DVD/DTS Poll Gilmour, David - On An Island [DD DVD]

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

Rate the Audio-DVD of David Gilmour - ON AN ISLAND


  • Total voters
    29

stormchaser

600 Club - QQ All-Star
QQ Supporter
Joined
Jun 18, 2006
Messages
679
Location
Kansas
7 for somewhat uninteresting (to me) music and a fairly bland mix. Still, I'm happy to have it!
 

Ge Someone

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jan 19, 2005
Messages
1,109
Location
Netherlands
It's a reasonable, quite enjoyable mix, the sound (of the DTS track) is very OK. The music is mostly a bit slowish. I prefer not to listen to it in one session, but maybe that's something I kept from the vinyl days, play just one side at the time :sun
 

The Bright Side

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jun 10, 2010
Messages
1,415
Location
Montreal, CA
Funny, after all the years, the 5.1 mix made me finally appreciate this album. It's not because the 5.1 mix is amazing and makes the music shine in a way it doesn't in stereo - no, the mix is okay at best and the music probably works very well in stereo. It's more because when this album first came out, I gave it a couple of spins, decided I couldn't warm up to it and then put it away. After trying the 5.1 mix now, 6 years later, I gave the music another chance, and then a couple more, and now I quite like it. It's certainly not going to be one of my favourite albums, but I think I'll be quite happy with it.

The mix suits the music very well, and is discrete enough to enhance the experience, too. The dynamics are quite nice, and at 1536 kbps, the quality is best that DVD-V can offer. A keeper.
 

Fourplay

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
QQ Supporter
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
1,375
Location
Denver
Hi Mr & Ms QQ,

This may be my most carefully composed review. It starts with a full disclosure: I am a huge Pink Floyd fan, and this is easily my favorite band of all time.

Having said this, it is time for a "quintatribe" with 10% low moaning. I'll save my diatribes for the stereo forums.

The material at hand is David Gilmour's On An Island, available as a 5.1 surround mix, but only in the 4 or 5 disc versions of the Live In Gdansk box set, on disc 4, a DVD. The surround formats are Dolby Digital and DTS.

Again, full disclosure is that I love the music from On An Island. I have spent alot of time with the stereo mix before hearing the surround, so I know it well. Seems like this music has failed to impress several other members. Of course I respect everyone's opinion, and am personally quite willing to dismiss a recording on musical grounds. Having said that, please allow me to direct your attention to a few specifics about this recording.

I am giving this a 10. When I rate something for the forum I bias my rating to the mix, the sonics, and the music, roughly in that order. Having said that, the mix and sonics alone could never move me to give a 10. The music must be superlative. Of course this is highly subjective.

Some quick background. One of the many contributing keyboard players on this recording is Rick Wright, the original keyboardist for Pink Floyd. So the core of the Pink Floyd musical sound is on two tracks of this record in the form of Gilmour/Wright. In fact, this is my favorite post "real" Pink Floyd (ie: post-1980) piece of music in any form bar none, including any of the solo work from any of the members (although Roger has had his moments). But I find On An Island to be the closest in mood and feeling to "classic" Pink Floyd of anything that David Gilmour has produced on his own, and thus it appeals to me on that basis. If you have glossed over this piece of music, allow me to make a few targeted suggestions.

In a review of JT by James Taylor we were directed to a single standout track (Terra Nova). I suggest the standout for On An Island is track 7, Then I Close My Eyes. Check this track in surround and tell me this is not an excellent surround mix. You have a cornet (brass instrument) over your left shoulder, a Weissenborn slide guitar over your right shoulder, and the basic acoustic track filling the front soundstage. Again, you can take exception to the languid nature of the music (which I happen to love), but you can't deny that the mix is discrete; and in my opinion it is adventuresome and well executed.

The track which follows, Smile, starts with a pure stereo front only mix by design, and then fills in mid-song with lush surround accents. This is a use of dynamics similar to that which are used on the song Wish You Were Here.

