DVD/DTS Poll Oldfield, Mike - Tubular Bells (2009 5.1 Remix) [DD DVD]

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

Rate the Audio-DVD of Mike Oldfield - TUBULAR BELLS [2009]


  • Total voters
    20

neil wilkes

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
4,330
Location
London, England
Sorry, but I hated this more than I can say.
As I already own the Boxed Set (SQ Quads), I really wanted to like this new mix. I never did get the DVDA or SACD, or the orchestral version either as I simply have never seen them yet.
But back to this.
Firstly, what idiot decided that this album of all things only deserved a pitiful amount of the disc bandwidth? I mean, we get 448kbps for the music.
Not even a DTS stream. Yet we do get that silly video playing throughout (although I turned the screen off after only 5 minutes of watching that blasted bell spinning around & around & around & gibber & froth etc.
Wibble.
Sorry about that.

The mix itself is less than inspiring as well. To my ears, it sounded seriously centre channel heavy. So I extracted the AC3 stream, and noticed it was encoded with a dialnorm of -27dB.
For chrissakes, why? It's not dialogue as this is not (supposed to be) a film (although the penchant for preferring visuals over the actual music on behalf of the producer makes me wonder if he realised this) so why are they attenuating the entire bloody mix to fit non-existent dialogue levels of -31dB? It screws the balance completely.
It sounded muffled & indistinct to me too - I played this (without comment) to a musician friend, and then played him the Quad version from Boxed.
I asked for his thoughts, and he said that the second version sounded much more lifelike, as if there was actually someone playing it, and that the first version sounded simply lifeless.

Buy if you are a serious collector only.
 

oxenholme

400 Club - QQ All-Star
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
484
Location
NW England
I think it was back in 1973 I was listening to Capital Radio in my upstairs flat in Enfield, Middlesex. Akai GXC 40T cassette deck / VHF tuner through a Leak Stereo 70 amp into a pair of Leak 600 speakers. They were playing Tubular Bells part 1, and I was mesmerised...

Tubular Bells was to be my first SACD, though I'd no idea what SACDs were about when I got it. Eventually they released Pink Floyd's DSOTM SACD, and so I bought a dreadful surround setup with satellite speakers and a sub. Nothing sounded good. So I scrapped the satellites and got some decent Monitor Audio Gold Ref 10 speakers, and the music came alive, and I was hooked.

I've upgraded everything since. Tubular Bells SACD sounds pretty good. This new DVD has all but defeated me as I haven't got any visual side to the system, so I have no idea what the menu is like or what key depressions are required on the remote to get at the music. To date I've managed to access tracks 1 & 3, and I like both of them. I'd love to know what key depressions are required to access track 4.

I agree with much of what Neil says above, BUT I do like to build up to climax - it somehow seemed a little more dramatic.

If you have neither the quadraphonic LP nor the SACD then do not be put off getting this. It is more than passable. It's a lot more involving than the stereo mix, and the music is strong enough to shine through.
 

oxenholme

400 Club - QQ All-Star
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
484
Location
NW England
10 for content, 7 for mix, 7 for sound Total 24 -divide by 3 = 8 average, so that's what I voted. I have hi-rez DVD-Audios (and not from Silverline) that sound a lot worse.
 

jdmack

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Feb 27, 2005
Messages
1,238
Location
Maryland
Anyone in the mood for a long post?

I’ve been A/B’ing the SACD the new DVD of “Tubular Bells” to help me decide what I think of the new mix. Truthfully, I don’t have a system that will allow me to quickly switch between the two, so all I could do was to make notes while listening to one, then make more notes while listening to the other, and then compare. Here are some things I noticed.

First., let me mention that my entire system (Pioneer player, RCA amp, JVC satellite speakers and sub) cost less than $500. I know that there is a technical difference between DTS and Dolby Digital, but these differences are not revealed on my system. I really can’t detect much of a difference between the SACD and Dolby Digital for that matter (on a technical level), but I accept that there is one and that I’m either blessed or cursed to have a system like mine. Maybe if I had more than one player and an A/B switch for quick comparisons it would be more obvious.

All that said, most of the time, the center channel balance sounded right to me, though sometimes it jumps out a little too loud. I trust what Neil posted on this subject, but if I turn the center channel down 4 db on my amp, the piano during the first few minutes sounds buried.

Overall, the sound of the DVD is a bit brighter to me. Sometimes that works to the advantage of the mix, sometimes it doesn’t. The glockenspiel during the first few minutes is so bright I can’t detect the actual notes being played. In fact, it sounds like one note. Is that actually a glockenspiel, or some bell-like percussion instrument?

