How Much Is Too Much?

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Fourplay

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Here is a thread for discussion about gimmicky or aggressive surround mixes. There are two good threads already here:


I would like to pose a question to the fans and advocates of aggressive surround mixing, of which I am one. That question is: what mixes go too far, even for you?

There are some here who just don't like "rotational mixing" and the like. This question is not for you. I get it - you don't enjoy it. But I do. I am just wondering about the most extreme examples - so much that even the loons such as myself would have to question the taste or judgement of the producer.

OK - lay 'em on me.
 
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Cibola

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Sorry that I can't offer an example and am eagerly awaiting an answer to Fourplay's question.
 

Fourplay

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OK, I went out of town and left this thread be, but no one has chimed in (except Cibola!). So here is one suggestion:

Probably the most aggressive mix I can think of is "One Fine Morning" by Lighthouse. This appeared on an 8-Track GTE Sylvania Quadraphonic Sampler, and also on Bob Romano's Surround Explosion sampler. In the opening of the song the guitar flies all over, and not just "rotationally," it leaps about in a seemingly random pattern.

Is this too much for anyone? I kinda like it, although it is not a stretch to call it gimmicky.

Any others?
 

LizardKing

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Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells 2003 - where instruments keep on rotating all the time around the room. :mad:@:

I like my aggressive mixes (ala Flaming Lips) - but rotation just for the sake of it continuously is too much for me....

P.S. I have Lighthouse - One Fine Morning on a vinyl sampler and the guitar jumping around doesn't bother me! Edit: It gets your attention and then it settles down....:eek:
 

Philip Spinner

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I like aggressive mixes if it was the wish of the original artist. If some unknown engineer does it just to be flashy or show off then not so much. The same thing applies to many stereo recordings. A good example would be Electric Ladyland. It was Jimi's wish for it to sound the way it does and that is good enough for me.
Phil.
 

Q-Eight

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Irrational Panning is what I call it. I can tolerate a solo spinning around the room. That can sometimes draw more attention to the solo. The Handclaps potting around the room on Three Dog Nights' "Sure as I'm sittin' here" is OK, if it worked properly. When it worked and actually clapped in a speaker location, it was good, but when the auto panner got ahead of itself and clapped in a phantom channel, that was distracting. Good idea, badly executed.

The hi-hat spinning around the room during the choruses of "My Maria" is a bit distracting. Why, or even HOW could a hi-hat move around? It's part of a drum kit and shouldn't move.

The conga and percussion in constant spin on Marvin Gaye's "I heard it through the Grapevine" is just downright upsetting. A good song ruined by over zealous "creativity". My personal remix is lightyears ahead.

To make my point, Panning should be left to solos, or the occasional percussion or vocal. Overuse spoils the effect. Also, the song has to call for it. An upbeat, bouncy, joyful song can be made even better by some playful panning. However, a somber, dark, grindout of a song should not use joyful mixing techniques.
 

Cibola

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Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells 2003 - where instruments keep on rotating all the time around the room. :mad:@:
Thanks. Is there a particular one that stands out for you in this respect? I'm listening now (got it very recently:)) and except for a bit of clockwise rotation, some corner to corner and side to side (I think) on another, I like it. The buzzing effect early on Finale doesn't do much for me but still overall it's quite good. By the way, I've not heard the earlier SACD.
 
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Fourplay

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Irrational Panning is what I call it. I can tolerate a solo spinning around the room. That can sometimes draw more attention to the solo. The Handclaps potting around the room on Three Dog Nights' "Sure as I'm sittin' here" is OK, if it worked properly. When it worked and actually clapped in a speaker location, it was good, but when the auto panner got ahead of itself and clapped in a phantom channel, that was distracting. Good idea, badly executed.

The hi-hat spinning around the room during the choruses of "My Maria" is a bit distracting. Why, or even HOW could a hi-hat move around? It's part of a drum kit and shouldn't move.

The conga and percussion in constant spin on Marvin Gaye's "I heard it through the Grapevine" is just downright upsetting. A good song ruined by over zealous "creativity". My personal remix is lightyears ahead.

To make my point, Panning should be left to solos, or the occasional percussion or vocal. Overuse spoils the effect. Also, the song has to call for it. An upbeat, bouncy, joyful song can be made even better by some playful panning. However, a somber, dark, grindout of a song should not use joyful mixing techniques.
Thanks! These are the kind of references I'd like posted here so I (and others) can seek them out to see for themselves.

I kind of agree about fixed instruments ie: the hi-hat in your example. When the piano pans in Bohemian Rhapsody I cannot help but think of George Carlin and his "things no one has ever said: Hand me that piano!" That said, I still love the overall mix on Bohemian Rhapsody.

