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The Corrs - borrowed heaven, is your copy distorted?
2Bdecided
post Aug 26 2004, 15:25
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I've just bought the new(ish) Corrs album, borrowed heaven.

As usual, I found a cheap version on the net (it appears to be a pre-release USA version) and I can't quite believe what I'm hearing. It's probably typical loudness race problems, but some tracks are so distorted.

Can anyone with the UK release post, say, 2:00 to 2:10 from track 2 (angel) please? I'd like to compare it with what I have. Or else post comments - does yours sound like this?

(I'll try and upload a flac of this section later)

Cheers,
David.
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2Bdecided
post Aug 26 2004, 15:37
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I can't rip CDs into my work PC at the moment, but here's a DVD player digital out into audiophile 2496 digital in (maybe not bit perfect into CEP 1.2a within XP, but close enough).

Is the UK release the same?
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Attached File  corrs_angel.flac ( 1.36MB ) Number of downloads: 684
 
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Lucas
post Aug 26 2004, 15:55
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I've got the Spanish version of the album. I couldn't believe what I was hearing either... I told my cousin about this, and he told me that it was fine, that he couldn't notice it. So, I believe that is a big problem, since the average person out there simply doesn't care about it.

I attached a .ape file with those 10 seconds (i'm not very familiar with flac). I was starting to wonder why nobody in HA had said anything about it tongue.gif There is something weird though, if you look at the waveform with CEP or similar, it doesn't clip! do sound engineers actually know what they're doing?
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Attached File  angel.ape ( 1.3MB ) Number of downloads: 647
 
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2Bdecided
post Aug 26 2004, 16:07
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Thanks for that Lucas - that's perfect.

When synchronised, your version is identical to my version (so both the DVD player and my sound card are bit perfect under XP!).

I agree, it sounds terrible. I was listening on a very very cheap stereo and thought there was a fault!

There's no 0dB FS clipping, but it looks like the mix (or at least a sub-mix or multitrack part) was clipped at some point - see the attached picture. The clipping is around -1dBFS, but there are other points where the waveform goes slightly above this.

If anyone has a verison of this CD without this distortion, please post.

Cheers,
David.

P.S. I wonder how long before they release a special edition or DVD-A disc of this album without this horrible distortion?

This post has been edited by 2Bdecided: Aug 26 2004, 16:08
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firewire_666
post Aug 26 2004, 16:14
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Just checked this song from my Lossless (APE) file & the AAC transcode on my Ipod (with Sennheiser HD600): It does not only clip seriously - there is a background hiss/noise present, too crying.gif

To bad - as other CDs of this band were great in terms of audio quality blink.gif
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384kbps
post Aug 26 2004, 16:35
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Well, i can't help you really due to i haven't that CD. Nethertheless i was interested in listening to that sample and i must say - thanks for the warrning!

I'm not sure if i hear the same 'distortion' as you do, but the precussion sounds unclear or even unnatural in any way. I guess this is cause by the huge dynamic compression!? - What a pitty... sad.gif
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StoneRoses
post Aug 26 2004, 16:37
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I have Thai released of that album. Awfully bad recording.

I will check with that Lucas' sample when I get home.
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woody_woodward
post Aug 26 2004, 17:13
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I downloaded and listened to the 'FLAC.' This is simply an example of impressionistic, surrealistic audio engineering. This was done diliberately. That's the sound 'somebody' wanted. It did not happen by accident or through carelessness. By the way, I agree with everyone else. To my ears, it sounds quite bad.
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shadowking
post Aug 26 2004, 17:20
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It sounds big, fat, ugly and distorted. Most new stuff I download has EXACTLY this same sound and it seems to be a new trend. In the beginning I thought maybe its bad mp3 encodings but NO!. This is not just a loudnessrace, but now its an uglinessrace. Anyway these albums end up in either in my recycle bin or the 2nd hand shop


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shadowking
post Aug 26 2004, 17:24
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This track clocks at -10.26db and flac bitrate is 1141kbps . ouch.


