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The Cars Unreleased S/T Debut Album DVD-Audio

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dr. simple

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I believe it is a subject of debate. I’ve heard a mix that some say is the unreleased mix and others say is from stems. But some of the elements do not sound like they are from the stereo tracks, which leads me to believe it’s the unreleased mix (because we’ve heard incorrect takes used in official 5.1 mixes).
 

rtbluray

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The mix that I have heard is very good, but it's still kinda rough around the edges, so it's either a fan-made mix from stems or it's a rough mix of something that a professional audio engineer was working on for the aborted DVD-A/V release.

Since this year is the 40th anniversary of that album's release, I'm hoping Rhino will make good by releasing a box set of that album, and IF there is an unreleased 5.1 mix of this album sitting in the vaults, I hope they see fit to include it!

:)
 

sjcorne

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The mix that I have heard is very good, but it's still kinda rough around the edges, so it's either a fan-made mix from stems or it's a rough mix of something that a professional audio engineer was working on for the aborted DVD-A/V release.
I thought for sure it was real when I first heard it, but I've since heard a lot more surround mixes, so today I'm gonna agree with RT and say it's probably a fan-made mix as it's missing a couple of professional touches, like reverb support on the lead vocal. There's also often a lot of silence coming from the rears. If they attempted a quad mix of this album back in the 70's it probably would've come out kind of like this mix- highly discrete and directional.

I like it, but I think if Elliot Scheiner did actually get to mix this one it would be a lot better. But we're lucky we have this!
 

The Bright Side

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I have heard two 5.1 mixes. One, I was told, was this "leaked" version, and another one was done from stems by one of our members here. Out of the two, I really dig the fan's remix from stems. The "leaked" version didn't do much for me, so I discarded it after 1-2 listens. I am spinning the fan mix regularly though, it's a complete winner in terms of both sound quality and mixing.

I had never heard the original album before, so I don't know if anything is missing or off in either of the two 5.1 versions I am aware of.
 

jamesc

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This has always been one of those holy grails I've hoped would get released. The Cars just seems like a band begging to get surround treatment. The only thing I've heard is that early soundboard that was mixed in Quad which is pretty cool in itself.
 

skherbeck

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Uh... like... what is a stems Beavis?
The stems for The Cars' debut come from the Rockband game. They're basically mastered multitracks... a keyboard track, bass track, guitar track, vocals track, and several drum tracks (snare, kick, cymbals and toms)...from what I remember about them.
 

leevitalone1

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Agree 100%. Even the albums stereo mixes are unique and sonically fantastic.
Top production values, shit in shit out! I am very aware of poor production, sadly, and my opinion, but I always thought Tom Dowd did an awful job with the Allman Bros band stuff. It sounds all 'muted" to me. On the other hand Todd Rundgren stuff was always really good sounding, full and rich with nice clarity. And one cannot blame formats or inferior recording methods, or inferior equipment. By the mid 70's most big name bands had their own studios anyway. One can always place it on the producing engineer. Proven by the resulting media.
( and a half way decent payback system~!)
 

sjcorne

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Top production values, shit in shit out! I am very aware of poor production, sadly...
Not trying to argue here, but you mentioned this in another thread a while back and I'm still not really sure what you mean...I think a lot of 70s stuff sounds excellent. I always though Elektra especially had very high production values and it shows in the amazing sonics of records like the Cars' Debut, Carly Simon's Anticipation, etc. Hardly "shit in shit out".
 

Monkish

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I’ve gotten to hear the “leaked” version, and it’s a fun listen, but rough-edged for sure. A few particular problem points for me:

1) “Good Times Roll” — the climactic “good times roll” at the end of each chorus doesn’t have any of the backing vocals in the rears; they’re all up front. It really deflates the moment for me.

2) “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight” — the synth line in the chorus has an echo in the RR speaker that’s literally a beat behind. Majorly distracting.

3) “Bye Bye Love” — the backing vocals in the chorus are in the surrounds, but WAAAAY too low in the mix. The mix is pretty much 95% Ben Orr’s lead vocal, and maybe 5% backing vocals.

4) “All Mixed Up” — Greg Hawkes’ sax at the end is really really buried.

There are a couple of songs where there’s nothing (or almost nothing) in the rears for the first 30-45 seconds of the song, which is weird. “Good Times Roll” and “Just What I Needed” are the examples I’m thinking of.

Even with all that, it’s generally a fun listen — “Moving In Stereo” is probably my favorite of the mixes. But, if this were an official release with a poll, I’d be hard-pressed to give it more than a 7.

I’d be curious to know if the fan-made mix that’s floating around has any of the same issues I mentioned...
 

tmproductions

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The so-called “leaked” version is also fan-made from stems. There is another mix done by a member here that’s much better IMO.
Would love to hear this. These stems are fascinating.
I stumbled over the CARS stems only recently and was intrigued to try a surround mix, since this is one of my favourite albums of all times. There are seven stems per song, one each for "vocals", "snare", "kick", "guitar", "cymbals", "bass" and "backing", all in stereo except "bass" which is in mono. All in fine sound quality (FLAC 44.1 kHz, 16 bit). On the "cymbals"-stem is the complete drumset except the kick and the snare, as they're extra. It's a bit strange at first sight that "kick" and "snare" are stereo stems too, but of course they added the corresponding stereo effects like the reverb. The same goes for the "vocals" stem, which is less ideal if you like to have the lead vocals in the center. "Backing" is rather a bag of wonders, because apart from the keyboards there are also backing vocals, additional guitars and effects. So this track is predestined for Ls and Rs.
I really liked the fact that the three songs, which are faded out in the original, are played here in full, while the synthetic wind in the intro of "Moving in Stereo" (which should now be called "Moving in Surround") is almost twice as long.

All faders at 0 dB and a little bit play with the panorama settings and it already sounds amazingly good. But the possibilities are limited, which I didn't see as a huge disadvantage here, because this also ensures that you stay close to the stereo mix - the album still sounds the way you know it, only more spatial.
 
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