20 thoughts on “Classical Surround

  • October 24, 2014 at 12:36 pm
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    I suspect that the percentage of classical music listeners willing to sit in one place and focus on their musical experience is higher than that for listeners of other genres.

    I don’t have your Pines of Rome recording. Are the antiphonal brass parts in the surrounds? That’s a surround mix that even the documentary performance crowd can get behind.

    • October 24, 2014 at 12:59 pm
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      They are and the recording of the birds circles around your head.

  • October 24, 2014 at 1:01 pm
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    You forgot to mention some absolutely stunning surround mixes that I have of Dire Straights : Brothers in Arms (2005), and two of Pink Floyd’s greatest albums – Dark Side of the Moon (2003) and Wish You Were Here (2011). These re-mastered, re-mixed albums are among the best surround albums I’ve ever heard! (P.S. I have several AIX discs).
    Hoping to see you at Taves in Toronto next weekend.

    • October 24, 2014 at 2:22 pm
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      With so much listening being on smartphones, tablets and laptops, it’s hard enough to get people to sit in front of two proper speakers.
      The new (supposedly “final”) Pink Floyd album is available in 5.1 surround: 48kHz/24 bit on DVD, or 96kHz/24 bit on Blu-Ray.
      If Universal Music expand their Blu-Ray Pure Audio catalogue, we may see a few more titles emerging, but it seems like that format might be a short-lived venture.

      • October 24, 2014 at 2:53 pm
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        I’m hoping that the catalogs will continue to open up…but I’m not sure about Blu-ray Pure Audio. Too expensive and the same old standard definition quality.

          • October 24, 2014 at 3:15 pm
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            …with the ‘DTS-HD Master Audio’ option, anyway?

          • October 24, 2014 at 5:17 pm
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            DTS HD Master Audio is another lossless audio compression scheme.

          • October 24, 2014 at 5:17 pm
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            The potential is there…but again we’re dependent on the sources.

          • October 25, 2014 at 1:03 pm
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            No one…least of all me…ever said that the writers of articles in the audiophile magazines cater to the advertisers. However, the owners, editors, and management do make decisions around revenues. I can distinctly remember being told by a publisher of a major magazine, “buy and ad and we’ll cover your stuff.” I was surprised.

  • October 24, 2014 at 1:56 pm
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    Yeah I agree that there are no takers when it comes to pop/rock recordings not being in surround, I imagine that there really are none of the listeners of that stuff really interested. They feel Mp3 does just fine why waste the money. I would love to have some of the good Contemporary Jazz that has been published and is published done in Hi-Res. I am a real fan of DVD-Audio but when I saw that most all that was being produced was classical I had a sneaking suspicion that it was going to be short lived, I still invested heavily in it anyway. I still get AIX DVD-Audio’s occasionally because there is nowhere else to turn. Classical is all there is in Hi-Res I like it too but it is just a shame, I would love to have a rendition of Jazz at the Pawn Shop in Hi-Res two Channel and surround the ambience would be fantastic. But since that will not happen I will continue to make my Hi-Res purchases from AIX I am grateful for your diligence and the only way I can show it is with purchases. I am now looking to get the Pines of Rome recording keep up the good work.

  • October 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm
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    Mark, aren’t you overlooking the vast catalog of pop and rock music videos, available in surround sound on DVD and Bluray?

    It probably well outstrips the entire surround sound repertoire of classical music.

    • October 24, 2014 at 2:54 pm
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      Music videos in surround? I can’t say that I’ve purchased a lot of music videos. I did work on the Tool project (stereo only) and purchased a U2 Collection for a birthday present…again all stereo. What am I missing?

  • October 24, 2014 at 2:36 pm
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    Partly it’s education I guess. Anyone with a decent DAW, Asio4all and a 5.1 set of speakers can mix in 5.1 (or 7.1 depending on output channels available) with just the standard onboard soundcard. I have been doing it since I bought a 5.1 card in 2003 when motherboards weren’t so adequate. It wasn’t even touched or discussed in my apprenticeship or any of the music/recording related tertiary education I undertook. I never pursued it beyond making the odd mix just for personal use (tortured guitarist haha) but with most now having the capability to at least experiment it’s all about lighting that fire in them at a young age.

  • October 25, 2014 at 7:13 am
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    Really, there aren’t that many homes that have at least a 5.1 set up, especially in comparison with stereo. Therefore the actual market for such releases is very small which is probably why you see the surround mixes limited to the classical world, where I would guess, a higher percentage of the listeners have at least a 5.1 set up.

    • October 25, 2014 at 1:21 pm
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      Joe, according to the CEA, there are 45 million households with home theaters using 5.1 surround. That’s a lot…and doesn’t count soundbars.

  • October 25, 2014 at 1:48 pm
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    Which is interesting in that outside of friends in this industry, I know only one household that has a 5.1 system. I know some with soundbars and they wouldn’t think to buy multichannel music discs. I have demoed them for them but they have no interest. I also have many audiophile friends and quite a few of them have no interest in MC either for audio or video. Don’t understand it or them but to each his own. I can understand perfectly why the industry has little interest in MC audio. I love it for concert discs and releases such as Mark’s but I think I am in the distinct minority, except for those that visit this site!

  • October 29, 2014 at 9:22 am
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    Doc,
    I have been a Broadcast Engineer and Pseudo guitarist for 30+… Which means nothing to the young guns making money pumping out there “Work”. If I were to teach a course on modern Poular Music that moves the cilia in my ears as well as the hair on my neck, I would spend many hours on What Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, and David Bowie did 73-78. Only one made piles of cash, while the other two made headway into new frontiers of what sounds move you as an individual, or not. But, not all for the buck. Thus they are and shall always be my “Heroes”. I was present for several early Frippertronic sessions that some critics called the most boring stuff ever made, but I am sure they had there reasons. But why knock what you don’t understand? Fripp wrote a white paper (now, this is a guitarist), circa 1982 indicating the cd format was limiting and devastating to any real worthwhile musical event to be captured. Now, this is way before 192Khz/24 or 48 bits/Sample were feasible. He put forth that at that time, Dolby SR. applied on 30IPS properly biased tape was a minimum Mastering format, no matter the # of channels, just make sure you obey basic physics, like wavelength crossing over guard bands. Today, not enough people respect Shannon and Nyquist’s work. It’s an ever evolving learning process. I am the eternal student. Thank you for your column…I mean Blog.

    • October 29, 2014 at 2:48 pm
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      Thanks Bobby…I’m with you on these guys..and there are lots of others.

  • October 29, 2014 at 9:35 am
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    Sorry, missed a point: obtain the 40 Yr Anniversary Of Crimson’s “Lizard”. On a decent 7.1 System, it’s incomprehensible to think how high the bar was set for these guys, who did NOT have the tools back then to appreciate what they had made. But they strived to make Music that was deeply moving. Some people feel the same way about The Stones, and I love a lot of tracks, but it’s on a different plane. Bowie was the crossover between. Thanks for allowing me to yammer.

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