Bill Bruford in surround!

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ssully

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I know it's totally 180º, but , if we're talking about Dullbee MCH mixes, I've said repeatedly that Julieta Venegas' "Limón y Sal" (especially if you get the LEGIT Argentinian version which is a CD+DVD, not the US Dual Disc version) sounds REALLY GOOD to my ears!!!!
So, let me pose the logical question:

if even *one* 'Dullbee mix" (there is no such thing, there is a mixing engineer's mix, which is then coded to some format or other, but anyway) sounds REALLY GOOD, what does that say about the inherent limits of 'Dullbee'?
 

blue.monk

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I've just listened to the first half of Feels Good To Me. Hmm, mix-wise it's got its moments but there are many sections where multiple instruments are in center (e.g. drum kit, bass, guitar) with the fronts mainly offering ambient support. Strange choice.
 

zabble

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I listened to "It Feels Good to Me" for the very first time in any format, so I don't have anything to compare it to. The 5.1 mix and music sound good to me. Full disclosure, I wasn't able to listen to it at a high volume.

I suppose I might be more critical if I had been familiar with this album. I don't want to get into a format discussion, but the DD didn't detract from my enjoyment of the music. I would prefer it to be on blu-ray, DVD-A, SACD or even dts, but wouldn't pass up buying this limited set this just because of the DD. Just my two bits.
 

ssully

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I tried listening to the 2 channel remixes today, A/B ing back and forth with the the original mixes.... :(

Also A/B 'd some original mix tracks (from the last CD mastering, 2005) versus the remastered AC3 versions on the box.

For Feels Good To Me it immediately sounds like they've gone back to a more treble-enhanced mastering (like the very first CD issue). It's snappier than the 2005 remaster, and vastly snappier than the remix (and to my ears, vastly preferable).

For One of a Kind, I don't hear as much difference between 2005 CD and 2017 original mix remaster..not sure I hear *any* really, though I have to try level-matching and ABX. The 2ch remix, again, is a whole 'nother animal, obviously different, bassier, and displaying different mix choices. The Jakko 2ch remixes sound terribly *unbalanced* to me in comparison to the originals. And yes, I've played with raising and lowering volumes.
 

ssully

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I've just listened to the first half of Feels Good To Me. Hmm, mix-wise it's got its moments but there are many sections where multiple instruments are in center (e.g. drum kit, bass, guitar) with the fronts mainly offering ambient support. Strange choice.

Indeed. I hear this too. Very center-centric. Cursory look at one track of One of a Kind shows that the drums are mostly Center channel.
 

timbre4

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Tonight I made time to carry out some attentive listening to the Bruford 5.1 mixes.

>>> Executive Summary: I can live with these discs, there is enough in the package to have it

Qualifiers: One Of A Kind is burned into my head the way DSOTM or Sgt. Peppers may be burned into yours. The Maxell C-90XL-IIS cassette of that album went to the moon and back. I bought Feels Good To Me later and considered it less satisfying by comparison. I can begin to see that is unfair; probably skewed by the presence of Annette Peacock. She's great, but I when first hear her voice in this context I have to get used to it every time. Saw them play live when Gradually Going Tornado came out, enjoyed the Bruford Tapes as well. Haven't heard the unreleased live or 4th album rehearsals as yet. As for technical detailed comparisons, there are others here that can do that so much better that I which is great as I don't really have the inclination to do much of that.

Music Review: Because the box showed up just as I was getting ready to travel for a week, I got right into One Of A Kind immediately. Having just moved the 5.1 system components to a different wall, I was less confident that channel volumes were where they used to be due to a Denon microprocessor reset to the settings. Tonight I am more confident that things are back to familiar settings I can trust to form a judgment of what I'm hearing. Decided that it would be a twist to start with the Feels Good To Me 5.1 DVD and started enjoying it right away. Because I am less familiar with this album (less expectations baggage but also less tuned for differences from existing mix too) it sounded fresh and interesting in a way that it would not if it was burned into my head. Oh yeah, I remember this tune or I heard it on Bruford Tapes at some point. There really is a lot of stellar interplay here even if the tunes are not as good as those on One Of Kind. All well and good, it was time to take OOAK for another spin. Off to the races with Hell's Bells; it always seems dull sounding (dry) on cymbals whether it's CD or vinyl and I console myself once again that this is how the album has always sounded like that. I attribute this expectation to that undecoded Dolby cassette that gave me that brighter top end. (and we LIKED it) Unlike Feels Good To Me, it is much more difficult for me to maintain average listening volume with OOAK as there are truly emotional peak moments within these tracks that simply call for increasing the gain! There were two moments where the peak would musically sound different either by levels applied or something previously buried rearing its' head in the mix. This can be disconcerting the first time because it's simply not "what comes next" in my head. I can report that this second playback was far more enjoyable that the first as it was free of some ecstatic expectations for this desert island disc.

