HiRez Poll Band, The - MUSIC FROM BIG PINK (2018 5.1 surround mix) [Blu-Ray Audio]

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Rate the BDA of the Band - MUSIC FROM BIG PINK (2018 5.1 surround mix)

  • 6

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 5

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1: Poor Content, Surround Mix, and Fidelity

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    24

rtbluray

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Please post your thoughts and comments on this 2018 reissue of the classic 1968 album "Music From Big Pink" recorded by The Band.
This 50th anniversary box set contains a new 5.1 surround mix on Blu-Ray which was mixed by famed mixing engineer Bob Clearmountain.

For pre-release forum discussion on this box set, click HERE

For discussion on the 2003 DVD-Audio 5.1 surround mix, please see this thread: HiRez Poll - Band, The - MUSIC FROM BIG PINK (2003 5.1 surround mix) [DVD-A]

(y):)(n)






 
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Clement

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Pulled into Walmart just after noon to pick up my copy--just under $60 with the pickup discount. I had pre-ordered through Amazon when it was >$80; looking back on how much I had spent on surround sound music in the past year, my muse got sick and I canceled the order. But there was a nagging voice dancing in my dome for daze, reminding me just what an impact the album had on me when I first heard it in high school in the late '70s (I was one of those who had seen the '60s through the eyes of a child; by the time I was a teenager, I was pissed at what I had thought I had missed, and I was determined to make up for lost time--but enough about me; let's get back to the Band!). I saw that Walmart had it for what seemed like a deal too good to pass up, so I pulled the trigger, and man am I glad I did! The young man at the orange pickup counter at Walmart saw me and immediately brought my order out, giving me a trippy smile! He knew. I zipped home and put it on and turned it up. I had been laid up in bed sick all morning, but losing myself in the music released me. I started looking through the book and trying to read the Fricke essay, but the music would not be denied. One of the last pictures I saw was the Band sitting in a circle, and seated amid my five speakers, I felt as if I were right there/they were right here. So open and immediate and crisp and bright like a light come shining, from the west down to the east. I like the way an instrument will suddenly appear--like a tambourine in my left ear--and the way individual singers were coming from individual speakers. Cool to hear the occasional recording chatter before songs, especially on the bonus tracks. I'm listening a second time, but my wife is home and long in bed, so I've got it pretty low, but I'm still digging the surround, and I'm really looking forward to another play of the acapella "I Shall Be Released," with that fine falsetto and those angelic harmonies coming from every corner, filling up my living room, making my brain swoon, taking me back to 1978 when the record was already ten years old and sounding timeless . . . sounds like a 10, friends, but I'll listen a few more times before I commit.

8 September Update: Okay, I'm brand spanking new to this site (I just now noticed I could have posted a first post on a separate thread!). Is there some sort of formula people use given the categories of Content, Surround Mix, and Fidelity? Is each category given equal weight (great observation about "The Weight," Mr. Smithers!)? Is Content about the disc only, or does the whole package become part of Content? Even though I don't have answers to the questions, I'll let you know what I am thinking: Content is killer! One of the all-time great recordings, one of the greatest debut albums, one of the best albums of a year that saw many stellar releases, and an album that has had a major impact throughout rock history. And given the extras in the package, I can't see anything less than a 10 in this category. Surround Mix. I started buying surround releases about a year ago in an attempt to recapture some of the magic I felt listening to music during HIGH school, cranked up in the basement when no one was home, sitting in a recliner placed perfectly between my big ass speakers, looking like the old Maxell tape ad (though it wasn't a martini being blown off the table next to my chair). When someone was home, I put on some big 70s HEADphones--got lost in the stereo swirl. Surround mixes flash me back to those daze, and I prefer mixes that really take advantage of the speaker set-up; well, that's not totally true: I also like feeling as if I'm sitting with the musicians or in a concert hall--I guess it depends on the kind of music. Any hoo, given all of that, I think this mix is good and very enjoyable, and that translates to an 8 for me. Fidelity? I've done some serious damage to my ears over the years, so at this point, this release sounds great--another 10! So does that mean this is a 9 for me? Thanks for any feedback and for putting up with my rambling. Peace
 
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MrSmithers

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I’m glad to say I really like this one... The mixes on most of the tracks are really good. Slightly annoying and ironic that “The Weight” probably has the lightest surround mix. Mostly ambience in the rears on that one... I presume Bob Clearmountain did as much as he could with the material at hand. Sound quality is great...

