Okay, I’m one of the Amanda McBroom fans. And one of my favorite song from her is “Make Me A Kite”. I bought two CD of Amanda McBroom (forgot when). Both contains the “Make Me A Kite” track.
Here is the CD…The first album “Portraits”. This is newer version, contains compilations from most/best Amanda McBroom tracks.
The second (below) is “Midnight Matine”. This is older version. Released before the “Portraits”.
Do you know what? The track “Make Me A Kite” on “Portraits” album has a lot of clipped section! While the same track on “Midnight Matine” is clean and no clipped section at all. Crazy. How come? On the back cover of “Portraits”, I can see that this “Make Me A Kite” track is taken from the “Midnight Matine” album (check photo below). So both should have same quality, right?
It looks like the sound engineer adjusts the gain on the “Portraits” album. But simply he doesn’t check all the track completely. So the result is a big trouble on “Portraits” album. I analyze the both tracks as you can see on the screen shot below. Both contains same track “Make Me A Kite”. One is from “Portraits” album (top/red), one is from “Midnight Matine” album (bottom/green).
At the top (red) screen shot , you can see the track has reached its upper limit (0 dB). So the result is clipping on most of the section. The bottom (green) screen shot is the normal one. The gain may be a little bit low, but there is enough head room for loudest parts of this track.
I just can’t imagine a big recording company like Gecko could do this. Simply a crazy stupidity. Do they deaf to hear the clipped sound?
Answer from the recording company…
I dropped and email few years ago to Gecko about this clipped track on Portraits. Do you want to hear their reply? They said that this track (Make Me A Kite) was an old recording. So clipped section is an unavoidable thing. Silly answer since we know that the same track on “Midnight Matine” doesn’t have this problem.
Since the “Portraits” is just a compilation of most/best Amanda’s songs, they shouldn’t change anything. Just leave it as is and the result should be fine. But I think they adjust the gain of the whole album to give “cleaner quality sound” (higher gain, brighter treble or loudness most of the time is considered as good quality recording – though this is simply a big misunderstanding in audio concept). As this is newer release album, so you can label it with “newly remastered audiophile sound” by changing the gain or using and multiband compressor to give “brighter sound”. But sorry, you don’t do it perfectly and the result is a trouble on your own compilation.
I’m very disappointed with this.
So, “Portraits” album from Amanda McBroom is simply not recommended! If you want to buy it, make sure you check it first (check the piano on track “Make Me A Kite” on the 3 minutes or more position). It is possible they (Gecko) may release a newer version with correction of this track. But I don’t know whether they want to do it or not. Maybe they consider all the listener of this CD is a deaf audiophile 😉