Dream Theater Distance Over Time CD/5.1 BluRay

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Simon_LDT

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Not the worst 5.1 I've heard but not exactly great either. Even cranking up the rears, there is just not enough discrete elements throughout to get the benefit. The Center at least has a decent amount of bass to give it some much needed oomph over the stereo mix.

The best thing about the 5.1 is that it breathes much more than the stereo mix which is too compressed. It also widens the stereo field a bit more.

Still, it should have been better but it could have been much much worse.
 

skherbeck

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Listening Now... Love the music and fidelity... nice discrete stuff in the rears, but the rears are way to low. Luckily, if you crank the rears it doesn't screw up the fidelity. I'm enjoying a +6dB crankage of the rear channels on the first song, "Untethered Angel". Here's some wave pics for Jonathan:
The mix... as is:
38723
The mix... looking and sounding much better:
38724

Edit: As I continue to listen, I realize there's no quick fix for this thing... if you crank the rears you bring out some good stuff, but other elements get too loud. This will take some work. Man, I'm no audio engineer, but I wish we could buy multitracks instead of albums... then we could mix them ourselves and get a mix we like every time! Great tunes, though :)
 
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watsy_73

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I finally listened to the new album and.....well there goes an hour i won't get back!
I was actually nodding off about half way through but im a boring old fart now.
I guess i like more down tuned stuff like Sleep these days (fittingly).
I must say though it's immpeccably produced and another solid DT album.
The instrumental mixes were a nice touch, i wish more bands would follow suit.
I thought the surround mix was a little on the unimaginative side but slightly more enjoyable than the stereo, sadly i won't play this again though.
Maybe they could add some coffee sachets to the box set next time?
Back to Amazon you go.
 
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The56Kid

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Edit: As I continue to listen, I realize there's no quick fix for this thing... if you crank the rears you bring out some good stuff, but other elements get too loud. This will take some work. Man, I'm no audio engineer, but I wish we could buy multitracks instead of albums... then we could mix them ourselves and get a mix we like every time! Great tunes, though :)
I beg to differ, Sean. I'd buy your mix of this album!
 

skherbeck

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I'm making a vow here and now: I will NO LONGER preorder surround mixes done by audio engineers I've never heard of... why do I keep doing it!? These things aren't going to sell out, and the prices usually go down after release. I WILL WAIT for the reviews to come in first. I will only preorder if a proven surround mixer is at the helm. Period.

(Unless I change my mind)😗
 

Clint Eastwood

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I'm making a vow here and now: I will NO LONGER preorder surround mixes done by audio engineers I've never heard of... why do I keep doing it!? These things aren't going to sell out, and the prices usually go down after release. I WILL WAIT for the reviews to come in first. I will only preorder if a proven surround mixer is at the helm. Period.

(Unless I change my mind)😗

That was the best definite "maybe" I've ever seen...I think:unsure:
 

The56Kid

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I'm making a vow here and now: I will NO LONGER preorder surround mixes done by audio engineers I've never heard of... why do I keep doing it!? These things aren't going to sell out, and the prices usually go down after release. I WILL WAIT for the reviews to come in first. I will only preorder if a proven surround mixer is at the helm. Period.

(Unless I change my mind)😗
Makes you wonder if some of these so called engineers have hearing problems or crap playback systems. It’s called surround sound for a reason!
 

Frogmort

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Listening Now... Love the music and fidelity... nice discrete stuff in the rears, but the rears are way to low. Luckily, if you crank the rears it doesn't screw up the fidelity. I'm enjoying a +6dB crankage of the rear channels on the first song, "Untethered Angel". Here's some wave pics for Jonathan:
The mix... as is:
View attachment 38723
The mix... looking and sounding much better:
View attachment 38724

