If you’re a Midnight Oil fan, you’re probably thrilled at the recent announcement of the legendary Australian band’s first World Tour in over two decades. You’ve also likely had your interest piqued by the three new retrospective box sets due for release in early May, particularly that unreleased and rare material.
So how did the remasters come to be? We got the scoop from our very own legendary senior mastering engineer Steve Smart, who has been diligently chipping away at the project since 2011.
When Nick Launay, now based in L.A. and one of the world’s most sought after producers with albums by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire, and Nick Cave, landed in Sydney on a much deserved holiday, he decided to look into something that had always bothered him; the original CD version of Midnight Oil’s 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 a record he and the band co-produced in 1982.
Launay had the original analogue masters brought up from Midnight Oil‘s archives, and sent them off to Steve Smart at Studios 301 for evaluation against with the original CD. Upon comparison, Launay and Smart felt that the tape and original vinyl record sounded considerably better than the original CD. The band agreed, and the decision was made to remaster the album for CD and Digital release from the original half inch analogue tapes.
The result proved to be of significant benefit, with digital technology having improved immensely since much of the Oil’s back-catalogue original releases. Consequently, all of the back-catalogue was given a ‘freshen up’, and during the process a few gems were discovered in the vaults, some having never before seen the light of day. Along with the rest of the material, these received what Smart likes to refer to as “a bit of a loving cuddle in the mastering room”.
The Full Tank” CD set features all of Midnight Oil’s existing albums and EP’s; a new four-CD/eight-DVD set called “The Overflow Tank” will include over 14 hours of previously unreleased and rare material. Both are housed in minature replicas of the water tanks the band have used as stage props over the years.
There’s also a vinyl box set with 11 LP’s and two 12″ EP’s, all remastered from the original analogue tapes by Steve Smart at Studios 301, Sydney, and cut for vinyl at Abbey Road Studios, London.
Steve Smart is a senior mastering engineer at Studios 301
To book Steve for your mastering project, please contact Lynley on 02 9698 5888 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read more about the Midnight Oil Vinyl Boxset please follow this link: