HiRez Poll Oldfield, Mike - TUBULAR BELLS [Blu-Ray Audio (Dolby Atmos)]

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Rate the BDA of Mike Oldfield - TUBULAR BELLS

  • 7

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 5

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1: Terrible Content, Surround Mix, and Fidelity

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    40

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Please post your thoughts and comments on this new 50th anniversary edition of the classic Mike Oldfield album "Tubular Bells".
This Blu-Ray audio disc was exclusive to the SDE website. (Thanks @PaulatSDE!)

The disc contains THREE unique surround mixes of the album:
  • 2023 Dolby Atmos Mix (first time on physical media)
  • 2009 5.1 surround Mix (first time on physical media in high-resolution)
  • 1975 Quadraphonic Mix (first time on Blu-Ray Audio)
There's also a special intro edit of the 2023 Dolby Atmos mix included as well.

(y):)(n)

blu-ray_1500_sticker.jpg
 
A really classic album. I haven't listened to it in anger yet so will delay on a vote, but so far, the sound quality is awesom, at least on the atmos mix. I haven't listened to the others yet, and i have the quad sacd so will be able to compare with it. But on its own, really happy with it.
 
Aha! I believe I spotted an error, and possibly two, on Part 2 of the Quad mix on the album. The front left channel appears to be 3,998 (or so) samples too early (at 96kHz; equating to about 0.04 seconds). It's long enough to make the shared elements between the front channels sound like different overdubs.

Also, I suspect the loudness after 21:48 is incorrect. The dialogue is oddly loud in the front left channel compared to the rest (the back channels have it mixed at identical loudness), and oddly quiet in the front right channel (even quieter than the back channels). If you take the audio after 24:48 in the front channels, make the front left channel 3dB quieter and the front right channel 3dB louder, the dialogue becomes present in the center of the surround sound field.

Below is a portion of that dialogue section, where you can see both the issues. And yes, I believe the entirety of the front left channel during this song is out of sync, given my tests with a correlometer.
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My two copies of Tubular Bells have arrived. (Twobular Bells?). Yeah, that's right, two copies. Hey, I don't have a problem! :cool:

Anyway, just having listened to the new Atmos downmixed to 5.1, I gotta say it sounds wonderful. I've heard lots of Atmos mixes that don't downmix to 5.1 very well, but this one does just fine. If you had told me that it was a dedicated 5.1 mix I would have believed it. Kosten respects the original stereo mix that everyone has known and loved for fifty years but manages to present it in a fully discreet and immersive surround field. Can't wait to get over to a friend's place who has a full Atmos setup to hear what it sounds like in full blown Atmos. Having said that, this is an album that I've listened to a gazillion times since I first heard it circa 1980. And I did notice two places where the balance wasn't quite right. About 7:45 into part one, there is a melodic element that seems to be completely missing. And during part two's caveman heavy rock section, the lead guitars don't scream out as loudly as they do in the original stereo. Maybe these bits are just because I am not set up for full Atmos. Anyway, this was a thoroughly enjoyable listen. Will check out the other layers in the coming days.

Hard to believe that Mike was only nineteen years old when he recorded it. I was very fortunate to see Mike play the whole thing live in 1982. Mike did a good bit of touring in Europe, but he only ever performed nine concerts in the USA in his entire career. I've been to somewhere around eight hundred concerts in my lifetime so naturally there are plenty that I don't particularly remember. But that evening in Boston on 4/17/82 still sticks out in my mind. The performances of both halves of the album brought the house down. Plus he also played the first side of Ommadawn and almost all of Five Miles Out. One helluva show.

Bring on the SDE Hergest Ridge 50th anniversary blu-ray in 2024!
 
Yeah, this is a 10. A well done mix that immerses you in Tubular Bells. Strangely however… I find myself wishing it was more like the mix (but not the recording) of the 2003 5.1, which comes off as more of a ”showcase” piece, IMO.
In terms of value, it’s fantastic, £10 per surround mix, each showcasing fantastic mixing in their respective eras.

That being said, allow me to enter the fantasy of a perfect world in which licensing is easy…

I would have loved to see the 2003 re-recording in stereo and 5.1 on this disc, as an end-all-be-all of Tubular Bells. One Disc, every version. And with the inclusion of the Tubular Bells 4 demo, it would have been neat to see a second disc with hi-res stereo versions of Tubular Bells 2, 3, Millennium Bell, Tubular Beats (which I only recently discovered exists), and the live orchestral recording. That way, with one package the entire universe of TB could be accessible to all. But alas, I bet all that would have been a nightmare to co-ordinate and would raise the price up considerably.

