Thread: Diana Krall: "When I Look In Your Eyes" mastering inconsistency

Posts: 2

Post by Air September 10, 2005 (1 of 2)
Recently I bought a copy of this hybrid release and was most disconcerted to discover an obvious equalization/tonal difference between the surround layer and the tonally "brighter" other layers. I emailed Verve but have never received a reply. Subsequently I emailed Doug Sax, whose name is given as the mastering engineer. I felt I owed him the courtesy of enquiring/pointing out this problem as I have great admiration for his talents in this field. Much to my surprise, he promptly replied to my email, informing me that he was sure he mastered and mixed the surround version, but that one of his associates had worked on the other two 2-channel versions. Quite a surprise, but I feel a little communication and appropriate quality control protocols would have avoided this anomoly before the recordings went to the pressing plant.
This raises several pertinent questions which I think the record companies, and Verve in particular, should address.
I hope I am not "nit-picking", but I think that if my name was associated with such a high-profile production, I would be less than impressed with this release.

Post by Dan Popp September 11, 2005 (2 of 2)
I would be interested in hearing more of Mr. Sax's reply. Also, you characterize this sometimes as an "inconsistency" or an "anomaly" and sometimes as a "problem." Do you feel that having the surround program sound different than the 2-channel program is a serious problem for most listeners, and if so, why?

If most MC listeners don't listen to the stereo program (and if so they are listening in a very different environment like a car not equipped with SACD) and none of the stereo listeners hear the MC program, then I think it would take a pretty big sonic difference to consitute a flaw; especially since the listener isn't normally switching back and forth during a particular song.

Nevertheless, I think consistency is a type of quality, and that ideally the same mastering engineer should master, or at least approve, all the various formats of a particular recording to achieve that consistency.