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StoneRoses
post Aug 26 2004, 17:27
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Replaygain value of Lucas' sample is -10.2dB crying.gif
The wave does not clip, but heavily compressed to near square wave.
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evereux
post Aug 26 2004, 17:45
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I just listened to Lucas's example and that sounds pretty bloody awful!

Unfortunately, as others have said, this Corrs album isn't by any means a rare example. Please Mr Record company, take some pride in your product!

This post has been edited by evereux: Aug 26 2004, 17:46


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Lucas
post Aug 26 2004, 18:20
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Here's another sample. I think this is the worst sounding part of the album... it's just amazing, if you think the other sample was bad.. then.. well, just listen to it smile.gif
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Attached File  long_night.ape ( 1.77MB ) Number of downloads: 658
 
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Lyx
post Aug 26 2004, 18:20
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QUOTE (Lucas @ Aug 26 2004, 04:55 PM)
I told my cousin about this, and he told me that it was fine, that he couldn't notice it. So, I believe that is a big problem, since the average person out there simply doesn't care about it.


How should they know, if they mostly listen to popular and >new< music? Humans barely notice slow changes. The loudness race is something which slowly increased over more than 15 years. They do not notice anything different, because everything else they know sounds the same - so they think that this distorted and "hot" sound is normal.
If you want them to notice it, you need to give them a counterexample - let them listen to a record which is brilliantly mastered....... and raise the volume level, so that both tracks are at the same volume (or alternatively lower the volume of the hot mastered track).

- Lyx


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384kbps
post Aug 26 2004, 19:00
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QUOTE (woody_woodward @ Aug 26 2004, 05:13 PM)
...This is simply an example of impressionistic, surrealistic audio engineering. ...
*

Apprehensive and srupulous...


QUOTE (Lyx @ Aug 26 2004, 06:20 PM)
How should they know, if they mostly listen to popular and >new< music? Humans barely notice slow changes. The loudness race is something which slowly increased over more than 15 years...
*

Maybe i should ask my older sister for the 'Simon & Garfunkel' CDs again... wink.gif
With a certain satisfaction i remeber now the fact that wavegain told me once to encrease the albumgain by +2db for my three Burce Springsteen Live CDs smile.gif.
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Anacondo
post Aug 26 2004, 21:02
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QUOTE (Lucas @ Aug 26 2004, 06:20 PM)
Here's another sample. I think this is the worst sounding part of the album... it's just amazing, if you think the other sample was bad.. then.. well, just listen to it smile.gif
*

Christ, this is just unlistenable, and therefore unenjoyable! (musical taste aside). If I was an artist and someone did this to my work I would be REALLY pissed. I wonder if musicians have any control over this issue. There should be some kind of movement from their part. If they don't care about the quality of the music they're releasing for their fans, nobody will. sad.gif

Anyways, I guess recording companies badly want people to believe CD is an inferior format with examples like this... wacko.gif
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StoneRoses
post Aug 26 2004, 21:14
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Just scan my iTune library of this album. Album gain is -10dB!!!!, this one might be the top 10 in loudness chart in pop/folk genre.

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2Bdecided
post Aug 27 2004, 11:26
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QUOTE (Lucas @ Aug 26 2004, 05:20 PM)
Here's another sample. I think this is the worst sounding part of the album... it's just amazing, if you think the other sample was bad.. then.. well, just listen to it smile.gif
*


I'd stopped listening by then - you're right - it's terrible!


I think it's so shocking because "The Corrs" produce mainly acoustic music (although the last couple of albums have been more "pop"y and more produced).

When you take a distorted guitar sound and distort it more, it's bad; but when you take the sound of a "real" instrument (something you can hear live without amplifiers or electronics) and distort it, then the result is so much worse.


It reminds me of the time I started playing with my first tape deck with a manual recording level control. I made trial recordings where I increased the level from minimum to maximum, to see where distortion kicked in. I found (as everyone knew back then) that it depends on the type of music and the tape itself. If you push the recording level much too high, it creates that kind of distortion.

I must have been 11 or 12 when I learnt how to set recording levels to avoid this kind of distortion. Why are The Corrs working with someone who hasn't learnt this basic lesson?

