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Best Dolby Atmos Classic Tracks on Tidal

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PodCat

Moderator
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
Messages
967
Location
Huntington Beach, CA
Spent the noon hour auditioning many of the new Atmos mixes of old tracks.

As with quad and 21st-century 5.1, it’s a mixed bag of surprises and disappointments.

Forgetting the instrument placement for a second, I have to say I’m really wondering what has happened to the modern-day mixing ear. Some of these tracks just sound flat-out terrible: limp, fakey, thin, wispy, no bass or balls. The Brick House drum intro now wraps nicely to the right rear, but where is that thump in the gut we’ve heard for half a century? Does the remix engineer even remember what a real hi-hat cymbal sounds like? Ugh.

Anyway, I enjoyed these mixes (demo quality indicated by *)

Reunited Peaches & Herb Dated nostalgia, but nice and lush as it should be.

Last Dance Donna Summer Surprising how much nicer this is in immersive audio.

*The Gambler Kenny Rogers Pretty much just what you’d hoped for. The background vocals are really a full chorale — you’ll hear the alto, tenor, and bass surrounding you for the first time with different parts from each speaker. Very nice.

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down The Band Sharp, simple, ballsy, discrete. Excellent.

I Just Want to Celebrate Rare Earth Same.

I’m Like a Bird Nelly Furtado Best demo of an overhead chime. Can really see it moving.

ABC Jackson Five Better than the old triphonic Japanese quad mix.

Big Girls Don’t Cry Fergie Effective, immersive and balanced.

When Doves Cry Prince Never cared for this track but it’s definitely more interesting now.

*What’s Going On Marvin Gaye Wow. I don’t normally like mixes that change the original balance, but here is a notable exception. Crowd sounds and background vocals buried in the original stereo and 5.1 are uncovered here to great effect. This track, considered by music historians to be one of the greatest pop recordings in history, is now much more emotional and compelling. This now is the definitive version. Without it, you haven’t really heard the track.

*These Dreams Heart Intro balance is off but that’s easily forgiven. Fantastic use of overhead vocals and effects, yet retains all the power of the original stereo. THIS is what Atmos is all about.

Bad Girls Donna Summer Again I say — didn’t even know I liked this song. Probably wouldn’t in stereo, but here it comes alive.

Sunset People Donna Summer Never even heard of this track. That’s part of the fun of surround — discovering stuff you didn’t even know you liked. Doubt I would have paid any attention to this in stereo.

We’re An American Band Grand Funk Much better quality than the Q8 quad but not as adventurous (no randomly moving electric guitar). I actually miss the dramatic extra drum reverb in the quad version’s ending. Still a good time if you find yourself with a couple of chiquitas from Omaha.

*Relax Frankie Goes to Hollywood This is how you do 80’s in surround. Perfectly captures the feel and balance of the original and takes it beyond and above (literally). Can someone identify who mixed this? I nominate him for all 80’s remixes.


Disappointments:

Hit Me With Your Best Shot Pat Benatar If this is really your best shot, sir, time to find new work.

Do You Believe in Love Huey Lewis and the News Here we go again with the dry. Is there a reverb shortage? The 80’s were BIG: big hair, big sound. How you supposed to get big sound in a closet? Those handsome, powerhouse background vocals are emasculated in this limp mix.

Walking on Sunshine Katrina and the Waves What in the ¥&$#@ing *&$#& is this? A manacled gnat? All front, no bass, no power, no nothing. What a joke.

Ramblin’ Man Allman Bros Band Damn ... was the recording that bad? Put on the stereo version to check and ... nope, it wasn’t. You’re not supposed to wear the mask over your ears, bud. Jesus. Horrible.

Renegade Styx Nice to finally get some classic Styx surround, but why such a weenied version? Those stark, close-mic’d harmonies that used to jump out are dialed way back for no good reason. In the a capella break, they’re far off and drenched in reverb.

Celebrate Kool & the Gang Would have liked this but the bass drum is so overloud and thumpy I can’t play it without neighbors calling the cops.

American Pie Don McClean How sad to wait 49 years only to get this. A weenie mix that puts very little in the rears except some backing vocals (shared with the fronts) and a few nice cymbal crashes (thank god for stereo drums). Ruined by inexcusable omission of iconic guitar fills after choruses 3 and 4. Lame.

Loco-Motion Grand Funk Why dial back the backing vocals to oblivion? You can barely hear them. Very lame. The quad version is obviously superior.

You Should Be Dancing Bee Gees Yet another botched chart-topper. What a mess. Balance way off, all kinds of tracks left open in the outro ... and for all that, nothing interesting done with all those channels. Worthless.

More later.
 
Last edited:

J. PUPSTER

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
May 30, 2017
Messages
4,773
Location
CALIFORNIA (CENTRAL)
Spent the noon hour auditioning many of the new Atmos mixes of old tracks.

As with quad and 21st-century 5.1, it’s a mixed bag of surprises and disappointments.

Forgetting the instrument placement for a second, I have to say I’m really wondering what has happened to the modern-day mixing ear. Some of these tracks just sound flat out terrible: limp, fakey, thin, wispy, no bass or balls. The Brick House drum intro now wraps nicely to the right rear, but where is that thump in the gut we’ve heard for half a century? Does the remix engineer even remember what a real hi-hat cymbal sounds like? Ugh.

Anyway, I enjoyed these mixes:

Reunited Peaches & Herb Dated nostalgia, but nice and lush as it should be.

Last Dance Donna Summer Surprising how much nicer this is in immersive audio.

The Gambler Kenny Rogers Pretty much just what you hoped for. Nearly outstanding.

