Pineapple Thief Versions of the Truth in BluRay Audio coming soon

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César

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The single Blu-ray was waiting for me at home this weekend when I returned from the short holidays. Although in terms of content I like Dissolution more, the mix on this new album is stunning. Bruce is improving a LOT as a mixer and is capable of placing instruments/voices/effects very innovatively in the surround plane. Percussion in the alternate mix is another winner and mastering of both versions is excellent, with remarkable full and fat bass sound.
 

splinter7

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Wow! Gave the main “album“ a spin last night. Bruce has definitely moved up to the master ranks of surround mixing all at a great pice and package option.

Fantastic immersive mix! Beautiful
As Cesar said, the bass gets a workout.
Lights up the entire sound stage.

If you need to compare it to something, I would call the music a contemporary to Porcupine Tree from the Stupid Dream era.

I only wish I loved the songs more. Something, I am not sure what it is, doesn’t fully connect with me. It has all the elements I like but the songs never totally grab me.

I hate it cause it sounds soooooo good.
Don’t know what my block is but don’t let it stop you from picking this up!
 

Neil Palfreyman

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Long post alert!

this is a pick up from the (out of place) discussion in the Surround Poll for "Versions of the Truth" where Splinter7 asked me a question about my input into the mix. I explained that it was a little more than usual, mainly because we had the time to polish it a lot, and after a brief discussion with Bruce we thought it would be fun to post a set of the feedback notes that I sent to Bruce during the play testing sessions, and it seemed more appropriate to post them here rather than clogging up the poll!

There are three main sets of notes: Two on V1 and V2 of "Versions of the Truth" and one on V1 of "Alternate Versions" which I have collated here. There were, in addition, a few odd exchanges back and forth about some points, but it would be too much effort for me to extract these from my e-mail and they don't add a lot.

It goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that what you hear is the final version, so you (hopefully) won't be able to pick up on any of the points, because they were pretty much all changed to be in line with the feedback. Also, the timings I mention may be different to the released version, but because any of the tracks changed in length but because any leading sliences would have been cut out before mastering (I can't remember if there were any/many, but it does happen.)

I hope it's of interest and demystifies, some of what goes on during play testing!

===============================================

Versions of the Truth V1 feedback

General


Sub level seems fine – checked it on both systems with and without bass management and generally it’s good. Noticed some slightly high bass levels in individual tracks – see track notes below for details.

I found the overall mix to get a little less polished as the tracks went on, particularly noticeable on the last three or four, and it’s mainly the lead vocal that seems to suffer. It gets quite muddy, resonant and sounds a little over-driven in the last three or four tracks. May be worth checking what’s going on in the signal chain and having a closer look. This was noticeable on my main system, but, in fact, sounded okay on the second, more commercial system.

The vocal throughout could use a touch more presence, though be careful because there’s already some sibilance and resonance (noted on individual tracks below) that could be made worse by EQ.

I also thought there was a bit of variation in track level/energy – in general it seems to get louder as the album progresses. So, by the time I’m at the end I’m thinking about turning the volume down.

1.Versions of the Truth

I thought the lead vocal got a little lost after 04:40 maybe it and the backing could do with a lift after this point. There was a hint of distortion in the vocal around 04:02, maybe have a look at the signal chain.

2.Break it All

The sub was fine, in fact I think you could push it a bit more on those dives, if you wanted too.

Maybe put some of that guitar slide around 02:15 to 02:30 into the rears?

3.Demons

Lift vocal a tad (and/or a touch more presence) and I though the harmonies could be lifted a bit too.

I like the falling guitar riff around 02:10, but thought that and the answering phrase in the rears could benefit from a bit more edge and maybe a very slight lift.

Also, as a suggestion, see what it’s like with the ride cymbal (?) and maybe even the toms that start at 02:40 on the breakdown to the rears. Maybe lift the cymbal a touch.

4.Driving Like Maniacs

See if you can get that opening vocal “aaaaahhh-ahhhh” to open up a tad more in the surround field.

The lead vocals need work on this one. It needs “something” either a lift or some more presence, *BUT* (at the risk of contradiction) there’s a touch too much resonance in it too. It may be that the vocal is fighting other stuff in that frequency space where it’s resonant, if that makes sense? The bass percussion may be a touch heavy which wont help.

The choral bits sound great, but, again, see if you can open them up even more in the surround field. Big impact.

5.Leave Me Be

The vocal on this one sounded a little over-done/over driven on this one – the sibilance on the “get-you” (the “choo” sound) is a touch overdone. (again, sounds more so on my main system than the “consumer” one) Maybe detected a little distortion on the vocal too, so check the signal chain.

6.Too Many Voices

Again, I thought, the lead vocal was a little “muddy”

Anything you can do to give even more separation to the “too many voices” would work really well (it sounds great, but try and make it even more “enveloping” for maximum impact!

7.Our Mire

The vocal on this one is sounding a touch “harsh” and over driven (on my main system) eg 02:57 to 03:28.

Backing vocals could do with a lift.

