Hollywood, CA (November 26, 2019)—Bruce Botnick, longtime engineer and mixer for The Doors, and mastering legend Bernie Grundman have remastered the band’s fourth album, The Soft Parade, for a 50th anniversary release on Rhino Records.
“Back in the days when this album was made, the tape machines were fairly good,” said Grundman, “but some machines had a variety of problems. Nowadays, we can do a lot of correction, and Bruce Botnick made adjustments to stabilize the tape in terms of speed, and also electronically making the phase relationship between the two channels perfect. After those corrections, what I’m doing is going back over the material and adjusting the spectrum balance. When this album first came out, it had a few balance problems that we are now able to correct.”
“The purpose here in remastering is to get the best version of this album that we can do today,” explains Botnick. “These are analog tapes that have been very carefully archived at 352.8 kHz, 32-bit. When we originally recorded this album, it was the second album that we had done with Dolby A. Dolby A had its own problems where it ate up ambience and cymbals became little splashes rather than real clean. Dolby could produce an edgier sound. Yes, it was cleaner, and it was quieter, but it also had its problems.”
“What we’re doing here is transferring the analog tape at the highest resolution possible,” Botnick continued, “and then sending my analog-to-digital transfers to a company called Plangent. They are able to resolve the speed of the analog two-track. By doing that, you hear the exact speed of the eight-track masters that we had, and we are able to also put all the songs in tune at 440. It’s really interesting because when I took these files and I put them up against the original album, in the speed, you can hear the drift, how it goes in and out of phase. So now with the Plangent process, we’re able to actually resolve the speed of the machine and correct for this. It’s a big deal.”
Mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering, The Soft Parade: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition is a newly expanded 3CD/1LP set that includes The Doors’ original studio album and more than a dozen previously unreleased songs. The collection is a limited edition of 15,000 individually numbered copies and also includes the original album on 180-gram vinyl.
“Three CDs are MQA-encoded so that if you play it on your normal CD player, it’ll play perfectly,” adds Botnick. “But if you have a decoder, it’ll open up at 176 kHz, 24-bit, which is pretty awesome in a home listening environment.”
Bernie Grundman Mastering • www.berniegrundmanmastering.com