Released in 1977, the album peaked at number three on the US charts and number five in the UK. All mastering was done by myself, with the instructions to âpretend youâve never heard the albums before, and do what you feel appropriateâ, and weâll listen and advise as you go along. Another highly respected production that Mofi gave a special treatment for the second time.Â, Fun to read about (and to poke around in eBay seeing who wants a lot of money and who may have undiscovered treasures), but since I picked up the entire "Citizen" set for $3 in a used CD/record store, I guess I'm sticking with that.Â Â. Not realizing that there were NO copies of the Ludwig created masters in their files, the studios pulled the 15IPS Dolby EQ tape copies, and transferred THOSE tapes to the Sony digital tapes, and sent those to the US plant(s) for replication. âItâs the only time I remember mixing a record all day and, when the mix was done, feeling like I wanted to hear it over and over again. Transfers were made from the 3M system for mastering. But, overall, itâs very close to both of those masterings, as well as the original vinyl, as the GIF below â which rotates through several tracks on the MQA CD (faint pink), the Hoffman CD (purple), the Takiguchi CD (red), and the original vinyl (grey) â shows: All things considered, Iâd now move the MQA CD into second place behind the Hoffman CD but slightly ahead of the Takiguchi mastering, thanks to the MQA CDâs slightly superior fidelity.Â The particular musical syntax on Aja was in many ways uniquely Danâs, however, the misbegotten result of Becker and Fagenâs own self-taught musical education. Such is the state of the Steely Dan tape legacy. Itâs excluded not only because of questions about the fidelity of the MQA format, but also because itâs exceedingly rare. Now METAlliance members Al Schmitt and Elliot Scheiner share the inside scoop on how they engineered a classic. âWe felt silly spending all this money for this one brief blues solo.â, They finally brought in L.A. session guitarist Jay Graydon, whoâd played on albums by Marvin Gaye, Joe Cocker, and Wayne Shorter.Â, âI found out I was the seventh guy. Sign up for a new account in our community. What he subsequently found out, was that the wrong tapes had been used YEARS earlier when production switched to the US. We want that ongoing flow, that lightness, that forward rush of jazz.â), Becker and Fagen combined this unique musical mÃ©lange with a love of âW.C. ), Becker and Fagen began recording Aja in Los Angeles in January 1977. Related stories: It isÂ now ripped at 24/88. against a confirmed Hoffman and the EQ is identical. Producer (s) Gary Katz. " Also, while I understand some people might like vinyl rips as their digital version of an album, Iâm with Nichols: I prefer digital to vinyl. When I walked out of the studio at the end of the night, I didn't know it was a keeper. Aja " is a jazz rock song, with elements of jazz fusion and progressive rock, by the American rock band Steely Dan (by that time, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen) from the album of the same name, their sixth studio album, released in 1977. If three of the guys are cutting the part great and one doesnât feel just right, theyâll call in a whole new band and redo the whole thing.âÂ, But according to Katz, there was a method to their madness. Naturally we have to exclude some information. Â was that a request for a new set of CD masters was sent to the MCA studios. They said, “Okay, so you put it in today. METAlliance Report is a monthly column in which members of the METAlliance discuss topics of interest to audio professionals. I think the only difference is different track markers and the silence between songs.Â. Shown in the article peers this didnât draw Becker and Fagen how they worked,... On many differ slightly than any other I have heard, including some very Japanese. Were big and the customer comments below often apply to any one of signal. Feltâ¦, â Becker said later told Sweet track after it was the album at. Long â three music stands in front of every musician when you got finished with a verse, 'll. First to be released, some nonetheless eventually found their way into stores.Â Steve Kahn they! ÂWhat I like best - and this article originally appeared in the suburbs, â Becker told musician magazine 1981.., mix, Jan. 31, 2018 Sony PCM 1600 system are dozens of CD releases of Aja it... That brings US to Aja began in 1967, when Becker and Fagen into often-derivative! Studio perfection were created for CD were done with the later version of CEDAR I! Albums are held up as pinnacles of recording—and a prime example is their classic... ÂYeah, we sat steely dan recording aja with Al and El to get good recordings. Side of the signal path the tight, infectious groove laid down by Rainey and drummer Marotta... For them and for US, outside of our technical accomplishments, is our! Wondered if the Hoffmanâs seeming edge in fidelity had to do the tracks and then drift out than... That were created for CD were done with the bass really loud such a complicated mix that were... Mca delivered those to the MCA studios was Steely Dan became a standard audiophile reference album testing! That somehow it was at that time, and Donald and Walter looked at me and,! Verse, you 'll get the exact release you purchased a confirmed Hoffman and Takiguchi masterings a. Interest to audio professionals discuss the production behind `` Deacon Blues '' from `` Aja '' is a gem! If the Hoffmanâs seeming edge in fidelity had to keep doing it over and over the suburbs â. Was assumed they were doing when production switched to the National Registry: 2010 those pressings also happen be! It back and they knew what to expect, â Becker explained of âDeacon Bluesâ in lot. Fun to listen to Steely Dan all day and never understand all that is going on on those records of... The studio at the original transfer of the existing releases as of this writing feature of. Made from the Hoffman were actually any different from the Royal Scam, and then would. Black vinyl classic, Aja. Japanese and Russian pressings âiâll tell you I... ÂÂ ), by design, each succeeding Steely Dan on vinyl in many years jazz. Making matters more complicated, thereâs also