Edit: As I continue to listen, I realize there's no quick fix for this thing... if you crank the rears you bring out some good stuff, but other elements get too loud. This will take some work. Man, I'm no audio engineer, but I wish we could buy multitracks instead of albums... then we could mix them ourselves and get a mix we like every time! Great tunes, though :)
After several iterations from playing around with this in Audacity, I ended up going +6dB Center, +6dB LFE, & +6dB on both rear channels, and it sounds great! (Center channel only has dry lead vocals) Thinking of going +7 on center & LFE. 🥴
 

Snood

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I'm making a vow here and now: I will NO LONGER preorder surround mixes done by audio engineers I've never heard of... why do I keep doing it!? These things aren't going to sell out, and the prices usually go down after release. I WILL WAIT for the reviews to come in first. I will only preorder if a proven surround mixer is at the helm. Period.

(Unless I change my mind)😗


LoL Right !! :giggle:
 

skherbeck

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Ok, thanks to frogmort I'm enjoying the hell out of this surround mix! The key is not to raise the rears without raising the center at least as much; when you raise the rears alone the vocals turn into a mush of reverb, but when you raise the center at least as much, the clean lead vocal comes back into focus. I'm thinking a cookie-cutter approach for every song won't quite work for me, though... for instance, I just tweaked "S2N" (DT doing another wonderful Rush impersonation) and ended up with the rears +5dB, center +6dB, and LFE +6dB... I'm doing all of this on my portable surround system (which has no center or LFE, Ha ha!) so I'm not sure how it will sound when I get home to my 5.1, but frogmort has definitely unlocked the secret to making this a winning surround experience. Thanks dude!
 

skherbeck

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It really seems like this is a good mix that got screwed up during mastering or something... there are multiple instances of lead solos (guitars/keyboards) panning all around the room, but you wouldn't know it unless you turned up the rears. I can't imagine anyone going through the trouble to create these panning effects only to turn down the rears to the point where you can't hear the effect. Oh well, I'm just glad this is one of those mixes that can be rescued because the music is awesome (yes, it sounds like every other DT album, but so what... I like every other DT album that I've heard so far!)
 

jimfisheye

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This one is straight bs!

A dulled limited and loud stereo recording in front. (Not treble blinded like their volume war CD productions at least.)
The center is just a mono sum at a low level. Rears are just ambience.

Not a surround sound mix at all.

Is it still less damaged than their stereo release? That's not saying much for their stereo release then! These guys and their low budget volume war CD releases...
Really a shame. They've got some cool music going on but they really step on it!
 

pti

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I bought the art book version specifically to get the 5.1 mix. While the music is ok, I agree that the surround mix is a big disappointment. I'm not hearing anything that wouldn't have been matched in quality by use of a stereo-to-surround plug-in, or for a lot of the material, just a 5.1 reverb plug-in. I'm unconvinced that someone actually did a real 5.1 mix here.
 

skherbeck

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I think there are definitely discrete elements in the rears here and there, but for me, just turning up the center and rears isn’t doing it for me. There are too many effects/reverbs/drum bleeds/etc in the rears, so all that bad stuff gets amplified. I’m finding I’m going through the same thing edisonbaggins went through with Hemispheres... started out hopeful that something could be done to fix the mix, spending a lot of time futzing around in Audacity, and ultimately ending up with something that sounds like... maybe a 7? I don’t know... gonna keep working on it for a bit and we’ll see... the mix definitely can be improved with some work... I just havn’t decided if it’s worth all the trouble.
 

beerking

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Well,I've given this release by Dream Theater every chance, especially as I gave it an, initially, favourable review.. I enjoy the music but the surround mix is just too dreadful to keep messing about with.
No way do I like doing this but I'm now beginning to think that I need to wait, until these unknown 'mixing' engineers are thoroughly reviewed before I buy their efforts.
Back to Amazon it goes.🙄
 

jimfisheye

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It really seems like this is a good mix that got screwed up during mastering or something... there are multiple instances of lead solos (guitars/keyboards) panning all around the room, but you wouldn't know it unless you turned up the rears. I can't imagine anyone going through the trouble to create these panning effects only to turn down the rears to the point where you can't hear the effect. Oh well, I'm just glad this is one of those mixes that can be rescued because the music is awesome (yes, it sounds like every other DT album, but so what... I like every other DT album that I've heard so far!)
Hmmm...