(All times refer to the DVD)
6:07 – the guitars sound much more shrill and harsh on the SACD, so I prefer the DVD for this section

6: 56 – The SACD mix has nothing in the rears during this section. The DVD has the instruments spread all around, but balance is all wrong. I think there may even be some new instruments added (either newly recorded or left out of the original mix). It’s a toss up here. Neither mix gets this exactly right.

7:42 – Mike has mixed this section to reflect the original stereo mix, with the strummed guitars being the most prominent sound. I prefer Tom Newman’s decision in the quad mix to bring out the guitars playing a melody and put the strumming guitars back in the mix. I’ll take the SACD for this section.

11:30 – The bright-sounding keyboard playing the variation of the TB theme is way to loud here on the DVD. Not only do I not like how this sounds, but its entrances and exits sound very abrupt. I also dislike the massive reverb added to the guitars on the last pass of the theme. Gotta take the SACD for this section.

14:18 – The piano continues too loudly into the next section on the DVD for my taste.

15:06 – The SACD quad mix has nothing in the rears except for tambourine in this section. The DVD mix spread everything around, and I prefer it.

17:26 During the entire repeating guitar/bass riff section, the quad mix virtually eliminates the organs which makes this section very boring for me. On the other hand, from this point forward, the organ pedal notes are way too loud. Good thing I’ve got a volume knob on my sub in addition to a volume control for the sub on my amp. Despite that, I’ll take the DVD mix here.

20:25 – the “reed and pipe organ” seems to be a new recording. It sounds completely different than the ones on the original stereo mix and the quad mix (which are each different from each other). This must have been added live during the original mixdown and doesn’t exist on the multitrack tape.

As I mentioned in another post, the recording of the tubular bells on the DVD is different from either the original stereo or quad mix, and to my ear, sounds like a sample. It’s certainly processed oddly if it’s real

The organ pedal tone, as loud as it is, fades gradually on the DVD into the final solo guitar section, but disappears abruptly on the SACD.

The solo guitar at end enters too loudly on the DVD and really sticks out. The quad mix has the solo guitar quieter so it seems to rise gradually out of the other instruments. Score another for the SACD.

And with that, I’m done. It’s late, and I’m too tired to do an A/B comparison of “Part 2.” Maybe tomorrow (if one of you doesn’t beat me to it).

But I’ll make one more observation. I still only hear one distorted guitar, and a Spanish guitar but no acoustic guitar, no matter what Vivian says.

J. D.
 

jdmack

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Feb 27, 2005
Messages
1,238
Location
Maryland
As an experiment, I extracted the 6 channels of Part 1 using the VLC software to see if I could make my own "fixed" mix (apropos of ingresman's question above). I think I've found the problem with the loud sub settings. In those sections where the low frequencies are truly room shaking, not only is there significant content on the LFE channel, but the low frequency content is duplicated in the center channel. In fact, throwing away the LFE channel all together makes for a nicer listening experience - at least on my system.

I also had a chance to compare "Part 2" on the DVD and SACD. There's far fewer things that stand out as being better or worse between the two versions of "Part 2."

2:13 – The active guitar part in the left rear channel is much louder than on any other older mix (stereo or quad). Then the melody of this guitar is picked up by another guitar in the right rear channel, and that guitar’s volume is quieter and seems more like the level heard in previous mixes of this section. The melody switches between the two guitars, and the left rear guitar is always much louder than the right rear guitar. SACD wins.

Around 11:41, the swirl of instruments should cut out, leaving the bare rhythm section, but they don’t on the DVD. For this short bit, I’ll take the SACD, but then we come to . . .

The Piltdown Man Section. As I stated in a previous post, the drums are really forward in the mix here, and they sound GREAT! It’s the first mix where the snare doesn’t sound like Jeff Lynne recorded it. I can hear subtleties in the drumming that I’ve never heard before. And the growling vocals are a bit more buried in the mix. DVD mix all the way for me here!

One final thing. At 19:53, the rear right guitar is distorting a bit on my system. Is it possibly my system, or do others hear this?

Final conclusion? I want the hybrid mix that ingresman suggests! But in lieu of that, when I reach for a TB disc, I'll likely grab the SACD (or the disc I'm going to make of the DVD without a LFE channel).

J. D.
 

Ge Someone

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jan 19, 2005
Messages
1,109
Location
Netherlands
...I'll likely grab the SACD (or the disc I'm going to make of the DVD without a LFE channel).
Didn't you say you could turn down (or switch off) your sub? Except if you need it for the low end reproduction of "small" speakers too.
 

jdmack

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Feb 27, 2005
Messages
1,238
Location
Maryland
Didn't you say you could turn down (or switch off) your sub? Except if you need it for the low end reproduction of "small" speakers too.
I want the album to have *some* low end, but not as much as one gets when the low frequency content is doubled. Then again, maybe I'm confused. If a disc has LFE channel content, does the bass management in the amplifier still steer other low frequency content to the sub? That's what it seems to do on my system.

