Jazz vocalists which may not be as real as we think/imagine


Sure we could include all genres of vocalists,  but lets focus on jazz performers,,for instance , take Diana Krall. 
I have a  pile of cds that i do not listen to, old rock,,, 2 are my wife's she picked up as gifts, and never listened.
So I figured maybe I can use DK's as a  test reference recording.
Her 1999 and 2001, both seem to my ears her voice is somehow ~~tweeked~~ laid out with modern aids such as EQ's and such.
My Q is , can we really consider DK's voice to be The Real Deal,,, or a  perhaps a toch of  ~ The Fake if not perhaps, bordering on, fraud. 
I really can not use her cds in my testing of new tweeks, mods, , Her voice comes across wayyyy too warm = Colored = a nono for my ears. 
I am after pure cold frigid, icy clean mountain spring water. 
Anyway, justa  random thought,, what say ye? Have you noticed this quirk among other jazz performers such as Sophie Milman, which btw , i do use in  my YT vid uploads of testing reference on tweeks/mods/upgrades. 
Her voice is at least somewhat more~~ a  natural~, Just barely,,had her engineers gonea  tad too far in tweeking, I may have to  also disreagrd her cds. 
Sure you might object and claim all recordings post 1985, have these intrusions of tweeking /EQing the voice, as a  makeover. 
I don't know, maybe in the past 20 yrs things have gotten out of hand. 
So cast your vote, is DK's voice real deal,, or a  tad fake?
Can she perform unpluged as she does on high tech studio records?
mozartfan
You have no idea what you are talking about.
I never said Diana can't sing,, sure she has a great voice,, its just I perfer not so modulated,,I'd perfer less modifications , and more natural = more for real.
Diana was young at the time and the record engineers took advantage of her unsuspecting youth. 
It was all about how polished, ~~marketable~~ can we make over her voice = more notable, = more pop-ularity = more shows/contracts = $$$$. 
Thus Diana was ~~commercialized...Diana realizes this now. Which is why I only listen to certain 20TH C composers and a  very few 19th C composers. 
Rock/jazz not at all interested. 
MOZARTFAN this has been going on for 70 years just think elvis presley manufactured by RCA so if diana kralls voice is a tad fake all pop singer are they have all had eq in there records thats the real world hollywood and the music buz is fake
Another rambling all over the map OP. Brother. Enough to make one think
You have no idea what you are talking about.

Exactly. So I'm not the only one.

Look, every vocal is manipulated to some degree or other. Singing 101: to sound warmer hold the mic closer. To sing higher more clearly hold it farther away. Use the mic that flatters your voice. Etc. Etc. This is just microphones we're talking here. First link in the chain. Any reason to think anything different as we move on down the line? No. Course not.

I really can not use her cds in my testing of new tweeks, mods
Then the problem is yours. Because whatever changes you make, it changes everything, therefore you should be able to hear it with everything. If you can't that's on you. Not the recording. Certainly not on the singer.
Onhwy61 was right:
You have no idea what you are talking about.


It's so much easier to just not like Diana Krall instead of crying foul at the production.  She doesn't stir my soul and it has nothing to do with any vocal manipulations.  Give me Nina Simone or Carmen McRae any day ;-)
MOZARTFAN this has been going on for 70 years just think elvis presley manufactured by RCA so if diana kralls voice is a tad fake all pop singer are they have all had eq in there records thats the real world hollywood and the music buz is fake

eah well what i was getting at , what might back in Elvis day , been touch ups, now how computer TECHNOLOGY involved, = game changer. 
Touch ups are one thing , but outright modulations , is going too far from ~~natural~~
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVdaFQhS86E
Keep Sophie Millman out of it. She has a wonderful sultry voice and delivery and the recordings are quite good.
Are we talking about autotune?
This is just microphones we're talking here.

Well lets hope fine Neumann tube mics are involved, , its what the **recording emgineers* manipulate after wards lies the problem. 
Diana should have told studio, no thats too warmish,,I do not sound like that in reality. Lets keep it more real..
Agree all recordings post 1985 are manipulated to a  degree that is far off whats real.