Others?
 

fredblue

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There's some spectacular round the room panning on the DTS CD/Quad of Edgar Winter's "Jasmine Nightdreams" in the final instrumental suite.. check it out if you haven't heard it already :)
 

fredblue

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More great use of circular pans to be found in the SACD/Quad of the O'Jays' "Ship Ahoy", specifically in the track "For The Love Of Money".. superb! :D
 

fredblue

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As for more 'modern' (i.e. non-Quad) surround music mixes with slightly more adventurous stuff are to be found in Greg Penny's wonderful 5.1 Elton John mixes, a few examples..

on the "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" album, Ray Cooper's tambourine flies round the room in scintillating fashion in "All The Girls Love Alice" and in "I've Seen That Movie Too" from the same LP, Davey Johnstone's wah-wah guitar solo floats around the room from front to rear and snaps into focus at its climax back up right into the centre channel.. gorgeous..

and on the "Captain Fantastic" Surround SACD during "Gotta Get A Meal Ticket" there's a brilliant example of what I like to call speaker ping pong.. when Elton sings "Feel no pain" up front, then his refrain "No pain" in the rear and then "No Regrets" in the opposite rear channel, followed by another cry of "No regrets" up front, simple but stunningly effective and strikes me as most sympathetic to the lyric and what I feel the songs about.

Greg Penny really thought about the music when he was remixing those albums for 5.1 and for me it only serves to heighten the excitement level, engaging all the channels in such active fashion, such ultra-immersive mixes may not be for everyone but personally I love them..

..one things for sure, with those EJ surround remixes, love them or hate them you never have to check to see if your rear speakers are working or not..!! :yikes
 

bmoura

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This wouldn't be the mix as much as the recording itself by engineer Robert Friedrich, formerly with Telarc and now with 5/4 Productions.

With the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet albums in Multichannel SACD, most featured a guitarist in each corner speaker. When all 4 got rolling on a track with significant interplay it is very intense in Multichannel SACD. Some people would say too much so.

That caused the LAGQ to actually back off and record 1 Multichannel SACD in a less discrete manner before returning to the 4 corner approach for their final Telarc Multichannel SACD.

If you like immersive and in the middle mixes, do check these out. Wow !
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B00006L3MZ/ref=tmm_other_meta_binding_new_olp_sr?ie=UTF8&condition=new&sr=&qid=
 

0tto

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I would like to pose a question to the fans and advocates of aggressive surround mixing, of which I am one. That question is: what mixes go too far, even for you?

There are some here who just don't like "rotational mixing" and the like. This question is not for you. I get it - you don't enjoy it. But I do. I am just wondering about the most extreme examples - so much that even the loons such as myself would have to question the taste or judgement of the producer.

OK - lay 'em on me.
separating in mix to a different channels the vocal and saxophone is that's gimmick or attempt to emphasize each sound source in its own maximum truly fidelity?
 

leevitalone1

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aggressive? or just misplacement of an instrument, like the BD of Tommy with the drums in the left rear channel.
My collection is pretty small I don't feel any of mine are aggressive. Just need to be fixed, like the Tommy mess. and it is so annoying.
 

DuncanS

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aggressive? or just misplacement of an instrument, like the BD of Tommy with the drums in the left rear channel.
My collection is pretty small I don't feel any of mine are aggressive. Just need to be fixed, like the Tommy mess. and it is so annoying.
I'm with you on the drums on Tommy their placement just spooks me!
 

Fourplay

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I'm with you on the drums on Tommy their placement just spooks me!
The Tommy drums are the opposite of too much! Confining Keith Moon to a single speaker (and not even a main) is diminishing.

It might not be possible on Tommy because of the multitracks, but I would love to hear Moon's or Bonham's kit spread over the whole soundstage, but with isolated bits in the fronts and rears, to really put me inside of the kit.

Does anyone know of a mix like that? There is something similar on the 8 Track of Can't Buy A Thrill, where the percussion elements come from all directions. It is very effective!
 

sjcorne

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Does anyone know of a mix like that? There is something similar on the 8 Track of Can't Buy A Thrill, where the percussion elements come from all directions. It is very effective!
On the quad mix of Billy Cobham’s Spectrum (on the AF SACD), there are a number of moments where you’re effectively placed inside Cobham’s drum kit. Kick and snare upfront, cymbals in the rears. Check out the beginning of track 2.

Also, the quad mixes of Loggins & Messina’s self-titled album and Janis Joplin’s Pearl have different drum kit components isolated in each corner. The L&M also has the bass guitar isolated in the rears.
 
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