Tom Petty has released high resolution (Hi-Res) digital versions of his album catalog. The Hi-Res (24bit 96K) remastering of Petty’s catalog reveals a level of detail that was only previously heard by a select group of musicians, producers and engineers in the studio.
It’s as close to the sound of original stereo master as you can get and an important way to preserve the legacy of this great body of work.
“You’ll actually hear what we hear in the studio sitting behind the console which would make me very happy,” Petty says in an introduction video from the studio. “I think an MP3 is five percent of what I’m hearing here in the studio.”
The remastering was done in the fall of 2014 by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering and supervised by Ryan Ulyate with Petty’s approval.
“You’ll actually hear what we hear in the studio sitting behind the console which would make me very happy.”
“Great care was taken to find the original first-generation masters and transfer them with minimal EQ and little or no dynamic range compression,” Ulyate states. “In cases where the first-generation masters were unusable, we used the best sounding second-generation masters.”
To allow for full dynamic range, and to let the music “breathe,” the Hi-Res versions have about six to eight decibels less digital level than a typical “loud” peak-limited CD or MP3.
Fans should play each album though a good system and turn up the volume to experience them to their fullest extent.
Everything in the catalog was generated from the original first-generation masters except: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, You’re Gonna Get It, Pack Up The Plantation (reels 1-3) and Southern Accents. These were mastered in Hi-Res from second-generation “EQ Copies”, as the original masters were unplayable. These source tapes include any EQ, level and dynamic processing added (with the approval of the album’s producers) during the original mastering sessions. Aside from the original vinyl pressings all subsequent releases used these tapes as the source.
The albums are available at HD Tracks, Pono Music and Acoustic Sounds for about $18 each.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.