Maybe do something in the surround field with that distorted guitar around 03:20

And see what it’s like with the hats around 05:30 in the rears, or just lifted a little?

8.Out of Line

At the start, the vocals/backing vocals are both in the fronts. See what it’s like with the backing vocals in the rears.

I think the guitar is hot when it comes in at 01:07

9.Stop Making Sense

Bass may be a little high on this one?

Check the balance between the lead and backing vocals

Versions of the Truth V2 feedback

Hi Bruce!

Played the V2 mixes loads over the weekend. I have some comments, but they're pretty minor. All of the main issues are fixed.

General comments

Much better than the first version, particularly the later tracks. No real major issues or showstoppers, so consider what follows as “detail”

Really enjoying the album, BTW as is my other half!

1 Versions of the Truth

Nudge the harmonies in the rears down a fraction. Less than a db, probably much less than a db. However, they’re fine after 04:50 so keep them at the same level at the end.

2 Break it All

Sub still sounds fine, so you could lift it further if you wanted to really push it.

3 Demons

I really like that ride and the toms in the rear at the breakdown, but the toms move to the front maybe just a bar or two later. Maybe try leaving them in the rears and switch them to the fronts when the vocal harmonies come in the rear at around 03:27. Not sure if that would sound better, but give it a try if you have time.

4 Driving like Maniacs

I’m finding the kick a little heavy on this, particularly the first minute or so.

7 Our Mire

There's some keys in the rear in which are a little bit hot. More so on my main system than the second system. There are multiple phrases throughout the song where they're there at the same level, but as an example 00:53, 01:00, 01:07 , in fact the earliest phrase may be before that 00:27, 34, 42, 50 then later at 02:10 etc and 04:55. Have a listen and see if you think they need nudging down, just a tiny bit.

8 Out of Line

Okay, on this track and the next two you’re using a low vocal harmony. On this one you’ve kept it in the front centre. I was going to suggest putting it in the rear, but as I have said on the feedback below for the next two tracks I’m not really finding it works in the rear – it sounds too disjointed from the main vocal.

So as a general suggestion; treat the low harmonies and high harmonies separately. The low ones should stay near the main vocal, either in the centre, or you could try bleeding them into the FL/R to give a touch of separation, but if that makes them disjointed just leave them with the main vocal. The higher harmonies sound fine in the rears.

9 Stop Making Sense

As I mentioned above, I don’t think having the low harmonies at the start and 01:20 in the rear works. Particularly on this track as the harmony itself is a bit muddy. As suggested above put it back with the main vocal or try bleeding a touch in the FL/R to give a bit of space.

Also the bass line at 01:50 is coming across slightly heavy on my bass managed system. It’s fine on the second system that doesn’t have a sub.

10 The game

Again the low harmonies aren’t really working in the rears and sound a bit muddy too. The higher harmonies work fine in the rears, so maybe split them up. Keep the low lines close to the lead and leave the high lines in the rears.

11 The Swell

The repeating keyboard “hits” or stabs in the rear maybe slightly hot. This was more noticeable on my main system with the rear speakers slightly behind.

Also, the level of the track is a touch low compared to the others, maybe 1-2 db?

Alternate Versions of the Truth V2 feedback

Hi Bruce!

wow! That's extraordinary! In a good way, I mean - completely unexpected and quite different.

No howlers that I could spot, but a few things to "tweak" if you have time. I've also got some suggested levelling, based on the first track as a reference:

1 Break it all

Levelling: Reference

Consider nudging the percussion in the rears down a db or so. It sounds *great* but a tad out of balance with the fronts?

Also; there's a lot of bass energy in there, which I know is what you're going for but it was sounding right on the edge of being too boomy on my second system. It's not the sub, it's the bass in the stereo channels. Not a major problem if you want to stick the dub sound! ;)

2 Driving

Reference: I reckon you could boost this by 3bd louder to bring it into line with the reference (even accounting for it being a quieter track.)

Again, consider nudging the percussion in the rears down a db or so. It sounds *great* but a tad out of balance with the fronts?

Also; (again) there's a lot of bass energy in there, which I know is what you're going for but it was sounding right on the edge of being too boomy on my second system. It's not the sub, it's the bass in the stereo channels. As before not a major problem if you want to stick the the dub sound! ;)

And there's a section towards the end where the percussion focus switches from the rears to the fronts and then back to the rears after a couple of bars. Is this intentional?

3 Voices

Reference: I reckon you could boost this a db louder than the reference.

Again, a lot of bass energy in the fronts.

4 Leave Me Be

Reference: I reckon you could boost this 3 dbs louder than the reference.

Bass energy was fine on this one

There's a guitar line in the RR at 03:15 that you may want to check and possibly nudge down slightly.



5 Our Mire

Reference: I reckon you could boost this 3 dbs louder than the reference.

(the tag on the .flac has the wrong track number)

Consider nudging the percussion in the rears down a db or so. It sounds *great* but a tad out of balance with the fronts?

Quite a bit of silence at the end

6 Demons

Reference: I reckon you could boost this 3 dbs louder than the reference.

