View Full Version : Blackstar vs Blackstar ( unmasterad )

2016-01-14, 13:12
Just by curiosity I was checking the dynamic range dB about David Bowies latest ( and very sadly last ) album .

Then I got wind of that there is a leaked " unmasterad " version ? Two of the tracks are still 24/48 so that caries over from even earlier in the process .

I got the cd ripped mastered version and I also by means of torrents got hold of the unmastered variety ofcourse of unspecified provenance .

And ofcourse the release version is "hotter" . The unmasterad is leaner with better voice sound and crisper instruments for example it's not as artefacts laden as the mastered.

But here is the problem the release version is actually mastered . The difference is not only the dynamics the leaked version is simply not a less compressed version . They are different there are clear differences in instrument balance and and other artistic choices , for example fatter bass in general , but also subtle shift in emphasis on certain instruments etc and a whole bag of other tricks that gives a slightly varmer sound ?

I find it interesting to say the least .

It would have been a clear choice if one had been a more compressed version of the same thing ? But now it is apples and oranges

But here's the philosophical question . I tend to want to listen to the music as the artist intended as far as possible , but sometimes it not possible for example some Rush and Metallica albums ?

So here we have the finished product , but a bit over compressed as usual .

And a leaked pre master version which is not really the same as what we can buy now ?

Is the current for sale version closest to mr Bowies intentions ?

Any thoughts on the topic ?

I find the music very compelling , I must listen more to it :) it is indeed unique to be able to output quality work to the end ? How rare is that .

R.i.p mr Bowie

2016-01-14, 19:05
I have no idea how these sound in difference but listen to what you like more.
I guess a life performance by the artist himself no matter how well done will even differ more.

2016-01-14, 19:40
There is also apearently a thing , to leak music before the release date ? That can be a bit sad and disturbe carefully planned releases , but also spread unfinished material not really intended to be listened to ?
This is relatively close to completion , other artist had really raw material leaked .

But years after the initial campaign , you got alternative takes , promo and demo material and whatnot on some special editions .

IMHO I think one should tame ones curuisity and listen to the release first rather than boost some pirates ego by download a leaked version 2 months prior to release...

In some genres like jazz you get "complete sessions" released decades later ,there are some fine miles Davis boxes like this around .

Alternative versions can be fun , done in the rigth way .

2016-01-15, 10:51
The Next Day album was released in March of 2013, and eight months later The Next Day Extra was released with four additional tracks and remixes. Interviews I have heard with the musicians that were involved with Blackstar have said that there were tracks recorded that did not make the album. I don't think it's a stretch to expect that we will see a Blackstar Extra later this year.

Let me add, I highly recommend listening to the All Songs Considered podcast entitled "David Bowie Fulfills his Jazz Dream" that came out in December. Bob Boilen interviews saxophonist Danny McCaslin and producer Tony Visconti on the Blackstar album. They provide some great insight into how the album was recorded, what happened in the sessions, and what they knew about Bowie's creative process. They also stated that there is a demo version that was released of "tis a pitty she was a whore".

2016-02-08, 22:01
Might be interesting to compare it to the 3rd option, the vinyl release.

Check out the vinyl dyn range: http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list/dr?album=blackstar

2016-02-09, 08:24
Might be interesting to compare it to the 3rd option, the vinyl release.

Check out the vinyl dyn range: http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list/dr?album=blackstar

A small reminder that the DR numbers for vinyl often look better due to the limitations of the media.