OK, listened again...
Well, you're right! There IS a discreet mix buried in there. Sort of anyway.

Curiously, the front L,R channels are limited heavier than the stereo mix in 24/96. But the stereo mix is pretty stepped on sounding even if it isn't brick-walled. I'll guess that someone hit it with a multiband comp to focus the high mids forward. The raw stereo mix was probably just as murky and unfinished sounding as the surround mix. Then I'm going to speculate that the surround mix WAS screwed up in "mastering" (the quotes mean I think they did a shitty job) in that only the front L,R channels got boosted through a limiter (ie. limited and then hit with make up gain).

I've got a decent remastering going for this and it doesn't sound too bad (if I say so myself). Some great moments in the music!
Still a primitive mix. The keys are mostly what is separated out to the rear. Then some ambience and a few pans. Kick, snare, and lead vocal are isolated somewhat in the center channel. But it sounds much better than the stereo mix at least. That must have been the same muddy mess originally as I said but the "mastering" move they did only caused more damage IMO.

Bangin' band! Their extreme low budget sound releases don't do them any favors.
This one comes across like a bootleg. The surround mix is reminiscent of fan made surround mixes from RockBand stems where you have limited separation.
 

skherbeck

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Hmmm...

OK, listened again...
Well, you're right! There IS a discreet mix buried in there. Sort of anyway.

Curiously, the front L,R channels are limited heavier than the stereo mix in 24/96. But the stereo mix is pretty stepped on sounding even if it isn't brick-walled. I'll guess that someone hit it with a multiband comp to focus the high mids forward. The raw stereo mix was probably just as murky and unfinished sounding as the surround mix. Then I'm going to speculate that the surround mix WAS screwed up in "mastering" (the quotes mean I think they did a shitty job) in that only the front L,R channels got boosted through a limiter (ie. limited and then hit with make up gain).

I've got a decent remastering going for this and it doesn't sound too bad (if I say so myself). Some great moments in the music!
Still a primitive mix. The keys are mostly what is separated out to the rear. Then some ambience and a few pans. Kick, snare, and lead vocal are isolated somewhat in the center channel. But it sounds much better than the stereo mix at least. That must have been the same muddy mess originally as I said but the "mastering" move they did only caused more damage IMO.

Bangin' band! Their extreme low budget sound releases don't do them any favors.
This one comes across like a bootleg. The surround mix is reminiscent of fan made surround mixes from RockBand stems where you have limited separation.
So glad to hear you're taking a stab at this! Just wondering... when I turn up the rears on this one, I hear some discrete keyboard, guitar, and background vocals here and there, but these "good" sounds are mixed in with this "muddy mess" of stuff that sounds like effects applied to the stereo mix, reverbs, etc... I tend to like the more discrete mixes without all that "stuff" mixed in... what are those sounds? Are they typically recorded as part of the multitracks, or are they derived from software applications applied to the multitracks? I don't like them.
 

jimfisheye

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Well, you have to have some ambience or room sounds in a mix. You don't want it to sound like a hearing test in an anechoic chamber after all!
This is simply a crude mix and their ambient work is a little shitty overall. Including instances of the reverbs and such being louder than primary sounds when they shouldn't be.

I don't know if they recorded the room(s) they used or generated room ambience with fx devices. Moot point. The awkward mix is the issue.
Part of rock music is the sound of the performance space. (Led Zeppelin anyone?) It has to be there or everything would sound tiny and puny! But it has to be mixed properly. The issue here isn't that reverb was used. The issue is the mix is fucked and to the point that even some ambient components are louder than primary components.

The stereo mix is a good example of how any of the reduced quality and/or lossy formats aren't always to blame. This is lossless LPCM 24/96 stereo and it hasn't been brick wall limited. But it's stepped on sounding far worse than what reducing a good mix to mp3 would do!
 
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