Overall Tubular Bells Surround Ranking:
2023 Atmos Mix
2003 Re-recording 5.1
1975 Quad (love that alternate ending!)
2009 5.1
 
Also, I suspect the loudness after 21:48 is incorrect. The dialogue is oddly loud in the front left channel compared to the rest (the back channels have it mixed at identical loudness), and oddly quiet in the front right channel (even quieter than the back channels). If you take the audio after 24:48 in the front channels, make the front left channel 3dB quieter and the front right channel 3dB louder, the dialogue becomes present in the center of the surround sound field.
The Atmos sounds like that also. I was going to ask the question on the forum if the presentation sounds somewhat skewed to the left from around this point in the piece all the way through side 2. I've never listened to the stereo version, and I wonder if it too has this particular balance. There's information in the booklet which says that they used the stereo mix as a basis for the immersive mixes.
 
A really classic album. I haven't listened to it in anger yet so will delay on a vote, but so far, the sound quality is awesom, at least on the atmos mix. I haven't listened to the others yet, and i have the quad sacd so will be able to compare with it. But on its own, really happy with it.
The mix on the quad SACD is the 1975 "first remix", the same as what on the "Boxed" set. The 2009 remix is, for the first time, in DTS. The original audio DVD was in DD, on the first release.
 
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I've now listened to the quad SACD, set to convert to PCM in my Oppo 95 so it gets the speaker delays and generally has the same treatment as the Blu Ray.

Well there's definitely differences to the quad on the Blu Ray:

1) Blu Ray seems EQ'd brighter, fair enough that sort of thing happens
2) Blu Ray is front left dominant from about half way in, SACD is not
3) Blu Ray shows instruments I've never heard before and are not apparent on the SACD, particularly rear right
4) In the sailor's hornpipe at the end, on the Blu Ray Vivian Stanshall is solidly front left and the tromping around the speakers makes no sense. In the SACD Vivian Stanshall sounds rear centre but actually comes out of all speakers and the tromping around the speakers makes sense.

Frankly it sounds like a re-mix. I know it makes no sense that they'd re-mix the 1975 quad, but I don't see how it could come out sounding this different especially the sailor's hornpipe.

Which would I listen to for the quad? The SACD every time, it makes far more musical sense than the Blu Ray.

What have they done to the quad on the Blu Ray? "Buggered if I know!" to quote Vivian Stanshall.
 
I've now listened to the quad SACD, set to convert to PCM in my Oppo 95 so it gets the speaker delays and generally has the same treatment as the Blu Ray.

Well there's definitely differences to the quad on the Blu Ray:

1) Blu Ray seems EQ'd brighter, fair enough that sort of thing happens
2) Blu Ray is front left dominant from about half way in, SACD is not
3) Blu Ray shows instruments I've never heard before and are not apparent on the SACD, particularly rear right
4) In the sailor's hornpipe at the end, on the Blu Ray Vivian Stanshall is solidly front left and the tromping around the speakers makes no sense. In the SACD Vivian Stanshall sounds rear centre but actually comes out of all speakers and the tromping around the speakers makes sense.

Frankly it sounds like a re-mix. I know it makes no sense that they'd re-mix the 1975 quad, but I don't see how it could come out sounding this different especially the sailor's hornpipe.

Which would I listen to for the quad? The SACD every time, it makes far more musical sense than the Blu Ray.

What have they done to the quad on the Blu Ray? "Buggered if I know!" to quote Vivian Stanshall.
2 and 4 can be explained by the front channel being too early and, in the sailor's hornpipe section, the front left and front right channels being the incorrect loudness, which I noted earlier. Not sure about #3, though.
 
The Quad on the Japanese SACD and on the new blu-ray have the same endings, to my ears.
Voice over is the same volume on each and heavily panned to the front left of the room.
I've only loosely followed certain aspects of this thread. Hopefully that answers a question. Lmk if I should listen for something else.
 
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I've now listened to the quad SACD, set to convert to PCM in my Oppo 95 so it gets the speaker delays and generally has the same treatment as the Blu Ray.

Well there's definitely differences to the quad on the Blu Ray:

1) Blu Ray seems EQ'd brighter, fair enough that sort of thing happens
2) Blu Ray is front left dominant from about half way in, SACD is not
3) Blu Ray shows instruments I've never heard before and are not apparent on the SACD, particularly rear right
4) In the sailor's hornpipe at the end, on the Blu Ray Vivian Stanshall is solidly front left and the tromping around the speakers makes no sense. In the SACD Vivian Stanshall sounds rear centre but actually comes out of all speakers and the tromping around the speakers makes sense.

Frankly it sounds like a re-mix. I know it makes no sense that they'd re-mix the 1975 quad, but I don't see how it could come out sounding this different especially the sailor's hornpipe.

Which would I listen to for the quad? The SACD every time, it makes far more musical sense than the Blu Ray.

