Diana Krall - Look of Love - Bad Mastering?!

Shawn C

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I went over to the Diana Krall website and it seems as if there is a problem with the newly released CD's. Mine has ALOT of audible distortion, especially on the title track. Lots of pops and crackles, actually.
Does anyone know anything else about this problem yet? It is VERY noticeable. You don't need to have 'golden ears' to hear the poor quality. I've heard it on my main setup and on my pc.
Go to the forums over at http://www.dianakrall.com and see what I am talking about.
 

PatrickM

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I have the CD that was produced in Canada and I don't hear any annoying crackles and pops.
Some songs do have an overly emphasized drum played with brushes (don't know the real name for them).
Patrick
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Shawn C

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Go to about 3:25 on the title track. Do you hear some distortion in her voice there? On that particular track, the vocal distortion starts there and pretty much doens't stop until the end of the track. I wonder if CD's produced in Canada are better? I only post this because I'm wondering if anyone else is having problems.
Quote from DianaKrall.com from other people:
"I had to examine the first track with a WAV editor because I couldn't believe how bad it was. The whole thing is clipped, and the L&R channels sound out of phase - producing the 'bucket' like sound."
"However, I have discovered a problem with my favorite track, "Cry Me a River". There is some very obvious vocal distortion on the high notes starting around the 3:30 minute mark and continuing through the end of the track."
 

PatrickM

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I listened to most of the CD and just re-listened to Cry Me a River and the Look of Love and I hear no distortion whatsoever. Like I said before, the guy playing drums with the brushes is a little too loud and the marachas are noticable but other than that is sounds perfect.
The CD's in Canada are just pressed here. I'm sure the master is the same so who knows what happened to the pressings.
Patrick
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Marc Colella

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I also have the Canadian produced CD, and I searched for the distortion but didn't find any problems in the mastering .
 

Les Holt

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With great anticipation I rushed out and bought this CD yesterday, on the day of its release, based on the sound and music quality of her prior releases, which have been tops.
I must admit that on first hearing I'm very disappointed with this album, as is my female significant other.
It is way over-produced, with too much orchestral accompaniment. It loses the intimate jazz combo feel that her prior albums have had, and also loses the delicate interaction among the players. In fact, it feels as if the musicians are hardly "there." On reading the liner notes carefully, I found out why. For many cuts, one session was recorded in New York (Krall and her small jazz group), and then two months later the London Symphony Orchestra was overdubbed in London. This kind of "time shifted" recording technique is common to pop music, but rare in the world of jazz, where live interaction between the players is key. As a result, the album comes across more as canned than live - like Muzak.
In fact, the album plays like easy listening, not jazz. There are hardly any chances being taken, everything is played safe. Undoubtedly this is a move by Krall to capture the mainstream, but results in a drop in music quality and integrity at the same time.
The recording quality is not nearly as good as her other most recent releases. Oddly, her voice is very different on this than her prior recordings - the lower frequencies appear to be missing, as if the harmonic structure of her voice has changed and been shifted upward. I don't know if this is a real change in her voice (seems doubtful), or reflects a different recording technique. Either way, I liked her voice the old way.
Maybe the airbrush technique of the photography has been applied to her music as well, resulting in the loss of its unique, individual quality.
I'd be curious to find out if others have similar reactions.
Les
 

PatrickM

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Les,
After listening to the CD a little more I'd have to agree with some of what your saying. The inter-mixing of the symphony and her voice and piano was just off.
The way the album was mixed also seemed more pop or rock like since it seemed all the instruments were mixed in the top 5dB of the dynamic range.
The wire brush on the drums is something I keep coming back to.
Another annoying thing is the change of sound quality or background noise from the master when it went from the orchestra opening to her singing. I tend to play jazz music very loud and at high levels its very annoying.
I guess its even more annoying since I've been listening to her previous CD, Jane Monheit's two CD's and some Holly Cole previous to this and its definitely a departure from her Jazz roots.
I can imagine that she wants to spread her wings a bit but it is a departure. Overall I still enjoy the CD but not as much as others.
Patrick
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Shawn C

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After listening to two of her other CD's, and then playing the NEW CD, there is definately a problem in the mastering. It just sounds BAD.
I have noticed that it makes a difference depending on what kind of player I play it on. My Yamaha CDC-775 takes care of some of the distortion, but the CD-ROM in my PC really shows some distortion. I have about 4 other devices in my house that can play a CD, I will try it out on those when I get time..
 

PatrickM

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Just for reference I'm playing the CD via a Sherwood Newcastle carousel player as a transport and using my Denon 5800 in Pure Direct mode to decode the PCM signal.
Patrick
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Phil A

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A friend of mine got the CD the other day and in the brief listen did not notice any problems. He got it at Target which apparently he said has an exclusive CD with 2 extra tracks.
 

Mike Frezon

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It is way over-produced, with too much orchestral accompaniment. It loses the intimate jazz combo feel that her prior albums have had, and also loses the delicate interaction among the players. In fact, it feels as if the musicians are hardly "there."
This is all true. And, isn't it a shame that its exactly what "they" (the brass at Capitol records) did to Nat King Cole. Took him away from his music (the Trio) and tried to make him something different. Hope Diane doesn't let them do that to her.

Especially ironic given Diane's awesome tribute album to Nat (All For You) which shows her at her finest.
 

Kirk Gunn

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I've only heard it at a friend's, but he's got a "Blows Acoustimess" setup, so I attributed the bad sound to his rig.

Too bad for Diana on this one... Hopefully she's learned a lesson.
 

Les Holt

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I was disappointed (but not entirely surprised) to see that this album is a big hit. It's sold far more copies than her ealier albums. Record stores have her posters up.

This suggests that the subsequent albums will be along the same lines as The Look of Love. Commercialism has drowned artistic integrity.

Too bad.

Les
 

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