Houses of the Holy - Led Zeppelin (remastered version) in Questions and Answers Posted July 19, 2006 · Report reply Heres my take on the whole remastering thing. It can actually be a good thing. No, really. Here's the deal. One reason why they do it is because as vintage music gets older, so does the tapes and they start to age. Magnetic tape starts to go funny after many years and it needs to be upgraded in order to preserve it. Secondly, remastering is done because CD mastering is very different to vinyl or tape mastering. CDs have a wider frequency response range and the sound doesn't need to be compressed like it did for vinyl. Some of the original CD issues of vintage CDs (such as the original of "Harvest" by Neil Young and especially "Pearl" by Janis Joplin) were dreadful in sound quality because they were digitally mastered (you need a digital master of some form to print a CD) but existing vinyl master tapes were used to make the digital master. In some cases (especially the Australian ones like I have) they have been taken from 5th or 6th generation master copies. These copies sound considerably worse than the 1st generation copy (which is usually the master made from the multi-track recording tape from the studio), with heaps more tape hiss and other impurities, and thus they turn up on the CD, with a considerably reduced output volume. What proper digital remastering is is when an engineer takes the orignal mixdown master tapes, copy them to a digital format like DAT or ProTools on computer and cleans them up, i.e. removes tape hiss and improves the EQ and sonic output levels for the new medium (the output of a CD is around 90dB per channel while vinyl is around 50dB, so can imagine why those old CDs sound crap). Usually the music is not remixed or has any added reverb or effects on it. In some cases (and yes the 1996 Who reissues have it) have been remixed for CD. Why? I'm not really sure. But the remixed version of "Who's Next" (the 1996 issue) sounds fine to me. There have been some mistakes though, such as on the recent Deluxe edition of the "My Generation" LP, where they have remixed the title track and forgotten that there are backing vocals in the explosive outro (they're completely missing). Which remastered version of "Houses" do you have? I didn't know there was a new remaster of the album. Jimmy Page did the first digital remaster of the Zep catalog in 1990 and it still sounds awesome, even when played back to back with the vinyl copy. However, with those Ozzy albums, adding extra guitar parts and stuff is just tampering with History and is not on. It was OK for the Beatles to remix "Let It Be" because Phil Spector ruined that album with his typically heavy handed production (they should remix "All Things Must Pass" and remove the excess overdubs that Phil put on that too).