What have they done to the quad on the Blu Ray? "Buggered if I know!" to quote Vivian Stanshall.
Thanks for the comparison and analysis. It’s good to have the SACD in my archive for the quad. It’s not the first time that issues occur with the quad mixes included in recent digital releases. Even within the SDE series, the quad of A Space in Time was clearly sourced from a lossy file, most likely a DTS. These things happen, but at least in that case the presentation of the mix was unaltered.
 
I voted 9. But was a 8-9.
A very hard vote for me as the surround mix and sonics overall is superb. The content is not my thing, albeit I respect the historical (50 Years) content.
My only listen of Tubular Bells prior to this release was The Excorcist, never have I listened to the entire Parts I & II.

Onscreen menu, super easy navigation, easy to read graphics. Liner Notes: Brief and I enjoyed reading.

I'll give you my noob listen thoughts to all the content. Below where I state love/respect for the editions included, does not mean I have now turned a fan, I listened, I appreciate the music, and I am glad I purchased this Blu Ray, but don't see a reason to rip or listen over again. I listened to the disc in this order.
2023 Dolby Atmos: Absolutely stellar, super big sound, clarity that knocked my socks off and full room of sound with little items taking there turns here and there. The main bed stayed in line with each other.
1975 Quad: Different, seemed old fashioned to me. Many times the sound would be two fronts and then go to two rears and then to front and rears. I guess in 1975 a listener would think it to be quite spectacular, but my brain is 2023 Atmos so I looked at the Quad as a step backward, but I guess that is the point.
2009 5.1 Surround: Overall quite good. Lots of seperation and music flowing well. Three years ago this would have been quite a hit, or I should say 14 years ago, 2009.
2023 Stereo Remix and 1973 Orginal Stereo: Yes, definately different and very noticeable, but why bother?
Bonus Tracks:
2023 Tubular Bells Intro Edit Dolby Atmos and Stereo:
Not sure the point of this. For a Tubular Bells noob such as myself, there was nothing to pull me in.
2017 Tubular Bells 4 Intro-Demo: Not sure if this was a unreleased demo that came up in 2017 or a 2017 new demo? But out of all my listens this was the most different in sound and production.

It took me 4 days to listen to all of the above, needles to say as I write I am sick of Tubular Bells. The best thing about the 4 day listen was I got to read others experiences and I kind of listened for those little things as I went along.

Please Keep Polls Pure, your thoughts on your own listening experience only.
 
I gave this a 9. I'm not Atmos-equipped, so I listened in 4.0. The room my system is in is too small to do Atmos, and my receiver doesn't support it. That said, what I did hear was most interesting. The Atmos mix folded down nicely to 4.0. I'm not a fan of a center channel for music. That mix was on the bright side, but that helped bring out more of the fine detail in the music, including parts I never knew were there. That was a definite plus. The 2009 mix sounded more robust than the Dolby Digital audio DVD. DTS made quite a difference there. I compared the 1975 mix with the Japanese SACD; little to no real difference there. I didn't listen to the short samples, but will do so. In short, a purchase that was well worth the money.
 
Initial listen was to the disc using the PS5 as a player on my 7.1 system, I don't have Atmos yet. Very pleased. Short review: mix good, material good, extras good. Would give 11/10 if they had a live performance synced to the new Atmos mix. But that's fine, I'll make my own, with hookers, and blackjack!

I just ripped it using MakeMKV and DVD Audio Extractor because I get physical copies for the ownership, not the convenience, and the Atmos streams are 24/48. My ears aren't good enough to tell the difference, but that'll probably bother some of you. Likely just a result of that mix being mastered for streaming and the Blu Ray being something we had to beg to get at all.

The thing that does interest me is that for each .m2ts file of the Atmos version, there's a 6-channel AC3 stream, and an 8-channel TrueHD stream. Not having Atmos to tell, anybody know what the deal is? I played the files directly in MediaPlayer Classic, and the TrueHD light on the receiver came on immediately, and I got discrete audio thru my rears. Would like to know from Atmos-havers who've pulled the streams apart, if that TrueHD 7.1 stream also has heights info, or if that's only on the 5.1 AC3 and the 7.1 TrueHD is a slightly alternate mix they threw to us with last-gen equipment (which is nice of them if they did).
 
Voted strong 8. There is another multichannel version that I prefer.
This is a very cool disc though, and worth owning.
Life in Surround Review


Thanks for the excellent review, Mike. I have the same opinion. About 7:30 into your video review, you mention the issues with the finale of Part I. I really feel that the Atmos mix sounds 'off' from this point in the record and onward.

Also, at 9:00 in your review you mention Steven Wilson's 5.1 mix of Close To The Edge. You describe an issue where separation of voices can take on a 'pitchiness.' This characteristic, which I describe as 'grain' in the vocals drives me crazy. For example, the new 5.1 of Games People Play has that pitchiness in the rear vocals. I've also noticed it in the rear vocals on Fleetwood Mac's Mirage. The mixing / mastering engineers really need to EQ these vocals to tone down that characteristic.
 
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