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18 thoughts on “Old School Sound and Mixes

  • September 24, 2015 at 7:26 pm
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    Good Day, Mark!
    It really doesn’t make any sense that the music industry has been so slow or reluctant to embrace surround sound. I was hooked for life in 1976 when I saw Pink Floyd at Tampa Stadium (In the Flesh tour). They used one of the many iterations of quadrophonic sound and I remember being in awe. Of course the awe turned to dismay when I bought a quad receiver and found out that they weren’t very uniform in the consumer playback materials. Maybe the LFE settings from movies to music are what’s putting people off? I’m at a loss as why people don’t demand an immersive musical experience.

    • September 25, 2015 at 10:27 am
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      Yea, Bruce, I too was amazed when I saw the Floyd at the Montreal Olympic stadium on that tour(I called it the ‘Animals” tour). The sound was incredible & most noticeable when it was first turned on – the ears adjusted somewhat as the night wore on & the crowd got more boisterous culminating in fireworks being let off by some in front of the stage & Waters pleading for quiet while some of the gentler songs were being played.

      The band were not very happy with things that night & although I didn’t notice it at the time Waters invited one of the audience (‘little piggy’ as he called him) up on stage where Waters spat in his face. The seed for ‘The Wall’, it seems.

      I didn’t follow up surround sound but did hear quad playback some time later & wasn’t too impressed

  • September 24, 2015 at 7:37 pm
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    If you haven’t heard the 4.1 version of Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon you might want to search it out. Supposed to be based on the original quad master tapes that were never released and I really liked it when I heard it after I found it.
    It obviously is not Hi res but I love the mix and the way it sounds, tape noise, flaws, and all. I doubt it is technically a studio supported copy but it would make a cool headphone or otherwise release even if you just picked your favorite track or the one with best suround affect.
    I’m very familiar with the stereo version and this one has some different but the same things going on.
    Any of the artists you list have some worthy tracks though and it will be cool to see what you come up with.

    • September 25, 2015 at 8:58 am
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      I have heard both the Alan Parsons Quad mix AND the James Guthrie 5.1 mix (I prefer the Parson’s quad version).

      • September 29, 2015 at 9:57 pm
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        Finally made it back and see you commented and I have to agree the Parsons mix is awesome. I think I may have heard the other mix but I was floored when I heard the Parsons mix and I had to burn it to disk and play on my Denon multi audio format 757 DVD player.
        Really glad it made it out in the wild for another take on a old friend of a album.

  • September 24, 2015 at 10:34 pm
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    Hi Mark,
    one release that comes to my mind when talking about agressive surround mixes is Jean Michel Jarre’s 2004 “Aero”. Unfortunately, this was only released as CD+DVD set with lossy surround tracks (DTS and AC3).
    But I think it’s still worth cheking out.
    Best regards,
    Oliver

    • September 25, 2015 at 8:59 am
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      I have heard about this project but not the actual mix. It’s probably too obscure for our purposes.

  • September 25, 2015 at 2:39 am
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    Surely the Dark Side of the Moon 4.0 mix is a surround-sound classic & what you’re looking for as a ready-made “reference” ?

    Also, I believe that the album “The Altogether” by Orbital was written for 5.1, and as it’s Electronica it might be something different to use in demonstrations.

  • September 25, 2015 at 5:56 am
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    Are there any DVD-audio or sacd discs that you would recommend, possibly some that were done by Eliot Scheiner or Steven Wilson?

    • September 25, 2015 at 9:02 am
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      The Steely Dan mixes are excellent and the Jethro Tull and Yes 5.1 mixes by Steven Wilson are great too.

  • September 25, 2015 at 8:25 am
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    Hello Mark –

    Coming up to TAVES (Toronto) this year? If so, bring some books – I want one!
    Thanks & hopefully see you there,

    Mark

  • September 25, 2015 at 10:34 am
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    Sad to see you still trying to pull the owl on the globe with your audio conclusions. The truth is completely different, alas.

    • September 25, 2015 at 12:53 pm
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      Thanks for your contribution Jay.

  • September 25, 2015 at 4:18 pm
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    Count me out for surround music. I tried it with various DVD-A’s, SACD and DTS-encoded compact discs. They either fell into 2 categories: either very subtle where the surround effects were barely noticeable or aggressively over the top. I, as a listener, don’t want to be sitting in the middle of the band or get motion sickness with everything swirling around me. Surround sound done right? Headhunters by Herbie Hancock, Ship Ahoy by the O’Jays, Avalon by Roxy Music and Morph The Cat by Donald Fagen. All either on SACD or DVD-A and out of print.

  • September 25, 2015 at 7:15 pm
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    Hi Mark

    I have a very large selection of DVD audio and sacd disks from the early 2000’s onward. (Well over 250)

    Considering for now only the DVD Audio disks, I would have thought that Foreigner 4 – Urgent , The Doors – Hello I love you, Dooby Brothers – Long Train Running, Metallica – Enter Sandman are just a few amazing 5.1 mixes. I listen to these and so many others that are just brilliant 5.1 surround mixes.
    Of course there are some bad ones typically Neil Young – Old Man and innumerable other tracks, but to listen to Foreigner in full surround mix with Urgent, is an adrenaline rush.

    So I was interested that you considered the tracks you mentioned including Foreigner were front oriented mixes (In fact that Neil Young – Old Man has the rhythm section all in the left Rear! awful). Foreigner – Juke Box Hero is a great demo of surround when the bass travels around your head and then the guitars crash from the two front speakers, and the Vocal is right there in the front Centre Row

    And finally Dire Straits – Money For Nothing and Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love and Another One Bites The Dust. Just astounding surround.

    The aggressive surround mixes from your studio are all excellent, and I only listen to the Stage Mixes since those are the immersive surround experiences. That’s what I really have enjoyed and have always therefore recognised your ability to record and demonstrate the wonderful musicality of Surround Mixes.

    Maybe I’m wrong and its always impossible to recreate exactly the same sound elsewhere, and I have never listened on headphones to surround sound, but for just this once I seem to disagree with your analysis of some of those DVD Audio mixes of the pop albums!

    Regards

    Howard

    • September 26, 2015 at 2:17 pm
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      Thanks. The Foreigner “Feels Like the First Time” was not compelling. I love the Queen 5.1 mixes and many others…although my collection is limited.

  • September 27, 2015 at 12:50 am
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    I agree with the DSOTM various mixes in their “immersion” disc set. I’ve had so many copies of the standard & “remastered for digital” iterations. I recently bought a new box set of discs at a 35% discount @ $100 for unreleased . It’s pretty damn good. Parson’s recollection of all of those tiny elements & what mix happened where through the entire album after all these years is mind numbing. The doc is also on YouTube and reveals new technology in the making. What they all did was amazing, revolutionary for its Time (pun intended). It couldn’t have happened without any one of them.

    Mark, the tour I saw was technically supported the “Animals” LP , complete with giant floating pigs. The “In the Flesh” also played “Wish You Were Here” in its entirety. I was floored by the heady $13!

    • September 27, 2015 at 9:28 am
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      Thanks Bruce.

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