Please post your thoughts and comments on this WEA DVD-A release. :thumbsdow
Please post your thoughts and comments on this WEA DVD-A release. :thumbsdow
I have a new favorite disc here! I will be playing this over and over and probably never tire of it. I bought this on a whim because the name of the artist sounded familiar for some reason, though I couldn't place it. This disc has been on the shelf at the Fry's electronics that I've shopped at for the past few years. They have about a 20' wall of surround selections to choose from, the best that I know of. Anyway, this is another one of those that I've kept putting back because I wasn't familiar with the artist, but there was something about the name that stuck in my mind...
So I get home and put it going and as soon as I heard the first song "Alive Again" I knew I was in for a treat. The reason the name registered to me is because when this album was released in 2002, this song was played on the radio here and I had made a mental note to check it out more but never did.
The music is a hybrid of jazz, rock, world, R&B, fusion and most of the songs are of the extended jam variety. At times the music sounds like Chicago, at others Steely Dan, and still others a sound of their own which is all over the place (I like that). The vocals remind me of Jack Johnson, another guy who is popular here in SoCal.
I listened to the first song long enough to get my settings and, at the time, didn't hear anything going on in the center channel. The way my system is setup when there is no center and the sub is of little significance, then I switch the amp and speakers that are setup for them to run double stereo across the front.
I listened to the disc once through in this way and when I was putting it away I noticed a sticker, that was on the shrink wrap, mentioned a discreet six channel mix. I thought "hmmm" this is odd. I put the disc back in and put just the center/sub channels going and started skimming around on the disc. I was shocked to find out that there were all kinds of things laced throughout the disc in the center channel that are completely missing from the corners. As good as everything sounded w\o the center the first time through, when played back with the special effects usage of the center it was awesome!!!
This is the coolest use of the center channel of anything in my collection and I can't wait to hear it again and again...
Here is a picture of the sticker.
Last edited by aquadad; 01-16-2007 at 06:23 AM.
Trey is a great musician and writer; when Shine was new last December, we saw him and his great band at 4th & B downtown. (my company is in Poway so I go out there a few times a year.) Great songs and I have multiple live versions, thanks to Trey's Phish-like enthusiasm to put up downloadable shows.
Had to be Frys' on I-15 Aero Drive or ? One day at Fry's I recognized a fellow there as my mgr at the Wherehouse on University Ave back in the 1970's!
Moderator, Musician, Foole
Daddeo 2012 Selected Songs link:
I work at Pomerado Hospital in Poway. There is a newer Fry's store in San Marcos that is closer to where I live in Escondido. There is also a newer BB near it and I used to hit them both when shopping. Anymore though the BB has pretty much dried up so I don't even bother...
I guess I never voted on this one. I have had it for a long time. I will have to listen to it again. I remember that I liked the music but the mix and sound quality were not the best. Will have to revisit.
That was my first impression too, but after some analog tweaking it all came together, for me anyway...
The second time through I listened with the center and sub twice as loud as the corners to get a better idea of what I was missing the first time around. In the final run I found the mix to be more enjoyable with the center volume slightly elevated above the corners so that when they lay in their embellishments they are more noticeable.
I also found that turning the overall volume up helps this recording a lot. It seems to have been recorded at lower than usual levels. Probably due to the fact that there is so much going on in each channel. After all there is a nine piece band with 21 additional musicians listed in the credits and it sounds as though they are all "30" of them playing at once, at times. The mixer really had his ears full on this one and I think he did a pretty good job keeping it discrete and balanced considering the complexity.
This is one of those recordings that truly does benefit from being played loud to bring out all the lush rich textures and fine musicianship. The signals are low, but they're very clean and can be amped up safely.
Last edited by aquadad; 01-21-2007 at 07:14 PM.
Really a brilliant album - maybe the best Trey has made with any project - but they could've done much more with the multichannel possibilities. Barely anything happens in the rear channels. For some excellent multichannel Trey, the two Phish DVDs - IT and Live in Brooklyn - should be checked out.