Much of what is done in the rears throughout this mix is discrete harmony vocals and orchestration. The mix also often employs lead guitar in the fronts which is accented as a delay in the rears only. Keyboards are often biased to the rears, and there are other discrete acoustic accents in the rears. Gilmour is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, and knows how to musically build a track with complimentary parts to embellish the main theme.

The biggest whiz bang track is the opening overture song called Castellorizon. My favorite tracks musically besides the aforementioned Then I Close My Eyes are the title track and The Blue. Again, I find these mixes to be tasteful and discrete. I find the sonics to be excellent, but I do not have a way to check for the brick walling that is so often referenced. The DTS track does seem "louder" than the Dolby track, and this raises a bit of suspicion, but the recording seems clean to my ears. Can anyone else comment on this aspect of the recording?

My least favorite tracks are Take A Breath and This Heaven, which are the most upbeat and hard rock tracks in the piece and more closely resemble the post-1986 Pink Floyd. Of all Dave Gilmour's work this is the style I least enjoy, and I usually just skip these. In fact for my stereo listening copy of this CD I edited out these tracks.

Who made the mix? In the Gdansk box set the sound mixer credits are frequently named for other pieces of music, but only the producer credits are listed for the surround mix, and these are identical to the credits on the stereo version. A quick web search gave me the answer:

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article/30-minutes-david-gilmour

"this one was done by Andy Jackson... I had to work with someone who's here in England." So the answer is Gilmour himself and Andy Jackson.

More info on Andy Jackson:

http://www.superdeluxeedition.com/interview/interview-pink-floyd-engineer-andy-jackson-on-immersion-box-sets/

"Andy Jackson is a Grammy-nominated recording engineer whose association with Pink Floyd goes back to the very early 1980s. He engineered Pink Floyd’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason, The Division Bell and co-engineered The Final Cut with James Guthrie. He was also their concert sound engineer on the band’s 1994 Division Bell tour. In addition he has been closely involved with band members’ solo projects including engineering Roger Waters’ first full length solo album The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking and multiple projects with Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, including engineering his 1984 solo album About Face and the On an Island album from 2006."

Also from the first link, more insight into the mix philosophy for On An Island. Gilmour:

"We recorded all of the drums and orchestral stuff in surround. While I do like to keep the rhythm section more or less in stereo, I tend to bring some of the more fluid things - voices, keyboard textures - around from the front to the sides for a much wider effect. You have to get a feeling for the sounds that are possible and natural enough for your brain to deal with. I don't like to put too many instruments behind the listener."

In that same interview you can find references to the DSOTM surround mix as well.

Despite this last quote, I do hear discrete elements in the rears.

Finally, I thought it might be appropriate to mention what I think is the weakest element of the record: the lyrics. Unfortunately for David Gilmour the solo artist, much of his career musical output has been a cradle for some of the best rock lyrics ever written. I should think DSOTM alone is ample proof of this sentiment. Thus since Dave lost Roger Waters as a lyricist he has never again approached the level of insight and poetic beauty of classic Pink Floyd. It is not that the lyrics for On An Island are unpleasant. Taken strictly as sound they are nice enough. But the best lyrics ultimately convey or inspire something. In listening again, I think I put my finger on the issue I have with these lyrics. They are (mostly) about an experience had by two people, and the words do not successfully bring me into the scene. "Remember that night?" Well, no, I had to work the night he and his wife were wandering around on a deserted island. In fact, the experience seems like one more likely to resonate with another wealthy couple. Good lyrics are hard to write, so I'm not specifically knocking them, but this is rather closer to looking at someone's holiday snaps than an engaging literary experience. If you can get past this, and I can, then the album is delightful!!!!

In summary, as I have stated, I love the material, it sounds sonically clean to me, and I think the mix is discrete and interesting. I give it a 10!

Ken
 

peterzach

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Aug 27, 2003
Messages
1,844
Location
burnaby bc canada
Hi Mr & Ms QQ,

In summary, as I have stated, I love the material, it sounds sonically clean to me, and I think the mix is discrete and interesting. I give it a 10!

