How to "Fix" PET SOUNDS 5.1 (even if you're not a vet)

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ar surround

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It's probably easier to fix one's pet even if one is not a vet, but here goes anyway...

Generally, the way the lead vocals seem to float in space towards the left drives me totally bananas...and they ain't the Snood good kind of bananas. So most of what I did focused on getting the lead vocals more centered.

Wouldn't It Be Nice
To me, this is the most screwed up song of the lot possibly having swapped tracks as others have noted, along with anemic bass and floating lead vocals.

Here is a visual of cut 1 (unaltered) from the 5.1 of the DVD-A:

Wouldnt It Be Nice (as found).jpg


So I did the bulk of the work on Wouldn't It Be Nice to get something I finally liked.

Track 1 (Left Front)
Source: 5.1 DVD-A Left Front Channel
Adjustment: Reduce volume -2 dB

Track 2 (Right Front)
Source: 5.1 DVD-A Right Front Channel
Adjustment: None

Track 3 (Center)
Source: 5.1 DVD-A Center
Adjustment: DVD-A authored incorrectly. Swap with LFE.

Track 4 (LFE)
Source: 5.1 DVD-A LFE
Adjustment:
DVD-A authored incorrectly. Swap with Center.
Boost significantly (as high as possible without clipping) to add bass to final product.
(Adjust boost to taste.)

Track 5 (Left Surround)
Source: Stereo DVD-A without lead vocals
Adjustments:
Reduce volume -5dB
Mute drum sticks at beginning
Time align with Left Front

Track 6 (Right Surround)
Source: Stereo DVD-A without lead vocals
Adjustments:
Reduce volume -5dB
Mute drum sticks at beginning
Time align with Right Front


Here is a visual of the stereo tracks from "cut" 15 of the stereo layer of the DVD-A that becomes the new surrounds on the remixed 5.1:

Wouldnt It Be Nice (Cut 15).jpg


Here is what the new version of Wouldn't It Be Nice looks like:

Wouldnt It Be Nice V9.jpg


And here's what I eventually settled on for the rest of the tracks:

Pet Sounds.png


Most of the modifications simply involved reducing the volume of the Left Front channel to help get the lead vocal centered. I tried other manipulations, but none of them worked for me. For example, listening to Sloop John B track by track, I got the impression that the channels were completely convoluted and tried all sorts of reassignments. Doing so resulted in a mix with dead center lead vocals but terribly anemic surround sound. So I stayed with the original mix and simply lowered the front left by -2 dB.

On I'm Waiting For The Day, the surrounds are a bit overwhelming. Dropping the level of the surrounds by -2 dB and well as lowering the LF -2 dB is my preference.

Perhaps the most remarkable adjustment was the -4 dB LF reduction on I Know There's An Answer. Looking at the stream in Audacity gives the impression that - 4 dB is way too much, but it sounds right for whatever reason.

Listening to these songs over and over actually made me realize the greatness of Pet Sounds. I never owned it prior to getting the DVD-A; and I had never played it through because I couldn't deal with the problematic mix.

Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions.
 

J. PUPSTER

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It's probably easier to fix one's pet even if one is not a vet, but here goes anyway...

Generally, the way the lead vocals seem to float in space towards the left drives me totally bananas...and they ain't the Snood good kind of bananas. So most of what I did focused on getting the lead vocals more centered.

Wouldn't It Be Nice
To me, this is the most screwed up song of the lot possibly having swapped tracks as others have noted, along with anemic bass and floating lead vocals.

Here is a visual of cut 1 (unaltered) from the 5.1 of the DVD-A:

View attachment 82043

So I did the bulk of the work on Wouldn't It Be Nice to get something I finally liked.

Track 1 (Left Front)
Source: 5.1 DVD-A Left Front Channel
Adjustment: Reduce volume -2 dB

Track 2 (Right Front)
Source: 5.1 DVD-A Right Front Channel
Adjustment: None

Track 3 (Center)
Source: 5.1 DVD-A Center
Adjustment: DVD-A authored incorrectly. Swap with LFE.

Track 4 (LFE)
Source: 5.1 DVD-A LFE
Adjustment:
DVD-A authored incorrectly. Swap with Center.
Boost significantly (as high as possible without clipping) to add bass to final product.
(Adjust boost to taste.)

