Chat with Larry Fast part 4

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timbre4

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Oct 17, 2017

TIM: “Just landed; can you play DVDA quad or 5.1 discs? I could send you some identical QS done QSD1 and Surround Master to compare? Oh and that Cords disc too!!”

Oct 19, 2017

LARRY: “5.1 DVDs and BluRays. My old SACD and DVD-A player from the early 2000s died. And of course, decoding QS from any stereo source.
But Cords was only mixed in stereo so any phase-derived surround information is purely accidental.”

TIM: “We need to get you fixed up. Do you have multi-channel playback that accepts analog (6 RCA outs) , HDMI, or FLAC files from a drive? Good to have a setup in some form for reference mixes. Yes on Cords yet even as a pleasant accident it's fun. There's a whole upmix world out there, sometimes great depending on the placement of elements within the mix of the stereo source.”

LARRY: “In my studio, 5.1 discrete monitoring system. 5 speakers plus Darnley sub powered by McIntosh. Switchable stereo bus (JBL/Macintosh). Deliverables for broadcast or disc are my dead to six full bandwidth 48/96 WAVs + a stereo pair. Downmixes are hit or miss from 5.1. The broadcaster or master/authoring process uses whatever encoding process/processes they have licensed for the format.

Analog audio is all +4 level balanced. But most is digital Thunderbolt or FireWire in and out of the converters. Several generation of MOTU converters. Optical stream into a Sony 5.1 system from a consumer disc player for references.“

TIM: “Terrific setup! short of suggesting a prosumer universal with balanced XLRs, I believe an OPPO player (DVDA/SACD, Blu Ray, both analogs/HDMI/eSATA drive FLAC or ISO support) would do everything for you quite well. Could loan you a BDP93 or recommend a BDP103 / 105. 4K versions BDP203 / 205 have made the 103 players very reasonable! $300-ish.”
(Before recent frenzy)

Balanced XLRs are stereo only. 105 audio section makes them cost more like $800+. The BDP 103 would provide a reasonable consumer reference.”

LARRY: “Thanks, a very generous offer with the OPPOs, but you have to keep in mind that I’m coming at this from a very different perspective. I’m on the content creation side. The QC from encoded discs is a function of the project budget and the intended end use. I don’t actually listen to all that much for entertainment. After a 17 hour siege mixing, I don’t want to listen to any music. Especially knowing I’m back in the next day, and the next… When I listen to artists or producers’ surround discs it’s often to get an idea about how they chose placements, echo assignments, levels of dynamic compression, etc. Checking out the competition.

Right now I’m watching TV after a day in video editing and audio post for a documentary, preparing the Blu-Ray content for authoring.”

TIM: “Understood, you get plenty! I have both QSD1 and Surround Master versions of Dan Hicks album and a few others if that serves any purpose of comparison for decoding your QS master. Again, just so very glad this is on your radar.”

LARRY: “My Blu-Ray internal burner/player (aftermarket) on the MacPro Tower has software to decode many embedded formats and pass it digitally to the MOTU converters which send it out to the analog world. It’s just kind of a pain when I’m all set up in mix mode so if I need a quick reference listen, then the Sony consumer player gives me what I need to hear.

Back to the original topic, from a few days ago, if I decode the original stereo mix back through the original Sansui QS decoder, that will replicate the historic monitoring chain used on the original mixes for LP. If I capture that to 4 channel digital, that will be the closest to the sound of the original record without any present-day enhancements. Pure and accurate using vintage equipment. That can be encoded using any licensed high-end surround standard(s).

The new 5.1 mixes will be from the original multitrack transfers already done—every track from the 16 or 24 track 2” tape captured at 24/96 PCM. Then to be remixed without the limitations of QS or SQ in a way sensitive to the context of the music and the original time period.”
 
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