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down The Band Sharp, simple, ballsy, discrete. Excellent.

I Just Want to Celebrate Rare Earth Same.

I’m Like a Bird Nelly Furtado Best demo of an overhead chime. Can really see it moving.

ABC Jackson Five Better than the triphonic Japanese quad mix.

Big Girls Don’t Cry Fergie Effective, immersive and balanced.

When Doves Cry Prince Never cared for this track but it’s definitely more interesting now.



Disappointments:

Hit Me With Your Best Shot Pat Benatar If this is really your best shot, sir, time to find new work.

Do You Believe in Love Huey Lewis and the News Here we go again with the dry. Is there a reverb shortage? The 80’s were BIG: big hair, big sound. How are you supposed to get big sound in a closet? Those handsome, powerhouse background vocals are emasculated in this limp mix.

Walking on Sunshine Katrina and the Waves What in the ¥&$#@ing *&$#& is this? A manacled gnat? All front, no bass, no power, no nothing. What a joke.

Ramblin’ Man Allman Bros Band Damn ... was the recording that bad? Put on the stereo version to check and ... no, it wasn’t. You’re not supposed to wear the mask over your ears, bud. Jesus. Horrible.

I’ll check out some more and update this later.
Were you able to check and see who did the mixes; I believe some here found that info; would be interesting to see who is doing a good job and who is dicking some of these up?
 

dabl

Senior Member
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
249
Last edited:

PodCat

Moderator
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
Messages
967
Location
Huntington Beach, CA
I'm guessing you're using an Apple TV 4k?
Yes, together with a Sony STR-DN840 Atmos receiver from Costco.
Upon first opening Tidal app, a message appears:
“Your installation is Dolby Atmos compatible.” It displays Atmos albums and Atmos playlists, and each track within these shows a small Dolby logo. However, if you try to search by individual tracks, the Atmos ones will still come up but will not be identified as such.

Running Tidal on my older (non-4K) Apple TV, the Atmos albums and playlists do not appear.

I see many of you are having trouble getting Atmos tracks on Tidal. Aside from Apple’s focus on reliability, I‘ve found getting older hardware to work with the latest thing is always problematic. Your best course is to upgrade everything in the signal chain. I get tired of doing this just as everyone else does (had to retire a perfectly good working AVR to get Atmos), but I’ve learned the hard way that the alternative is a losing battle.
 

Goona

500 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Mar 6, 2019
Messages
565
Location
Mgees Crossroads North Carolina
Not finished yet but heres my best tracks from the soul classics and pop, will add more Tomorrow
 

EricKalet

300 Club - QQ All-Star
QQ Supporter
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
370
Location
Yardley, PA
Not finished yet but heres my best tracks from the soul classics and pop, will add more Tomorrow
I ♥'ed your playlist will check it out in next day or so :) Great selections!
 

PodCat

Moderator
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
Messages
967
Location
Huntington Beach, CA
Not finished yet but heres my best tracks from the soul classics and pop, will add more Tomorrow
You and I seem to agree on every track.

BTW ... it’s ”Definitive.”
 

MrSmithers

900 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
954
Location
UK 🇬🇧
Here's some of my early favourite mixes...

I Just Want To Celebrate - Rare Earth
Stitches - Shawn Mendes (Claps coming from everywhere around the room, not just from speakers - cool!)
Sunflower - Post Malone/Swae Lee
Bad Girls - Donna Summer
Sunset People - Donna Summer (This is a brilliant showcase for Atmos!)
Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) - The Temptations
Ain’t Too Proud To Beg - The Temptations
Celebration - Kool & The Gang (I really like this, I must be a bit more antisocial?!)
What’s Going On
- Marvin Gaye
I’m Like A Bird - Nelly Furtado
All I Wanna Do - Sheryl Crow
Baby Love - The Supremes
Re-Arranged - Limp Bizkit
You Should Be Dancing - Bee Gees
Rocket Man - Elton John

A lot of the modern ‘Pop’ songs have been mixed really well. It’s funny as it’s the first time I’ve listened to a few of ‘em…

Hopefully lots more to come soon! :cool:
 
Last edited:

Goona

500 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Mar 6, 2019
Messages
565
Location
Mgees Crossroads North Carolina
Here's some of my early favourite mixes...

I Just Want To Celebrate - Rare Earth
Stitches - Shawn Mendes (Claps coming from everywhere around the room - not just from speakers, cool!)
Sunflower - Post Malone/Swae Lee
Bad Girls - Donna Summer
Sunset People - Donna Summer (This is a brilliant showcase for Atmos!)
Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) - The Temptations
Ain’t Too Proud To Beg - The Temptations
Celebration - Kool & The Gang (I really like this, I must be a bit more antisocial?!)
What’s Going On
- Marvin Gaye
I’m Like A Bird - Nelly Furtado
All I Wanna Do - Sheryl Crow
Baby Love - The Supremes
Re-Arranged - Limp Bizkit
You Should Be Dancing - Bee Gees
Rocket Man - Elton John

A lot of the modern ‘Pop’ songs have been mixed really well. It’s funny as it’s the first time I’ve listened to a few of ‘em…

Hopefully lots more to come soon! :cool:
Where did you find the other 2 Donna Summer tracks have heard Last Dance?.
 

himey

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Nov 11, 2013
Messages
1,461
Too bad there is no downmix option but as others have mentioned this is still very green.

I updated my Firestick 4K to latest Tidal, added an Atmos track, and got an error message specifically related to Atmos lack of compatibility, then it played in DD+, 2.0. :(
 
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