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Some time ago, I stumbled across a YT channel of some guy, a self-professed studio expert, who "remasters" some 80's metal albums to give them a big, "modern" sound. The uploads are heavily commented with positive reviews.

Basically, to my ears, it just sounds like a bunch of early reflection reverbs were added (an effect that was mature in the 1980's in its high-end implementations and used in studios to get "bigger" guitar sounds and whatnot.)

Of course, it sounds great for all the viewers who are using cheap (or even not-so-cheap) earbuds, or computer speakers.

What these nincompoops don't get is that these albums were made to be cranked up on a powerful stereo, with full sized speakers, in some kind of room. That guy is basically just ruining great albums who were actually recorded and mastered by people who did know what they were doing. Like, oh, Detonator by RATT and whatnot.

Back up for a second with the last paragraph there: if the record was mastered for a room sized stereo, it assumes that the room adds its reverb to the sound. With loudspeakers, the room is a distorting filter in the signal path. This and the HRTF distortion are skipped over when listening to headphones/earbuds. So it does make a lot of sense to add these effects to the audio signal in the headphones case. Done right, the headphone playback is indistinguishable from a stereo in a room - mounted to your head, because the spatialized speakers are relative to your head, no matter where you look.

So, there is a case to be made for this kind of processing. But I won't trust a random mastering "guru" with unknown credentials to get that right.

Right. Only, the accompanying obnoxious rhetoric was along the lines that those studio engineers didn't have the techniques and equipment for this modern sound, and that these old albums need a face lift.

Urgh, this is just crazy talk.

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