Consider nudging the percussion in the rears and front down a touch - for example there's an electronic "cowbell" that comes across a bit hot.

7 Versions of the Truth

Reference: I reckon you could boost this 3 dbs louder than the reference.

Consider nudging the percussion in the rears down a db or so. It sounds *great* but a tad out of balance with the fronts?

There's a falling synth line (I think it's probably triggered percussion) at 04:10 that's pretty hot. You may want to dial that down a few db?

Again; there's a lot of bass energy in there, which I know is what you're going for but it was sounding right on the edge of being too boomy on my second system. It's not the sub, it's the bass in the stereo channels.
 

sjcorne

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So as a general suggestion; treat the low harmonies and high harmonies separately. The low ones should stay near the main vocal, either in the centre, or you could try bleeding them into the FL/R to give a touch of separation, but if that makes them disjointed just leave them with the main vocal. The higher harmonies sound fine in the rears.
You were spot-on with this. A few songs on Your Wilderness had the lower-register vocals in the rears (I think "Take Your Shot" was one?) and it sounds a bit off. The vocal panning choices and overall 'blend' in the sweet spot on this one were pretty much perfect. Maybe one of the best 5.1 mixes I've ever heard, and it seems like I have you to thank for many of my favorite surround moments (vocal envelopment in "Too Many Voices", ride cymbal popping up in the rears midway through "Demons", etc). Great read!
 

Neil Palfreyman

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You were spot-on with this. A few songs on Your Wilderness had the lower-register vocals in the rears (I think "Take Your Shot" was one?) and it sounds a bit off. The vocal panning choices and overall 'blend' in the sweet spot on this one were pretty much perfect. Maybe one of the best 5.1 mixes I've ever heard, and it seems like I have you to thank for many of my favorite surround moments (vocal envelopment in "Too Many Voices", ride cymbal popping up in the rears midway through "Demons", etc). Great read!
Bruce has had those synchronised multi-part low register/high register harmonies absolutely nailed for quite some time, on both TPT and his own solo albums. It's a bit of a "signature" sound. In the stereo mix (which is done first) they often sound so perfect that it's possible to miss that they're actually two or three separate tracks!

The challenge with the 5.1 mix is trying to give them some space in the surround field, without breaking the magic and making them sound too disjointed. I was really pleased with the effect of treating the low and high register harmonies differently. It's such an obvious solution in retrospect, but clearly I missed it on Your Wilderness, but I'm pretty sure we were under more time pressure on that one.

I should add that I don't want to take away any credit from Bruce for the awesome job he does on his surround mixes: 99% of the mix and treatment decisions are his, and he's superbly good at it. My job is to provide a fresh and objective pair of ears, make sure the mix is well balanced in the surround field with no channels too hot, make sure it sounds right on two (very different) surround systems, and suggest the odd tweak here and there. So, for example, "Too Many Voices" was already very enveloping in the V1 mix. I just pushed for a little more opening up and space in it and then checked that it hadn't gone too far in the V2. It's one of my favourite tracks; the lyrics are so relevant for today.
 

ar surround

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He who hesitates is lost...I just ordered the stand-alone Blu-ray from ImportCDs, but 1 day too late as it is now on backorder. Hopefully, they get more copies within a reasonable amount of time; but their price remains at just $13 and change for this item.
 

Audiowannabee

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splinter7

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I hope you guys enjoy the release and I am looking forward to reading your comments on the mix.

It has been a strong year for surround but I think this is the best sounding mix of the year (soundscape + fidelity).

Note: I am trying to leave song content out of that opinion.
 

ar surround

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Just got my shipping notice from Import CDs for the standalone Blu-ray for $13.44. And now it is listed for $12.77:


Hey, I got ripped off! LOL
Well, they may have gotten me for 77 cents but at least they didn’t steal my pineapple! GROOOOOOOAN....

:SB:SB:SB:LB:LB:LB:SG:SG:SG

Nor did the get @Snood s bananas.
 

AYanguas

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I have watched this evening the Nothing But The Truth streaming concert.

Very good. Dark studio environment but video shots very focused on the performers. Very good video and sound. I upmixed the stereo with DSU, and the immersion and some sounds to the surrounds and top rears were good enough.

Gavin Harrison spectacular as always, with some zenith shots as in some other Youtube videos.

I wish we had Blu-ray and Bruce started mixing in Dolby Atmos.
 

alansanchez86

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Gavin has mikes behind him, so multichannel Blu-ray coming?
View attachment 66388

Fun fact: the video is hosted on Vimeo
They are just overheads mikes, which capture the cymbals. That fact doesnt translate to multichannel, though it's high likely that if given a Bluray of this, it will be in that format, at least.
 

fcormier

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They are just overheads mikes, which capture the cymbals. That fact doesnt translate to multichannel, though it's high likely that if given a Bluray of this, it will be in that format, at least.
I know about overhead mics, but I thought that since they were lower and more rearward than the usual placement...
1619210506584.png
 
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