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Jakko Jakszyk Innerviews interview 2019-07-09

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sjcorne

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One thing that doesn't make sense to me - Jakko mentions difficulty locating all the master takes for Brain Salad Surgery, but weren't all the multis already digitized back when the first 5.1 mix was done? It's understandable that they had to sort through (and bake) tons of reels to remix Trilogy, but for BSS I figured he was given the same set of files that Klingberg & Kellogg used to do their mix.

FWIW, I've only heard Jakko's Thrak and Trilogy 5.1's and I like them both.
 
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fredblue

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One thing that doesn't make sense to me - Jakko mentions difficulty locating all the master takes for Brain Salad Surgery, but weren't all the multis already digitized back when the first 5.1 mix was done? It's understandable that they had to sort through (and bake) tons of reels to remix Trilogy, but for BSS I figured he was given the same set of files that Klingberg & Kellogg used to do their mix.

FWIW, I've only heard Jakko's Thrak and Trilogy 5.1's and I like them both.
you don't have Jakko's 5.1 of BSS?
 

fredblue

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I only have the old Rhino DVD-A.
i know i'm just another pleb writing shit on the internet 😂 but fwiw in my layman's way (and i know there's that loud bit many people mentioned at the time) i reckon Jakko got a lot of things right with his BSS 5.1 and did somethings better than Kellogg & Klingberg, who also did a good job and did some other stuff better than he did! ultimately we're so lucky to have a masterpiece in not one but two solid surround mixes, we can't even get one surround mix of tons of other classic albums let alone two decent ones!! o_O
 

jimfisheye

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His remix of BSS, if I'm honest, sounds like it was poised to be a serious effort and should/would have turned out better than the previous remix that was a bit on the aggressive side with compression and hype. It sounds for all the world unfinished. It doesn't have any of the telltale marks of a rushed mix, a bored intern delivered mix, an over compressed hyped mix, or any of that. It truly sounds unfinished. So much so that it's not really listenable mind you! But it really sounds like it was a serious work in progress. The big outright mistakes - the Lfe content duplicated into the mains overall and the pointed mistake with the bass routed to all channels in K93 - sound like the kind of temporary whoopsies (technical term) that can come up along the way but will get caught as they do and corrected. It's like this was yanked out of his hands well before being finished and released 'as is'.

I want to give benefit of doubt here...
Just because the THRAK mix exists and it's excellent work and a surround demo disc of surround demo discs if nothing else. Evidence suggests this might be more of a Robert Fripp mix with Jakko as assistant though. Evidence like that Moody Blues upmix or the Bruford... whatever you call those. They're not really mixes. Trilogy isn't too bad. Was the lead vocal really printed with thick reverb to tape and there was nothing they could do though? The stereo mix doesn't have that problem. I kind of think it's his mix and can't be blamed on the recording. Not to mention that this was their first 16 track recording and interviews with the band all talk about how they were taking advantage of that with separation. The fact that Trilogy is still a pretty reasonable mix is further evidence that BSS was released unfinished I think. Those live Tull mixes from the bonus DVDs... They just briefly mention that there are problems with the multitracks on all of them but don't really go into detail on how it limited what the mixes could be. Can't really say if he worked some small miracles there or if there weren't really such big problems and it's just his mixes that are lacking.
 
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boxhead

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One thing that doesn't make sense to me - Jakko mentions difficulty locating all the master takes for Brain Salad Surgery, but weren't all the multis already digitized back when the first 5.1 mix was done?
The Kellog/Klingberg mix used different elements to the original in places. A perfect example is the vocals on Jerusalem - they are obviously from a different take to the 1973 stereo release. Perhaps they couldn't find the correct vocal take but made an extra effort to find them for the Jakszyk mix?

Sent from my K5000 using Tapatalk
 

ssully

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An extraordinary interview. It really brings back the whole tenor of the times from the late 70s through the 90s, how tough it was for progressive-minded musos to stay true ( I had the tiniest taste of this playing in a band myself). His own work sound very interesting on paper and I'll be checking it out.

The KC anecdotes are priceless.

But his claims about his remixes....yeesh.

It's been known for *decades* that KE9 First Impression was recorded in two studios -- Olympia and Advision. It's even in Wikipedia. This suggest a lack of simple due diligence..... And yeah, the multitrack tapes (includign the Olympia tapes!) had been digitized once before, for the DVDA -- though I can understand how changes in label could lead to loss of information trails..

