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Yessongs Quad?

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atrocity

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Larry Geller said:
Just about any Cinemascope roadshow production from 1953 on has 6 channel surround sound.
Six channel was usually reserved for 70mm prints, though you could achieve six channels for 35mm presentations with a separate, interlocked playback device. But even six channels usually still meant mono surround--the other five channels were all behind the screen.

Four-channel (LCRS) was part of the CinemaScope spec for the first few years, though Fox eventually dropped it as a requirement.
 

Bob Romano

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Mark Anderson said:
Anyone who says they heard jimmy page make bow/guitar noises go around the theater is not remembering correctly.
Well... it was high school and I was a little "wilder" than I am now... but... the theater that i saw TSRTS at advertised the file in 6-track surround. Maybe it was false advertising, I don't know. This was the same theater that years later would show the AC/DC movie (Let There Be Rock) using a full blown rock & roll sound system to give you that concert feeling as well as showing all the midnight show rock films like Pink Floyd In Pompei, Tommy and the like.
 

atrocity

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Bob Romano said:
Well... it was high school and I was a little "wilder" than I am now... but... the theater that i saw TSRTS at advertised the file in 6-track surround. Maybe it was false advertising, I don't know.
IMDB (which can be notoriously inaccurate) doesn't list "The Song Remains the Same" as having been issued in 70mm. If it really was a 35mm-only release, it's unlilkely there was ever a 6-track mix.

But even if there were 70mm blowups, they would very likely have had five screen channels and mono surround. "Superman" is usually mentioned as the first film to have split surrounds on its 70mm prints.
 

Mark Anderson

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bizmopeen said:
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"?...

Magnetic 4 track was discreet.

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!

I have not listened in years to judge the surround content.

BTW, this looks like your first post. Are you the same Mark Anderson of the quad discography fame? In any case, welcome aboard!
Yes, Also known as the Surround Sound Discography.
Thanks, Great Group. Glad I finally fiqured out how to participate. Now if I can only find the time. Glad I get emails of the posts, that helps.

Kindest Regards

Mark
 

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atrocity said:
"Tommy" was an odd case in that it was "Quintophonic". Basically, it was QS with an additional discrete center channel.

Check some movie and theater history. Dolby surround.
Not QS. As far as I can recall, dolby surround was the first
format to use a matrix technique in film, and they only did this to overcome the limitations of 2 track optical.

How in the world would someone do 4 matrixed channels
and one discrete and why?
How would a theater play this back?

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".

I would certainly suspect that these films were released in other formats for distribution. Not all theaters would have upgraded to the new dolby format (thank god!)

Those magnetic tracks were delicate, but they sure sounded good!
Didn't they!
 

sspsandy

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I'd like to recommend that under Mark Anderson's name it says something like "Quadraphonic Hero" or "Surround Sound Guru". Newbie Mono just doesn't seem right somehow.
 

PodCat

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Mark Anderson said:
Speaker layouts in theaters at the time were 3
front speakers (l-c-r) and a mono surround channel with multiple speakers.
There were exceptions, other than Tommy and Earthquake.
A 1977 Fox release, "Damnation Alley", was presented in a few theaters in "Sound 360" -- quad, sort of. The roadshow setup (custom speakers for the showing) in Century City (near LA) were Front, Left Wall Side, Right Wall Side, and Back. Other than T & EQ, it may be the closest thing there was to true theater quad in the 70's.

I have to take issue with Mark's contention that it is impossible to create the impression of an instrument moving around the audience with mono surround. Although it didn't create a perfect effect, it was done frequently. One example I specifically remember was the 6-track (70mm) mix of Sgt. Peppers that I (unfortunately) sat thru in an LA theater in summer of 1978.

One final thought: be careful what you wish for. I got pretty excited when I heard the Tommy DVD would have the original Quintaphonic mix. Not only would I have my revenge for not living in one of the three cities actually showing in Quint back in '75, but I'd have surround mixes of favorite songs like "Pinball Wizard" to listen to by treating the disc as audio only. Problem is, the mix is awful. GHASTLY. Unlistenable, even as a curiosity. If that's the case with a cleaned-up, major studio effort like Tommy, imagine what the live mix from a '76 Zep film taken from 30-year old mag tracks might resemble. (I'm biased: for the most part, I can't stand most live albums even in SACD!)
 

ssully

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Bob Romano said:
Well... it was high school and I was a little "wilder" than I am now... but... the theater that i saw TSRTS at advertised the file in 6-track surround. Maybe it was false advertising, I don't know. This was the same theater that years later would show the AC/DC movie (Let There Be Rock) using a full blown rock & roll sound system to give you that concert feeling as well as showing all the midnight show rock films like Pink Floyd In Pompei, Tommy and the like.
The Yessongs movie was advertised as being in quadrophonic sound too, IIRC. I saw it when it opened in NYC -- where I presume, if anyplace, they'd be using the 'proper' soundtrack...and I mainly recall it sounding terribly loud, rather than anything 'surround' about it.
 

atrocity

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Mark Anderson (quoting Atrocity) said:
"Tommy" was an odd case in that it was "Quintophonic". Basically, it was QS with an additional discrete center channel.

