last weekend was one pregnant with expectancy for the arrival of our 2nd mastered CDR from keith yip, hong kong. we had earlier asked keith to re-do his first master cos we were not completely convinced that it was the best.

i went to collect the parcel from poslaju, glenmarie hicom, with my heart palpitating... our launch date keeps falling behind and it is getting closer to our press conference date already which is 19th of june, 2008. we simply can't afford any more delay.

the first master has rolled off highs and hence duller sounding, less airiness/ambience. it also has less microdynamics. we gave our honest feedback to keith and he did exactly what the doctor ordered in the 2nd master. the 2nd master compromises very little on the highs and it is tonally very balanced. the gain is also very nicely leveled. the nuances and details of the original mix are still maintained. most importantly, the spirits and musicality of the whole album is still kept alive in the 2nd master.

the great thing about both masters is that it both sound "analogue" and "meaty", exactly what i wanted all along.

the 2nd master convinced me that mastering is indeed better (more pros than cons) if done right. the original mix is like zhang ziyi without the makeup and wardrobe makeover; the mastering is like zhang ziyi ready for the hollywood assault. listening to the original mix now sounds raw, thin and uneven, though the ambience and details are a tad better than the mastered version. you get some, you lose some.

on the sonic score card, i would give the 2nd master (hence our final version) a 75-80% (a solid B+). though it doesn't cross the A-grade mark yet by my own high standards, i am more than satisfied already as this is our first attempt.

sorry guys for testing your patience. with the master now approved by me, we are ready to duplicate the CD in hk and we should be ready to launch the album online in 2 weeks' time.

my fingers are fully crossed ;-)


Anonymous said...


I'm just wondering if the brand of the CD-R for the master also make a difference?


Anonymous said...

OF course different cd-R , burner , burning software, the sound quality sure different. How come they don't use audio grade CDR to do master??

km ng said...

I think minimum standard for CD "test pressing" for selection purposes is DAT.

Other than those mentioned by Anonymouses above, the CDR also contain errors like jitter and other digital artifacts.

lesloh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

hi martin,
i believe the diff brand of CDR makes a difference but i don't know which brand is the best.

hi anonymous,
what are the audio-grade CDR? i mean the brand.

GCK said...

I just listened to 2V1G final remastered copy in my system. Well, what can I say. It sounds much better than the previous unmastered copy. Vocals have more body without sacrificing the detail and nuances. It sounded much quieter too. Sounded more spacious too.

Leslie tagged along with Mikey who brought the Audio Magic PLC to try out in my system. The comments on the CD above was without the Audio Magic. With it, it sounded much much better like audiophile CD.

On top of the 2V1G, we listened to Dave Brubeck Quartet Live at Carnegie Hall, Eva Cassidy Live at Blues Alley and Cher Chen With the PLC in place it brought out the music even more. Soundstage got even deeper and low end was tighter and more defined.It was much quieter and transients was much more clearly and less blurr.
I am already poisoned, thanks to Mikey.

Anonymous said...

There are two type CDR. one is for data, one is for audio. Base Material of this two type cdr is different.
"Mitsubishi Phono-R cdr", "That's Audio CD-R", "TDK cdr for audio" & etc.... is special for backup audio CD. The performance of Audio CDR far better than data CDR.

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

thanks for the enlightenment!

i will let my recording and master engineers know about this ;-)