What is the defination of "Remastering" / "Remixing" (Be it audio or video?)

I’m not quite sure where to ask for this one, but over the past few days I’ve been doing a lot of transfers from cassette to CD, and then splitting them up and then reburning them onto a CD.

I think I wouldn’t be far wrong to say I’m doing just a simple transfer, like what I am doing with my VHS to DVD collection. It can’t possibly be a “remaster” because there is no quality improvement - Certainly not enough to benefit the CD format (eg hiss removal, properly equalised - I never thought to do this because I’m too lazy and the quality of a cassette has always been adequite for me…)

Ditto with a remix - It can’t be a remix because… Well, it’s just a direct transfer. What would be the defination of a remaster, anyway? I think it is something where someone goes back to the “master” of something (eg Tape Decks) where using better technology sound quality is extracted and cleaned up, or to squeeze a little more quality from the master and then often reposted on a better format than the original (EG. Cassette remaster on CD).

A remix… Is something that has been mixed differently? Eg, instead of having “dirty cuts” (Haphazard way to do editing - The 1972/1973 demos of Tubular Bells I spring to mind - The cut might then be replaced with some fades, or a few minutes weaved into the original master to make it a tad longer?

Any audio experts can fill me in? I never saught to do any of the remastering/remixing work because I don’t have the time nor willpower to do so - And felt the sound quality of a cassette is okay.


Remastering is producing a new master version from the original master and I know this sounds odd but as with any processing operation it can never produce anything equal in quality to the original source (see below for explanation).

It is most commonly referred to nowadays in connection with digital remastering of old analogue sources such as cine film or the masters used for vinyl LPs etc. and these are indeed usually better quality than the original retail copies.

For example films originally released on VHS that have been remastered from the original cine film onto DVD or Blu-ray.

Ideally you’d like the master to have been recorded free of noise or artifacts. Modern noise removal and digital enhancement techniques can get closer to that ideal but it’s something that they can never entirely achieve.

If the processing is done well though there can be considerable benefit.

If it’s done badly, the decrease quality can be very obvious and in the early days of DVD there were plenty of examples of films with appallingly bad transfers.

Remixing is producing an alternative version of a recording which at it’s most subtle level could be just altering the mixing desk settings for a perceived improvement in the overall sound or at the more extreme end adding additional tracks and altering existing ones to produce an entirely different version or even a completely different song.


My goodness, four months has it been!? Forgive me :doh:

Okay, so I have an old tape of Destination Docklands which is in dire need of a DVD release. So what I intend to do is scratch away the old tape audio and dub it over with sound from the CD and from the live radio broadcast I also have (Giving it a quick clean up before I do so however :stuck_out_tongue: ) and improve the quality of the video. Granted it’s from a decent VHS - My DVD recorder isn’t fantastic so it’s very “blocky” and full of artifacts. In which case, is it wise to send the tape over to someone who can dub VHS recordings over to a High End DVD recorder?

Clean up the tape, remove the tape jitter and crushed noise of the blacks, sharpen the footage up and mix some of the making of to replace the godawful camera angles used in the original tape ( :a ) produce menus and titles and slap it onto a DVD - All working in DV AVI, so no quality is lost. :slight_smile:

Is there anything else I need to do to remaster from the VHS? I believe that the footage has already been erased for the concert - Mike Mansfield (Director and producer) was quoted to have said the masters of the concert were awful quality and unable to produce a DVD of the concert.

Cheers Wombler!

Hmmm… not something I’ve ever really got involved in so I’d be reluctant to recommend any specific packages but a good DVD authoring package should be able to do the majority of what you want.

This is more of a question for the Video Edit Software forum but I’m sure some of the guys here could probably recommend a suitable package.


From what you’ve described you will need a lot more than a simple “dubbing”. If you feel that you want to invest a bit of money and time to do this yourself, let us know your budget, if not, then by all means send it to a professional for restoration, a good restore will cost you.

Whappo, you’ve got it! :bigsmile:

What my main priority is to try and fix that video. Although I probably will never have the time to individually fix and paint every frame of that video, but what I also want to do is cut up and re-edit the video using footage from the making of the concert, before dubbing the entire sound over and remastering to a DVD with menus, titles and everything else :slight_smile:

I’m not sure what my budget is, because I’ve never done this before! All I know is I can’t afford professional video decks or anything like that (TBC or something?) so I’m pretty much working off a DVD transfer imported into my video editor. Any budget or info you can give will be greatly appreciated :_

Wow. My experience with editing software is pretty limited. I recently did a project for a client transferring some old VHS tapes to DVD and the software I used was Pinnacle Studio 12, which came with a USB capture device. The software was more than adequate for what I was doing, just some cutting/pasting/ reducing some noise, dropping some questionable frames, adding some music, etc. It is capable of much more, but I had no need to delve further. For anything more serious I rely on my kid brother who does this sort of thing for a living and he’s a die hard Mac and Final Cut Studio user. I have played around with a few Linux tools, Cinelerra and Kino, which you can find in one distro called Artistx, http://www.artistx.org/site3/. The thing about this distro is you don’t have to install anything, it runs from the Cd, but all the tools are functional. If you just google “video editing tools” you’ll find a lot of reviews and ratings, along with prices, most offer a free trial, so play around with as many as you can to get a feel for the UI and which tools you need and which you don’t. I’m sure more folks will post with other recommendations.

The software I am using at the moment, albeit sluggish on my elderly computer, is Corel VideoStudio X2 (I used to use VideoStudio 9. And I find that the software, whilst very easy to use, it’s just not complex enough for my needs. using Adobe, however, is WAAAAAY too sluggish to use and too complicated - Because my computers too slow, haha.

However, if you don’t mind me saying, that’s not what I mean - What I was asking is how do I remaster the video and audio? What… Tools, maybe, or things do I need to do to severely clean up with the footage? Filters? You get the idea :stuck_out_tongue: Cheers all!

As the saying goes “There is more than one way to skin a cat”, but you could just use Avidemux to seperate the audio from the video, then use Audacity to work on the audio track and your software for the video, you can also use Avidemux for the video, there are some filters available, noise, color, sharpness, etc. It really depends on how bad the video is, I mean you can go to individual frames and “paint” where and what you like with some software, maybe your Corel. You can then use Avidemux to rejoin (mux) the audio/video files.