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Futzing with the HARVEST DVD-Audio

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ssully

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I think it's just due to the sparse nature of that track, what you're seeing in those 'louder' waveforms (front left and rear left) is mostly transients from the drums, especially the channel that ends up being the rear left channel which is almost exclusively drums. I think when you listen to the mix in totality the drums don't sound overly dominant, at least in my opinion.

It's not just due to the sparse nature of that one track...here are all of the supposedly 'wrong' tracks (1-4, 6-7), concatenated together as one .wav file. The front right channel is rather consistently lower in level compared to the rest. And so it would stay that way if reassigned to the surround right. A strange mix indeed. Neil was probably baked when he approved it.
 

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LuvMyQuad

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So I did manage to complete the channel re-assignment. I tried to critically listen to a few of the modified tracks vs the originals. I surprised you can actually make that kind of mistake and not have it sound worse than it does. To my ears, the correction anchors the individual sounds more definitively in space. The vocals sound much less disembodied, as does some of the guitar work. Drums to the left side of the room. Kind of a black hole to the right rear, which is probably explained by the above. Does anyone have a specific track and/or musical feature to pay attention to that seems to highlight the change best?

I find this whole thing fascinating. I guess I'm easily amused.
 

himey

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So I did manage to complete the channel re-assignment. I tried to critically listen to a few of the modified tracks vs the originals. I surprised you can actually make that kind of mistake and not have it sound worse than it does. To my ears, the correction anchors the individual sounds more definitively in space. The vocals sound much less disembodied, as does some of the guitar work. Drums to the left side of the room. Kind of a black hole to the right rear, which is probably explained by the above. Does anyone have a specific track and/or musical feature to pay attention to that seems to highlight the change best?

I find this whole thing fascinating. I guess I'm easily amused.
Does the "black hole" also exist on the tracks that didn't need the channel assignments changed?
 

LuvMyQuad

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Does the "black hole" also exist on the tracks that didn't need the channel assignments changed?
I'll have to check to be sure. I didn't really listen closely on any of those tracks yet . I mainly played the original vs the corrected versions of "Old Man", "Out on the Weekend" and "Heart of Gold" for my initial evaluations. I suppose I could try boosting the RR on the corrected versions and see what it sounds like. I think the whole mix is thrown out of kilter a bit because of the drums being so dominant on the left side.
 

himey

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I'll have to check to be sure. I didn't really listen closely on any of those tracks yet . I mainly played the original vs the corrected versions of "Old Man", "Out on the Weekend" and "Heart of Gold" for my initial evaluations. I suppose I could try boosting the RR on the corrected versions and see what it sounds like. I think the whole mix is thrown out of kilter a bit because of the drums being so dominant on the left side.
I haven't listened to it for many months since I repaired my copy but I don't remember the drums being like that. Will have to listen again. Have you heard the most recent Tommy 5.1 remix? Now that one really has the drums placed firmly in the left rear channel. That was another mix that a few people did a repaired channel version...
 

ssully

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I tried the channel switch...sounded 'different', not necessarily better*..and some things sounded worse (A Man Needs a Maid...orchestral blasts coming from the front right?)


I suspect the released mix is exactly what Young et al. wanted.


(*unlike the Gentle Giant Freehand rechanneling which absolutely improved the mix)
 

ssully

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Does the "black hole" also exist on the tracks that didn't need the channel assignments changed?
Here they are, concatenated

On them, the right rear channel is the lowest. But the right front is still lower than left. It's still a very peculiar mix..and what they were thinking with the LFE, who knows?
 

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4-earredwonder

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I tried the channel switch...sounded 'different', not necessarily better*..and some things sounded worse (A Man Needs a Maid...orchestral blasts coming from the front right?)


I suspect the released mix is exactly what Young et al. wanted.


(*unlike the Gentle Giant Freehand rechanneling which absolutely improved the mix)
I gave up on the surround mix of Harvest and listen to it in hi res stereo. Problem solved [at least for me].

Doubtful it will ever be re~released in mch. What ever happened to the supposedly canceled 5.1 MLP DVD~A surround mix of After The Gold Rush [or was it NEVER remixed for 5.1?]
 

LuvMyQuad

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Like I said I find this fascinating. My thoughts so far.

For all the songs I've listened to, the drums are set in the left soundstage. Not so much the rear, but between the two left speakers, somewhat toward the front. When playing back the unaltered channel mix the drums are still on the left. Ill have to listen again to the two versions to see if they move rearward a bit when going from altered to non altered.