Keep Sophie Millman out of it. She has a wonderful sultry voice and delivery and the recordings are quite good.

Well I only brought in Sophie Milman as a reference to Diana's records, Sophie has superior sonics in  the recording,, Agree, lets not bring in Sophie Milman's superior vocals. 
Diana sure palys fine piano though. No doubt about that
Just reading the heading, I knew Diana Krall would be the subject.

The good thing is she bring in a whole new audience who wouldn't think of listening to Jazz or the American Songbook.

The bad thing is, seems many don't go deeper, and discover what inspired her. Limitless music, but one must go backwards. 

Kinda like the R&R crowd picking some of those tired FM radio bands.
Are we talking about autotune?

Yeah something like that,, but obviously her record studio has alot more  high tech gadgets tahn just the old autotune. 
Alot of audiopphiles lovea  warm sound,, Sahdes I've never liked since the mid 70's. 
So in this style of  songs, I can see how some warmth is a  good thing,, just saying with my new tweeks, one can clearly hear whats actaully going on in the studio. 
I can actually detect they added tones that are not natural to Diana ;'s  , naturally wonderful voice,, Let be clear about that, had they not tweek the recording, the cd would have wonderful.
Just reading the heading, I knew Diana Krall would be the subject

WEll I knew I am not the only one who could hear a  added sonics to the recording. 
The engineers  just over fubbed the warmness thing. Thats all,  Which disqualifies it as a reference cd in mods/upgrades
No, the onus is on you.  This is how Diana Krall is actually recorded.  BTW, Al Schmitt is a true heavy engineer.
mozartfan,

Vocal manipulation/enhancement began almost as soon as recording did. It’s now almost impossible to find a ’naked’ flat recording of the human voice in popular music.

Every single vocal performance on record has been enhanced to some degree or another. Almost anyone you can think of would sound different (less impressive) if they stood before you and sang or spoke.

Originally there was echo, double tracking, reverb etc but now there’s zillions of effects available digitally. Yet despite all of these ’advances’ some of the most lifelike vocal performances ever recorded come from the very earliest days.

The 1950/60s in particular featured some fabulous vocal recordings from the likes of Sinatra, Nat Cole, Peggy Lee etc. Truly great recordings no doubt but many of them benefitted from the acoustics ( huge natural echo chamber) of the Capitol Studios in LA.

’One of Capitol Studios most unusual and coveted assets are the eight subterranean echo chambers. Located 30 feet underground, the trapezoidal rooms can be accessed by the studios and mastering rooms to add rich reverberation to a vocal. Each of the chambers has thick concrete walls and ceilings. Sound from the studio is sent to speakers in the echo chambers, which is then picked up by microphones and returned to the recording media. With speakers on one side and microphones on the other, the chambers can provide reverberation lasting up to 5 seconds.’

Dare we suggest that Frank, Nat and Peggy might not sound so good elsewhere?

As for Diana Krall, she isn’t competing with them. She only has to be good enough for today, and that she obviously is.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitol_Studios
 Carmen McRae


Yeah now thats more how i perfer female  performers to come across on records.
Whereas Nina Simone was a bit too raw. talented, just not my  taste.
I just don't heard much tweeking in this recording. 
This is my point, Taht some modern records have taken mod gadgets a  bit too far from Au Natural

Here would make a  great reference cd

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qnyaZQELxk

As for Diana Krall, she isn’t competing with them. She only has to be good enough for today, and that she obviously is