Ken
Ken, I enjoyed your review, I would give your review a 10, thanks.
I do enjoy this album and surround mix, not as much as Ken, but do rate it quite highly and is a very enjoyable listen. If I want to have a very mellow and relaxed album to listen to, this album would be one of my go to disk's.
If this had been done as a lossless DVDA or Bluray I would have rated this as a 9 or 10 but because of it not sounding quite as good as it should give this one a 8.
It is a good album to have in surround,silly that they packaged it the way they did though as some people might have missed out not knowing that this was available the way it is packaged in with the live recording.

peter
 

Quad Linda

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
8,732
Location
DROP YOUR WAD ON QUAD Chicago, Illinois
Nice review, Ken. I'll stand by my 8. Perhaps I didn't read it thoroughly, but I had NO IDEA that there was a 5.1 mix of On an Island included with Gdansk when I bought it. What a pleasant surprise!

Although it is kind of non-Floyd (post 1980), I greatly enjoyed Division Bell.
 

Fourplay

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
QQ Supporter
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
1,375
Location
Denver
Who made the mix? In the Gdansk box set the sound mixer credits are frequently named for other pieces of music, but only the producer credits are listed for the surround mix, and these are identical to the credits on the stereo version. A quick web search gave me the answer:

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article/30-minutes-david-gilmour

"this one was done by Andy Jackson... I had to work with someone who's here in England." So the answer is Gilmour himself and Andy Jackson.

More info on Andy Jackson:

http://www.superdeluxeedition.com/interview/interview-pink-floyd-engineer-andy-jackson-on-immersion-box-sets/

"Andy Jackson is a Grammy-nominated recording engineer whose association with Pink Floyd goes back to the very early 1980s. He engineered Pink Floyd’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason, The Division Bell and co-engineered The Final Cut with James Guthrie. He was also their concert sound engineer on the band’s 1994 Division Bell tour. In addition he has been closely involved with band members’ solo projects including engineering Roger Waters’ first full length solo album The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking and multiple projects with Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, including engineering his 1984 solo album About Face and the On an Island album from 2006."
Hey Guys & Gals,

I am just listening to this one again with the rears only, and it is great! Now that Andy Jackson has properly come to the attention of this forum, I wonder if some of you might enjoy revisiting this mix. It really has plenty of discrete elements, and is probably one of the early surround mixes Andy has done. Still highly recommended if this has flown under your radar.
 

Hattipper

Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
16
I listen to it often. Even though it was Dolby, I love it! Good evening listen!
 

rtbluray

Hi-Res Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
QQ Supporter
Joined
Oct 31, 2008
Messages
8,720
Location
Middle TN
Agree! I would also love a Blu Ray version of "Live in Gdansk." Why just dvd?
Probably two reasons.
The native picture quality of the Gdansk concert might not stand up to Blu-Ray quality standards.
Plus, unlike the "Remember That Night" release, the DVDs were not the main event and were bonus supplements to the two CDs. They probably did not want to manufacture too many different formats for the Gdansk release having just released "Remember That Night" on both DVD & Blu-Ray, especially since Blu-Ray was still comparatively new at the time.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

4-earredwonder

QQ Lifetime Supporter
QQ Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
16,262
Probably two reasons.
The native picture quality of the Gdansk concert might not stand up to Blu-Ray quality standards.
Plus, unlike the "Remember That Night" release, the DVDs were not the main event and were bonus supplements to the two CDs. They probably did not want to manufacture too many different formats for the Gdansk release having just released "Remember That Night" on both DVD & Blu-Ray, especially since Blu-Ray was still comparatively new at the time.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
David Gilmour's Live in Gdansk was filmed in 2006 so I'm certain high definition cameras were employed to film the event as most TV broadcasts were in 2K at the time.

Would love to see this concert and the accompanying 5.1 remix of On An Island released as a stand alone BD~A/V.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_in_Gdańsk
 
Top