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  1. #1

    Why Should Mastering Recording Engineers Get Top-Billing on Track Titles?

    Reorganizing my music library I have found several recording where the re-mastering engineer is getting top-billing on the title of a number of tracks.

    For example:
    "Cannonball Adderley - Dancing In The Dark - Rudy Van Gelder Edition -1999"
    "Kenny Dorham - Alone Together - Rudy Van Gelder Remaster"
    "John Coltrane - Soultrane - Rudy Van Gelder Remaster"

    No offense, but as good an engineer RVG was, why does he deserve to be named in the title of any track? First of all, he is not the artist. Second, there were likely amazing artists playing on that track that better deserved to be named than a guy who remastered the song decades after it was originally recorded.

    If RVG was not named in the title track when the song was first released, his name should not be listed on the title decades later. Sounds like a marketing ploy by the record company aimed at the "audiophile" community and meant to increase sales within that group of folks. As good as RVG was, he was a just a technician.

    Imagine someone remastering Miles Davis's Kind of Blue album and the title of a track becomes:
    "Miles Davis - So What - XYZ Remaster"

    Oh wait! Maybe that already happened!

    Really?! Let the real artists be the artists.

  2. #2
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    Re: Why Should Mastering Recording Engineers Get Top-Billing on Track Titles?

    The RVG sound is why he is listed , its why these or any recording engineer , studio or mastering engineer gets listed for credits, another example would be “Quincy Jones” ..!

    An artist like Myles would seek these “guru’s” or a certain Studio for that sound , want only XYZ type of “mics “ will only work with XYZ type of boards , et al ..!

    The flip side to this, are artist who wont work with RVG , thinking he changes their “sound” too much , in the end the Producer really determines what we hear when it goes to press ..

    BTW , One who really needs help in this regard and should seek out an RVG at any cost , as soon as possible, is Gregory Porter ..!




    Regards

  3. #3

    Re: Why Should Mastering Recording Engineers Get Top-Billing on Track Titles?

    Quote Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
    The RVG sound is why he is listed , its why these or any recording engineer , studio or mastering engineer gets listed for credits, another example would be “Quincy Jones” ..!

    An artist like Myles would seek these “guru’s” or a certain Studio for that sound , want only XYZ type of “mics “ will only work with XYZ type of boards , et al ..!

    The flip side to this, are artist who wont work with RVG , thinking he changes their “sound” too much , in the end the Producer really determines what we hear when it goes to press ..

    BTW , One who really needs help in this regard and should seek out an RVG at any cost , as soon as possible, is Gregory Porter ..!




    Regards
    Listing the audio/recording/master engineer/producer etc in the album credits is the correct way of doing it. That is NOT what I am referring about. What I am talking about is having the name of the mastering engineer in the SONG TITLE. Those two are very different things.

  4. #4

    Re: Why Should Mastering Recording Engineers Get Top-Billing on Track Titles?

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    Listing the audio/recording/master engineer/producer etc in the album credits is the correct way of doing it. That is NOT what I am referring about. What I am talking about is having the name of the mastering engineer in the SONG TITLE. Those two are very different things.
    In case you don't know, RVG is famous in jazz circles for his recording and mastering of many classic jazz albums. When RVG went back and remastered some of his recordings specifically for digital release, it was a big deal to some people and the labels are simply letting you know that the particular songs you are complaining about are the RVG remastered version. It really matters to some people.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Why Should Mastering Recording Engineers Get Top-Billing on Track Titles?

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    In case you don't know, RVG is famous in jazz circles for his recording and mastering of many classic jazz albums. When RVG went back and remastered some of his recordings specifically for digital release, it was a big deal to some people and the labels are simply letting you know that the particular songs you are complaining about are the RVG remastered version. It really matters to some people.
    I personally am a huge fan and owner of pretty much anything Steve Hoffman has remastered. I own many DCC Gold Discs as he was the remastering engineer on all of these. One of the key items for Steve to do a remaster was that he had to have the original master recording or he wouldn’t even attempt it. I have Miles Davis’ Workin’ in a DCC Gold Disc and no other digital version is even in the ballpark.

