"Quiet" Quads (mostly LPs) - Any SQ Encoded?

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quadaholic

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Why shocked? The recording was always SQ encoded it wasn't specially encoded for the CD release. I'm surprised that there was a CD release at all, but checking Discogs it looks like an Australia only release that was quickly withdrawn due to copyright issues with EMI.
I need to dig out my copy of the Bowie thing. I have a cd, but I thought it was only the vhs version that was supposed to be encoded.
 

fizzywiggs41

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I had both versions of the LP in my hands at different times.

I got the first one when it was released, but it actually belonged to the audio store where I worked. I made a reel to reel recording of it and played it repeatedly through my QS decoder.

Later I was DJ-ing a party using a Dolby Surround system and someone wanted to hear "Pinball Wizard" from the album. All of the 4-channel effects were gone. It had to be a different mix.

The two versions were visually indistinguishable. I didn't know about the master marks in the lead-out area of the record then, and I didn't have the original to compare it to.

I lost the reel version when the oxide fell off the tape. Every reel I had of that brand shed its oxide, so I lost most of what I had recorded on reels.

I do have the DVD of the movie. It has 3 choices for the soundtrack:
- Original quintaphonic
- Dolby Surround
- Dolby Digital 5.0

Since my player and receiver together can handle only Dolby Surround (and other matrix), I use that. But it sounds like I remember the first copy of the album sounding.

(Before you ask, the player has only RCA stereo, Composite, RF, and HDMI, while the receiver has 2 ch and 6ch RCA and SPDIF.)

I have both the original U.S . Polydor vinyl copy which was purchased from Sound Concepts , Peoria , USA
And the original Canadian Polydor vinyl copy , purchased around the same time as the U.S. record . That would be in 1975 .

Additionally I have the Sony Columbia Pictures bluray , which has the Quintaphonic mix 5.0 , and a newly mixed 5.1 edition .
FWIW , John Mosely of "Quintaphonic" fame is credited in the liner notes. See pic.


And fwiw Billboard's "Dealer Demo Quads" recommended the track , "The Acid Queen" w/Tina Turner.

20210813_095721.jpg
 

quadaholic

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so they skipped the DVD. Figures, as that's what I have.
I think I should try to find the audio from the VHS or the Beta. I just downloaded a couple of tracks from the 2018 parlaphone cd and those seem to be pretty stereo. If there is anything in the back channels it would have to be ambience only.
 

fizzywiggs41

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so they skipped the DVD. Figures, as that's what I have.

No they didn't , at least not all of the Serious Moonlight dvd's. So don't despair .
I believe the very First One's issued contained an lpcm stereo track which would retain the Tate SQ mix.

But that's not what I have on my dvd copy , sadly.

I got the "shitty" dvd with the 5.1 upmix of the stereo SQ track , in a crappy surround mix of both DTS and DD Surround ?? , which sounds terrible . WTF were they thinking ..... And no lpcm stereo SQ track. Bit of a big "piss off" I think.
 

quadaholic

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No they didn't , at least not all of the Serious Moonlight dvd's. So don't despair .
I believe the very First One's issued contained an lpcm stereo track which would retain the Tate SQ mix.

But that's not what I have on my dvd copy , sadly.

I got the "shitty" dvd with the 5.1 upmix of the stereo SQ track , in a crappy surround mix of both DTS and DD Surround ?? , which sounds terrible . WTF were they thinking ..... And no lpcm stereo SQ track. Bit of a big "piss off" I think.
sounds like a rip of the laserdisc audio might be the best bet. I just did a handle of "needledrops" of some youtube clips and a couple seem like they might have the encoding on them, but still seems like mostly ambience. And of course the clips make no reference to what the source was. oops.
 

fizzywiggs41

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sounds like a rip of the laserdisc audio might be the best bet. I just did a handle of "needledrops" of some youtube clips and a couple seem like they might have the encoding on them, but still seems like mostly ambience. And of course the clips make no reference to what the source was. oops.

Try "Cat People" . Just listened to it and Carlos Alomar's guitar provides a great workout for front to back and side corner to side corner.
Plus good news , I do have a stereo lpcm track (SQ TATE) on my dvd .
That song I compared with both cd and dvd . The dvd is a little more defined but I found the cd as no slouch , not ambient. More of an encompassing surround , with a quiet center channel.
Still I would have liked for the dvd to have a discrete mix in 4.0 to compare , or at the very least 5.0 .