Knocks the socks off the stereo version, and such a great album... :phones
 
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blue.monk

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I think Clearmountain has done an excellent job with this surround mix given the limited number of tracks, plus the group’s practice of recording without the usual studio baffling. Fortunately most of the time the source material allows for the full surround treatment—with discrete elements in all 5 speakers. However, there are sections where he has to (I’m sure reluctantly) settle for only ambient info in the rears. But the center channel remains active and discrete throughout.

Some may be distracted by the shifting instrument placement track to track, but this appears to be necessary given that often times various elements are locked onto a single track. So in order to keep lead vocals centered, for example, the drums might move to right or left channel to open things up. Of course some of these choices may be based on the original stereo placements (I haven’t checked yet).

The sound quality is excellent! The drums in particular sound better than ever. Sure, occasionally the expanded stage will expose a rather woolly-sounding instrument. This is not surprising given the age of the recording but overall it’s impressive the warmth and clarity they’ve coaxed out of the tapes.

Add to this six quality bonus tracks (all in surround), a double LP (yep, I still loves my vinyl), detailed booklet and other goodies all housed in an attractive box and you’ve got one happy camper. I give it a 10.
 

Clint Eastwood

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I think Clearmountain has done an excellent job with this surround mix given the limited number of tracks, plus the group’s practice of recording without the usual studio baffling. Fortunately most of the time the source material allows for the full surround treatment—with discrete elements in all 5 speakers. However, there are sections where he has to (I’m sure reluctantly) settle for only ambient info in the rears. But the center channel remains active and discrete throughout.

Some may be distracted by the shifting instrument placement track to track, but this appears to be necessary given that often times various elements are locked onto a single track. So in order to keep lead vocals centered, for example, the drums might move to right or left channel to open things up. Of course some of these choices may be based on the original stereo placements (I haven’t checked yet).

The sound quality is excellent! The drums in particular sound better than ever. Sure, occasionally the expanded stage will expose a rather woolly-sounding instrument. This is not surprising given the age of the recording but overall it’s impressive the warmth and clarity they’ve coaxed out of the tapes.

Add to this six quality bonus tracks (all in surround), a double LP (yep, I still loves my vinyl), detailed booklet and other goodies all housed in an attractive box and you’ve got one happy camper. I give it a 10.
A great explanation of the difficulties that were present in this release and equally great analysis of what transpired to make this a quality release...much better than my attempt to explain the situation..
 

ifthenwhy

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Any comparisons to the DVD-A multichannel mix would be great for those that have both.

Anyone? This is certainly one of my all time faves, but I'm a little hesitant to shovel yet more money into Robertsons pockets if there is not a noticible increase in quality from the DVD-A (which I own and love)
 

rtbluray

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Trying to get a few more votes for this one.

I gave this a '9', breaking down my vote this way:

Musical content: 2.5/3
Surround Mix: 2.5/3
Fidelity: 3/3
High-Res Disc: 1/1

I think this Blu-Ray is definitely better than the original DVDA-V disc, so despite the expense of the set, this Blu-Ray Audio disc is highly recommended.

:)
 

ifthenwhy

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After much fretting (seriously, how many times have I purchased "Big Pink) I nerviously decided to throw down for the Clearmountain mix. I have no regrets and I consider this release a dramatic improvement over the DVD-A.

Featuring:
Better separation
A more imaginative use of the sound stage.
The mix choices honor the original recording
Increased fidelity

This thing breathes!

If one is looking for the definitive 5.1 statement of this seminal work, this release (in terms of fidelity and packaging) towers over the other offering.

It's a 10.
 
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elmer

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My wife took me into Manhattan this weekend for my birthday to hear some very groovy jazz at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola and a seemingly never ending supply of oysters and martinis! Upon my reluctant return home, the deluxe Music From Big Pink was waiting for me on my doorstep (along with Lennon’s Imagine box and J.Tulls latest/first) - gifts from my daughters who know me all too well.

Arguably one of the most important recordings of the 20th Century and one of those touchstone albums for many of us who were children of the sixties. I have the DVD Audio version and while it’s certainly an upgrade from my battered OG vinyl and poorly mastered CD versions, it never compelled me to repeated listening. This however, is another story altogether. Considering the already discussed original source challenges - this is a revelation. The “presence” is amazing - I will admit to a small amount of moisture creeping towards my tear ducts at certain points. Enough prose - a 10!
 

