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Yessongs Quad?

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Relayer

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I just saw a 1975 movie poster for Yessongs listed on Ebay (http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3807248955&category=2322) -- Yessongs "in 4-Channel Quadraphonic Sound." So the question is...

What happened to this? Has anyone heard/seen the quad version? Is it available in any fashion (legit or otherwise) these days?

I've encountered plenty of rips of the Yessongs soundtrack marketed as bootlegs, always stereo, and even the (rather poor) Yessongs DVD only has 2-channel audio... what happened to the multichannel version?
 
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steelydave

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This is pure supposition, but there goes. I would imagine that the quad version of the film probably didn't play in very many locations. Theaters at that time were nearly all mono. George Lucas had to fight tooth and nail 3 years after YesSongs came out just to get Star Wars shown in Stereo! So, there probably is a quad mix of this in storage somewhere, along with all the other quad stuff that became a bad word when quad failed in the late 70's. There are other movies like this that have never been issued with their surround soundtrack. When Jimmy Page was interviewed around the time he was mixing the recent Led Zeppelin DVD, he mentioned that there was a proper 4 channel mix for the Song Remains The Same film done for theatrical showing - all we ever got on the DVD was a crappy supposed Pro-Logic mix.

I see that by your name you're probably a big Yes fan - I know they're pretty close to their fans, maybe you can bring it up with them on their official website and have them look in to it..

Dave.
 

Relayer

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steelydave said:
So, there probably is a quad mix of this in storage somewhere, along with all the other quad stuff that became a bad word when quad failed in the late 70's. There are other movies like this that have never been issued with their surround soundtrack. When Jimmy Page was interviewed around the time he was mixing the recent Led Zeppelin DVD, he mentioned that there was a proper 4 channel mix for the Song Remains The Same film done for theatrical showing - all we ever got on the DVD was a crappy supposed Pro-Logic mix.
I've noticed this phenomenon, too. What's the dilly?

I'm no technical wizard, and certainly not very knowledgeable on the production side of things, but it would seem to me that if you've got an original multichannel mix in a can somewhere, then when the time comes to release a DVD, it would only be natural to go back to the source...

Saves the work of generating a pseudo-multi-channel mix like Pro Logic or creating a new 5.1 mix... and yet it allows you to offer the added selling-point of an "(almost) never-before-heard" version -- why not stick it on the DVD along with the stereo or Pro Logic mix?

(I can see hardcore fans of many bands of this vintage getting quite excited about finally being able to see their band's mid-70s theatrical release as it was seen only for those few lucky fans who got to see it in a suitably equipped theatre.)

I mean, if they're passing that terrible SQ mix of Abraxas off as a 5.1 multichannel mix, then surely they could use a quad mix for a concert movie... couldn't be much worse than the SQ Abraxas, and the DVD format can always allow users to choose their mix.

I guess there's also the possibility that the 4 channel tapes have since degraded or been lost (they may have suffered neglect in the 80s, deemed "relics" before the resurgence of multichannel audio)... or perhaps it's simply that the people doing the new mixes don't know/care enough to make good use of the old multi-channel material.


steelydave said:
I see that by your name you're probably a big Yes fan - I know they're pretty close to their fans, maybe you can bring it up with them on their official website and have them look in to it..
Indeed I am, sir! Can't exactly say I'm "in" with the band or management, but I have hung out with the band post-show on a couple of occasions (in fact, shared (more than a few) drinks with Chris and Alan a couple years back). They are indeed close with / responsive to their fans...

I will definitely raise this with them should our paths cross again. Seems Steve Howe is the de facto curator of their archival material (he was the source for all the extra tracks on the recent Rhino re-issues as well as for the potentially upcoming live box), so I guess he'd be the one to talk to, but he's also the most "elusive," shall we say... a rather private man.

Regardless, I for one would love to see and hear the original quad Yessongs, along with Song Remains The Same, for that matter.

"Tour dates? But these are tomorrow...tomorrow...tomorrow...tomorrow..."
[ :smokin -- apply unheard quad effect here - :mad:@: ]
 

Bob Romano

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Relayer said:
I've noticed this phenomenon, too. What's the dilly?

I'm no technical wizard, and certainly not very knowledgeable on the production side of things, but it would seem to me that if you've got an original multichannel mix in a can somewhere, then when the time comes to release a DVD, it would only be natural to go back to the source...

Saves the work of generating a pseudo-multi-channel mix like Pro Logic or creating a new 5.1 mix... and yet it allows you to offer the added selling-point of an "(almost) never-before-heard" version -- why not stick it on the DVD along with the stereo or Pro Logic mix?

