Author Topic: Errors on Rudy Adrian "Distant Stars" CD  (Read 5093 times)

drone on

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Errors on Rudy Adrian "Distant Stars" CD
« on: August 21, 2010, 07:55:03 AM »
Please let me know if you have this release and notice the awful mastering job (check out the numerous scratchy glitches and hiss on Track 2, especially), not to mention the mis-numbering of tracks on the back cover.  There are 6 tracks on this CD, and track 5 is listed as track "7". 

Also, my copy is in a jewelcase, yet this release is listed online by many vendors as being a digipak(?)

Regarding the glitches, I noticed this same problem on another Lotuspike release by Rudy Adrian, "Moonwater."

Not sure what's going on, but nothing ruins good ambient music for me more than sonic glitches.  And the tracklist misprint just shows real sloppiness. 

drone on

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Re: Errors on Rudy Adrian "Distant Stars" CD
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2010, 02:06:24 PM »
You should read the Sonic Immersion online review of this: it's praised for the "wonderful mastering job"!  Had to laugh at that one.

drone on

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Re: Errors on Rudy Adrian "Distant Stars" CD
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2010, 10:34:35 AM »
No response from Lotuspike OR Spotted Peccary (the "parent" label).  I see this kind of thing with worrying frequency, too--labels that will totally ignore you when you point out their mistake.  This really pisses me off because the label is putting out shit, which you spend your hard-earned money on, and then their attitude is "tough, we are not going to even acknowledge this, we got your money too bad ha ha."  OK, maybe that's a little extreme, but it is inexcusable to put on the market this type of garbage without proofreading/checking the master and finished product. 

Rudy Adrian's response was surprising and he didn't seem too concerned--something about being deaf in one ear, using old equipment, rushing the release, and that Lotuspike must've used a prelim CDR during production (!?).  He did offer to send the "correct" master CDR, but who wants a CDR when the CD should've been right the first time?

It's sad, this otherwise excellent release was ruined by total sloppiness and nobody seems to care.  Lotuspike should fix this immediately and send all customers replacements!  >:( 

Ein Sophistry

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Re: Errors on Rudy Adrian "Distant Stars" CD
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2010, 12:15:29 PM »
I decided to incur the slightly smaller monetary risk of purchasing the mp3s from Amazon, vaguely hoping that maybe they were derived from a source closer to the original recording than the pressed CD (though, given Rudy's response as reported by drone on, this may not have mattered). A fool's hope, I know. Track 2 had the most obvious problems, but I found unwanted noises on all of the first four tracks. It's sad and frustrating, as there really is some good music here. I've resorted to opening the affected tracks up in an audio editor and cutting out out the untarnished pieces (fading them in and out) so I can listen to them undisturbed.

Sadly, I've noticed this issue on the last couple Mathias Grassow/Thomas Weiss collabs as well (Siberian Winter and Farewell); has this happened to others too?
Ain Sophistry
In Pursuit of Philosophical/Scientific Clarity in Scientific/Philosophical Thought.

drone on

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Re: Errors on Rudy Adrian "Distant Stars" CD
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2010, 05:08:49 PM »
Yes, "Farewell" had bad glitches that ruined it for me, and this was a pressed CD release.  I did notice a couple on "Siberian Winter" but not as bad as "Farewell."

drone on

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Re: Errors on Rudy Adrian "Distant Stars" CD
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2010, 12:34:04 AM »
Yes, Ein Sophistry, you are also right about the first four tracks on Distant Stars having problems, not just track 2 (which sadly is the best piece!)--faint glitches, some hiss.  The last two pieces appear to have no sound issues.

I'd really like to see some comments from Lotuspike here--Jeff Kowal used to post here all the time, now you never hear a peep...Speaking of whom, I listened to his TerraAmbient "Wanderlust" CD (also Lotuspike) today after not playing it in a long time, and this is really a great album! I think he managed to bring something really fresh to the perhaps "oversaturated" tribal-ambient genre. 

Wanterkeelt

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Re: Errors on Rudy Adrian "Distant Stars" CD
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2010, 01:50:38 PM »
Yes, "Farewell" had bad glitches that ruined it for me, and this was a pressed CD release.  I did notice a couple on "Siberian Winter" but not as bad as "Farewell."

Since Tomas is a regular user of this forum, maybe he can tell us a bit more about those glitches on Farewell and Siberian Winter ?

Djehuti

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Re: Errors on Rudy Adrian "Distant Stars" CD
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2010, 07:45:14 PM »
Hi, I'm Ben Cox, the mastering engineer for "Distant Stars", and am responsible for the QA issues with this disc.

Tough crowd.

Apparently none of you has ever made a mistake, I see. This must be why my mistakes are "sloppy" and "inexcusable". I am disappointed to see the vitriol and accusations being thrown about on this thread (though I realize that more than half of the posts on this thread are from the same person).

I have replied to "drone on" via email in response to his original contact to us.

If the audio (or print) quality issues on any Lotuspike CD are too much to bear, you are perfectly welcome to return any disc that you purchased from us for a full refund. (I remind you that if you choose to do so, it is your responsibility to destroy all copies, digital or otherwise, that you may have made of the recording for personal use.)

Alternatively, I have offered "drone on" a cleaned up copy of track 2 in lossless digital format, and will extend that same offer to any purchaser of the disc that would like a copy of it. I will post on this forum when the track is ready.

The nature of the cleanup will be to remove the digital glitches only. Any hiss or background noise that is present in the track is on the original master we received from Rudy (which we actually cleaned up significantly for release) and will remain, as further noise reduction would result in a deterioration in the sound quality of the track.

If you prefer a remastered CD-R, I will (personally) make the following offer: mail me your original "Distant Stars" disc, and I'll mail it back along with the remastered CD-R. I will make no guarantee, however, that the remastered CD-R will play on your computer or CD player. If it does, great. If it doesn't, you are free to choose the lossless file download option instead of or in addition to the CD-R. (Sorry, but that's the nature of CD-Rs, and it's why Lotuspike has always done pressed CDs.)

Both of the above offers can be redeemed by DMing me on this forum. I am not ready to make the replacements yet, though. I will post a reply on this thread when the replacement is ready.

(I do have an explanation for the audio issues with the disc, but I will refrain from giving it here, because at the end of the day the responsibility for ensuring the quality of the end product is mine, and I refuse to shift blame elsewhere.)

(Also: For the record, I have no idea why any vendor would list this as a digipak, as it was never prepared as one; the packaging for this release has been Jewel Case since its initial listing at our distribution partner.)
« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 07:48:56 PM by Djehuti »

Djehuti

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Re: Errors on Rudy Adrian "Distant Stars" CD
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2010, 07:52:15 PM »
This really pisses me off because the label is putting out shit, which you spend your hard-earned money on, and then their attitude is "tough, we are not going to even acknowledge this, we got your money too bad ha ha."  OK, maybe that's a little extreme,

Yes, I believe that I would classify that as more than a little extreme.

Your refund awaits; you have merely to request it.

He did offer to send the "correct" master CDR, but who wants a CDR when the CD should've been right the first time?

Who? Someone who is more concerned with hearing the music than with posturing on a web forum.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 07:53:53 PM by Djehuti »

dpipitone

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Re: Errors on Rudy Adrian "Distant Stars" CD
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2010, 10:04:42 PM »
This is Daniel, also one of the co-founders of lotuspike. Due to life's pace, I very seldom post here, but this thread warrants some attention.

First, as Ben has more then hinted at, Lotuspike has always prided itself on releasing the highest-quality product we can, at least we strive to. We value customer feedback and always and without exception respond to customer inquiries and make right any wrongs. Seriously, ask around...you'll see. So, while we try to do our best, we recognize that sometimes things slip by and when they do, (again, as Ben has stated), we own it and want to rectify it.

Secondly, our commitment to quality is also why we take the negativity on this thread so seriously. While we admittedly may have made some mistakes, our reputation precedes us, and commenters on this post would do well to look around a bit and try to understand our fairly strong track record of releasing a high-quality product and that we have built a brand with comparatively good production value before blasting us like a pack of amateurs. Again, ask around. From Robert Rich to John Diliberto, we have received praise for our attention to detail since 2004. Again, we admit fault when necessary, but the vehemence behind some of these comments gives me pause, since as previously mentioned, we have worked hard to evolve this label over time and tend to it's reputation carefully. I think I speak for all three of us co-founders and out parent label when I say we feel the urge to defend our reputation, and we do so by offering quick and fair reconciliation of the errors. Ben has offered to do this, and as always, he (we) will see to it.

Hear me now, it is not now nor has it EVER been lotuspike's policy to take the "tough, we are not going to even acknowledge this, we got your money too bad ha ha." attitude. We started this label with money out of our own pocket (you can thank Ben next time you see him, they were his pockets) and we would never take the money our listening audience spends on caring enough to buy our releases for granted.

So, to summarize, we welcome criticism and feedback if it's constructive, and we are happy to refund anyone's money who may not be 100% pleased. But regarding outright flaming and negativity, it's rarely our policy to respond to that except to say, "if you aren't happy, here's your money back, and have a nice day." We trust you'll use your judgement next time you consider making a purchase with us. It's not our intention to volley slams and make enemies. If you aren't happy we want to know why. If there is something we can do, we'll do it. But if you want to call names and slander us, we'll simply take you off our list. No problem.

Once again, we apologize for any inconvenience or hassle our momentary "sloppiness" may have caused anyone who has purchased Rudy's disc thus far, but we'll work as swiftly as possible to correct everything, and we hope the errors won't overshadow the hard work he put into the music.

If you have purchased the disc and need customer service, send us a note - store@lotuspike.com or info@lotuspike.com with "Distant Stars Errors" in the subject line and we'll work with you personally to make things right.

Cheers.

Daniel
daniel@lotuspike.com
http://lotuspike.com



mgriffin

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Re: Errors on Rudy Adrian "Distant Stars" CD
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2010, 08:25:47 AM »
I haven't heard the CD in question, but I can only say to Daniel and Ben that this kind of reaction isn't specific to Lotuspike.  People tend to freak out over problems with CDs, especially when they don't like the response they get.  In my opinion, sometimes people get more worked up than the problem justifies, but you can't really tell people they're wrong to be disappointed.

It sounds like you pressed the disc from the wrong master, realized your mistake, and decided to just go with it.  That's your choice as business owners, but you must have realized some customers would be unhappy.  Presumably you weighed this potential flack against the cost of repressing the discs and decided it was worth it.

Having said all the above, I don't see how any customer offered a full, unconditional refund can really complain.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

Djehuti

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Re: Errors on Rudy Adrian "Distant Stars" CD
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2010, 08:44:19 AM »
It sounds like you pressed the disc from the wrong master, realized your mistake, and decided to just go with it.  That's your choice as business owners, but you must have realized some customers would be unhappy.  Presumably you weighed this potential flack against the cost of repressing the discs and decided it was worth it.

No; we became aware of these problems when we were alerted to them via email from "drone on".

As to the typo, we flat-out missed it.

Auditioning the master prior to delivering the DDP Fileset to the pressing plant did not reveal the audio problem, and our pressing plant does not deliver an audio proof to us prior to delivery of the finished packaged product when we send them a finished DDP Fileset (they do when they perform mastering services, but we don't use their mastering services). It turns out that the application we use for creating DDP Filesets sometimes creates filesets whose audio content differs from what that application plays back during editing. I received my finished copies of "Distant Stars" the same day that "drone on" started this forum topic and emailed us.

Had we been aware of the problem before production, we would have fixed it then.

mgriffin

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Re: Errors on Rudy Adrian "Distant Stars" CD
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2010, 08:51:35 AM »
I didn't mean you knew the errors were present when you submitted it to pressing, just that maybe it was discovered after the discs were pressed, inserted into cases, and shrink-wrapped. 

Discovering an error at that stage has happened twice with Hypnos releases in the past -- a printing error on the first pressing of The Other World, and a "wrong master" glitch with The Most Distant Point Known -- so I know that sinking feeling and presumed you just decided it wasn't bad enough to go ahead with the release as-is. 

