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Adele 25: Coulda been so much more....

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  • Adele 25: Coulda been so much more....

    **FLAME ON**

    So, I'd heard enough of the Adele 25 album tracks over the radio to know that I would like the whole album. I happened to be in Target and happily picked up the Deluxe edition with 3 bonus tracks. I ripped it to my PC just before I left for Taiwan on Saturday, and I anxiously transferred it over to my cell phone, tablet, and laptop for enjoyment.

    Unfortunately, that's where my enjoyment ends.

    The music on this album has such potential. And the mastering engineer crushed it to hades. And then that person turned up the gain so far that it introduces DIGITAL clipping at the fullest (loudest) portions of the songs.

    I really wanted the issue to be my headphones, or my cellphone, or something in my chain, but it's simply not. The album is compressed tighter than Han Solo in a garbage bin. The distortion in her voice when she's belting it is disturbing. Did the recording engineer forget that Adele can crush a microphone and he didn't watch the peak limiters??? I really can't believe how bad this album is mastered. It's a dang disgrace.

    I half-way expected this since all of her albums are pretty heavily compressed, but this one reaches a completely new low. The content is masterful, you just can't tell that. I'd give anything to fire up an un-compressed version of this album through my Saber DAC, re-capped NAD amp, and continuums, but alas - the best this music will ever get is when it's played over your Blose speakers through an FM radio in your car.

    Coulda, woulda, shoulda.

    Can I get my money back?

    **Flame Off**
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  • #3
    Re: Adele 25: Coulda been so much more....

    I felt that about 'Rolling...', and therefore never picked up something from her (My wife has 21 though). I knew I would be disappointed in the quality.

    I'd like to hear the live album she has to know if it's any better, but something tells me it's not.

    Later,
    Wolf
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    • #4
      Re: Adele 25: Coulda been so much more....

      25 scored very poorly in the dynamic range database. Google it and enter her name and you'll see the DR scores of all her albums. :-(
      Live in Southern N.E.? check out the CT Audio Society web site.

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      • #5
        Re: Adele 25: Coulda been so much more....

        all the folks here were talking about it because they got it for Christmas or something like that.


        Garbage production quality on that cd. It is literally painful at times to listen to. That's one of the few times where I take it personally just how bad the end product is. lol
        When you stop caring about being right, you might actually learn something.

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        • #6
          Re: Adele 25: Coulda been so much more....

          So many great albums released since 2000 ruined by the Loudness Wars. Maybe someday someone will resurrect the original mixes and reissue them for those of us who aren't deaf by that point.
          Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

          Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
          Twitter: @undefinition1

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          • #7
            Re: Adele 25: Coulda been so much more....

            Originally posted by carlspeak View Post
            25 scored very poorly in the dynamic range database. Google it and enter her name and you'll see the DR scores of all her albums. :-(
            I was going to buy it but my dollars were diverted elsewhere, so I'm sorta glad I haven't parted with my do-re-mi yet.

            I would have thought that the very existence of something called a Dynamic Range/Loudness Wars Database would have been enough incentive for recording and mastering engineers to be more careful. Not expecting perfection, of course, but back it off a little so as not to overload and cause distortion.

            Nope.

            In fact, the opposite seems to be true. Like, these guys WANT to be on that list, the higher, the better.

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            • #8
              Re: Adele 25: Coulda been so much more....

              Adele that girl can sing no doubt, but the music is bastardised popular music IMHO.
              And to sell millions and millions of records, it seems that you gotta have a dynamic range of about 4dB.

              I mean, if the average person is listening to it on their Bluetooth speakers or car radio, is it any wonder it needs dynamic range compression? That (mid)bass has got to punch through the mix.

              The first time I heard "Rolling..." it was in my (crap) car with the stock (crap) car stereo.
              One day I pulled out my SPL meter for fun, to read noise floor is about 70+dB.

              This ain't no audiophile classical or jazz recorded direct to tape in 1 take so "it sounds better at night with my power conditioner turned on, my new D/A converter and cable elevators"

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              • #9
                Re: Adele 25: Coulda been so much more....

                Crap, so this is the Red Hot Chili Peppers all over again. Why can't we get past this BS?
                Audio: Media PC -> Sabre ESS 9023 DAC -> Behringer EP2500 -> (insert speakers of the moment)
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                • #10
                  Re: Adele 25: Coulda been so much more....

                  It is mixed to sound like pop, because that is what the target audience is expecting to hear. It has to sound passable from laptop speakers, phones, bluetooth speakers/docks, white earbuds, etc... and I agree it is a shame. But it is just a consequence of the types of devices most people are listening to now. It's too bad there isn't an inverse compression algorithm that could be implemented during decoding on a proper sound system.

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                  • #11
                    Re: Adele 25: Coulda been so much more....

                    Originally posted by philthien View Post
                    I was going to buy it but my dollars were diverted elsewhere, so I'm sorta glad I haven't parted with my do-re-mi yet.

                    I would have thought that the very existence of something called a Dynamic Range/Loudness Wars Database would have been enough incentive for recording and mastering engineers to be more careful. Not expecting perfection, of course, but back it off a little so as not to overload and cause distortion.

                    Nope.

                    In fact, the opposite seems to be true. Like, these guys WANT to be on that list, the higher, the better.
                    I recently set myself up to do my own DR's. I use Foobar and a DR plugin. When I checked 25, I got about the same scores as the database. It's been fun checking some of the CD's in my collection.
                    Live in Southern N.E.? check out the CT Audio Society web site.

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                    • #12
                      Re: Adele 25: Coulda been so much more....

                      Originally posted by matt996 View Post
                      ...it is just a consequence of the types of devices most people are listening to now.
                      Yep, like all consumer trends it's just economics, including psychology.

                      Preferences drive what gets offered, and what gets offered confirms the preferences even more. Kind of a semi-stable feedback loop dominated by the good-enough delivery technology of the moment.

                      On the brighter side, last year three early bubblegum J-punk albums from the immortal Shonen Knife got a full remaster on CD, mainly to introduce some DR.

                      Just because someone realized there was a now-or-never opportunity, and that the listeners have outlived their '80s boom boxes.

                      This isn't audiophile material. So good things are possible everywhere.

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                      • #13
                        Re: Adele 25: Coulda been so much more....

                        I hope she does another Concert DVD. The Adele Royal Albert Hall concert was well recorded. I ripped the DVD for my Foobar.

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                        • #14
                          Re: Adele 25: Coulda been so much more....

                          Originally posted by kendomusic View Post
                          I hope she does another Concert DVD. The Adele Royal Albert Hall concert was well recorded. I ripped the DVD for my Foobar.
                          She just had a concert broadcast on TV from the MET IIRC. Perhaps that will come out on DVD.
                          Live in Southern N.E.? check out the CT Audio Society web site.

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                          • #15
                            Re: Adele 25: Coulda been so much more....

                            perhaps in the not to distant future, the compression (to make it LOUD) will be applied by the playback device.

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