(I can see hardcore fans of many bands of this vintage getting quite excited about finally being able to see their band's mid-70s theatrical release as it was seen only for those few lucky fans who got to see it in a suitably equipped theatre.)

I mean, if they're passing that terrible SQ mix of Abraxas off as a 5.1 multichannel mix, then surely they could use a quad mix for a concert movie... couldn't be much worse than the SQ Abraxas, and the DVD format can always allow users to choose their mix.

I guess there's also the possibility that the 4 channel tapes have since degraded or been lost (they may have suffered neglect in the 80s, deemed "relics" before the resurgence of multichannel audio)... or perhaps it's simply that the people doing the new mixes don't know/care enough to make good use of the old multi-channel material.




Indeed I am, sir! Can't exactly say I'm "in" with the band or management, but I have hung out with the band post-show on a couple of occasions (in fact, shared (more than a few) drinks with Chris and Alan a couple years back). They are indeed close with / responsive to their fans...

I will definitely raise this with them should our paths cross again. Seems Steve Howe is the de facto curator of their archival material (he was the source for all the extra tracks on the recent Rhino re-issues as well as for the potentially upcoming live box), so I guess he'd be the one to talk to, but he's also the most "elusive," shall we say... a rather private man.

Regardless, I for one would love to see and hear the original quad Yessongs, along with Song Remains The Same, for that matter.

"Tour dates? But these are tomorrow...tomorrow...tomorrow...tomorrow..."
[ :smokin -- apply unheard quad effect here - :mad:@: ]
I hope they do both films as well. I remember going to see Song Remains The Same at the Hillside Theater when it came out. A big beautiful single screen theater with 6 track sound. It was amazing.... and I wasn't even high!!:D
 

texquad

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Joe Cocker's movie "Mad Dogs & Englishmen" was also released in a 4 channel sound format in some theatres. I saw it at a Houston theatre this way and it was fantastic, and the same goes for the Zeppelin movie too!
 

ssully

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Relayer said:
I've noticed this phenomenon, too. What's the dilly?

I'm no technical wizard, and certainly not very knowledgeable on the production side of things, but it would seem to me that if you've got an original multichannel mix in a can somewhere, then when the time comes to release a DVD, it would only be natural to go back to the source...

Assuming you have the can. ;>

Back when the Yessongs movie was being remastered for its second laserdisc release (the one that Doug and Glen Gottleib were involved in), it was reported that the original film and soundtrack masters had gone missing, and so had the director of the film. So it may be that Yes Inc has no original multichannel masters to go back to. Maybe they'll turn up on ebay some day.

I saw Yessongs at its first run in NYC, so I assume it was quad...curiously, the memory is *hazy*. I mainly recall being disappointed at 1) how short the film was and 2) how bad Steve Howe's solo on 'Yours Is No Disgrace' was, compared to the Yessongs album.
 

atrocity

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steelydave said:
This is pure supposition, but there goes. I would imagine that the quad version of the film probably didn't play in very many locations. Theaters at that time were nearly all mono. George Lucas had to fight tooth and nail 3 years after YesSongs came out just to get Star Wars shown in Stereo!
Yes, most neighborhood theaters were mono, and those that weren't were equipped for expensive magnetic soundtracks. Dolby Stereo offered inferior sound to those old magnetic tracks, but made it possible to put stereo sound on a much cheaper optical soundtrack.

So, there probably is a quad mix of this in storage somewhere
I twice saw/heard "Yessongs" run from magnetic prints back in the 1970s. The first time sounded terrific, the second time (different theater) sounded really distorted in the surrounds. I talked to the projectionist about it, and his theory was that it was a true quadraphonic mix (i.e., four corners) and not a traditional theatrical four-track mix (i.e., three full-range channels behind the screen and a limited-range "effects track") in the rear. So the surround sounded poor because the print contained way more than the sound system was set up to handle.

There are other movies like this that have never been issued with their surround soundtrack. When Jimmy Page was interviewed around the time he was mixing the recent Led Zeppelin DVD, he mentioned that there was a proper 4 channel mix for the Song Remains The Same film done for theatrical showing - all we ever got on the DVD was a crappy supposed Pro-Logic mix.
Indeed, the same theater mentioned above ran a four-track discrete magnetic print of "The Song Remains the Same", and I was actually up in the booth for a few minutes to personally see the print. The DVD should have had a discrete 4.0 track. For exactly the same reason, "Pink Floyd at Pompeii" should have as well.
 