Track 5 (Left Surround)
Source: Stereo DVD-A without lead vocals
Adjustments:
Reduce volume -5dB
Mute drum sticks at beginning
Time align with Left Front

Track 6 (Right Surround)
Source: Stereo DVD-A without lead vocals
Adjustments:
Reduce volume -5dB
Mute drum sticks at beginning
Time align with Right Front


Here is a visual of the stereo tracks from "cut" 15 of the stereo layer of the DVD-A that becomes the new surrounds on the remixed 5.1:

View attachment 82044

Here is what the new version of Wouldn't It Be Nice looks like:

View attachment 82045

And here's what I eventually settled on for the rest of the tracks:

View attachment 82042

Most of the modifications simply involved reducing the volume of the Left Front channel to help get the lead vocal centered. I tried other manipulations, but none of them worked for me. For example, listening to Sloop John B track by track, I got the impression that the channels were completely convoluted and tried all sorts of reassignments. Doing so resulted in a mix with dead center lead vocals but terribly anemic surround sound. So I stayed with the original mix and simply lowered the front left by -2 dB.

On I'm Waiting For The Day, the surrounds are a bit overwhelming. Dropping the level of the surrounds by -2 dB and well as lowering the LF -2 dB is my preference.

Perhaps the most remarkable adjustment was the -4 dB LF reduction on I Know There's An Answer. Looking at the stream in Audacity gives the impression that - 4 dB is way too much, but it sounds right for whatever reason.

Listening to these songs over and over actually made me realize the greatness of Pet Sounds. I never owned it prior to getting the DVD-A; and I had never played it through because I couldn't deal with the problematic mix.

Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions.
All I can say is, from the looks of those files, is that the center level is very low in comparison to the other channels, is it just vocals in the center?
And that looks like a hellava lot of bass in the LFE ya got there. Or as they'd say in the movies,

"think you used enough dynamite there Butch?"

 

ar surround

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All I can say is, from the looks of those files, is that the center level is very low in comparison to the other channels, is it just vocals in the center?

The center channel on this song is a mono version of just backing vocals. I have no idea why the disc was even authored like that. Raising the level of that track would just cause more problems with the mix. The real vocals are in the four corner channels.
 

tezzalavell

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It's probably easier to fix one's pet even if one is not a vet, but here goes anyway...

Generally, the way the lead vocals seem to float in space towards the left drives me totally bananas...and they ain't the Snood good kind of bananas. So most of what I did focused on getting the lead vocals more centered.

Wouldn't It Be Nice
To me, this is the most screwed up song of the lot possibly having swapped tracks as others have noted, along with anemic bass and floating lead vocals.

Here is a visual of cut 1 (unaltered) from the 5.1 of the DVD-A:

View attachment 82043

So I did the bulk of the work on Wouldn't It Be Nice to get something I finally liked.

Track 1 (Left Front)
Source: 5.1 DVD-A Left Front Channel
Adjustment: Reduce volume -2 dB

Track 2 (Right Front)
Source: 5.1 DVD-A Right Front Channel
Adjustment: None

Track 3 (Center)
Source: 5.1 DVD-A Center
Adjustment: DVD-A authored incorrectly. Swap with LFE.

Track 4 (LFE)
Source: 5.1 DVD-A LFE
Adjustment:
DVD-A authored incorrectly. Swap with Center.
Boost significantly (as high as possible without clipping) to add bass to final product.
(Adjust boost to taste.)

Track 5 (Left Surround)
Source: Stereo DVD-A without lead vocals
Adjustments:
Reduce volume -5dB
Mute drum sticks at beginning
Time align with Left Front

Track 6 (Right Surround)
Source: Stereo DVD-A without lead vocals
Adjustments:
Reduce volume -5dB
Mute drum sticks at beginning
Time align with Right Front


Here is a visual of the stereo tracks from "cut" 15 of the stereo layer of the DVD-A that becomes the new surrounds on the remixed 5.1:

View attachment 82044

Here is what the new version of Wouldn't It Be Nice looks like:

View attachment 82045

And here's what I eventually settled on for the rest of the tracks:

View attachment 82042

Most of the modifications simply involved reducing the volume of the Left Front channel to help get the lead vocal centered. I tried other manipulations, but none of them worked for me. For example, listening to Sloop John B track by track, I got the impression that the channels were completely convoluted and tried all sorts of reassignments. Doing so resulted in a mix with dead center lead vocals but terribly anemic surround sound. So I stayed with the original mix and simply lowered the front left by -2 dB.

On I'm Waiting For The Day, the surrounds are a bit overwhelming. Dropping the level of the surrounds by -2 dB and well as lowering the LF -2 dB is my preference.

Perhaps the most remarkable adjustment was the -4 dB LF reduction on I Know There's An Answer. Looking at the stream in Audacity gives the impression that - 4 dB is way too much, but it sounds right for whatever reason.

Listening to these songs over and over actually made me realize the greatness of Pet Sounds. I never owned it prior to getting the DVD-A; and I had never played it through because I couldn't deal with the problematic mix.

Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions.
Well when I bought the DVD-A I was so totally underwhelmed by it.
I left is for years until I came back to it , then spent quite a time trying to put right the hodge podge of a surround mix I was presented with.
Now it sounds better but not perfect. For such a wonderful album to get such a poor surround mix still astounds me !!!
 

tezzalavell

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It's probably easier to fix one's pet even if one is not a vet, but here goes anyway...

Generally, the way the lead vocals seem to float in space towards the left drives me totally bananas...and they ain't the Snood good kind of bananas. So most of what I did focused on getting the lead vocals more centered.

Wouldn't It Be Nice
To me, this is the most screwed up song of the lot possibly having swapped tracks as others have noted, along with anemic bass and floating lead vocals.

Here is a visual of cut 1 (unaltered) from the 5.1 of the DVD-A:

View attachment 82043

So I did the bulk of the work on Wouldn't It Be Nice to get something I finally liked.

Track 1 (Left Front)
Source: 5.1 DVD-A Left Front Channel
Adjustment: Reduce volume -2 dB

Track 2 (Right Front)
Source: 5.1 DVD-A Right Front Channel
Adjustment: None

Track 3 (Center)
Source: 5.1 DVD-A Center
Adjustment: DVD-A authored incorrectly. Swap with LFE.

Track 4 (LFE)
Source: 5.1 DVD-A LFE
Adjustment:
DVD-A authored incorrectly. Swap with Center.
Boost significantly (as high as possible without clipping) to add bass to final product.
(Adjust boost to taste.)

Track 5 (Left Surround)
Source: Stereo DVD-A without lead vocals
Adjustments:
Reduce volume -5dB
Mute drum sticks at beginning
Time align with Left Front

Track 6 (Right Surround)
Source: Stereo DVD-A without lead vocals
Adjustments:
Reduce volume -5dB
Mute drum sticks at beginning
Time align with Right Front


Here is a visual of the stereo tracks from "cut" 15 of the stereo layer of the DVD-A that becomes the new surrounds on the remixed 5.1:

View attachment 82044

Here is what the new version of Wouldn't It Be Nice looks like:

View attachment 82045

And here's what I eventually settled on for the rest of the tracks:

View attachment 82042

Most of the modifications simply involved reducing the volume of the Left Front channel to help get the lead vocal centered. I tried other manipulations, but none of them worked for me. For example, listening to Sloop John B track by track, I got the impression that the channels were completely convoluted and tried all sorts of reassignments. Doing so resulted in a mix with dead center lead vocals but terribly anemic surround sound. So I stayed with the original mix and simply lowered the front left by -2 dB.

On I'm Waiting For The Day, the surrounds are a bit overwhelming. Dropping the level of the surrounds by -2 dB and well as lowering the LF -2 dB is my preference.

Perhaps the most remarkable adjustment was the -4 dB LF reduction on I Know There's An Answer. Looking at the stream in Audacity gives the impression that - 4 dB is way too much, but it sounds right for whatever reason.

Listening to these songs over and over actually made me realize the greatness of Pet Sounds. I never owned it prior to getting the DVD-A; and I had never played it through because I couldn't deal with the problematic mix.

Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions.
totally underwhelmed by this DVDA when I bought it. Left it on the shelf for years...
Got it on the DAW, fiddled around until I got it sounding better , no where near good but OK .
Sad that such a wonderful album got such a poor surround release . If voted I now on the original release would give it no better than a 5 cause the surround is such a hodge podge !
 

ar surround

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Well when I bought the DVD-A I was so totally underwhelmed by it.
I left is for years until I came back to it , then spent quite a time trying to put right the hodge podge of a surround mix I was presented with.
Now it sounds better but not perfect. For such a wonderful album to get such a poor surround mix still astounds me !!!
Do you have any recommendations that you’re willing to share? I’d still like to make songs I didn’t modify better if possible. I’m very happy with my version of Wouldn’t It Be Nice.
 

tezzalavell

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Do you have any recommendations that you’re willing to share? I’d still like to make songs I didn’t modify better if possible. I’m very happy with my version of Wouldn’t It Be Nice.
well I'm not a purist I dont have 96/24 ears and I mess with Adobe adition centre channel extractor. But after Ive finished it sounds good to me.
I'll give you a good example Of what I do , can't remeber what I did on PS but what I did on most of the Guess Who albums where the vocals were of similar presence (dbs) both rear and fronts . I did the following : - On the rears I extracted the centre of the stereo soundscape by dropping the sides by 10db and made that the centre channel (C) and then after undoing the extraction I lowered the rears centre by 10db at the centre lowering the vocals .
This way I got my vocals at the front and did not lose info. I also did similar on the doobies quadio as I thought the vocals had been drowned at the front. I just dropped the sides by 10db and made it a centre channel . Now I hear what the ddobies are singing .
The purists will say I am creating sibilance and distortion into the mix. I probably am. But if I can't hear it What the F^*k !!
cheers
 