HugoPhyrst

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I was thrilled to open this up last night. I'll never make us of the vinyl, but listened through the surround (and the stereo today at work). Very enjoyable. The fidelity is ok; not great. But the music is a 10 and the mix, although a bit uneven, places you in the middle of the music. Tears of Rage seemed to use the surrounds the least until late in the song. And I enjoyed the extras. I give it a 9.
 

edisonbaggins

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Any explanation as to why The Weight has virtually no surround mix on the BD?
Fidelity for the whole album is much better on the BD, but The Weight has a decent surround mix on the DVD-A.
 

HugoPhyrst

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Any explanation as to why The Weight has virtually no surround mix on the BD?
Fidelity for the whole album is much better on the BD, but The Weight has a decent surround mix on the DVD-A.
It IS strange how little is going on inn the surrounds for The Weight and Tears of Rage. Great stuff happening on the other songs. I really like the unexpected way vocal or discreet instruments dominate the surrounds in different songs. The backing vocals during Chest Fever are sublime.
 

sjcorne

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This is a fantastic release! @blue.monk's review absolutely nailed it. This has to be the most discrete surround mix I've heard from a four-track source: it pushes the separation envelope even further than Steven Wilson's 4.1 mix of Jethro Tull's This Was.

Several tracks ("To Kingdom Come", "Caledonia Mission", "We Can Talk", "This Wheel's On Fire") have "Columbia Q8"-style mixes with different instruments hard-panned into the corners. "We Can Talk" in particular is a hoot with the piano in left rear and the call-and-response vocals popping out of different speakers.

"To Kingdom Come":
Screen Shot 2019-04-29 at 4.44.18 PM.png

"We Can Talk":
Screen Shot 2019-04-29 at 4.45.57 PM.png

Other tracks with less complex arrangements or less instrumentation ("Long Black Veil", "Chest Fever", "I Shall Be Released") feature long stretches of ambience in the rears, but not without the occasional discrete burst of backing vocals or horns.

The only track that's truly ambient all the way through is, unfortunately, "The Weight". It almost sounds like a SPECWEB upmix, with most of the music in the center channel and very little going on in the four corners. IMHO, if you want to hear a decent surround mix of this track, cue up the re-recorded version (with the Staple Singers) from The Last Waltz DVD-A. The original recording just doesn't have any discrete surround potential.

Thanks to a kind fellow member, I was able to compare this new mix with the old DVD-A version, credited to Don Gilbert. Clearmountain's version is the clear winner. The old mix is mastered louder and isn't very discrete at all. I also noticed that, as with most Clearmountain mixes, the center channel is extremely active, while the old mix doesn't utilize it nearly as much. One point I'd give the old mix over the new one is that the organ intro to "Chest Fever" comes mostly from the rears, whereas the new mix has it isolated in the center channel.

"Chest Fever" (2018 Blu-Ray):
Screen Shot 2019-04-29 at 4.41.58 PM.png

"Chest Fever" (2002 DVD-A):
Screen Shot 2019-04-29 at 4.39.34 PM.png

Even "The Weight", which some have reported to be better on the old DVD-A, appears to be more-or-less "double stereo". There is more going on in the rears than the new mix, but I struggled to identify any element not also present in the fronts. One interesting difference between the two is the way the center channel is used: the old mix has isolated acoustic guitar and harmony vocals in the center, while the new mix has the drums in the center.

"The Weight" (2018 Blu-Ray):
Screen Shot 2019-04-29 at 4.33.17 PM.png

"The Weight" (2002 DVD-A):
Screen Shot 2019-04-29 at 4.36.30 PM.png

Grab it for the warehouse price if you can, it's an absolute steal. Gotta give it a 10. Would love it if the same team tackles The Band's self-titled second album next...
 
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whatsmyname4

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I just got this box in today. I've almost finished listening to the new 5.1 mix and I feel safe in saying I probably won't be listening to my old dvd-a 5.1 mix anymore.

There is so much more instrument separation on this new mix compared to the old dvd-a 5.1 mix. I love the little pieces of music that have been left in that you don't get to hear on the stereo mix too. It's definitely one of those "put the listener in the center of the band" type mixes.

An easy 10 for me. :cool:
 
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