BTW what type of decoder are you using ? I'm using a Fosgate 101a .
 

quadaholic

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Try "Cat People" . Just listened to it and Carlos Alomar's guitar provides a great workout for front to back and side corner to side corner.
Plus good news , I do have a stereo lpcm track (SQ TATE) on my dvd .
That song I compared with both cd and dvd . The dvd is a little more defined but I found the cd as no slouch , not ambient. More of an encompassing surround , with a quiet center channel.
Still I would have liked for the dvd to have a discrete mix in 4.0 to compare , or at the very least 5.0 .

BTW what type of decoder are you using ? I'm using a Fosgate 101a .
I just use the compooter. I like decoding them myself for the brain exercise. Plus, I like being able to pick apart the stereo files. that's very cool that you have a Tate. I should go back and check my dvd to make sure I didn't miss the encoded track.
 

kfbkfb

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So...has anyone compared the QS decoded Tommy soundtrack LP with the 5 ch soundtrack from the Blu-ray (mainly, LB and RB [QS decoded] and LB and RB from the Blu-ray)?


Kirk Bayne
 

quadaholic

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So...has anyone compared the QS decoded Tommy soundtrack LP with the 5 ch soundtrack from the Blu-ray (mainly, LB and RB [QS decoded] and LB and RB from the Blu-ray)?


Kirk Bayne
I would say "yes I have" to a certain degree. So far I think they are nothing alike, but I am not sure if I have found a "rip" that is supposed to be honest to gosh QS. The movie audio has a lot more of the sound efx mixed in, plus very dry and up front vocals, while the audio on the soundtrack album contains much less of this. The soundtrack album rips I have checked out so far seem very much stereo only, but I am not enough of an expert to say that there aren't QS versions of this album that I haven't found yet (If anybody has any hints on where to find these versions, please pm, as I'm always interested in learning new stuff). QS can be very confusing, as doing a QS decode of a plain stereo track often sounds pretty cool, but doesn't make it QS ( I have made this mistake before). From what I understand, QS relies on a good deal of 180 degree and -90 degree phase info for the back channels, which the soundtrack albums show virtually none of. there should be a good deal of this stuff, as the movie audio is pretty active with the back channels from what I remember. Once again, I am not the end all, but that is what I have found so far. To anyone else on the forum, feel free to correct me, as I don't mind being shown to be wrong. I'm more interested in the learning curve, to be honest.
 

atrocity

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The movie audio has a lot more of the sound efx mixed in, plus very dry and up front vocals, while the audio on the soundtrack album contains much less of this.
Yeah, with this as with other titles I'm always extremely skeptical of the occasional claim that "Well, the movie was mixed in [QS, Dolby Surround, Whatever], so the soundtrack album is encoded too!" A mix that would make sense to someone watching the movie is not necessarily going to make sense as an audio-only experience, in part because of the sound effects you mention. In most cases, a soundtrack album would have to have been explicitly encoded after creating the unique album mix. It seems...unlikely.

It's hardly just an issue with quad material--going way back there was never a certainty that even the basic performances on a "soundtrack" album would be the same as what actually appeared in/on the film, let alone the mixes. One infamous example is The Rocky Horror Picture Show where the original film release was strictly mono. After a few years when its cult status went through the roof, the studio created film prints with a stereo soundtrack that allegedly just replaced the film versions of the songs with the album versions, resulting in notable changes as well as sync issues because they weren't the same recordings.

As may already have been mentioned in relation to Tommy, the original QS encoded 35mm mag tracks wouldn't have been useful at all for a quad album release because the left-right stereo tracks that carried the encoding would not have contained any of the center channel audio. That isn't proof that there were no encoded albums released, but in my head it is evidence that "The movie was encoded, so the album must be" argument is spurious.
 

quadaholic

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Yeah, with this as with other titles I'm always extremely skeptical of the occasional claim that "Well, the movie was mixed in [QS, Dolby Surround, Whatever], so the soundtrack album is encoded too!" A mix that would make sense to someone watching the movie is not necessarily going to make sense as an audio-only experience, in part because of the sound effects you mention. In most cases, a soundtrack album would have to have been explicitly encoded after creating the unique album mix. It seems...unlikely.

It's hardly just an issue with quad material--going way back there was never a certainty that even the basic performances on a "soundtrack" album would be the same as what actually appeared in/on the film, let alone the mixes. One infamous example is The Rocky Horror Picture Show where the original film release was strictly mono. After a few years when its cult status went through the roof, the studio created film prints with a stereo soundtrack that allegedly just replaced the film versions of the songs with the album versions, resulting in notable changes as well as sync issues because they weren't the same recordings.