Surround Mix Review: Both albums have similar mixes so I will speak in a general sense. I must first say these discs have DISCRETE elements overall which comes as some relief. Dave Stewart's keyboards are creatively placed around the room. As a bass player, I expected the brilliant interplay between Bruford and Berlin to be showcased as the righteous, creative foundation that it is. Berlin's bass is present in the LFE and that's the way I would want it! This for the most part is true; my hurried car playback before I left gave me the impression it was clumsy or inarticulate. I'll have to revisit that with settings verified. The curious thing for me with these mixes, is that the drums seem trapped in a cage in the front and center position much of the time. Sometimes there is a sense of a larger drums presence by way of other drum kit elements reaching back from the front soundstage. Since the credits reveal Bill Bruford's own involvement in the mixes, this must be the way he preferred it to sound or was unaware of other approaches.

Box Set Comments: Okay much of this has been noted; the box is 1) an inch wider than any other 12x12 box you own, 2) has NOTHING for name lettering on the black spine, but you know its this one cause it's sticking out on the shelf! The gatefold sleeves that hold the discs are plain glossy black to ensure you're always guessing which sleeve has the disc you want. The Young Person's Guide sized "booklet" seems adequate, haven't read Sid Smith's worthy wordsmithing just yet. The onscreen graphics for the discs feel like 1997 laserdisc or early DVD but functional. Menu music clips used here as if their annoying presence hadn't been realized long ago. Apparently they didn't really study any existing box sets for style points or configuration, preferring to take what seems like a direction in the spirit of Red Green (TV loon). Yes I'll keep it for a number of smaller reasons that still add up somehow.
 
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ssully

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FWIW, its says 'mixed and produced from original multitrack tapes by Jakko Jacszyk and Bill Bruford'. There is some ambiguity there regarding 'involvement'...but seems reasonable to think BB must have at least *heard* either the final 2channel or 6 channel remix, if not both.

timbre, I'd suggest you listen to the original Feels Good To Me (either the remaster here, or whatever CD you might have) and try to back-and-forth* between it and the 6channel or 2channel remix. The EQ difference is startling...as is the 'box effect' on the drums in the remixes.

(*difficult if you are still using physical discs, easy if everything is ripped to files)
 

Steve Schoultz

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Ok I finally listened to both discs. I’m terrible at reviews, but I hear what both Tim and ssully are describing. The mixes are definitely discrete. Listening at lower volumes, the EQ choices are more bothersome. Specifically the boxy/muffled drum sound. Cranked up improves the sound greatly. I would rather it be this way than overly compressed that can only be enjoyed at lower volume. So since we will never know the extent of Bill’s involvement in the mixing process it serves no purpose to speculate. I would have preferred some different EQ choices, but I’m still enjoying this set for what it is.
 

ssully

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FWIW, I don't think anyone has claimed the mixes *aren't* discrete.

I'm also wondering how many here are very familiar with the two remixed albums in their original mixes, since no one else seems to have noticed the added reverb?
 

GOS

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FWIW, I don't think any one has claimed the mixes *aren't* discrete.

I'm also wondering how many here are very familiar with the two remixed albums, since no one else seems to have noticed the added reverb?
I wasn't familiar with either album....even still...I ended up selling mine as I knew it would collect dust as is....
 

ssully

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I'm gonna accentuate the positive in this post -- after some rather radical revision (I literally rotated my whole 5.1 setup one degree so I now face a different wall, altered the distance to my center speaker, moved some room treatment, and turned DOWN the damn bass -- which perceptually 'raises' the treble) I played One of A Kind again, and -- while I'm still underwhelmed by side one, and can't forgive his fadeout of '5G' -- I really like what Jakko did with 'Forever Until Sunday' and 'The Abingdon Chasp'. Good job on these, JJ! Mostly ! ;)


(I'm getting the sense that maybe his mixing vibe was, 'make it really seem like Bruford is always seated behind the band'. So keyboard parts, guitar parts, and even bass parts all go scurrying around in front of BB on the soundstage ... with an attack of cymbals occasionally breaking out too ;> )
 

timbre4

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Interesting, I think you are articulating the mixing philosophy good now. This is evolving a bit the more we listen and perhaps making further adjustments along the way.


