It's unrealistic to think that most non-hit material will ever be remastered if a viable digital
master exists. There is no business model for it. The hits will be remastered over and over in every
latest-greatest technology. The "long-tail" catalog, which includes most older classical recordings,
will live on as 44.1/16 forever. The few items that weren't reissued the first time around
(remember, there was a huge boom in classical and opera reissued in the late 80s through mid-90s,
before there was a massive bust) get transferred in higher resolution as a matter of course today,
but that doesn't always guarantee a good sound quality for the end product. It takes budget to
provide an excellent analog playback in the first place, and budget isn't usually present. That's
the economic reality of today. Remember that music sales are half the peak of the boom, and margins
are lower on the reduced sales.
So saying "we simply have to go back ..." is just a pronouncement that carries little weight vs
business realities. I am not sure how different it is in the movie business, it may be a little less
tight. Hollywood always had bigger budgets and thus could afford better technology.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jamie Howarth" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 9:32 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] NYT film archiving article
> Per Tom's comment:
> We simply have to go back to the tapes on anything 44.1/16 period the end. Getting UMG is a chore
> but necessary in the long term.
> The Everests could have been better, nobody plays mag like we do. The best guy in LA is awesome.
> Best shop is Chace.
> Please pardon the misspellings and occassional insane word substitution I'm on an iPhone
> On Jul 23, 2013, at 7:40 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Hi Stewart:
>> Thank you for the kind words.
>> The most likely motivator for UMG/Decca will be swift sales of the current box sets. Proof of a
>> continued market is the only convincing argument for classical reissues in today's business
>> I would like to see the rest of the material remastered for CD get back in print one more time,
>> and I'd like for UMG/Decca to bring out a few titles not remastered for CD, but not "all of the
>> rest." There is not enough market for mindless completism, but there is a market for the few
>> superb performances not reissued on CD. All told, I think a third, smaller box set could emerge.
>> One big problem is that the margins on a box set of new remasters is much lower, especially if
>> the remastering is done correctly. To their credit, UMG has set a high bar for quality, and
>> success will hinge on holding to the standard.
>> One thing I do believe strongly is that what gets newly reissued will have to be based on
>> performances rather than sound quality alone. The key determining factor will have to be, is this
>> a great and/or unique performance of this work, or is this a compelling work not recorded
>> elsewhere or rarely recorded and/or by lesser performers. I think the first criterion requires a
>> careful look at the Dorati, Paray and solo-performer recordings not yet reissued, and the second
>> criterion requires a careful look at the Hanson mono catalog. Careful culling would then yield
>> enough candidates to fill out a third box set, in combination with the not-yet-boxed CD
>> remasters. There are also some late-catalog recordings that deserve consideration.
>> -- Tom Fine
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Stewart Gooderman" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 5:00 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] NYT film archiving article
>>> Dear Mr Fine,
>>> You most certainly know more about this than most: how many recordings from the entire Mercury
>>> Living Presence catalog have yet to see the light of Cd-day? I'm almost done wading through the
>>> second box set and continue to be in awe with the sheer beauty of the sound these recordings
>>> Who does one contact to plead with Universal to release the rest of the original CD series and
>>> to remaster and release what is left, including the pre-stereo recordings?
>>> On Jul 23, 2013, at 11:38 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> In the case of Mercury's 35mm magnetic film masters, whatever wasn't digitized in the 1990s
>>>> (when all of the existing films were playable, as demonstrated by the sound quality of the
>>>> 1990s CD remasters) didn't EXIST anymore. It's not a matter of "things not being transferred."
>>>> Inept management at Polygram/Philips in the 1970s and perhaps the 1980s ordered some 35mm
>>>> destroyed, and other appear to have been forever lost (assumed destroyed) by the contracted
>>>> warehouse-storage companies. During the CD remastering project's 10-year span, exhaustive and
>>>> never-ending efforts were made by Polygram vault/library personnel all over the world to find
>>>> any and all Mercury Living Presence tapes. Under early Universal-era management, all of those
>>>> tapes were assembled at the vault operations of Berliner Studios in Hanover Germany. That vault
>>>> has since been outsourced to a unit of BMG, and I think it is at a different physical location
>>>> in Germany now. I do not know if every single cache to former Polygram tapes in the world is
>>>> now assembled in Germany, but I do think that every Mercury tape or film that existed in the
>>>> 1990s did end up in one place.