KE9 Third Impression -- still a huge botch. No amount of purpose-built , sound-treated studio-making is going to make that sound right.

Ditto the Bruford remixes. (And if it were true that everyone but Jakko's setup is wrong, how could so many other remixes sound *right* in so many rooms). Those drums just sound *wrong*.

And where's that crucial missing bass lead near the end of "Safe (Canon Song)" ? Was a flown in live during cutting (which would explain why no separate track for it exists)? Or does it exist, just went missing? Or was Jakko just not familiar with the original mix??
 
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ssully

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Can't really say if he worked some small miracles there or if there weren't really such big problems and it's just his mixes that are lacking.

I would suggest that his faith in the fidelity of his mixing room is perhaps...unjustified.
 

ssully

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The Kellog/Klingberg mix used different elements to the original in places. A perfect example is the vocals on Jerusalem - they are obviously from a different take to the 1973 stereo release. Perhaps they couldn't find the correct vocal take but made an extra effort to find them for the Jakszyk mix?

Sent from my K5000 using Tapatalk

IIRC the difference is just in one line -- "And was the holy lamb of God..." The word 'God' drawn out in the original 1970s mix, staccato in the remix. Are their other vocal differences?

IIRC one other thing about ' Jerusalem' though , across various LP + CD releases.... remasters, not remixes...the levels of reverb seem to vary too.
 

kap'n krunch

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I've probably mentioned this but I had the opportunity to talk briefly to JJ in 2015 and I mentioned , in a very light manner , the BSS surgery as in "what really happened there?" and he immediately dashed off and that was the end of the conversation, so that might give us all an idea of what really happened. Jim's observation of it being yanked off his hands before it was really finished properly is the closest thing to what might have happened.
JJ doesn't strike me as someone with a sense of humor though (either that or I caught him at a VERY bad moment), which is unfortunate because the rest of KC does have one...I know I might have come across as a wiseass, but...lighten up , dude!! we are your FANS!
 

jimfisheye

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I've probably mentioned this but I had the opportunity to talk briefly to JJ in 2015 and I mentioned , in a very light manner , the BSS surgery as in "what really happened there?" and he immediately dashed off and that was the end of the conversation, so that might give us all an idea of what really happened. Jim's observation of it being yanked off his hands before it was really finished properly is the closest thing to what might have happened.
JJ doesn't strike me as someone with a sense of humor though (either that or I caught him at a VERY bad moment), which is unfortunate because the rest of KC does have one...I know I might have come across as a wiseass, but...lighten up , dude!! we are your FANS!
That reaction would sure line up with the theory FWIW.

I can say that I just know that some things are unintentional mistakes. When working on a mix, for example, you might have occasion to mute a channel to get it out of the way for a minute to focus on other mix elements without distraction. You're not entertaining the idea to remove that track! You're just focusing on a different mix element for a minute.
Then lunch arrives and you take a break.
You come back and hit play and get confused for a minute why a part is missing... Oh right! had that muted. <click>

But what if someone were to snatch it away before you came back from lunch?

Other more insidious mistakes happen and stick around on the mixing board for a spell before you finally catch them. Like accidentally clicking on a bus assign button and mult'ing your bass track to all speakers unintentionally, for example.

The thing is you just know he wasn't sitting there in front of K93 with the bass screaming through all speakers - wildly out of balance vs the original mix which is clearly guiding the rest of the album - and thinking "Yeah, now I've got it right!"
It could be something like the wrong rendered file getting delivered too.

Mistakes happen. It's fine.
Being so greedy cheap that you don't correct it and fix it anyway - embarrassing the artists and engineers involved greatly - in an expensive boxed edition where you'll have customers shelling out literally just for that surround mix is not fine. Not sure how it could get any worse actually. Short of re-releasing the same mistake twice or something...

The original stereo mix was clearly goosed up in the high end in mastering (listening from vinyl). I hear elements of presenting the mix free of that and corrected in this remix. The mistakes overshadow that but those elements are there none the less.


