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Surround mix style - what do you prefer?

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J. PUPSTER

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Ultimately, it seems you really need to just listen to different mixes and form your own opinions (I assume the whole band is involved?)

Let's not forget the roll of Producer in the studio/live settings can also have an effect.

Don't know if you've checked out the Polls here much yet, but they can be a great resource for detailed opinions and breakdowns of the mix. Perhaps go through the Poll listings starting at the top tier titles and find artists you like / feel similar to; and read what the forum is saying.


Also, many titles have a pre-release/post release thread that a lot of analysis is posted up (like this one 45 pages and counting):

 
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ubertrout

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Sounds good Jim; maybe some of these Tacet recordings have four corner string quartet.
@ubertrout would probably know


Those are the main ones in aggressive surround I think? There was some discussion of a Columbia recording of the Budapest String Quartet in Dvorak that utilized that approach, but it hasn't been reissued on SACD.
 

Doug G.

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After all these years, I still get a thrill from different parts coming out of the different speakers, particularly the back speakers. Like the lead guitar in "You're So Vain" in the right back, Robbie Krieger's solo in "Moonlight Drive" in the left back, the swooping break in "Hello, I Love You", and Morrison's whispered echo of the lyrics to "Rider's On the Storm" in the back channels. I love it.

Just the ambiance type things gets boring for me. Not that it's bad or anything.

Doug
 
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Doug G.

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ELP Concert(s) - ATMOS (maybe no remix needed) | QuadraphonicQuad
^^^
I don't know if any performer/group does anything like this now.


Confession time - I like the gimmick laden mixes, an early example:
Hugo in Wonderland Quad (CD-4 and DV SACD).


Kirk Bayne
Hugo Montenegro was an arrangement genius, in my opinion. All his CD-4 records are incredible. "Me and my Arrow" is a particular favorite of mine. He died way too young (heavy smoker?) which I know is kind of a trite phrase but, there you have it.

Doug
 

Sal1950

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Just the ambiance type things gets boring for me. Not that it's bad or anything.
I'm with you. I spent all that money and did all that work, I want to hear them working. LOL
Same for Atmos, I don't need to hear them as a obvious point source, but the immersive experience should be obvious with the upper layer of the sound stage collasping if shut off
 

Fourplay

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You enjoy doing that, right?

:mad:
Not being snobby. It's pretty easily available. I just don't want someone going through alot of effort to seek something commercially when I know they will not be able to find it. Sorry if you thought I was being smug.
 

Stupy

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G'day,

I'll give a strange response without looking at how other people have responded. This is a world I have come to without an audio background etc.

My personal preference in 5.1 is:

- Targetted to a 'standard' positioning - https://www.dolby.com/siteassets/about/support/guide/setup-guides/5.1-virtual-speakers-setup/dolby_speakerplacement_flat_5.1_virtual_2560x1280.jpg

- Similar to 'in the middle of the band' in line with the above.

- As there are 6 speakers; I expect they are all being used constructively - meaning at least somewhat discrete speaker use; and rears only for echo/ambience/feel are wasted opportunities.

- A preference of the front speakers for rhythm section - bass/drum; vocal on centre; otherwise flexible.

- Objects can move but not to detract from the music. Reference point Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon.

- Discrete mixes where instruments etc have their own position.

- If I can focus on each instrument and hear it perfectly without distortion or interference; yet also zone out and hear the recording as one coherant piece of art... this is bliss.
 

MidiMagic

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After all these years, I still get a thrill from different parts coming out of the different speakers, particularly the back speakers. Like the lead guitar in "You're So Vain" in the right back, Robbie Krieger's solo in "Moonlight Drive" in the left back, the swooping break in "Hello, I Love You", and Morrison's whispered echo of the lyrics to "Rider's On the Storm" in the back channels. I love it.

Just the ambiance type things gets boring for me. Not that it's bad or anything.

Doug
That is precisely what I don't want: "Puddles of sound at the speakers."

