Claude Nobs, most of "Flute Solo Improvisation", "Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die", "Aqualung", "Locomotive Breath" and "The Dambusters March" were recorded at the Festhalle in Bern, Switzerland, on May 28, 1978. The Bern show was recorded on a 24-track, while the rest of the shows were recorded on an 8-track. Ian Anderson recalled going through "hours and hours" of recordings in order to select the best takes. Additional sweetening was done at Maison Rouge Studio in June 1978."

SDE Heavy Horses New Shoes description.

(I ordered it anyway...)
Although I'm not the biggest fan of live recordings, having this "inflated", remixed set is a no brainer purchase. Since the best part of JT live is seeing Ian Anderson perform on stage, having nearly an hour of video with cleaned up sound is essential. I just hope the release of Bursting Out doesn't signal the end of the JT reissue campaign - there are at least a couple of titles remaining in the catalog I'd like to see get the deluxe treatment.