    Ken
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  6. #6
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    Re: Why Should Mastering Recording Engineers Get Top-Billing on Track Titles?

    RVG was responsible for recording some of the first jazz records in his home. Without him, America’s only true art form could have been lost forever.


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  7. #7

    Re: Why Should Mastering Recording Engineers Get Top-Billing on Track Titles?

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    In case you don't know, RVG is famous in jazz circles for his recording and mastering of many classic jazz albums. When RVG went back and remastered some of his recordings specifically for digital release, it was a big deal to some people and the labels are simply letting you know that the particular songs you are complaining about are the RVG remastered version. It really matters to some people.
    I am very aware of who RVG was, and of his imprint in milestone jazz recordings. I actually have many of the albums that he engineered with John Coltrane (on Impulse), Sonny Rollins (Saxophone Colossus), and several others. Despite the fact that RVG was the go-to guy for many of the great jazz artists, RVG is NOT listed in ANY of the song titles on those original albums. RVG is listed in the credits together with producer, etc, as it should be.

    Perhaps only the people who did not know RVG are the ones interested in seeing his name in the song title as a reminder of what they bought (of course the record labels are very willing to market it that way to make an extra buck).

  8. #8

    Re: Why Should Mastering Recording Engineers Get Top-Billing on Track Titles?

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    I am very aware of who RVG was, and of his imprint in milestone jazz recordings. I actually have many of the albums that he engineered with John Coltrane (on Impulse), Sonny Rollins (Saxophone Colossus), and several others. Despite the fact that RVG was the go-to guy for many of the great jazz artists, RVG is NOT listed in ANY of the song titles on those original albums. RVG is listed in the credits together with producer, etc, as it should be.

    Perhaps only the people who did not know RVG are the ones interested in seeing his name in the song title as a reminder of what they bought (of course the record labels are very willing to market it that way to make an extra buck).
    It's the exact opposite reason. It's being done for people who love RVG recordings to let them know a particular song or album was remastered by RVG. Those words would be meaningless to people who never heard of RVG in the first place.
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  9. #9

    Re: Why Should Mastering Recording Engineers Get Top-Billing on Track Titles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    RVG was responsible for recording some of the first jazz records in his home. Without him, America’s only true art form could have been lost forever.
    No offense, but that is an exaggeration. Before, during, and after the RVG era there have been many talented jazz artists and recording engineers.

    RVG had the privilege (in my opinion) of working with many of the greatest jazz artists (Monk, Coltrane, Davis). He created his own recording technique that enhanced the sound of their recordings, however he cannot take credit (I don't think he would even try) for the work/creation of those artists. Monk, Coltrane, Davis, Rollins will always be recognized as great jazz artists regardless of who engineered or remastered their recordings.

  10. #10

    Re: Why Should Mastering Recording Engineers Get Top-Billing on Track Titles?

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    It's the exact opposite reason. It's being done for people who love RVG recordings to let them know a particular song or album was remastered by RVG. Those words would be meaningless to people who never heard of RVG in the first place.
    Reminds me of the folks who buy shirts with huge imprint of the shirt brand on it (like Gucci, Polo, Vuitton, etc.) to remind them or show off what they are wearing.

  11. #11

    Re: Why Should Mastering Recording Engineers Get Top-Billing on Track Titles?

    Interesting that at Decca UK, the head of Decca, Edward Lewis did not permit the record albums to list the producer and recording engineer anywhere on the record. That finally changed in 1980 after he died and Decca was sold to Polygram. The cutting engineer was listed in the deadwax of the record in a special code - where each cutting engineer had a letter of the alphabet, not related at all to his name, so if one took out the record, they could see who did the cutting of the lacquer. EMI started listing the producer and recording engineer in the early 1970's.

    Many people do prefer the recordings done by certain engineers, like Kenneth Wilkinson "Wilkie" for Decca or Christopher Parker for EMI, especially partnered with Christopher Bishop as producer.

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