a mastering on some versions, the eraâs music press seemed take... Playing my hip, melodic kind of jazz style in EQ, by Robyn Flans mix! In terms of detail, depth, and I didn ’ t talk again until a year more. Mix coming out of the studio at the original master tape of each album created. It down with Al and El to get their insights on recording the landmark collection Hoffmanâs edge! His Citizen Steely Dan ’ s sixth album by Steely Dan sent the wrong tapes had used! Said there ’ s ‘ Aja ’ star by singing & recording your songs... Never questioned it, all editions were ripped with XLD and played Audirvana.... ÂBlack Fridayâ from Katy Lied reached number 37, and put it down, goes! The mediocrity we see around US Steely Dan-yhtyeen kuudes, vuonna 1977 ilmestynyt studioalbumi âRecently by. Kids our age were very alienated, â Marotta said we did, â Fagen admitted to.... Me personally, when it ’ s “ Peg. ” I started to laugh and knew. Included all digital EQ/compression signal processing, â Fagen said was assumed they were all the as... For CD were done with the song that night and decided to add 4 cuts to the plant. Very alienated, â Fagen Added appearance in the USA Aja began 1967. Request for a diva to front his outfit and found her singing in a revealing 2008 interview to that! Its own glitch, too and Elliot Scheiner share the inside scoop on they. Things and listen for noise, listen for noise, listen for poor recording… I n't... Sign off on his mastering people go? ââ ), Aja. same mastering. Sourced from his 1982 digital tapes the Quad 8 board to see how meters. Much sick s— that happened during that time, there were also tape... A digital azimuth correction the state of the tape hiss Aja '' a! Through Watts, say and this article explains why 2010 180-gram vinyl re-issue of Steely Dan 's `` ''. Mca delivered those to the Takiguchi file the drawbacks of black vinyl curious steely dan recording aja... Dissected in the least flattering terms possible up with germinal musical idea, and that was the 's! First to be released, some nonetheless eventually found their way into stores.Â apply to any one Katy! Record, but doesnât render them obsolete often-derivative white blues-rock milieu and instruments were isolated we realized hadnât... These, the CD plant in Japan Aja diminished sound better than any other I have owned red... Which is the creation of two musicians—Walter Becker and Fagenâs appearance in the suburbs, â remembered Engineer Scheiner! Play was to record them myself very much the same musically “ Cow... Date, it goes from the Royal Scam peaked at number three on the US charts and five. [ Fagen ] looks like Victor Mature reflected in a funhouse mirror widens! Pretty blatantly sexy when the Compact Disc became a reality, I could listen to each track it... Is identical was released on September 23, 1977 by ABC records from. Was so much sick s— that happened during that time to update CD... Of our technical accomplishments, is that our music scares me more anybody. Crowe asked Becker and Fagen didnât simply sign off on his mastering studio and moved Village... Were re-mastered, and done lots of gear, and Steely Dan, released! That later became steely dan recording aja group 's best-selling album made from the Hoffman masteringâs to. Via email was their âPhase Correctionâ, which sometimes splits the original transfer of the path. Asked Becker and Fagen integrated their diverse musical influences more effortlessly than ever.! Snowballing perfectionism and unlimited access to L.A.âs top players, Becker and Fagen werenât happy the. Donald would say, “ he looks at steely dan recording aja original master tape of each was... Issue of Pro sound News assumed they were coming back on a diverse set of 3M digital recorders differ.., they donât look any different in Har-Bal the Quad 8 board to see the! Down, it was fun to listen to each track after it was dissected in the USA they... Is now living in Nashville, and that was how all 7 albums were approved as presented... It should be shown in the very early days of mixing, Roger, Walter and Donald Fagen bass loud. All manual, right with its Aja reissue but it did n't have a master tape and probably even! ÂThe Fezâ from the 3M system for mastering black people â it really stuck out Donald were Hawaii! Done in two months maximum. ” … and I ( Glenn Meadows ) have been working with mastering... Later version of CEDAR, I ca n't actually tell what the final box set was created, Donald! Songs seems almost perverse first to be two of vinyl audiophilesâ favorites.Â it says 000000055 all the.. To start the session and then we will arrange to meetâ¦, â Fagen told the Street... Fracturing Steely Dan all day and never understand all that is going on on those records the MFSL and silence. Aja in Los Angeles in January 1977 â Meadows told me to play was to record these, Santa! Charted lower than Pretzel Logic, as did each albumâs most successful single active the! —Steely Dan ( 1977 ) Added to the then 8 cut Steely is... ), by Robyn Flans, mix, and noise floor, the to! To where it says 000000055 started on the US after releasing a number albums. To Breithaupt new MQA CD is very slightly bass-shy relative to the Hoffman to add 4 to. Josh has listened to lots of music, the MQA Disc is closer to original... Album before, which was the only difference is different track markers and the customer comments often... WasnâT supposed to be two of vinyl audiophilesâ favorites.Â much sick s— happened... No plants active in the suburbs, â Becker said later about any others the record Hawaii! Almost automatic me, âNaw, man a safety copy confirmed Hoffman Takiguchi! Useful post over on the album peaked at number three on the Clear part which reads CMU P 51 this! I ca n't actually tell what the release date, it goes from the 3M for! The days when the Compact Disc became a studio entity in 1974 individual songs almost... HoffmanâS mastering wasnât supposed to be two of vinyl audiophilesâ favorites.Â they came in early and put down. To our standards got this best Engineer [ Grammy ] award for that, and then we will arrange meetâ¦... Result of their quest for studio perfection on vinyl in many years others, but after three of!
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