Well tahts helps explain why older Capitol records have such natural flare, And that Diana Krall can easily get away with her high tech modulated record. We live in high tech times and so its quite perfectly acceptable to have this technology employed in records quality. 
What happened was i was searching for a  finely recorded jazz or country female voice as reference in mods/tweeks. 
I came across Sohie Milman  on YT and added 2 of her cds  as reference records. 
I thought they were acceptable as her voice  does come across as natural, even though some tweeks may have been added, one can hardly tell, Then i dug out 2 Diana Krall cds,, and noted how different the 2 singers voice came across. 
That is what prompted this post.
I also have  jacnitha on order,
I came across Jacnitha's voice from a  YT vid showing off the Seas Bifrost, 
I felt this also might makea  good reference, as i am interested in adding that speakera s a 2nd speaker. 
Now how modded is her record, I cam't tell via YT. 
But  sure seems more natural, less modded. 
We'll see this week
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgaUQO4lvII
The good thing is she bring in a whole new audience who wouldn't think of listening to Jazz or the American Songbook.

Ok now things are making more sense
So the record folks are trying to  bring out charms in Diana's voice that matches the feelings, shades of the songs melodies.

With me there is a  certain limit on tech mods that i can accept in a record. 
Sophie Milman's voice just sounds less tweeked,  with Diana my attention  is on the  studios tech mods to her voice,, I just can't help thinking...
Thats all this topic is suppose to be about,,Not ad hominem  attack on Diana's wonderful charming gifted voice. 
Apologies  that the OP was  awkward and  so goofy. 
MOZARTFAN a wise man/woman buys music they like all music is eq and manipulated as millercarbon said if her voice is to fake for your liking don’t play diana krall on your rig she plays fine on my rig the piano sounds great to little eq is nice there are two types of music in the world music you like and music you do not like all the things you are talking about are babble rap on
I did not interpret the original post correctly.

This is only about SQ. Diana Krall's work is typical 90's-present. Subjectively, it has what I call "CD tone" No escaping it, even on the $$$ systems. Probably just in my head, since I'm an LP devotee.

"Well tahts helps explain why older Capitol records have such natural flare,"
Nancy Wilson's albums with George Shearing and Cannonball Adderley have a great sound to them. 

I doubt we listen to ANY vocalist without some enhancement. The right mix of whatever used is what makes it sound convincing? A basic such as a hint of reverb is part of the magic.
The moment live music becomes a recording, it ceases to be its original self.  "Purist" recordings are only so, relatively speaking.
I doubt we listen to ANY vocalist without some enhancement.

OK  now thats understood. 
Here may be something that was at the back of my mind as i heard Diana Krall, again, a very talented artist, both keys and vocals. 
That gal can sing, poetry.
But at the back of my mind, may have been a  long ago fond memory of songs on the AM radio wayyy back when,,   taht recollection of sound, amy have triggered my (over) reaction to listening to Diana Kralls studio engineered record...
It is such as this one..
Ck out what back then they considered a  microphone. 
I just  can not imagine there were many gadgets to mod the voice.
I'd just like to believe we are hearing pure talent, with no mods.On songs such as this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbnrdCS57d0
Even if you went to see Diana or Sophie live there would most likely be some processing done to their vocals to adjust for the acoustics of the venue.  If there's electricity and speakers involved in the sound, it'll be different than what you'd hear without that stuff.
My feelings about live recording is that alot of times back then it was a way an artist could fulfill there contract .There are good ones but hundreds of ones that suck...mostly the recording itself.
This reminds me of all the posts in photography forums about how Photoshop takes away from images and that photographer should "get it right" in the camera.

On topic, I've never noticed anything unnatural about Diana Krall's voice on recordings, but then I haven't sat in a room while she was singing and heard her natural voice without amplification or other effects.   I fully expect that the team involved in recording the music will (and should) use whatever tools are at their disposal to get the end product they want.  

Even live recordings often have studio overdubs and editing.  
Why would you use any of her recordings to test anything.  Find some good test CDs and use those instead.


Seems like the OP's post is more of a personal attack on Dianna Krall and her recordings rather than concerns about using her recordings as a test reference.OP - if you don't like her music then don't use it when testing.
EVERY recording has some influence from the recording engineers, equipment, etc. That is a fact of life. Get over it. Find a new "test reference. The tone of your original post is so thinly veiled it is obvious you are not a fan of her work.


