Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Andy VanDette on mastering Rush: The Studio Albums 1989-2007
10:18AM EST | comments (16) |

MasterDisk's Andy VanDette with the Vapor Trails RemixMasterDisk's Andy VanDette is the man behind remastering the albums contained in the recently released Rush: The Studio Albums 1989-2007 box set, as well as the previously released Sectors box sets containing Rush's Mercury catalog. The MasterDisk website posted a short Q&A with VanDette yesterday where he discusses the remaster effort and how it compared with the Mercury remasters, along with his thoughts on the original mix of Vapor Trails:

... I remember hearing [Vapor Trails] before it came out, and thinking "Wow, I guess this is why I will never work with Rush." ... The snare and vocal were so overshadowed by low end. I see why they had a hard time remastering the original mixes. So much of their energy is in the bottom octave 20-40Hz. You can roll it off, but so much of the mixes' punch came from that. It was just mixed that way. The David Bottrill remixes are very well balanced and musical.

You can check out the complete interview here (thanks RushFanForever). Rush released the long-awaited remix/remaster of Vapor Trails along with a Rush: The Studio Albums 1989-2007 box set this past Monday. For my latest poll I'm asking everyone which song from Vapor Trails they think benefited the most from the remix? Please take the poll and let us know if you haven't already. You can order the Vapor Trails remix on CD or on 180g vinyl, and order the Atlantic-era The Studio Albums 1989-2007 box set here.

Related Posts:
[Vapor Trails Remixed and Rush: The Studio Albums 1989-2007 box set released today]
[Photos of the Rush: The Studio Albums 1989-2007 box set and Vapor Trails Remixed, full album preview at]
[Rush Vapor Trails Remixed higher quality, 30-second sample clips]
[Geddy Lee talks Clockwork Angels Tour video, Vapor Trails Remixed in new Rolling Stone interview]
[Alex Lifeson discusses Vapor Trails Remixed in new Classic Rock interview]
[Rush Vapor Trails Remixed 30-second sample clips now available]
[Long-awaited Vapor Trails remix coming October 1st, now available for pre-order]



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#16 - Posted 10/10/13 @1:39PM by ajonesumcane [contact]

Can we just get test for echo released on vinyl..... My collection just does not seem complete without this studio album available
#15 - Posted 10/7/13 @11:02AM by flyingmelon [contact]

The albums on the new remastered box set sound great-but the packaging is terrible compared to the Sector 1-2-3 boxed sets. Some people might have thought that Mercury was out for a cash grab, but at least they put some real effort and care into the re-releases. A poor effort and a missed opportunity from Atlantic.
#14 - Posted 10/5/13 @3:17PM by Electric Brain Elderly [contact]

Wow learned so much from this thread.
#13 - Posted 10/3/13 @4:59PM by lapirata2 [contact]


Thank you for your response. That must have been unbelievably cool to be a part of that process. I'll be sure to order the new box set with that information and know I'll have everything.

Obviously VT is what I'm looking most forward to as I've always thought there were 7 or 8 excellent songs there but it was frustrating to listen to at best and painful on the ears at worst. Also looking forward to Presto and Roll the Bones with a little more "pop".

Thanks for the work,

#12 - Posted 10/3/13 @9:17AM by Scott_PA [contact]

HD Tracks did come out with the remastered for iTunes. I have the HD Vapor Trails and like it a lot. Put it into my recording software and gently pulled a few dBs out of the mids and upper low end, and the mud went away. Sounds great.

Question... did anyone else buy the vinyl version of VTR? It sounds really thin to me, but maybe I had ridiculous expectations. It could be my system though, but it just seemed thin and the bass drum seemed slappy. Not a complaint, just an inquiry with folks who obviously are into the sonics and seeing VT improved upon.
#11 - Posted 10/3/13 @9:11AM by Will Collier [contact]

Ah, here we go... I emailed Andy himself about this yesterday, he very kindly replied this morning:

"I can not say for sure about VT at HD tracks. If it came out when the Mastered for iTunes versions came out [which it did --WC], it would be my mastering from the original mixes by David Leonard, not the remix from David Bottrill. The remix album was not ready for that release. Looking at website I see they have no credits currently listed. You would have to ask them which mixes they are now selling."
#10 - Posted 10/3/13 @7:44AM by Will Collier [contact]

Thanks, Steve.

My question from down the thread: did Andy remaster both the original Vapor Trails mix (for HDTracks) AND the new remix (for the box set and CD/vinyl release) this last year? Appears that way...
#9 - Posted 10/2/13 @10:01PM by rockmixer [contact]

Hey lapirata2,

Yes. It is the same.

As a friend of Andy VanDette, I was lucky enough to have an advisory role with the remastering (If Rhino had actually included credits, my name would be under Andy's as "Assisted by Steve Hardy"). We spent months and months working on these. We are both huge fans of the band and we wanted to make sure the albums sounded the best they possibly could. I would spent hours each day listening to the latest revisions and send him comments based on what I heard. It was truly an honor to be able to have an impact on the final result.

If you have any questions, I will do my best to answer them.

Take care,

Steve Hardy
#8 - Posted 10/2/13 @9:13PM by lapirata2 [contact]

Could someone please answer a yes or no question for me?

Is the Vapor Trail remix that stands alone the same remix that is in the new Box Set?
#7 - Posted 10/2/13 @6:37PM by CraigJ [contact]

I can't listen to this version of Sweet Miracle without getting a little misty.

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