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REM Monster Blu-Ray mastering issue

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jsulzinger

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There are now multiple confirmed incidences of the Monster DTSMA 5.1 with almost non existent center channel. The original DVD-A has a very active center channel. This is either a different mix or a mastering snafu. For anyone with the blu-ray please respond with where you ordered the disc from and if you are experiencing the low center channel issue.

Mine was purchsed from Amazon USA.
 

Cheezmo

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There are now multiple confirmed incidences of the Monster DTSMA 5.1 with almost non existent center channel. The original DVD-A has a very active center channel. This is either a different mix or a mastering snafu. For anyone with the blu-ray please respond with where you ordered the disc from and if you are experiencing the low center channel issue.

Mine was purchsed from Amazon USA.
Just compared my rips and it is quite obvious. The whole mix is quieter (and more dynamic) but the center and sub channels are almost nonexistent on the new blu-ray.
 

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Cheezmo

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Wow, thank God I didn't buy this....and I was close.
Well, if the content was simply moved to the other channels (or was unnecessarily loud in the DVD-Audio version), it isn't a horrible thing. Some further comparison is in order. On first listen I was pleased with the improved dynamics and didn't notice an obvious lack of bass but didn't do a side by side comparison.
 

Strilo

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Yeah I guess I will need to do another, serious listening. I just flipped through it quickly at lower volume.
 

~dave~~wave~

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Just compared my rips and it is quite obvious. The whole mix is quieter (and more dynamic) but the center and sub channels are almost nonexistent on the new blu-ray.

Spun the BluRay again today and continue to be well-pleased. (Had the CD for 25 years, never heard the DVD)
The quieter mastering makes it crankable, love the immersive guitar from all corners.

Halfway through *69 I remembered this thread, as I noticed strong focused center content.
Walked to the center speaker- nearly imperceptible.
From the sweet spot- phantom center in wide discrete front sound field

Surround Master Chucky seldom misses a chance to condemn center channel for music as the devil's work.
This mix to me makes a strong case for that point of view. YMMV

The book still credits the 5.1 mix to our sainted Scheiner.
I don't recall examples, but aren't there other mixes where he's quieted the center at least part of the time?
Similarly, there's so much bass in the fronts that the LFE is subtle, but noticeable by its absence if turned off.

Cheezmo's waveforms are enlightening for mastering, but apples to oranges for mix?
If the vertical scales level-matched, what would we see?
Obviously more than "flat line" sub & center.

My two cents to confirm:
  • Got the same mix from Amazon US as the OP (y)
  • Don't perceive a snafu :)
  • Will follow further analysis and discussion with interest :coffee:
 
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Strilo

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I need to get into an REM mood again. I fixate on music for weeks and months much of the time. Right now I am stuck on Keane. Next time I swing around to REM I'm gonna crank this blu ray.
 

dobyblue

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Did they say who did the remix and the liner notes are wrong (they list ES right?), or are they suggesting ES did a different 5.1 mix for this one. Sounds suspect to me for what it's worth.
 

~dave~~wave~

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I asked but they were not forthcoming with who the mix was done by
Thanks for the officially-sourced and attributed confirmation of a new mix.

I thought this was thoroughly hashed over in the other thread in November, but looking back it was left unresolved, no follow-up waveform comparison.
There was a DR analysis that appeared to demonstrate clear differences, beyond listener perception.

Scott Litt tweaked Scheiner's DVD-A mix, supervised a more dynamic mastering, or ??? :unsure:
Litt certainly was lit about re-doing his stereo mix in a radical departure for the anniversary blu-ray.

R.E.M. "Monster" (5CD/Blu-Ray 25th anniversary edition arriving in November!)
 

sjcorne

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I just spent a few minutes A/B’ing “Bang and Blame” on both versions. My conclusion is that the 5.1 mix is the same, but the mastering is very different.

The visual resemblance pretty much confirms it’s the same mix, but if you don’t buy into the “waveform whispering” business (stealing that line from @fredblue), just listen to them back-to-back and you’ll notice all the instruments are in the exact same place - drums/bass/lead vocal upfront, lead guitar in right rear, backing vocals in the rears, and the ending slowly pans from front-to-rear.

BangBlame.gif


The first thing I noticed when comparing the two is that the Blu-ray is roughly 5-6 dB quieter than the old DVD-A. Level-match them and you’ll notice the peaks on the front channels of the Blu-Ray are much more defined, indicating that the DVD-A was compressed and/or limited to some degree.

Fronts_LevelMatch.jpg


Theres also some kind of timing difference on that last section that pans front-to-rear - not sure how/why that happened?

The next thing I noticed is that the center and LFE channels are dropped to the point of being practically inaudible on the Blu-Ray. On the old DVD-A, the center channel doesn’t contribute much to the presentation - it functions more as a ‘fill’ between the front left & right, as is typical on an Elliot Scheiner 5.1 mix. There's nothing in there that isn't also in the front left & right.

On the DVD-A, the center channel is generally something like 3-5 dB quieter than the front left and right channels. On the Blu-Ray, it’s a whopping 20-25 dB quieter than the fronts! To match the center channel/fronts balance on the old DVD-A (which sounds about right to me), you’d have to boost the center channel anywhere from 15-20 dB. I would assume the same goes for the LFE as well.

Fronts_C_LevelMatch.jpg
 
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