It's frustrating because all the hard parts have been nailed!
The band sounding like they sounded. The original recording and mix. Continued hunger and accolade leading to a surround remix. Clear evidence of attention to detail. We have the full fidelity lossless perfection in consumer formats. And a screw up in file delivery combined with over the top greed in marketing and packaging shuts the whole thing down?! Really?!?
 

kap'n krunch

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Same. And it's glorious. Gem of my collection. Gives me a shit-eating grin every time. I don't understand the need for a re-remix.
Oh , HECK YEAH! the 2001 DVD-A is glorious...
but,
I always say.. the more the merrier.. especially since there are different takes involved and a different set of ears to do another MCH mix (except for maybe my "no way, José" engineers list; James Guthrie and Richard Chycki)...
 

edisonbaggins

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I can say that I just know that some things are unintentional mistakes. When working on a mix, for example, you might have occasion to mute a channel to get it out of the way for a minute to focus on other mix elements without distraction. You're not entertaining the idea to remove that track! You're just focusing on a different mix element for a minute.
Then lunch arrives and you take a break.
You come back and hit play and get confused for a minute why a part is missing... Oh right! had that muted. <click>

But what if someone were to snatch it away before you came back from lunch?
This is what I assume happened to Elliot Scheiner's Appetite for Destruction mix. Michelle and Think About You are missing the kick drum and the bass guitar needs a 10db boost to match the other tracks.
 

ssully

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I've probably mentioned this but I had the opportunity to talk briefly to JJ in 2015 and I mentioned , in a very light manner , the BSS surgery as in "what really happened there?" and he immediately dashed off and that was the end of the conversation, so that might give us all an idea of what really happened. Jim's observation of it being yanked off his hands before it was really finished properly is the closest thing to what might have happened.
JJ doesn't strike me as someone with a sense of humor though (either that or I caught him at a VERY bad moment), which is unfortunate because the rest of KC does have one...I know I might have come across as a wiseass, but...lighten up , dude!! we are your FANS!

His interview indicates he has a perfectly fine sense of humor.
 

onthewall2983

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An extraordinary interview. It really brings back the whole tenor of the times from the late 70s through the 90s, how tough it was for progressive-minded musos to stay true ( I had the tiniest taste of this playing in a band myself). His own work sound very interesting on paper and I'll be checking it out.
The Bruised Romantic Glee Club is a remarkable album worth seeking out.
 

mannylunch

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The Kellog/Klingberg mix used different elements to the original in places. A perfect example is the vocals on Jerusalem - they are obviously from a different take to the 1973 stereo release. Perhaps they couldn't find the correct vocal take but made an extra effort to find them for the Jakszyk mix?

Sent from my K5000 using Tapatalk
Not exactly a reply to Boxhead, but more a signpost of my own knowledge or lack of it. To wit:

THREE DIFFERENT 5.1 mixes of Brain Salad Surgery in my possession.

FIRST: the 2000 one for Rhino, done by Paul Klingberg & John Kellogg

SECOND: the 2008 one that came out for about 15 seconds on Sanctuary UK that has no clear credit anywhere for the 5.1 mix [likely Greg Lake wishing it so], but is likely by Mark Powell. It is definitely a different mix than the Klingberg/Kellogg.

THIRD: The Jakko from 2014, sadly only available if you buy the ridiculously priced box sets, and not as part of a $20+ 2- or 3-disc set - unlike the other ELP 5.1 offerings, which were available cheaply. That availability difference alone seems to gives credence to it being unfairly taken out of Jakko's hands UNfinished due to cost overruns, and not being given wide distribution as a result - only to those who were really screwed $$$-wise. One of the glaring issues for me was the almost lost-in-the-background keyboard-trumpet riffs that come right before the start of lyrics for Karn Evil 9's 3rd Impression. I asked JJ if he thought that the mastering of the disc somehow had a phase glitch that took this from being on top to being buried on the bottom. He didn't know, not having heard an actual copy of what had been pressed/sold. (I also complimented him on finally giving Lake's bass a respectable and clearly heard position in the mix). MY Jakko 5.1 comes from the dlx BSS box - does anyone know if the one from the more recent Fanfare box also has this mix/phase problem? Likely with LeadAss.. er, excuse me Leadclass, being the cheap f*&%ks they are [not having put out Jakko's Alternate BSS album disc into the box, or anywhere], they did not listen, care about, or fix this issue
 

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