J. D.
 

oxenholme

400 Club - QQ All-Star
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
484
Location
NW England
I want the album to have *some* low end, but not as much as one gets when the low frequency content is doubled. Then again, maybe I'm confused. If a disc has LFE channel content, does the bass management in the amplifier still steer other low frequency content to the sub? That's what it seems to do on my system.

J. D.
Is it only this disc that gives a problem? It doesn't seem particularly bass heavy on my set up. My control amp is set to steer low frequency content (below 60Hz) to both sub and main speakers. My main speakers tail off around 38Hz.

I'd be interested in your findings for that Silverline fake surround Pentangle DVD-A - the bass is overpowering, but it's the only disc where I've noticed a problem.
 

rusinurbe

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Nov 6, 2002
Messages
2,484
Location
Royal Wootton Bassett, UK
I am quite happy with the mix, but this looses stars for fidelity WTF did they not provide a 96/24 DTS copy on the disc at the very least? Better still full strength DTS.
Also drops points because the DVD is labelled disc 4 while there are only 3 discs (2 CD and 1 DVD) in the deluxe edition.

Quality (proof reading, customer satisfaction, and audio fidelity) were obviously not that important to the record company.

Again with just a little bit of thought we could have had an exemplary release instead we get a fudge and compromise release without the proof reading.
 
Last edited:

jdmack

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Feb 27, 2005
Messages
1,238
Location
Maryland
Fletch, I have to ask. Are the multiple misspellings in your rant about the label not proofreading an attempt at irony? :)

J. D.
 

wanners

300 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Jan 15, 2009
Messages
399
Location
Pittsburgh, PA (Steeler Country)
The DD 5.1 stream on the Ultimate Edition of TB 2009 reads on my receiver (Onkyo 606) as dvd multich pcm 5.1 at 48 Khz. I am using the new oppo bdp-83. On the oppo 980H it reads as dd 5.1.

Anyone have any idea why this would happen? Is it converting the stream to pcm?

BTW, I find the quality and mix to be great. of course i'd rather have a higher resolution, so the criticisms are legit, but what's there I think is really good. He uses the rear speakers rather heavily with a lot of insruments coming through discretely,which I really like. My only complaint is I thought it was a little too loud from the rear, I had to turn the levels down in the rear and up a little in the front.
 

dobyblue

600 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
622
Location
Ontario, Canada
So the new 2009 remastered Tubular Bells, whether you buy the Deluxe or Ultimate edition, has only a Dolby Digital 5.1 448Kbps mix on it? No MLP?
 

Baker

Well-known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2008
Messages
105
Location
Near Paris
For my first vote here (I'm lazy), I gave this one an 8. From the very end of my fingers, but an 8 nonetheless.

It definitely has flaws. First it's DD only. Not bad, but DD. It also is much worse edited (I mean music-wise, the way the parts entertwine) than the original which was already quite "barbarian" on that level. But it has some great moments, a very active and deep surround, and it brings back to life some forgotten instruments the way the best surround mixes do (especially the drums on part 2).

Plus it's VERY different from the SACD, so when buying it I didn't feel cheated.

BUT I gave 8 only because I hope this is the first part of a new collection. To be honest, if there's no follow-up to this reissue, I should bring it down to a very narrow 7 - mainly because of the damned Dolby Digital thing.

Oh, one last thing : I loved the way the CGI animation evolved. I thought for a while it was just a loop but no, it's much better than that. 'D have preferred DTS though.
 

dobyblue

600 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
622
Location
Ontario, Canada
Thanks Chris.

I'm afraid I'm not even willing to give this a shot if it's presented in such a paltry manner. Given that TB has been released in one form or another in 24/96 5.1 MLP and in 4.0 DSD there's no excuse for such a release now in 2009.

I picked up the SACD for CDN$35 recently and I think it's a fantastic mix, better than any other version I've heard and the fidelity is excellent. The 2003 DVD-A is stunning as well and if it weren't for the constant 360 degree pans (like someone's kid got hold of the pan knob for the first time) it would have been totally awesome. The bells on that version on a full range surround system are just breathtaking.

I was listening to the Simply Vinyl release of Ommadawn last week, absolutely brilliant. I'm tentative to order the new vinyl of TB though as it's part of the Back in Black series and I haven't been very impressed with some of the other releases like In Utero from Universal. Maybe being pressed in the UK it might be of better quality.

I hope he's moved onto Blu-ray before he gets round to the Ultimate editions of Ommadawn, Hergest Ridge and Incantations though, this 5.1 DD releases just won't do. I would love to hear those three albums in 24/192 5.1 PCM if the surround mix is done well.
 
Top