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sspsandy

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Another fim that was shown in quad (I saw it at the Ziegfield Theater in NY) was Ladies & Gentleman The Rolling Stones, a live concert of the Sticky Fingers Tour. I couldn't hear for a couple of hours after that show. They had these 4 enormous speakers with giant horns atop them. It sounded pretty awesome! :wave :wave :wave :wave :wave
 

steelydave

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This is mainly directed to Atrocity but maybe others can chime in too - I know that there are a lot of 35mm prints for sale on eBay. Is it worth me scouring them looking for these films like many of us scour eBay looking for quad LPs and 8-Tracks? Will prints of these films have the quad mix on them?

Dave.
 

atrocity

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steelydave said:
This is mainly directed to Atrocity but maybe others can chime in too - I know that there are a lot of 35mm prints for sale on eBay. Is it worth me scouring them looking for these films like many of us scour eBay looking for quad LPs and 8-Tracks? Will prints of these films have the quad mix on them?
It's hard to say. For one thing, there really weren't that many films released with a genuine four-corner quadraphonic mix. You see the term "four-track" mentioned a lot, but that's actually the same layout as Dolby ProLogic: Three full-range channels in the front and limited-range mono surround.

Also, remember that prior to the introduction of Dolby Stereo, film prints with non-mono soundtracks could only accomodate the extra channels by using magnetic stripes on the print (or, worse, by interlocking physically separate media!). You'd need to have a "penthouse" for your 35mm projector that could play those soundtracks, and you'd have to hope that the signal on them was still good--apparently magnetic tracks were rather delicate.

I'm pulling this out of my hat and don't really know, but I'm guessing that any good-condition magnetic track print would be a serious rarity and priced accordingly. A lot of the old magnetic prints have been destroyed since few theaters can actually play them.

Trivia: Those of us of a certain age are pretty well-conditioned to the phenomenon of seeing a film splice on the screen, then hearing it a second or so later. With magnetic prints (both 35mm and 70mm), the sound is actually read prior to the image, so splices result in an audible jump in the soundtrack before you see the jump in the picture!
 

Larry Geller

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Relayer said:
I mean, if they're passing that terrible SQ mix of Abraxas off as a 5.1 multichannel mix, then surely they could use a quad mix for a concert movie... couldn't be much worse than the SQ Abraxas, and the DVD format can always allow users to choose their mix.
WHO'S passing it off as 5.1? It has never come out in 5.1, only in stereo single-layer SACD, and on DTS as the original 4.0. As bad as it is, I only hope that CBS revives these historical 4.0 mixes (for the MANY Santana LPs that came out in quad). I only WISH that they would "pass it off" on us, but no such luck. :(
 

quadtrade

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Larry Geller said:
WHO'S passing it off as 5.1? It has never come out in 5.1, only in stereo single-layer SACD, and on DTS as the original 4.0. As bad as it is, I only hope that CBS revives these historical 4.0 mixes (for the MANY Santana LPs that came out in quad). I only WISH that they would "pass it off" on us, but no such luck. :(
Larry is correct in his statement. Good or bad is subjective. I have the Engineer Manual issued by CBS to instruct the producers and techs to record in a certain way. Some followed a bit, some did not. When Brad and I did these Cds we wished 4.0 but were over ruled as the start of the 5.1 format had started with laserdiscs(DTS) and they wished to continue this direction, following market direction. DTS had enough problems being recognized as real, they wanted to comply with something. So we had to derive a center from a combo of 2 fronts(TURN IT OFF) and a sub channel from whatever was there below 80. CBS has so many wonderful mixes,stored at super storage facility, that is where we got the DTS releases, from special products(they were not protected yet as important-except Dylan, Streisand, Miles Davis and PF). Enjoy what we got, i bet it is all we ever get. Tad
 

JonUrban

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Tad,

I thought you once said that you guys had the rights to "40" titles from CBS. What happened to the rest of them? To bad they did not let you use WYWH! :D

:-jon
 

quadtrade

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JonUrban said:
Tad,

I thought you once said that you guys had the rights to "40" titles from CBS. What happened to the rest of them? To bad they did not let you use WYWH! :D

:-jon
Jon, These came on Hi 8. Only 2 batches actually arrived, A few were not deemed sellable in the market at the time, we got first side twice on a couple(isn't that special), some they did not send, some did not find(japanese titles), and a few it was just too late. Sony raised prices, Brad got ill, DTS titles were not selling well. At that point, there were titles that only sold a couple thousand. PF was pronounced "no way".
 

