Surround Albums to AVOID!!!

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jimfisheye

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How about 90% of the live multichannel discs. Just because the music is coming from the front during the show doesn't mean the mix at home has to. You can't truly recreate the experience of being there, so take a chance and do something special with the mix. The worst is probably the Rolling Stones Stripped box set. It sounds like you're sitting in the front row and there is cement for a back wall and it just echoes back at you. Horrible. Horrible. Horrible.
We all want a discrete mix. (I do anyway. Sounds like you do too.)

When a live show comes around that only has a live mix 2 track from the mixing board and then someone finds an audience recording, I'll happily take that in board vs room quad. It isn't ideal. But it's better than either recording alone and it's the best option we have left.

Now when there are multitracks and someone makes a stereo mix + just audience in the rear, that's completely inexcusable! (I'm sure this is what you are talking about too.) I have to defend the ones where no multitrack exists though.

Is it only 10% of live surround mixes that are discrete? You might be right about that unfortunately.

It can even get more desperate sometimes. How about two audience recordings - one very near the stage and one back in the room - to substitute for the board feed and professional pair of mics in the room? The "bootleg" version of the 'band in front audience in rear' approach. And it's extra frustrating because the original live mix was actually discrete quadraphonic that never even had a quad board tape made let alone a multitrack.
 

weekendtoy

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The first one that comes to mind for me is the DualDisc of Los Lonely Boys self titled album. Don’t get me wrong I love this album but the Dolby Digital 5.1 version on the DualDisc is horrendous. Even with the rears turned up 5 dbs I still can’t hear anything coming from back there. I don’t know why they even bothered.
Love the Los Lonely Boys and this album is one of my all-time favorites, but that said...

I have my hi-rez and surround discs on one spinner rack and my CD's on another. This is the only 'surround disc' that I've kept filed with the CD's. The surround mix is so terrible that I would never reach for it. The CD side, on the other hand, is pretty good.
 

weekendtoy

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Dokken: Erase the Slate

I really like this album and Rob Beach really tears it up on guitar after George Lynch's departure.

This Silverline release is 2.0 without an option to actually hear it in 2.0. It's not really even 2.0 as everything is anchored right in front of you. Might as well just be playing through the center channel. Turn up the surrounds enough though, and you will find the 'surround mix' is only double stereo with not even a trace of discreetness. To top things off the bass is muddy and bloated.

 

halbroome

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Have you tried the Dolby 5.1 version of it yet? Most -- including me -- would argue that is much better than the DTS version.

True, it somehow doesn't sound like the original -- but we didn't want it to, did we? -- yet I think if we had heard the surround version first, we'd like it! The Dolby 5.1 grew on me like a fungus 8')

I so agree about Moody Blues' "In Search of the Lost Chord". Long ago, when they released most of the band's quad mixes, I'd been so disappointed to hear that the original multitracks of that one album were lost. Then a surround mix surfaced, and I was so delighted... I hoped it was a modern surround remix with less reverb. Then I heard it. Both its fidelity and use of the surround field are terrible, and all that messy, Spectorish reverb is still there. I haven't tried the stereo mix that comes with it, so I'm glad you said something. I'll need to dig that up... somewhere.
 

ar surround

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Have you tried the Dolby 5.1 version of it yet? Most -- including me -- would argue that is much better than the DTS version.

True, it somehow doesn't sound like the original -- but we didn't want it to, did we? -- yet I think if we had heard the surround version first, we'd like it! The Dolby 5.1 grew on me like a fungus 8')
I don’t like the ISOTLC in either 5.1 codec for the reasons I posted in the forum. The Jakko stereo remix played through the Surround Master blows them both away.
 

MarkerB

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Have you tried the Dolby 5.1 version of it yet? Most -- including me -- would argue that is much better than the DTS version.
Yes, I had heard that mentioned before. However, I compared the first two tracks in both AC3 and DTS formats, and my ears really can't tell the difference. The DTS is louder, as usual.

Still... I now revamp my evaluation of the 5.1 mix. I'm liking it more, upon a new listen. I think my expectations were very high the first time. By golly, I wish they released it in a lossless format. I guess everyone here already knows that when remixed with modern equipment, often the fidelity increases immensely (Steve Wilson's "Yes" mixes, for example). Why then kill it by releasing it only on lossy formats from the 90s? I know the answer, but I don't like it.

I did notice a lot of differences between the 5.1 mix and the 2.0, some of it fun... and some of it felt sloppy.

Sloppy example: As the echoey intro guitar in "Departure" rings out, it is muted just before the orchestra hit that begins the spoken words. On the original stereo mix, the guitar sustain continues right into the orchestra hit. Abruptly muting a naturally fading instrument just sounds bad to me.

Fun example: "Departure" reaches its crescendo and Graeme Edge starts laughing manically. As the rhythm guitar of "See Saw" starts, there seems to be extra laughing that wasn't in the original mix. Not as smoothly done, but it's nice to occasionally hear something you didn't before. I think that's part of our fun with surround mixes, whether it's because of the separation, or because it's simply because the engineer brought it out.

