*** Moving this to the top as it seems many have missed it:
Thanks to the kindness of one of the posters on here, this should magically appear on a 'Spleen near you at some point in the very near future. PMs asking for the files will be ignored. Polite request: PLEASE don't share these elsewhere... Thank you.
These transfers are solely 100% intended as preservations of the original and long out of print LPs. As with all the GOUT based projects, these preservations are solely for those who already own the originals, but either do not have the equipment to play them back on any longer, or the means to do their own transfers. These are for private home use only... ***
In an effort to give something back to the OT community for all the amazing projects I've enjoyed watching over the years, here's a little something in return which I hope might be of interest.
Many moons ago, I did some 24/96 captures of the Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back LPs for personal use. I was very happy with them, but times change, standards get higher, playback gear gets better, new techniques are learnt etc etc. So I've started from scratch and done V.2 transfers of these, as well as all three 'Story of' LPs. I still need to get a mint condition copy of the Return of the Jedi soundtrack LP, but since this didn't differ at all from the CD release (unlike the other two albums) it's not a high priority, but it WILL get done. I'm extremely pleased with how fresh & vibrant these transfers sound, compared to the original Polydor CD releases.
I prefer to keep certain details of the transfer equipment used to myself - I find knowledge of the equipment can sometimes colour one's reaction to the files they're listening to which can hinder one's enjoyment. Rest assured, the equipment used is of a very high standard indeed. All LPs were cleaned several times, first using L'Art Du Son cleaning fluid, then another brand of cleaning fluid I've had superb results with from an Ebay seller. A 'Nitty-Gritty' & also 'Loricraft Audio' vacuum record cleaning machines were used to get the best results possible. To ensure the best quality transfers, the LPs must be as clean as possible. You cannot 'fake it' with digital tools further down the line - you HAVE to get the best results possible prior to any digital tinkering. Cheap record players WILL NOT do a good job...
For the tech-savvy amongst you, the LPs were captured at 32/96 resolution. All editing, DC nulling, and de-clicking was done at 32-bit. Click Repair was sparingly used on the DeClick 10 / Reverse / Protect Pitch settings. Additional manual click/pop removal was done using Adobe Audition. I was very careful not to compromise the fidelity of the original recordings, so you WILL still hear some occasional noise or clicks/pops. NO blanket noise reduction or rumble filters were used. I wanted the full fidelity of the LPs to shine through as much as possible, which unfortunately means some of the vinyl flaws are audible. You will notice on the 'Story of' LPs in particular that the audio reproduction varies in quality. For example some of the music used in the Story of Star Wars LP in wavers in pitch. This is NOT a fault of the LP itself, or of the playback equipment - it is sadly present on the original Story of masters used to press the LP. The Story of Empire can sound a little muffled in places, with some distortion on dialogue at times - again this is what the original LP sounds like. The Story of Jedi seems to be pretty much perfect however (third time lucky I guess :p).
Something not often mentioned (or known?!) is that many LPs were/are pressed with the spindle holes slightly off centre. This results in pitch instability no matter how good the record player (and the one used for these is a high quality Direct-Drive). I had to gently enlarge the holes in some of these LPs to get them aligned 100% perfectly so the stylus/arm didn't sway from side to side at all. I actually purchased/evaluated 3 different pressings of each soundtrack album too. The PYE version of Star Wars was the best, with red label Polydor a close second. The best quality pressing (technically) for Empire was a rare Japanese release. Unfortunately though the vinyl was absolutely perfect and dead quiet, they must have been given copies of the album masters to use. It didn't have the sparkle of the US pressings unfortunately. The US versions I have are a promo version, and a standard retail version which was bought brand new/sealed. The promo sounds the best, despite the lower quality vinyl material. How's all that for dedication? ;)
These files are best listened to on a DECENT playback system. The 24/96 files are to be recommended, but I have also produced some 16/44.1 losslessly compressed FLAC files as well. The 24/96 files are also FLAC files. For the CD quality versions, the files were down-converted from 24/96 to 16/44.1 using Izotope MBIT+ Ultra settings. There will not be MP3 versions. Lastly, to preserve the 'LP experience' I have decided not to split the album sides into individual tracks. A lot of thought went into the flow/sequencing of the tracks back in the heyday of the LP. It's too easy to skip from track to track these days, so I wanted to preserve that part of the 'sit down and LISTEN' thing too ;)
Waffle over and done with!
Hope these preservations will be of nostalgic interest to those who own the LPs.
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