For the corrected versions of "Out on the Weekend" and "Heart of Gold" I do think there is less activity in the RR (the "black hole"),and what is coming out sounds like an ambiance channel. I'm pretty sure slide guitar dominates the left rear side. For "Old Man" the right rear is more active due to banjo being featured to the RR side. Boosting that RR channel on the corrected tracks is something I want to try though.

Going to the unaltered tracks, I tried "Needle" and "Alabama" so far. Alabama seems fuller to the right side. I think it features some electric guitar. Needle is not a good choice to judge as it is a live cut and I believe the rears are all ambience anyway.

I gotta listen more.
 
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ssully

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Like I said I find this fascinating. My thoughts so far.

For all the songs I've listened to, the drums are set in the left soundstage. Not so much the rear, but between the two left speakers, somewhat toward the front. When playing back the unaltered channel mix the drums are still on the left.
That was my experience too. Drums stay in the left field regardless of 'correction'.
 

fredblue

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may be a slim possibility (would mean getting a bit creative and taking major liberties with the mix "as is"..
you've always got the original to go back to anyway so no permanent damage done) doubling up the channel with the drums in it in the Rear Left and moving it upfront so it's spread across Front L&R (less than ideal, effectively dual mono drums across front of the surround soundfield.. that said it may be possible to go further still and put greater emphasis on certain parts of the drumkit in that channel either through synthesis via Surround Master or similar or by way of a couple of other tricks too complicated to go into now but similar to OOPS. I'll have a play around with this one when I get a min., just for fits and giggles and because "we can".. so "why not"..! :D
 

winopener

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I can't try now this idea, but here's a suggestion.
We have seen the LFE channel isn't a LFE at all, since it have other stuff going in.
Could these be sounds belonging to the "black hole" channel? Filtering it out from the LFE and mix in it into the weaker one, how does it goes?

EDIT: waitaminute... reading again Jon commentary make me think:

That's not the only issue with this mix. The LFE isn't really an LFE, it's a real audio channel with full frequency information in it. In fact, if you pull up the LFE track on it's own and listen to it on a normal full range speaker (paste it into a stereo wav file and listen to it), you can hear Neil singing the lead SOLO!! Yes, this is the only place in all of the channels where Neil is without the background or harmony vocals. It's not "right up front" in the mix, but it's there.


What if also the LFE/Center had been swapped? The description that Jon does fit perfectly a center channel idea.
 

LuvMyQuad

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Ok with regards to the LFE. I cant fully agree with Jon's commentary. Track by track, this is what I hear when isolating the LFE.

Unless otherwise noted, the information in the LFE sounds to be full range, or nearly so.

1. Out on the Weekend - Bass and Drums. Minimal leakage.
2. Harvest - Bass and Drums. Minimal leakage.
3. Man needs a Maid - Orchestra, vocals, does not sound full range
4. Heart of Gold - Bass and Drums. Minimal leakage.
5. Ready for the Country - Bass and Drum. minimal Piano and guitar leakage.
6. Old Man - Bass and Drums. Minimal leakage.
7. Theres a World - Orchestra. Piano. Minimal leakage. does not sound full range
8. Needle - Guitar, vocal leakage
9. Alabama - Bass, surprising little drums, leakage from Guitars, Vocals.
10. Words - Bass and Drums. guitar vocal piano leakage. does not sound full range

The LFE comes up as channel 4 on the tracks. Channel 3 is the center. Kind of a mixed bag, but I would not say the vocals are prominent in the LFE. They most certainly are prominent in the center channel.
 
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fredblue

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Ok, so I've had a little play around with the 1st track..

Neil Young-Harvest-Trk01-Surround Reassign etc-22-8-16

(Swap the 2 x **'s for 2 x tt's)
Before:



Process:
1.) Channels 5 & 6 (Rear Left & Rear Right) reassigned to 1 & 2 (Front Left & Front Right)
2.) Channel 3 (Centre) remains as is (Centre) but increased in volume +1dB,
3.) Newly assigned Channels 1 & 2 (FL & FR) formerly the Rears lowered in volume -1dB,
4.) Channel 2 (Front Right - vocal ambience/reverb) & Channel 4 (LFE - actually isolated drums) summed together to create new Rear Right (Channel 6) of vocal reverb + drums which is pretty much what the original Channel 1 (Front Left) was.. which is now moved to Rear Left (Channel 5),
5.) Newly created sub-bass channel in Tracks 7 & 8 in the above diagram created by combining together original Channels 5 & 6 (reassigned to 1 & 2, so now Front L & R) then everything above 200hz filtered out and overall level of this track lowered by 5dB.. resulting track then summed to mono and assigned to output Channel 4 (LFE) when exporting 6-ch Flac.