For the first time ever, I think I will write to the record company about this.

However, I haven't seen anyone from the UK confirm that the UK issue sounds like that - so I think I'll go out and buy it to check - I'll return it if it does.

Cheers,
David.
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Lucas
post Aug 27 2004, 11:48
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Hehehe, I learnt the same thing, but I think I was younger (I am only 18 now). We bought a Sony component system when I was 5, and it had manual recording control for the tape decks. My mother always recorded her CDs to tapes, for the car and stuff. So I liked to play with the thing, too, and eventually learned the kind of distortion it produced and how to set the level fine. It's amazing how all this kind of stuff I did when I was little has influenced me in my life now.. can't quite explain it. I still use that component system for my HD580, but only amp, cd player, eq and tuner. I am still impressed that the CD player has 8 times oversampling, and works like the first day, being 13 years old.

I too believe it is the same distortion as an overloaded tape. My CD says "Manufactured in the EU" so I don't know if a UK CD will be any different.

see you,
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evereux
post Aug 27 2004, 11:54
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Aug 27 2004, 10:26 AM)
I must have been 11 or 12 when I learnt how to set recording levels to avoid this kind of distortion. Why are The Corrs working with someone who hasn't learnt this basic lesson?
*


Funny (I bet many of us were doing the same), but sadly so true.


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2Bdecided
post Aug 27 2004, 12:13
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Are we strange on this forum? unsure.gif biggrin.gif

Apart from some issue with the Australian copy protected release, I can't find one single criticism of the sound quality of this album anywhere on the web or UseNet.

I can't believe the world is so deaf! sad.gif

Cheers,
David.

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kjoonlee
post Aug 27 2004, 13:12
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I had noticed the clipping in the vocals for "Radio" in their Unplugged DVD, but I didn't know their newest album was like this.

The Korean edition has the same distortion.

I have only listened to it briefly, so I hadn't previously noticed, but now that you bring it up, I can tell right away.

This post has been edited by kjoonlee: Aug 27 2004, 13:13


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Lyx
post Aug 27 2004, 14:08
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just thought about another idea:

A very good method to make people sensible to overcompressing artifacts could be the following:

Take a track which was brilliantly mastered. Then make a copy of it and run it through a really agressive compressor.

Then put both songs into a player which supports replaygain, like foobar. Trackgain both files. Then disable the "adjust volume depending on peak-information" and add a high-quality limiter to the dsp-chain to avoid hard-clipping.

The result:
- A track which was softly compressed to 89db average loudness, keeping most of the dynamic range.
- The same track aggressively compressed but lowered to 89db

For better effect, choose a track with good kicking percussions.

Then let the person listen to both versions a bit and ask them which of the both sounds better and "more kicking" ;-)

- Lyx

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outscape
post Aug 27 2004, 15:09
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this recording is inexcusable! the audio quality of this CD is pathetic! the drums are completely distorted, there's quite a bit of harmonic distortion on the vocals, and the electric guitar is pumping. the overall sound of the clip is distorted, squashed, clipped, and bright. hardly warm and punchy, the kind of sound many producers aim for but almost no one seems to get right. all of these side effects tell us the usual tale of destruction: everything was recorded to hard disk very loud, and from there compressed several times during mixdown so that it sounds punchy (if this was their intent they failed miserably) and hot and at the same time prevent clipping because the levels are already too high. in addition, one or perhaps more times compression during mastering and tuh duh: the perfect sonically ruined album. it's terrible! no way i would ever expose myself to this kind of garbage. i would return the CD to the store or record label promptly and tell 'em to shove it up their ass.


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2Bdecided
post Aug 27 2004, 17:06
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QUOTE (outscape @ Aug 27 2004, 02:09 PM)
i would return the CD to the store or record label promptly and tell 'em to shove it up their ass.
*


It came from ebay, and it's hardly fair to criticise the seller, to who I've already given excellent feedback because it came so quickly and in perfect condition.

However, I will go and buy one from a store just so I can return it with a complaint! ;-)

EDIT: That tells you a worrying amount about me, doesn't it? ;-)

Cheers,
David.

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