If I hear where the speakers are, then I don't really hear where the sound is supposed to come from.

The best surround techniques keep your ears from finding the speakers.

That's what is so good about playing QS through DS or PL-II. If the sound in QS is panned to left center, it comes from left center even though there is no speaker there.
 

AYanguas

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Just a note about the positioning of the vocals.

Many of you suggest/like that the vocals be in the Centre. At least, main vocals, because the chorus or other voices are some times better from rear or surrounds as a kind of accompanying instrument, or implementing a 'dialog' from different characters positions.

BUT, sometimes I love that the main singing vocals come from just above, in Atmos, or from a very bubble position around above you.

That's the way some songs from Matt Darey, from his Atmos Album 'Wolf', are mixed. They offer a 'different perspective' of the traditional vocals in front, that makes you really 'be surrounded' by the sound.
 

wrat

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crazy mix, I see no point in just ambience to the rears especially with studio produced music ( most rock)
 

kfbkfb

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Paraphrasing something I read years ago in one of the monthly Audio mags:

Classical music (trying to accurately capture a live performance [ambience and all]) for replay

Popular music (performance begins when the recording is played back)

Listening recently to a Stereo CD (Tubes - Outside Inside - Theme Park), there was some left/right panning, which, IMHO, added to the song.


Kirk Bayne
 

MidiMagic

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I don't like it when there is too much motion in the music. I have two records from the early 1960s that were recorded in "stereo action" where all of the parts were panned continuously from one side to the other and back. At any one time there were parts on the left, parts on the right, parts in the center moving left, and parts in the center moving right (4 groups of parts 90 degrees a part moving in a circle in front of you). It was a cute gimmick at the beginning, but after several songs, it became annoying.

I do have one song I recorded where a one part slowly circles the audience.

What I want most is the "you are there" feeling.
 

proufo

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What I want most is the "you are there" feeling.
There where?

If in the audience in a concert hall or similar, 99% of it is side ambiance, that can be synthesized in real time from stereo recordings with those processes everybody hates.

If in the stage or similar to that, some sort of instruments/performers distribution.

For a non-realistic but exciting experience, immersive (ambiance on steroids). I recently watched the Yessongs concert video with a 5.1 immersive soundtrack derived from the original mono one and enjoyed it very much. Yes (;)), even with that bad a source.
 
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Doug G.

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That is precisely what I don't want: "Puddles of sound at the speakers."

If I hear where the speakers are, then I don't really hear where the sound is supposed to come from.

The best surround techniques keep your ears from finding the speakers.

That's what is so good about playing QS through DS or PL-II. If the sound in QS is panned to left center, it comes from left center even though there is no speaker there.
Well, I didn't mean sounds exactly from the center of any given speaker. I mean from the four different areas AND the areas in between. You know, using the technology used to locate sounds.

Doug
 

jaybird100

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ELP Concert(s) - ATMOS (maybe no remix needed) | QuadraphonicQuad
^^^
I don't know if any performer/group does anything like this now.


Confession time - I like the gimmick laden mixes, an early example:
Hugo in Wonderland Quad (CD-4 and DV SACD).


Kirk Bayne
Most of the early quad Montenegro albums took advantage of gimmickry. I always liked them, too. I just wish someone would release the great Project 3 Enoch Light albums on SACD. Some used gimmicks, some didn't, but they always sounded great.
 

jimfisheye

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I think having a few mix elements still driven by the equipment is inescapable.

eg.
bass frequency content mono in at least two speakers to couple them
some elements directly to speaker locations
reflections from some elements directed to opposite speaker positions

Content that relies on accuracy and imaging - full ambisonic being an extreme example - gets subdued first on lesser systems. A few old school tricks can kind of ground a mix between different systems. If you need a system so dialed like the demo stereo array where you can "walk around the instruments" (like the salesguy says in the hi-fi shop) to hear what's really going on in a mix, you limit your audience.
 
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