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Sea Of Cowards Clipping!


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#1 tubezipper

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 02:04 PM

I am truly horrified at the amount of sheer clipping and peaking on the songs.

How can they pass this as acceptable? Vlado Mellers mastering is a joke. As done with countless of other albums in the past. i don't fucking get it. The sound quality is ruined (As far as the cd master goes) not sure about the vinyl.

There are a few who have also addressed this however it needs to be raised to the people in charge. What a fucking the albums being released as we speak and THIS completely clipping quality is being listened to?

WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK. I'm out of words.

#2 matthre2007

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 03:46 PM

third man has never had a high caliber pressing for anything other than icky thump or consolers... everything else is digital masters and average pressing quality... horehound was just as bad


...but i dig it. hopefully they can go all analogue and have steve hoffman master everything but thats just a dream.

#3 hannibal_lusty

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 05:22 PM

Hmmmm... Even if Meller mastered the LP I assume it would have to be a little bit less compressed. I mean it would almost pop out the groove the way it is.

#4 ACertainMan

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 08:50 PM

I think you folk have your expectations set too high. There is so much complaining about this album... It's the second album in a year-year and a half, at least your not waiting for eons. Jack White does far more than any artist i have ever heard of in shear output alone, on top of that producing and running a label. Jack White fans get more stuff than any other fan base and still there is so much complaining and demanding that I can't help but doubt the honesty of anyone who says they like the album. This is the kind of stuff that pissed White off months ago and got the album name dedicated to cowardice... Just shut it and enjoy the damn music

#5 CaseOfThePunks

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 08:55 PM

This thread has nothing to do with the actual songs or songwriting. Jeez.

#6 spastic.jerk

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 09:18 PM

I liked the record for, well - for the record :P
Horehound was a good album, but this feels more like a suitable attempt at creating an ambiance and album. Coherent and at times a little jarring, a hell of a sophomore LP! A lot of people complained that it sounded the same through out but I have to disagree there. Al in all left me wanting more, and I mean that in a good way :D

#7 dreamover

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 10:27 PM

i have both the vinyl and cd. the cd sounds good in my car stereo (but cd stereo i own and can handle the high compression and high volumes), but the record sounds like its much less compressed. i have equipment to do a really high quality recording of the vinyl and am thinking about doing that for my ipod.

#8 hannibal_lusty

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 01:15 AM

I'm pretty sure the people complaining about the mastering would only do so if they truly loved the album. I think it's great but it does have some compression issues. It's no Icky Thump but it is a bit much. I'd like to point out that Meller also did COTL so he has some good in him vinyl-wise.

#9 cheriebobbins

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 07:27 AM

If you are listening to the CD and complaining about the clipping on the CD thats fair enough.
If you are listening to the vinyl and complaining about the compression thats fair enough too i guess..
But If you are listening to the CD and are complaining about the mastering of the vinyl, I don't get it.

#10 spastic.jerk

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 08:45 AM

I'm pretty sure the people complaining about the mastering would only do so if they truly loved the album.

I was going to point that out but I didn't know if anyone would agree with me on that :lol:

If you are listening to the CD and complaining about the clipping on the CD thats fair enough.
If you are listening to the vinyl and complaining about the compression thats fair enough too i guess..
But If you are listening to the CD and are complaining about the mastering of the vinyl, I don't get it.

wondering I get, but not complaining, especially not uttering fuck word after fuck word over and over :P

#11 surfingelectrode

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 02:12 PM

I'm pretty sure the people complaining about the mastering would only do so if they truly loved the album. I think it's great but it does have some compression issues. It's no Icky Thump but it is a bit much. I'd like to point out that Meller also did COTL so he has some good in him vinyl-wise.


I'm pretty sure that Kevin Grey mastered the vinyl release of Consolers, completely analaog, which is why it sounds so good.

I've listened to Sea of Cowards on vinyl twice now and while it sounds a little bit better than the CD, it's still pretty awful. Everything is just way too compressed... whenever the music gets 'loud', it just turns into mush. Try listening to Die by the Drop and you'll see what I mean.