As may already have been mentioned in relation to Tommy, the original QS encoded 35mm mag tracks wouldn't have been useful at all for a quad album release because the left-right stereo tracks that carried the encoding would not have contained any of the center channel audio. That isn't proof that there were no encoded albums released, but in my head it is evidence that "The movie was encoded, so the album must be" argument is spurious.
All good points. The only wrench I could add to the discussion is that I think there were multiple audio formats made for the film, just to accommodate all of the different setups that movie theaters had at the time. I think I remember reading that there might have been a plain old QS version made in addition to the "Quint" one. Having said all that, I still don't claim to be the end all, and am interested to hear from any folks that think they have a QS encoded soundtrack. One final thing I would mention- the song "Sensation" sounds like a "spliced" mix, and may actually have soundtrack audio for the first minute. and then transitions to a more refined balance for the rest of the song. The first part has a few of the movie sound exf in it, and they all disappear after what seems to be the edit point. Just a side note...
 

jaybird100

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All good points. The only wrench I could add to the discussion is that I think there were multiple audio formats made for the film, just to accommodate all of the different setups that movie theaters had at the time. I think I remember reading that there might have been a plain old QS version made in addition to the "Quint" one. Having said all that, I still don't claim to be the end all, and am interested to hear from any folks that think they have a QS encoded soundtrack. One final thing I would mention- the song "Sensation" sounds like a "spliced" mix, and may actually have soundtrack audio for the first minute. and then transitions to a more refined balance for the rest of the song. The first part has a few of the movie sound exf in it, and they all disappear after what seems to be the edit point. Just a side note...
From my own experience with the"Tommy" soundtrack LP, having played it through the Surround Master, I'd say there is definitely QS encoding here. Some of the effects are too good to be merely synthesized.
 

quadaholic

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From my own experience with the"Tommy" soundtrack LP, having played it through the Surround Master, I'd say there is definitely QS encoding here. Some of the effects are too good to be merely synthesized.
Well, I'm all ears. Let me know which version you have so I can find a "rip" and check it out. As far as your SM experience goes, running just about ANYTHING through a QS decoder is going to sound cool. I'm not saying this is what you heard, but I'm only mentioning this as I have fooled myself before when checking out music that was mentioned as being encoded. In any case, if you could forward any info you have, as well as cuts that seem to be very "active", that would be great to take a listen to.
 
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atrocity

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All good points. The only wrench I could add to the discussion is that I think there were multiple audio formats made for the film, just to accommodate all of the different setups that movie theaters had at the time. I think I remember reading that there might have been a plain old QS version made in addition to the "Quint" one.
I can't claim to know for sure, but that's unlikely because any theater that could run magnetic stereo already had everything they needed for Quintaphonic except the QS decoder. Remember that in 1975, optical Dolby Stereo wasn't really a thing, so theaters equipped for stereo had already sprung for the magnetic "penthouses" (magnetic heads are mounted on top of the projector and read before the picture, which means that you hear a splice before you see it, exactly the opposite of optical tracks), the multichannel amplification, speakers, etc.

As I understand it (i.e., I could be completely wrong), the Quintaphonic setup didn't use track 4 (the mono surround or "effects") channel at all, but it was still recorded on the prints. That allowed theaters that didn't spring for QS to run it as standard 4-track LCRS while the same prints could be run as Quint in theaters that installed QS.

Of course, in that case the audio that was meant to be heard only the surrounds would not have been removed from the front channels, so I'm not sure what that implies as far as what, if anything, was recorded on track 4.

I know at least one of the DVD releases from years back makes mention of Dolby Stereo prints, but I'd have to guess that's either an error or refers to a reissue. Or confusion because the magnetic prints (all? some?) were apparently Dolbyized.

Having said all that, I still don't claim to be the end all, and am interested to hear from any folks that think they have a QS encoded soundtrack. One final thing I would mention- the song "Sensation" sounds like a "spliced" mix, and may actually have soundtrack audio for the first minute. and then transitions to a more refined balance for the rest of the song. The first part has a few of the movie sound exf in it, and they all disappear after what seems to be the edit point. Just a side note...
I really need to listen to that again. I enjoy the original Who album and really like the overblown orchestral version and enjoy the movie as a visual overload, but I've honestly just never been a fan of the soundtrack album. I like synthesizers just fine, but they sound out of place to me there and as a standalone audio experience the album just doesn't really work for me.
 

quadaholic

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I can't claim to know for sure, but that's unlikely because any theater that could run magnetic stereo already had everything they needed for Quintaphonic except the QS decoder. Remember that in 1975, optical Dolby Stereo wasn't really a thing, so theaters equipped for stereo had already sprung for the magnetic "penthouses" (magnetic heads are mounted on top of the projector and read before the picture, which means that you hear a splice before you see it, exactly the opposite of optical tracks), the multichannel amplification, speakers, etc.