winopener

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quadtrade said:
When Brad and I did these Cds we wished 4.0 but were over ruled as the start of the 5.1 format had started with laserdiscs(DTS) and they wished to continue this direction, following market direction. DTS had enough problems being recognized as real, they wanted to comply with something. So we had to derive a center from a combo of 2 fronts(TURN IT OFF) and a sub channel from whatever was there below 80.
Tad, i understand the marketing issues that were present at that time, and while i don't like tampering with channels, i can accept that this had to be done to have the things released - after all, without these dts disc, digital quad would be a no way out today. In my onversion i keep the channels as they are. What 'm wondering is: it will be possible to rebuild the original 4channel stream from the dts disc you did?
Basically, it will need to:
get rid of the center channel at all;
remix correctly into the tracks the .1 channel.
Right?
 

quadtrade

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winopener said:
Tad, i understand the marketing issues that were present at that time, and while i don't like tampering with channels, i can accept that this had to be done to have the things released - after all, without these dts disc, digital quad would be a no way out today. In my onversion i keep the channels as they are. What 'm wondering is: it will be possible to rebuild the original 4channel stream from the dts disc you did?
Basically, it will need to:
get rid of the center channel at all;
remix correctly into the tracks the .1 channel.
Right?
AS i remember, our CBS and Polygram titles were full range, just derived thecenter, and the 80 or 120 and below and stuck it there for the Tom Holman crowd(who Brad just despised for screwing this up -music direction wise). Turn off the sub and center. Does not mean all DTS titles were this way, items like Marvin Gaye and Boys2Men were done in an LA studio specifically for DTS.
 

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Relayer said:
I just saw a 1975 movie poster for Yessongs listed on Ebay (http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3807248955&category=2322) -- Yessongs "in 4-Channel Quadraphonic Sound." So the question is...

What happened to this? Has anyone heard/seen the quad version? Is it available in any fashion (legit or otherwise) these days?

I've encountered plenty of rips of the Yessongs soundtrack marketed as bootlegs, always stereo, and even the (rather poor) Yessongs DVD only has 2-channel audio... what happened to the multichannel version?
Just a little clarifiaction. At the time this was released, sound was coveyed on 4 magnetic tracks on film. Speaker layouts in theaters at the time were 3
front speakers (l-c-r) and a mono surround channel with multiple speakers.
Theaters had this setup since the 50's. The film was not mixed in a quad speaker layout or played in theaters that way. I assume the reason the DVD
was stereo is that the magnetic tracks do not hold up very well over time.
This is one reason optical tracks are preferred, but you can only get 2 channels of quality audio on a film, until dolby introduced dolby stereo (matrixed). The first releases being Tommy and Song Remains the same.
Anyone who says they heard jimmy page make bow/guitar noises go around
the theater is not remembering correctly. A mono surround can not do that
and no one trucked around a quad speaker layout for theaters like Fantasia
or Earthquake, at least here in the U.S.
 

bizmopeen

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Thanks for the history, Mark. Were all of the channels in question in this LCRS setup discrete and full-frequency (unlike, say the surround in DPL 1)? Do you know if at that time the surround was used for discrete sounds/effects? If so, that might explain the Jimmy Page solo in question going "back" if not "around"?...

Do you know of any movies pre-70s that used the surround to any extent? If nothing else, I'm curious because I worked for a DVD authoring facility for a time, and some of the older (60's/70's) catalog titles had some odd audio configurations (3-channel LCR, for example) that this would explain...Interesting stuff!

BTW, this looks like your first post. Are you the same Mark Anderson of the quad discography fame? In any case, welcome aboard!
 

Larry Geller

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bizmopeen said:
Do you know of any movies pre-70s that used the surround to any extent? If nothing else, I'm curious because I worked for a DVD authoring facility for a time, and some of the older (60's/70's) catalog titles had some odd audio configurations (3-channel LCR, for example) that this would explain...Interesting stuff!
Just about any Cinemascope roadshow production from 1953 on has 6 channel surround sound.
 

atrocity

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Mark Anderson said:
This is one reason optical tracks are preferred, but you can only get 2 channels of quality audio on a film, until dolby introduced dolby stereo (matrixed). The first releases being Tommy and Song Remains the same.
"Tommy" was an odd case in that it was "Quintophonic". Basically, it was QS with an additional discrete center channel.

Anyone who says they heard jimmy page make bow/guitar noises go around
the theater is not remembering correctly. A mono surround can not do that
and no one trucked around a quad speaker layout for theaters like Fantasia
or Earthquake, at least here in the U.S.
You could do a pretty fair forgery of it though, since you could pan across three front channels and mix in just enough surround to fool people who weren't listening _too_ closely.

By the way, both "Tommy" and "The Song Remains the Same" were also released with magnetic prints, as were several other early Dolby titles. In fact, I've been told (but have no way of verifying) that the last 35mm magnetic issue in the U.S. was "Yentl".

Those magnetic tracks were delicate, but they sure sounded good!
 
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