After:
 

4-earredwonder

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Before:



Process:
1.) Channels 5 & 6 (Rear Left & Rear Right) reassigned to 1 & 2 (Front Left & Front Right)
2.) Channel 3 (Centre) remains as is (Centre) but increased in volume +1dB,
3.) Newly assigned Channels 1 & 2 (FL & FR) formerly the Rears lowered in volume -1dB,
4.) Channel 2 (Front Right - vocal ambience/reverb) & Channel 4 (LFE - actually isolated drums) summed together to create new Rear Right (Channel 6) of vocal reverb + drums which is pretty much what the original Channel 1 (Front Left) was.. which is now moved to Rear Left (Channel 5),
5.) Newly created sub-bass channel in Tracks 7 & 8 in the above diagram created by combining together original Channels 5 & 6 (reassigned to 1 & 2, so now Front L & R) then everything above 200hz filtered out and overall level of this track lowered by 5dB.. resulting track then summed to mono and assigned to output Channel 4 (LFE) when exporting 6-ch Flac.

After:
So how does it sound, Adam?

What I don't fully comprehend are the posters (67 of them) who voted between an 8~10 for the unassigned DVD~A of Harvest when it was SO BLATANTLY off~kilter. One only has to listen to the hi res stereo HARVEST to understand how screwed up it REALLY is :yikes

One could only wish that Audio Fidelity or Rhino/Warner could re~release HARVEST in its corrected form as a 5.1 hybrid SACD or BD~A.....but hardly likely at this juncture.
 

winopener

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Lokking at the waveform, it does seems more correct. Soundwise... you tell us!
What made me think about the LFE channel were two thing:
1) if they swapped channels front/back, it would be kind of logic to swap also the others (maybe not if considering 3x stereo pair, but on a mono patch bay could happen).
2) on LFE, vocal is DRY and SOLO. If center channel has vocal not solo, i could consider it in another way.

Sometimes i wonder if the mastering has been done at GRT...;)
 

fredblue

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So how does it sound, Adam?

What I don't fully comprehend are the posters (67 of them) who voted between an 8~10 for the unassigned DVD~A of Harvest when it was SO BLATANTLY off~kilter. One only has to listen to the hi res stereo HARVEST to understand how screwed up it REALLY is :yikes

One could only wish that Audio Fidelity or Rhino/Warner could re~release HARVEST in its corrected form as a 5.1 hybrid SACD or BD~A.....but hardly likely at this juncture.
Well the result of a brief play around is there in prev. post in 5.1 Flac form.. what do you think? :)

Ralph.. that is a million dollar can of worms question.. why, why, why do some people love it and some people hate this Marmite mix? Who knows!? I don't!

I guess.. some people love an artist or album so much they're prepared to overlook flaws in a surround mix?
Some people may not have their surround systems properly setup so it sounds fine to them on their rig?
Some people may not be as critical wrt things like surround soundfield as others?
Some people are silly billies?
Some people they hurt one another, they love to see hurt in the other one's eyes.. well I'm not like that at all.. :D

Nobody will be putting it out again corrected, even if they do put it out again (and again) just like Pet Sounds et al., no matter what, the official line will be there's nothing wrong with the mix, even if there really is/was (imho).. to some (not all) in this biz it's just a job and really they give less of a shit than we do. (Unpopular opinion among some I imagine.. but there you go.) also, maybe some of those jobs might still be on the line (even after all this time) if a big deal were made of it..? Ah I dunno, I've got work to do (got so much work, yeah, yeah...)
 

fredblue

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Lokking at the waveform, it does seems more correct. Soundwise... you tell us!
What made me think about the LFE channel were two thing:
1) if they swapped channels front/back, it would be kind of logic to swap also the others (maybe not if considering 3x stereo pair, but on a mono patch bay could happen).
2) on LFE, vocal is DRY and SOLO. If center channel has vocal not solo, i could consider it in another way.

Sometimes i wonder if the mastering has been done at GRT...;)
Corresponding 5.1 "rejig" is there in post 133.. I was hoping soundwise you could tell me if I was on the right lines or not.. and then I'd pull the file.. :)

From looking at the stems again overnight, I noticed something odd (basically sparse channels summed together forming fuller channels) which raised even more questions as to what is going on.. hmm..
 
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