Just wanted to say I really enjoy your detailed analyses of surround mixes... you tell me all the things I want to know about a mix (with pictures!) ThanksFinally found a deal on this one ($25). Very enjoyable! I gave it an 8. The fidelity is amazing (acoustic instruments really shine in hi-rez), and I love how they've spread out the harmony vocals. It almost sounds like there's a different voice in every corner during "Uncle John's Band".
I do have some issues with the surround mix though, the big one being that it has a bit of that "big stereo" thing going on. The drums are in the front and the harmonies are spread out, but everything else sort of floats in the middle. You might get some steel guitar or acoustic leaning front or rear on occasion. I'm not sure how many tracks this was recorded on, but I would've liked a bit more isolation of the instruments. It's more of an "enveloping" type of sound rather than "discrete".
The other thing is that the lead vocal is in all four channels but seems to be louder in the rears, which can be kind of distracting.
"Uncle John's Band":
- It unfortunately has the same loud mastering that plagues so many WEA 5.1 mixes from the DVD-A era
- I agree with @cornwall198 that the bass is a bit overdone
- Soloing the center channel is really interesting- you can hear some spooky isolated parts like an acoustic guitar in "Uncle John's Band" and a harmony vocal in "Casey Jones"
- The 4:00 mark of "Uncle John's Band" is what surround is all about!
- American Beauty on DVD-A is mixed the exact same way
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Just wanted to say I really enjoy your detailed analyses of surround mixes... you tell me all the things I want to know about a mix (with pictures!) Thanks