So has anyone else tried swapping the rear channels - and what do you think?
I just created a bluray of "Free Hand" after swapping the rear channels, and I agree that this greatly improves the mix. There is no question in my mind that this was how the mix was intended.
I haven't spent much time comparing to the stereo mix. But, on the original disk, I found there were simply too many instruments or sounds mixed across the LF/RS and RF/LS. Basically, lots of things were mixed diagonally across the sound stage... right through the listener. It just didn't sound right.
Now, I hear those same instruments/sounds mixed to the far left or right. The sounds stage immediately grew in width. It sounds so much better now.
I did have a slight issue creating the bluray with audiomuxer. I ripped the 96kHz/24bit DTS track first. No problems there. Audiomuxer saw the .dts file as 96khz/24bit. But then, I converted the DTS track to mono wav files. These mono wav files are seen as 48khz/24bit. I tried every option I could see, including upsampling to 96khz, and they were always 48khz. Strange. VLC saw them as 48khz too. Although... for some reason VLC also saw the original .dts file as 48khz, rather than 96khz as seen in audiomuxer. Any idea what is going on here?
Anyhow... I gave up and just merged the mono 48khz .wav files in audiomuxer (after swapping the rear channels), and authored the bluray. It sounds so much better despite the potential reduction in sampling frequency.
The mix is truly fantastic after swapping the rear channels. The fidelity isn't stellar, likely due to the age of the recording, but the ambitious mix certainly makes up for it.
I am so glad I made the purchase despite this issue. I've been a fan of "Free Hand" for years, but I am enjoying it much more now. I haven't listened to Interview yet. I never got into that one like I did "Free Hand". Maybe I will now that it is in quad.