Again, I haven't heard the disc in question so I don't know whether or not the issue is severe enough that throwing the first pressing in the garbage and re-doing it from scratch would really be the best decision.  In the case of the two Hypnos releases mentioned above, repressing is what I decided to do, though it was a hard pill to swallow due to both the time delay and added expense.  With a more minor error (and a few more minor errors have presented themselves on other Hypnos CDs), just going ahead with it made more sense.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

terraamb

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Re: Errors on Rudy Adrian "Distant Stars" CD
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2010, 08:53:57 AM »
Hey guys, Jeff Kowal here. First of all sorry for not posting in a while. Simply a matter of life getting away from you and the next thing you know a year goes by. Secondly, regarding the Rudy Adrian release. I won't belabor this as my partners have really said all there is to say in regards to our position on this. I will say though that we care deeply about the work we release and the satisfaction of our listeners. We have, for many years now, been offering listeners a quality product by talented musicians. We strive for the best. I'd say personally that out track record has been exceptional. But mistakes happen. Ben indicated our return policy which couldn't be more accommodating.

The personal attack on Ben's mastering skills is a little unwarranted. He is an excellent engineer who has finished several of our most highly praised releases.

We of course will continue to strive for the best in all we do. If mistakes are made, we do our best to accommodate customers. I Don't know what else one could expect from a company.

And thank you for the props on Wanderlust. (a disc Ben not only mastered, but SAVED. The mix on that was a huge challenge.)
« Last Edit: September 02, 2010, 08:56:37 AM by terraamb »

mgriffin

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Re: Errors on Rudy Adrian "Distant Stars" CD
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2010, 09:06:50 AM »
In case you guys are feeling too singled out, I'll just point out again that Lotuspike is merely the 94th label or artist to receive this kind of piling-on from customers on this forum.  I think Hypnos was one of the first!

Some have been unlucky enough to be singled out multiple times.  I think Steve Roach and Groove Unltd hold the all-time artist and label controversy records.

 ;)
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

Newk Yuler

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Re: Errors on Rudy Adrian "Distant Stars" CD
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2010, 09:12:57 AM »
I ordered this CD immediately after I heard 'Trajectory' on DI.fm's ambient channel a couple of days ago.  Distant Stars a very good album and it's unfortunate that it's flawed regardless of who did or didn't do what.  The album's quality missed its best potential and it's disappointing.  The music is worthy. :(

Wanterkeelt

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Re: Errors on Rudy Adrian "Distant Stars" CD
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2010, 12:13:08 PM »
Some have been unlucky enough to be singled out multiple times.  I think Steve Roach and Groove Unltd hold the all-time artist and label controversy records.

Hey Mike, your statement made me curious. I've never heard of those conroversies about Roach and Groove. Are they older or more recent ? Any famous cases ?

mgriffin

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Re: Errors on Rudy Adrian "Distant Stars" CD
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2010, 12:26:19 PM »
Well, the controversies relating to Groove and Roach weren't similar to this one, having to do with a glitch on a CD release.  I just meant that when debate here really gets rolling it can degenerate into "awesome versus sucks" extremes.  Groove and Roach are two examples of subjects people have gotten pretty worked up about multiple times in the past, going back more than a decade.

[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

dpipitone

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Re: Errors on Rudy Adrian "Distant Stars" CD
« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2010, 01:57:49 PM »
Just to clarify. We in no way think customers are wrong for being disappointed. I think its obvious we all are. My reply was merely trying to clearly state, "Hey, i know your disappointed, but you don't need to be nasty about it."

In our opinions (if you couldn't gather that by now) we think that's the way it seemed. Overly and unnecessarily nasty.

If you walked into a Mercedes dealership and drove out one of their C class cars, only to find out they neglected to give you the right floor mattes, and maybe they forgot to connect the satellite radio, you wouldn't drive it back in and say to them, "the cars you produce are crap, why don't you do a better job than this..." Why? Because you know their cars AREN’T crap, and if you thought about it enough, you might have taken a more constructive tact, maybe seeking to get it corrected, rather than blast them.

That's all I meant. We have a decent track record, and Lotuspike music is generally very high quality. because a few issues happen doesn't necessarily mean Ben can't do his job. There was much more going on than that at the core of this issue.

That's the last I'll say on it. As we said, we're sorry, and we'll fix it.

LNerell

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Re: Errors on Rudy Adrian "Distant Stars" CD
« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2010, 02:53:33 PM »
It turns out that the application we use for creating DDP Filesets sometimes creates filesets whose audio content differs from what that application plays back during editing.

Ouch! Care to reveal the application you used to make your DDP filesets? I'd like to avoid such problems myself in the future.
Take care.

- Loren Nerell