Okay, how can a disc sound so much different. I haven't played this since buying the Oppo and it now sounds excellent. Lots going on in the rears. I didn't have to tweak anything either. It sounds very analog although I am sure that it is not. Brass, keyboards, vocals and everything sounds very natural. This does differ from track to track though. For instance "Alive Again" sounds fuller and more satisfying than songs like "Cayman Review". I am going to vote a 9 on this one just because it has a little inconsistency to it between tracks.
All kinds of musical styles in this mixed bag and I like it for that reason. Even the Renaissance sound of "At the Gazebo" works for me. It reminds me of some of the songs on the self titled Blood Sweat & Tears, Canadian Q8 that I have.
In "Alive again" the center doesn't even get used until the cowbells come in at 03':30", and turned up they sound awesome. Everything else for this song's mix is in the corners.
"Cayman Review" is a classic example of the tweaking that I prefer. BTW "analog tweaking" is a reference to being able to reach over and turn a knob up or down on my analog receiver as opposed to a digital receiver where you have to start pushing puttons on a remote. I guess I'm old fashioned, I prefer knob control to remote control.
In "Cayman Review" there is a center channel synth/organ riff that starts at :07 seconds and runs to :50 seconds where it fades into the front right as the horns come in from the rear. At the output level of the DV-45a that I use it's barely noticable, but when turned up to make it stand out it sounds really cool to me. And that's the only time in the entire song that the center gets used.
The next song "Push On 'til The Day", same thing, the sampled bird call sound that comes out of the center throughout the song sounds really cool turned up.
In "Night Speaks To A Woman", by turning up the organ in the center channel the song sounds fuller. Anyway, my point is that maybe it's not necessary to turn the center up to hear it buried in with everything else, but the center gets used so sparingly and differently than in typical mixing that I actually prefer to have it jump out at me !!!
Oh and I agree with you, lots going on in the rears...
I really like this disc a lot but there is absolutely no SW output from my player and very little coming from the centre, just the occasional tit-bit as mentioned above. To get some SW action I send a derived signal from the fronts analog output at the DVD-A player to the sub and enjoy plenty of rich and detailed bass. Without this it sounds very thin. Of all the 100+ M-CH DVD-A I have, this and the "Frampton Comes Alive" discs have no dedicated SW Ch. PTs In Absentia needs a big boost of volume at the sub but at least there is a signal to boost. Regardless of this its worth a 9. It just takes a little attention to setup detail before playing.
Please equalise your ears now!
I think this is a great sounding disc! The fidelity is quite good and the mix is very active. I agree with Aquadad that this disc employs a unique and attractive use of the center channel. I'm not a big fan of an overly active center channel unless it is used for discrete lead vocals (in which case I LOVE the center channel). While the center channel is not used here for vocals, as Aquadad noted, it is used for occasional, discrete embellishments that meld perfectly with the rest of the surround mix. In other words, the center channel never draws attention to itself and serves only to expand and enhance the overall mix.
The music itself quickly finds a nice, tight groove that is at once funky, rockin'. soulful and laid-back, with bouts of enhanced energy to keep things interesting. The production is full and lively. This is some great music, and Trey's inspired guitar solos are sure to satisfy even the most finicky six-string freak. If I had to fault the disc in any way, I would say that it can sound very slightly antiseptic and maybe just a bit formulaic, but this feeling is fleeting and doesn't manifest itself on the majority of the disc. Overall this is an incredibly solid surround-sound effort. Of particular mention is the first track, "Alive Again", which alone is worth the price of admission, but there are plenty of highlights to be found here. I'm giving this one eight points.
Recently acquired this an outragiously low bid on ebay secured the disc. I ahve to say its much better than I was expecting (not sure what i was expecting but its better) nice active mix fidelity is good.
This is certanly high on my rotation at the moment, possibly worth a re-vist to those that have it and have not listened for a while.
The best review I can give is to endorse the late Cai's review above.
Dull, dull, dull (and more dull stuff) here only, for me.
In its favour, it was one of the cheapest new DVDA'S I've ever bought so that partially redeems it and in essence there's nothing really wrong with this disc, it's just I can't abide the music, it does absolutely nothing for me!
The mix isn't anything to write home about either. A very discrete 5.1 of this and it might have helped elevate it but not for me, thank you very much.
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