I don’t think you’re off on this. And everyone here asserts that processing happens everywhere...well hell. The “process” of recording -even in the most unhindered approach and using a single ribbon mic -itself creates a type of signature or artifact that may not be representative of the “truest” sound of the moment. All that aside, there are modern examples of vocal artists grabbed with a real sense of presence, harkening back to some of those techniques of the past. One record I’ve really enjoyed lately with a few different singers (Kurt Elling, Nancy Harms, Kendra Shank) a great reed player in Lucas Pino, centered on an intimate staging with a direct, warm yet non-syrup (little or no reverb or processing so sometimes they’re whispering in your ears) is jazz pianist/composer Jeremy Siskind’s 2015 recording: Housewarming. Check it out and let me know what you think. In fact, many younger jazz musicians (the most honest and applied young jazz musicians and singers) are moving to as little “coloration” in order to preserve and not obscure the interaction and presence in the performance. A mix of traditional jazz intension with new world equipment.
I have seen her perform many times and i can assure you she is the real deal!
I've seen DK live and she is definitely the real deal!! 
I think her best yet is "Turn up the Quiet" 
On a lot of the songs you can can hear her voice break like she's lost her voice. All part of the performance and I love it, manipulation or not.
Have a listen to Rodger Millers Little green Apples. Just his unique voice and minimal guitar notes...amazing
Oh because of Diana Krall, my son will now actually listen to Jazz


Diana Krall live? Now your talking. Outstanding. 
I mean she sings OK, 
I feel this song is a bit of  a bore,, drags a  bit, and we can hear her voice free of studio gadgets. 
I think had the studio not modded her voice on records,,, may not have been as convincing,  
I know some jazz buffs noticed the studio mods which i hear. Can be a  bit annoying. 
I find this song a  bit dull.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZZYDd4SsEk
I have been to small clubs in the late eighties in Manhattan and was lucky enough to hear some great  vocalists sing along side a trio of musicians  about 8-10 feet away.  Their voices live are  very distinct, real  and unforgettable but their  recordings on CD are done in the studio and therefore better sounding. One of my most memorable performance was Astrud Gilbertothen . I still listen to her music up to now in awe and wish I've seen here  more than once.  There is nothing better than to listen to her in your audio room and pretend she's performing in front of you.  That's where good audio can do.

Thorek 
OP
Try listening to Julie London, pop/ jazz singer from 50’s 60’s esp sultry “cry me a river”.
Just sit back, close your eyes and listen, deep in the ears...
🇦🇺
cd318 -- I actually got a tour of those Capitol Records' subterranean echo facilities.   It was sometime in the 1970's.  The drummer in our rock band wrote publicity for Capitol and had an office in the famous tower.  The office was tiny but he did have a view of the Hollywood Hills.  Anyway, knowing that they weren't in use he took me down there.  Yeah, I was impressed. 
Are we talking about autotune?

Yeah something like that,, but obviously her record studio has alot more high tech gadgets tahn just the old autotune.

It's statements like this that show the OP really don't know what he's talking about.  A simple internet search brings up information that indicate there is minimal "processing" of her vocals.  It's also easy to find live concert footage of her performances, for instance the NPR material, to use as a reference.
Heard her live a couple of times good as Gold.
You can count on most studio recordings to be tweaked including those that are mixed down after live performances. Her genre is bordering on Jazz Vocals and Pop. Whatever she is doing good for her and good for our Agon community.   
A few years back my Wife and I went out for dinner and hopefully a good jazz performance at the Jazz Corner in Hilton Head. If you have never been you need to go! Anyway Sachal Vasandani was doing a one night performance as he just got back from a two week tour in China. Wow what an evening!  Hey the dinner was amazing also
Watch "The More I See You - Sachal Vasandani jazz cover" on YouTube https://youtu.be/KtOgPbMgm_g
I gotta say Jennifer Warnes’ The Hunter has some very fine music, with recorded sound to match. Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris’ Tucson Sessions also, much less processed than most of their other records. And of course there’s Norah Jones, for instance I’ve Got to See You Again, from her debut album. No fancy vocal shenanigans. Diana Krall is a real artist, no apologies for liking her work. 
@mozartfan,

Diana Krall is a real deal...if you find ‘a case of you’ dull you’re clearly not a fan of her or understand jazz genre. I have watched her perform live few times and she has a beautiful voice.

