Should noise reduction of a given track be treated as a separate recording?

Some time ago, I added an additional, digital, release to the following release group: Release group “The Strathspey King” by James Scott Skinner - MusicBrainz

In short, this release is a compilation of recordings of the famous fiddle player, James Scott Skinner. This was originally an LP released on Topic. Some years ago, it was reissued on CD, by Robin Morton’s Temple Records.

For the CD release, the packaging say that they processed the tracks through modern Cedar equipment to reduce noise and hiss, and there were additional tracks which weren’t on the original LP.

However, there was another digital download released in 2009, which had the original LP track listing. This sounds pretty much the same albeit with slightly different noise reduction. Some tracks are noiser than the CD. Nonetheless it’s clear that both do have some degree of noise processing, as there is a track on the CD with no processing whatsoever and it is definitely noisier than both the CD and the digital release. (See tracks 21 and 22 of the CD.)

I added the Topic digital release with the same recordings, as I assumed it would be like a remaster. However, one thing that throws me off is there is a track in the CD release which is dupilcated, one with the processing and the other without it, and that’s obviously set as separate recordings, which intuitively makes sense, but of course it’s only set as a separate recording due to the original track listing rather than being indicative of the proper style.

So, my question is essentially as follows: should the digital release, given it’s possibly been through different noise reduction processing, have different recordings? Alternatively, is this process essentially the same as a remaster, and in that case should the two releases share recordings as appropriate?

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As I understand it, they all come from the same source recording, so all one Recording. Some have been remastered to clean them up, but it is still originally from one recording session. So a single recording is linked. All just remasters of that original recording session. The Recording is about how many unique times the musician sat in the studio and played.

Linked to the same Recording would also be my mates third generation cassette taped copy he took from a radio show where they were playing an old scratched vinyl version of this. (Yes, I have seen bootleg tapes like this)

The track on the CD that is duplicated should be pointing to just one recording. If you played it back on two media players at the same time would you notice any musical difference? Anything musically added? Or just cleaned up recording of the same length?

If someone has edited out a whole verse, or changed an intro, inserted a sample, then we create a separate recording.

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Not really.
Dub mix, radio edit, cross-fade continuous mix, remix, version with our without this and that, … are all different MB recordings. Despite no new recording sessions occurred.

MB require a new recordings when the audible difference is… significant enough. :wink:

But it’s basically what you also say in the newts paragraphs.


Yes. Very much agree. The editor \ remixer is also a “musician” in their own way. This is why my test is playing BOTH versions at the same time. Can I play both tracks and hear any musical difference? (And yes, I have often done this. Audacity is also a good tool to visually compare two recordings)

If the difference has been caused by change of media - pops, hiss, crackles or a couple of seconds chopped from start\end - then it is same recording.

Insert the recording of ding of a tambourine or fade to the next track - new recording.