As I understand it (i.e., I could be completely wrong), the Quintaphonic setup didn't use track 4 (the mono surround or "effects") channel at all, but it was still recorded on the prints. That allowed theaters that didn't spring for QS to run it as standard 4-track LCRS while the same prints could be run as Quint in theaters that installed QS.

Of course, in that case the audio that was meant to be heard only the surrounds would not have been removed from the front channels, so I'm not sure what that implies as far as what, if anything, was recorded on track 4.

I know at least one of the DVD releases from years back makes mention of Dolby Stereo prints, but I'd have to guess that's either an error or refers to a reissue. Or confusion because the magnetic prints (all? some?) were apparently Dolbyized.



I really need to listen to that again. I enjoy the original Who album and really like the overblown orchestral version and enjoy the movie as a visual overload, but I've honestly just never been a fan of the soundtrack album. I like synthesizers just fine, but they sound out of place to me there and as a standalone audio experience the album just doesn't really work for me.
Thanks for all this info. I thought I had read about multiple audio versions of the movie being made from some old article I had seen posted somewhere, but my memory is not always the greatest. I love hearing about how all this old tech worked! Keep it coming!
 

atrocity

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Thanks for all this info. I thought I had read about multiple audio versions of the movie being made from some old article I had seen posted somewhere, but my memory is not always the greatest. I love hearing about how all this old tech worked! Keep it coming!
I finally found my DVD of the movie, which has "Soundtrack Notes on the Restoration of the Quintaphonic Sound for TOMMY". It claims, in part, that "Though released in quintaphonic sound, magnetic recordings for TOMMY were also created in 4-track (left, center, right, surround) stereo, 2-track Dolby stereo and a variety of mono formats. To further compound the evaluation process, quintaphonic sound used DBX noise reduction while the other sets used Dolby A encoding or no noise reduction at all."

I'm torn between thinking I'd have to be an arrogant jerk to argue with the guy who theoretically was there and finding much of what's said questionable. Just for one, "a variety of mono formats" seems really odd. Is he really trying to say there were multiple mono mixes when any mono house would have simply run a standard optical track? If so, why? And if 2-track Dolby stereo mixes/prints were created, when? Certainly not in 1975, at least not for general distribution. And isn't calling it "2-track" both accurate and misleading at the same time? Were the quintaphonic prints DBX encoded or just the pre-print masters? If the former, why do the end credits make a big deal about QS/Quintaphonic and Dolby ("Making films sound better") but not DBX? Or is DBX credited and I've just forgotten?

I'm reading this back and fear it might sound like I'm badgering someone, but I really am just genuinely curious and confused.

This also reminds me that I've never been clear on what standard procedure was for pre-Dolby 4-track films that were mastered for video. The original Laserdisc of Pink Floyd at Pompeii when played back in DPL throws stuff to the rears at the same points where I remember that happening in the theaters. Was it routine to actually encode 4-track into Dolby for videos? Is that what the article is actually referring to when it mentions "2-track Dolby stereo"?

My brain hurts!
 

par4ken

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Was it routine to actually encode 4-track into Dolby for videos? Is that what the article is actually referring to when it mentions "2-track Dolby stereo"?
Dolby Stereo and Dolby Surround (original version) are the same thing. Four tracks encoded to stereo L, R,C and S.
 

atrocity

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Dolby Stereo and Dolby Surround (original version) are the same thing. Four tracks encoded to stereo L, R,C and S.
I get that, but it's also why I'm confused. Pre-Dolby theatrical "stereo" was almost always 4-track LCRS. So, in the days when we had stereo home video but not discrete multichannel, a decision would have had to be made in regard to those LCRS soundtracks. What I'm wondering is if they routinely ran them through Dolby Stereo encoding (which, in the early days, would have been in very few homes) or just mixed the center and surround tracks equally into the standard L-R stereo tracks.

I mentioned situations where Dolby decoding of films not shown theatrically with Dolby tracks yielded what sounded like the correct results, but was that intentional or did it just work out well by accident with some material?

There's still a version of the same dilemma today: Before split surrounds came along, 6-track 70mm was usually five discrete channels behind the screen (screens were bigger then!) and mono surround. We have discrete multichannel at home now, but we still don't have center-left and center-right. So what's the proper way to combine the five front channels into three? Though that's probably something that only pops up rarely, given that 70mm 6-track films were usually also given 35mm 4-track releases.

Obviously this is not a concern for later films originally released in Dolby Stereo since ALL the two-channel tracks would have already been encoded. That was even one of the selling points for home Dolby decoders: The surround tracks were just there by default on Beta, VHS, CED and Laser.
 
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