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Thread: 01) Importance of "old quad" mixes on getting a surround experience background

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    Default 01) Importance of "old quad" mixes on getting a surround experience background

    Hello Steven,
    as everyone knows, nothing is without a past. Before 5.1 there was 4.0, aka quad, and the past is open for today's learners.
    Other than "personal tastes", which "old quad" mixes did you found intresting as a learning experience on how to mix, placements, moving elements, balancing etc? Something that, when you were listening it, you were thinking "wow, that's great, this really does add a depth in the musical artistic experience, how they did it...".
    I'm sure at least 99% of the people here will list PF DSOTM on a personal top5 - Alan Parsons has been a real genius on that. Your top5 "old school quad" mixes?

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    Default Re: Importance of "old quad" mixes on getting a surround experience background


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    Default Re: Importance of "old quad" mixes on getting a surround experience background

    1- Azteca - no qimmicky panning, just a great discrete mix with a superb use of channels for individual musicians and voices. Being a 15 piece group doesn't hurt.
    2- Chicago X - Another great discrete mix. No gimmicks here either, just great use of the 4 channels for eight musicians.
    3- Birds of Fire - Mahavishnu Orchestra 5 guys, everyone with their own channel, and a doubling in the rears.
    4- Greatest Hits - Sly & the Family Stone A wonderful discrete mix. 7 musicians, wonderful placement. The ONLY way to listen to this.
    5- Ship Ahoy - O'Jays Another discrete mix with the bass line firing off all four channels, one by one to begin "For the Love of Money." That "gimmick" is tasteful and works well here.

    The common thread is that while the mixes are discrete, none of them get in the way of the music. Santana Abraxas isn't on my list. it's a great, trippy early Quad mix. Although it has some great tricks, they often strike me as distracting.

    My biggest complaint with many modern 5.1 mixes is engineers seem befuddled by those two extra channels. The center channel was there in the old Quad mixes. It was just a "phantom." The .1 or LFE is a channel, but in some respects, it is not. Since bass is non-directional, it should be ignored, other than the obvious placement of the bass. Essentially, 5.1 is the same as Quad. It should be mixed with that in mind. The old classic Quad mixes should be used as a guide.

    My feelings are to place an instrument or voice on one channel, or in the middle of the fronts or rears and leave it there. Don't fiddle during the track. Placing someone in the middle of both left or right channels is too reminiscent of 2ch and should be avoided.

    I enjoy panning and "ping-pong effects" for demonstration purposes, but they can be distracting. There are a few of these which make sense: the bass line which begins the O'Jays "For the Love of Money" and the wah-wah at the beginning of Isaac Hayes "Shaft". I would have mixed them that wasy.

    There is also a thread here titled "What are your 10 favorite Quad LP's and/or Tapes?" There are also 2 "Quad Resurrected" threads listing great Quads reissued and/or remixed to 5.1. Although these aren't the same as this thread, they are similar. Those threads factor the music into the equasion.

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