Third Man should refund me the 16.00 that I spent on the CD. It's the shittiest sounding CD that I've ever bought (and I've bought many).

Edited by surfingelectrode, 11 May 2010 - 02:13 PM.


#12 Aquamarine

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 02:21 PM

I don't even understand the topic, but--call me crazy--I love listening to the album. :)

And if the technical problems were that bad, I probably wouldn't, right?

#13 surfingelectrode

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 03:50 PM

If you guys are upset with how the album sounds, do what I did and send TMR a message!

Here's what I sent:

"Hi, I have a question... why does "Sea of Cowards" sound so awful? I excitedly bought both the CD and vinyl releases today but they both sound overly compressed and clip nearly constantly. Here's a waveform of 'Jawbreaker', taken directly from the CD: http://img189.images.../picture7os.png See all of those red areas? That's where the song clips.

I mean, it's cool that you guys constantly talk about how you record to analog tape, but why not follow that up by mixing and mastering on analog as well? The analog-mastered vinyl releases of "Elephant", "Icky Thump", and "Consolers of the Lonely" all sound fantastic and are many times better than the audio mess that "Sea of Cowards" is. "


It'll probably do nothing, but I'd think it'd be good to let them know that we don't like how they're fucking up their music by mastering it so badly.

#14 DeathLetter

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 03:54 PM

I normally don't give two shits about this stuff, but..

The Sea of Cowards CD is NOT a comfortable listen on headphones. As in, I can't listen to it. It hurts.

White Blood Cells didn't sound like that. Elephant didn't. Consolers didn't. So why does this have to?

FIX IT. NOW.

#15 DeathLetter

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 03:55 PM

Really, we all need to email TMR at the very least. Bitching here won't do anything.

Or maybe a petition?

Edited by DeathLetter, 11 May 2010 - 03:58 PM.


#16 Ak1nney

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 04:02 PM

Doesn't take away too much from enjoying the cd for me.

#17 surfingelectrode

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 04:08 PM

I normally don't give two shits about this stuff, but..

The Sea of Cowards CD is NOT a comfortable listen on headphones. As in, I can't listen to it. It hurts.

White Blood Cells didn't sound like that. Elephant didn't. Consolers didn't. So why does this have to?

FIX IT. NOW.


It's not even comfortable listening to it in my car, even at a low volume.

I've always thought that people were exaggerating when they said that brickwalled CDs made them fatigued, but this album actually gives me headaches. Jack's vocals on Blue Blood Blues are just way too shrill and harsh.

#18 tubezipper

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 04:15 PM

i asked Vance Powell about it

here what he had to say

"As for the mastering...
Well, I don't have a lot to say except that Vlado's work speaks for itself.

My mentor in my professional life (Lou Whitney)told me something once, he said "One man's OMG is another man's WTF" or basically you can't make everyone happy.

Technically speaking, the record never exceeds digital 0 dBfs. I have imported the entire record into a digital audio workstation, and in fact in the digital world it does not clip.

But the record is definitely limited (analog soft clip, which is, in effect, distortion..) but because there is so much energy (entropy) in the mix and it is at such a elevated level it distorts the analog section of your convertors. Right?
May I ask what are you listening on?
Thanks for your concern and your questions...
Vance "

#19 3brokenbricks3

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 04:24 PM

Whiile I haven't heard the album on cd or vinyl yet, this really really pissed me off after buying the Icky Thump cd (which I have a vinyl rip of on my itunes). I don't see how people can not notice and say it sounds fine when these issues are occurring. Unless you're listening to it on a dollar store ipod dock, you have to be deaf. I guess I will not actually be purchasing this cd now. I'll probably buy the vinyl, but its a shame that that is messed up as well. I just don't see how it makes it onto the production line with quality like this.....and this is not a criticism of the music, just the mastering.

#20 DeathLetter

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 04:36 PM

Plus...what's really annoying is...I BET JACK WHITE CARES ABOUT THIS SHIT.

So, like, why has he let a badly mastered CD / vinyl out? It makes no sense.




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