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Frogmort

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I'm listening to a crazy 'tweaked' version of 'One of a Kind' from a friend who used all five regular channels to create a new LFE channel and added treble to all five regular channels, and after I also increased the front left and right channels about a decibel and decreased the center channel and surrounds about two decibels and increased the LFE channel about five decibels, I now have something that sounds pretty impressive and fun to me.

It may sound rather haphazard and counter-intuitive, but to me the weakest part of this mix is the front two main speakers. There's tons of center channel and even pretty great surround info, but the mains are so weak overall. One of the very few surround discs I've ever heard that doesn't have enough of the front left and right speakers.
 

ssully

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This set may be the best argument for artists just releasing the stems and letting fans make their own mixes

Let them compete, the cream would rise to the top! ;>
 
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himey

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I'm listening to a crazy 'tweaked' version of 'One of a Kind' from a friend who used all five regular channels to create a new LFE channel and added treble to all five regular channels, and after I also increased the front left and right channels about a decibel and decreased the center channel and surrounds about two decibels and increased the LFE channel about five decibels, I now have something that sounds pretty impressive and fun to me.

It may sound rather haphazard and counter-intuitive, but to me the weakest part of this mix is the front two main speakers. There's tons of center channel and even pretty great surround info, but the mains are so weak overall. One of the very few surround discs I've ever heard that doesn't have enough of the front left and right speakers.
Why not just turn off the center and have the processor direct the center channel to the mains? That is what I am doing now and giving it some volume. Rears are a bit under used at times but not too bad. Not hearing any problems with the bass.
 

himey

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So, as it turns out, when I opened up my package from Burning Shed to take pictures of the set (for selling on eBay) I noticed that the box was not shrink wrapped so I decided to pop the DVDs in and give each one a quick preview listen.
Well, what I heard did not impress me at all. Is it because of the Dolby Digital encoding? Is it because of Jakko’s mixing decisions? I think it’s probably a bit of both, but what I do know is that these are some piss poor DVDs, probably some of the worst released since 2011. Fidelity is terrible, authoring is bad, and the mixing is not the best.
I’m glad I’m selling this set off, and I only wish I never would have bought it in the first place.
(BTW, if I cast a vote for either of these DVDs in a poll thread, my vote would probably be a ‘3’)


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Three seems a bit harsh.
 

himey

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I personally DON'T think these DVDs are terrible discs... in terms of surround, there's some nice discrete stuff going on; "Feels Good To Me" sounds fine in terms of fidelity (not stellar; kind of like what you might get with an average sounding old quad); "One Of A Kind" also has a nice surround mix, but the drums just sound dull and recessed (like a bad old quad... maybe like "Best of the Guess Who" or something)... after some treble & bass adjustments, I'm happy with "One Of A Kind".

In terms of what you expect from an expensive modern boxed set, yes, these could be called terrible... but judged in comparison to all the surround mixes ever released (which I havn't heard yet, mind you), I'd say these are alright... listenable, and enjoyable (I'd probably vote "One of a Kind" a 6-7 and "Feels Good To Me" a 7-8)
This is also what I think after first listen. As others have mentioned, it just doesn't sound good at a low volume. I am not familiar with either but I will be soon. I like it. One of a Kind highlight is the last two tracks but that may be because the volume got progressively louder. Feels Good to Me is on tap when I get home later and I am looking forward to it. After reading the comments here I decided to redirect the center to the mains and sub to four full range speakers. A lot of these mixes it helps not knowing the originals so instead of comparing I can just enjoy.
 

himey

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I like the instruments placement in both mixes, the music is great but the sound quality of this mix holds it back. There just isn't any treble extension. Like the last couple eq sliders were both down to -15db. Too warm. Makes it all sound muddy.

Crank it up and it sounds better. A few songs don't use the rears enough but the majority do. I am going to vote 6.5 and round down to 6 due to the Dolby on the stereo tracks also. That is just completely ridiculous.
 

ssully

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if anyone cares --

the '2017 remaster' of Gradually Going Tornado is identical in terms of EQ to the last version (the 2005 Winterfold release)

There has been a consistent level of bullshit about 'remastering' of the Bruford catalog, going back to 2005, that is pretty annoying. Have any of these albums ever *really* been remastered?? I wonder.
 
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