Good luck. I love this album. If I could have only one “we’ll create a surround mix of only one album for you” pick, this would be it.Speaking of drums etc., wasn't that one of Elliot Scheiner's main surround mixing axioms - "keep the rhythm section up front" (bass and drums)
anyway... hang with the old Pupster here for awhile for a somewhat related tale of wonder and woe!
My all time favorite Jeff Beck album is 1980's 'There and Back.' Attempting to do an up-mix of this one over the last few years has been one failure after another. I blame it on a soft mastering and little stereo instrument isolation in the mix.
Here's some other similar thoughts on that on the SHF:
Hi - love this album so much, but it just sounds like someone cut off the top end and bottom end in the mastering process. The highs sound like they...forums.stevehoffman.tv
I've been working (again) on the song 'Space Boogie' the last couple of days and I believe I may have come up with an idea, but wouldn't mind some input from others that know this album/recording well or pro's here about some mastering techniques to help out. The thing I tried was some basic compression to help boost the presence of some instruments (after De-mixing them) and then replacing them back into the Penteo mix. I'm starting to believe that in order for this album to ever sound it's best would take a solid engineer with knowledge of all types of compression and EQ to give this the boost it needs. As a shade tree up-mixer I really don't have the audio chops to deal with this properly; but that doesn't stop me from trying.
After some work on it, it's starting to at least bring out some interesting results of keyboards swirling around the channels etc. (hey, it's called Space Boogie, so it should have a slightly aggressive mix IMO ) There're also all sorts of little keyboard/synth elements that can still be isolated and re-mixed to give some more interest as well.
As far as the fantastic drumming on this by 'Simon Phillips' it has also made the drumming circle around the channels quite a bit also; now this I'm actually feeling pretty good about, because it feels like you're sitting in the middle of his drum kit.
About the only other thing I'd like to get punchier is 'Mo Foster's bass (maybe have it express itself from the Center channel as there's no vocals here.)
I do have one of the original 1980's US textured covered LPs I could rip and try (currently working with 96x24 files from HDtracks IINM.) But, I also heard there's a newer mastering from a 2020 40th anniversary issued by 'Friday Music' I may give a try with.
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I'm totally unqualified to give mixing/mastering advice, but I hope you come up with something that you love.