Anyway, as usual, I digress.
 

ar surround

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Yes, I had heard that mentioned before. However, I compared the first two tracks in both AC3 and DTS formats, and my ears really can't tell the difference. The DTS is louder, as usual.

Still... I now revamp my evaluation of the 5.1 mix. I'm liking it more, upon a new listen. I think my expectations were very high the first time. By golly, I wish they released it in a lossless format. I guess everyone here already knows that when remixed with modern equipment, often the fidelity increases immensely (Steve Wilson's "Yes" mixes, for example). Why then kill it by releasing it only on lossy formats from the 90s? I know the answer, but I don't like it.

I did notice a lot of differences between the 5.1 mix and the 2.0, some of it fun... and some of it felt sloppy.

Sloppy example: As the echoey intro guitar in "Departure" rings out, it is muted just before the orchestra hit that begins the spoken words. On the original stereo mix, the guitar sustain continues right into the orchestra hit. Abruptly muting a naturally fading instrument just sounds bad to me.

Fun example: "Departure" reaches its crescendo and Graeme Edge starts laughing manically. As the rhythm guitar of "See Saw" starts, there seems to be extra laughing that wasn't in the original mix. Not as smoothly done, but it's nice to occasionally hear something you didn't before. I think that's part of our fun with surround mixes, whether it's because of the separation, or because it's simply because the engineer brought it out.

Anyway, as usual, I digress.
I’ll briefly repeat my complaints here:

Departure: Big chord near the beginning is reduced too low in volume.

Ride My Seesaw: Completely and utterly deballed...a disgusting hack job.

Voices In The Sky: Sounds like a blanket was thrown over it.

Overall fidelity is poor compared to Jakko’s 2.0 redux on the same disc.
 

musicmemorabiliashoppellc

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Unfortunately Yessongs is a terrible sounding music video. I don't understand why they can't use the multi-tracks for this show
I have the 2017 Japan 7" SACD/Hybrid release of Yessongs and it is simply AWESOME....the best it's ever sounded, so why they couldn't use the sources they used for that version, I have no idea either
 

ProgRules

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There's only a couple of songs that are from the same show between the Yessongs album and the video. And the album was subject to a lot of post-production. Unfortunate, but it just wouldn't work.

Such a shame that the audio sucks for that video; they were on fire, at their peak. But early Yes videos always had troubles. Live in Philly is terrible and QPR has poorly balanced audio for a lot of that show.

Just too much magic to be captured on celluloid...
 

musicmemorabiliashoppellc

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There's only a couple of songs that are from the same show between the Yessongs album and the video. And the album was subject to a lot of post-production. Unfortunate, but it just wouldn't work.

Such a shame that the audio sucks for that video; they were on fire, at their peak. But early Yes videos always had troubles. Live in Philly is terrible and QPR has poorly balanced audio for a lot of that show.

Just too much magic to be captured on celluloid...
That's good to know but very sad/maddening at the same time:eek::mad::cry:
 

jimfisheye

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I'm still curious what the original quad mix for the limited 1974 (is that the right year?) theater release sounded like. I mean, we probably have a good idea it sounded pretty messed up! These were all very limited theater-only releases with all kinds of quality control issues. Based on the Floyd Pompeii quad that I'm very familiar with anyway. A common quote from reviews of these films in the theater back in the day was "loud and distorted". My sense is the Floyd's quad audio was a significant level above all the other quad concert films and the rest might just be better off being lost. But I still want to hear it for myself!
 

musicmemorabiliashoppellc

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I'm still curious what the original quad mix for the limited 1974 (is that the right year?) theater release sounded like. I mean, we probably have a good idea it sounded pretty messed up! These were all very limited theater-only releases with all kinds of quality control issues. Based on the Floyd Pompeii quad that I'm very familiar with anyway. A common quote from reviews of these films in the theater back in the day was "loud and distorted". My sense is the Floyd's quad audio was a significant level above all the other quad concert films and the rest might just be better off being lost. But I still want to hear it for myself!
What title you talking about?
 

sjcorne

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I got Usher's 8701 DVD-A in the mail yesterday and I'm sorry to report it's one to avoid. Brickwalled front channels, and the rears sound like basically everything in the fronts (except the drums) at half-volume with some added reverb. Very disappointing as there's all kinds of layering and sound effects to play with on this album.
 

ProgRules

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I don´t get the trashy quality of Yessongs the LP...first , it was recorded by Eddy Offord, and then we have the Progeny CD boxset which is from the same tour/gear/crew and it sounds heavenly!!!!
From wikipedia:

"The Fragile and Close to the Edge tours had producer and engineer Eddy Offord travelling with the band as their live sound mixer who operated a sound system developed by the Clair Brothers. In addition, co-founder Roy Clair assisted with the operation of the system, and Geoff Haslam was hired as the recording engineer alongside assistant Mike Dunn to work on Yessongs.[1] As Offord was in charge of the band's sound on stage, he could not operate the recording equipment at the same time. This resulted in recordings that he was disappointed with as they were substandard. "

The ironic thing about the difficulties capturing live Yes w/ good fidelity is that their live shows always sounded amazing.
 
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