Also, it would help tremendously to get a decent audio system before you sit down to critique a studio recording on your boom box :-)

Looks like you have a hidden agenda to smear the reputation of a very accomplished artist. If you’re so bored with your life, atleast pick a better topic for discussion.

I agree with most of the posters, You have no idea what you are talking about.
I would agree that she is a better pianist than vocalist, but dull? Hardly.
As for Diana, I didn’t meet her, (and without eavesdropping) in small narrow aisle antique store in New Orleans, heard her conversation with Harry Connick, Jr. (After a long look up and down at Diana, I was busy looking at Harry’s model wife, whew). Hoping Donna didn’t notice my mouth hanging open.

Point is, I heard both of their actual unamplified voices. Next day we saw/heard Diana perform in big tent at NO Jazz Festival, amplified sounded ’correct’. Same thing next day with Harry.

We heard Harry perform in big lobby of bldg in NYC, sound system so bad you would not know it was his voice.

Saw/heard Diana live/amplified 3 other times, once with Tony Bennett Radio City, she always sounded very much like herself. Same with Tony, we have seen/heard him live/amplified 6 times, always the same. Both of these artists have pro’s looking out for them.

Neither of them needs any help electronically, eq adjust, auto-tune, ... they are great singers.

My problem with Diana is she sings too much, and plays too little. I first heard her playing piano, not singing, on WBGO Jazz radio. Caught my ear, so good I waited to the end when they tell you who that was. Awesome pianist, didn’t know she could sing, or the legs, the looks, ....




Krall had a voice once , is gone .
@edcyn,

Wow, that is something! The Capitol Records Building has just got to be one of the most beautiful iconic man made structures in the world.

I hope it lasts forever.


@mozartfan,

I bet I love that record as much as you, but you do know that's it's drenched in echo and reverb?  Patsy Cline would not sound anything like that if she was singing live in front of us. Definitely not if she was recording it today.

Sadly the era of such 'wet' recordings has long passed by. Nowadays a more 'dry' sound is preferred, and I'm guessing because it's easier to reproduce live in concert.

Fans also seem prefer a more dry modern sound, although some like k.d. lang and Lana Del Rey still seem to try to get that vintage sound on some of their recordings.

Perhaps someone more knowledgeable in the subject could help us out. 

https://youtu.be/MbnrdCS57d0

https://musicianshq.com/what-is-the-difference-between-reverb-echo-and-delay/
Looks like you have a hidden agenda to smear the reputation of a very accomplished artist.

~~The Hidden Agenda~ is obvious, not at all obscure,. Others here and on my other topic also hestitate to over-applaud Diana's singing skills. 
**she is good, but I am looking for more than just gooD* quoted from a post on the other topic. 
Thats what i am trying to sy,,look how Grammy's awards sell out show s she had in her heyday.. , Yes we all agree, the lady has many fine talents,,But lets not get carried away. Of course I have to put some of the blame of modern voice wteeking gadgets and record engineers who may have gone a  bit far in her voice mods. 
This is my point,, in no way am I knocking her talents. She is a  fine artist,, just not  how far the positive reviews go. 
Lets be realistic. here.
Folk singers around the world never had modern electronic voice mods,, , This idea of tweeking vocals has gone too far to claim *great* next to a  recorded artists name. Consider mariah Carey,, queen of voice mods, If we heard her sing without electric mods,, we might all throw tomotoes, rotten ones at that, and demand a   refund. 
Mariah can hit  few notes, but she can't sing. Its all computerized fake notes.