tezzalavell

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well I'm not a purist I dont have 96/24 ears and I mess with Adobe adition centre channel extractor. But after Ive finished it sounds good to me.
I'll give you a good example Of what I do , can't remeber what I did on PS but what I did on most of the Guess Who albums where the vocals were of similar presence (dbs) both rear and fronts . I did the following : - On the rears I extracted the centre of the stereo soundscape by dropping the sides by 10db and made that the centre channel (C) and then after undoing the extraction I lowered the rears centre by 10db at the centre lowering the vocals .
This way I got my vocals at the front and did not lose info. I also did similar on the doobies quadio as I thought the vocals had been drowned at the front. I just dropped the sides by 10db and made it a centre channel . Now I hear what the ddobies are singing .
The purists will say I am creating sibilance and distortion into the mix. I probably am. But if I can't hear it What the F^*k !!
cheers
By the way the above is how I create my quad up mixes of my favourite albums . I have 4 tracks , double stereo . Then with the rears drop the centre by 10db . Fronts drop the sides by 10db and apply about 150% stereo expansion to give the fronts an open sound .
Works for me
 

stoopid

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The center channel on this song is a mono version of just backing vocals. I have no idea why the disc was even authored like that. Raising the level of that track would just cause more problems with the mix. The real vocals are in the four corner channels.
I'm going to guess the bulk of the multitrack was from a quad, and maybe the main vocals were lost in down/up mixing in the studio but they had the backing vocals as separate tracks (possibly because they were done later or last in the studio, and didn't need to be down/up mixed to make room for more tracks?). Back in those days, they had a limited number of tracks to work with even the biggest names and biggest studios.

Were the master tapes lost in that fire a decade ago?
 

madscot

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I’ve given up on mine, I don’t have the skills to do this and at the end of the day I don’t like the album enough to bother with it, I have mine on ebay at the moment trying to get back what I paid for it
 
Last edited:

tarkusnj

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It's probably easier to fix one's pet even if one is not a vet, but here goes anyway...

Generally, the way the lead vocals seem to float in space towards the left drives me totally bananas...and they ain't the Snood good kind of bananas. So most of what I did focused on getting the lead vocals more centered.

Wouldn't It Be Nice
To me, this is the most screwed up song of the lot possibly having swapped tracks as others have noted, along with anemic bass and floating lead vocals.

Here is a visual of cut 1 (unaltered) from the 5.1 of the DVD-A:
Does this disc have a watermark? I forget what the DVD-A watermark is called. Is there a name for the DVD-A watermark? I know the early Warner discs have it. If I'm not supposed to discuss this, just clear your brains' cache and it'll be like you never read it...
 
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Does this disc have a watermark? I forget what the DVD-A watermark is called. Is there a name for the DVD-A watermark? I know the early Warner discs have it. If I'm not supposed to discuss this, just clear your brains' cache and it'll be like you never read it...
The DVD-A disc does employ a copy protection mechanism called Content Protection for Pre-recorded Media (CPPM). But does not utilize the digital watermarking technology developed by the Verance Corporation ;)
 

tarkusnj

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The DVD-A disc does employ a copy protection mechanism called Content Protection for Pre-recorded Media (CPPM). But does not utilize the digital watermarking technology developed by the Verance Corporation ;)
OK... That refreshed my memory. It's the verance watermark that's the pain in the butt
 

esimms86

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No flames please but IMHO Pet Sounds is one of those albums best listened to in mono. Back in the day, mono was king, plus Brian was/is deaf in one ear. Trying to add polish the surround mix would be quite the high bar to try to clear.
 

ar surround

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No flames please but IMHO Pet Sounds is one of those albums best listened to in mono. Back in the day, mono was king, plus Brian was/is deaf in one ear. Trying to add polish the surround mix would be quite the high bar to try to clear.
Why would anyone flame you for stating that it's best in mono? BTW, Auro 3D does a decent job giving a sense of space with mono recordings, but I haven't tried it with Pet Sounds.
 

jaybird100

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Why would anyone flame you for stating that it's best in mono? BTW, Auro 3D does a decent job giving a sense of space with mono recordings, but I haven't tried it with Pet Sounds.
I thought the stereo remix was quite good, but the 4.1 remix (it didn't use the center channel) mix missed the mark. It was a valiant try, but with the right mixing engineer, it could have been better.
 

esimms86

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Today I relistened to the Pet Sounds mono and stereo mixes back to back with Auro3D Auro-matic upmixing. When all's said and done, I significantly preferred the stereo mix over the mono with upmixing engaged. It wasn't jaw dropping wonderful but it was a very enjoyable listen nonetheless. The stereo mix has sufficient channel separation such that the upmixer appeared to be provided with more to work with. Highly recommended.
 
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