Check some movie and theater history. Dolby surround. Not QS.
In fact, the end credits have always had a "Quintophonic Sound" logo occupying its own private frame. At the bottom of the frame is a QS logo as seen in this frame grab from the DVD:




As far as I can recall, dolby surround was the first format to use a matrix technique in film, and they only did this to overcome the limitations of 2 track optical.
Dolby was the first to put their name on a matrix used for theatrical presentation and market it commercially, though it had been experimented with (but never used commercially) by the Todd-AO folks in the 1950s. What's less clear to me is how much of the first Dolby matrix was unique and how much was QS and/or SQ. I've seen lots of conflicting claims, including one that CBS/Tate succesfully sued Dolby for patent infringement...but I read that once 20+ years ago and have never seen it mentioned since.


How in the world would someone do 4 matrixed channels and one discrete and why?
How would a theater play this back?
The liner notes to the DVD tell the story: The left and right magnetic tracks were matrix encoded and used to create a standard quad layout. The film's center track was used as a normal center track. The mono surround track was not used in Quintophonic installations. According to the notes, "Tommy" was also released in then-standard four-track magnetic and two-track Dolby stereo (presumably without surround encoding) and mono.

As for why, well, why not? "Tommy" in Quintophonic was basically modern 5.1 without the subwoofer.
 
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bliss_band

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A point was brought up earlier how they have mixes in the vault they could use possibly when making the SACD or DVD-A mixes. I don't understand why CBS/Sony put out SACD's of Bob Dylan, only to have the actual albums that appeared in Quad back in the day (Desire, Nashville Skyline, Planet Waves), appear on SACD only in Stereo. They used the Quad versions, not the quad/surround mixes. What's up with that? I could speculate I guess, but maybe Tad or Cai could explain better. Maybe I need to start a new topic on that...
 

4yanx

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Sorry to dredge up an old thread, but Yessongs is one among a fwe all-time favorites in rock. Is the definitive word that no quad recordings of this are available. I will admit to becoming rather lost in the discussion of other recordings and not sure if a final verdict on Yessongs was rendered. Thanks in advance.
 

atrocity

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Sorry to dredge up an old thread, but Yessongs is one among a fwe all-time favorites in rock. Is the definitive word that no quad recordings of this are available. I will admit to becoming rather lost in the discussion of other recordings and not sure if a final verdict on Yessongs was rendered. Thanks in advance.
No quad recording is currently available or ever was for normal home use.

There were magnetic film prints marketed as being in "quadraphonic" that may really have been quadraphonic or may have been LCRS. Perhaps there were even two different mixes, one for theaters willing to convert to real quad, one for theaters that just wanted the then-standard LCRS.

I wonder who you'd contact about arranging a theatrical screening? They might be able to tell you what's in the vault...though my guess is that there are no surviving magnetic prints. Or, if one or two survive, no certainty that the tracks haven't been worn down. IMDB says it was the last film distributed by Ellman Film Enterprises, who were apparently active from 1969-1975. Of course, IMDB also says that "Yessongs" was mono, which is clearly wrong.

I think someone mentioned contacting the band up-thread. That might work as well, though I wouldn't be surprised if they have no ownership or control of the film.
 

ssully

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I think someone mentioned contacting the band up-thread. That might work as well, though I wouldn't be surprised if they have no ownership or control of the film.
Again, the last time I'm aware of anyone associated with Yes having looked, was for the release of the 'remastered' laserdisc version of Yessongs (the movie). At that time it was reported that the original prints and film elements had gone missing.

Yessongs, the LP, was never released in a surround format.
 

atrocity

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Again, the last time I'm aware of anyone associated with Yes having looked, was for the release of the 'remastered' laserdisc version of Yessongs (the movie). At that time it was reported that the original prints and film elements had gone missing.
I hope that doesn't mean that "Panorama Blue" is also lost!
 

4yanx

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No quad recording is currently available or ever was for normal home use.

There were magnetic film prints marketed as being in "quadraphonic" that may really have been quadraphonic or may have been LCRS. Perhaps there were even two different mixes, one for theaters willing to convert to real quad, one for theaters that just wanted the then-standard LCRS.

I wonder who you'd contact about arranging a theatrical screening? They might be able to tell you what's in the vault...though my guess is that there are no surviving magnetic prints. Or, if one or two survive, no certainty that the tracks haven't been worn down. IMDB says it was the last film distributed by Ellman Film Enterprises, who were apparently active from 1969-1975. Of course, IMDB also says that "Yessongs" was mono, which is clearly wrong.

I think someone mentioned contacting the band up-thread. That might work as well, though I wouldn't be surprised if they have no ownership or control of the film.

THANKS!
 

4yanx

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Again, the last time I'm aware of anyone associated with Yes having looked, was for the release of the 'remastered' laserdisc version of Yessongs (the movie). At that time it was reported that the original prints and film elements had gone missing.

Yessongs, the LP, was never released in a surround format.

Again, thanks.
 

Ge Someone

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...for the release of the 'remastered' laserdisc version of Yessongs (the movie). At that time it was reported that the original prints and film elements had gone missing.

Yessongs, the LP, was never released in a surround format.
And I guess the DVD is from the same source, the sound is 2.0 LPCM and really bad quality (a lot of drop-outs). When you try to decode with DPLII it gives a bit of (in the back-row) abient in the rears. But nothing special.
Come to think of it, it sounds like it was recorded in a cinema, but the performance is great.

And as ssully says the Album is another thing, it was compiled from concerts during the whole tour.
 
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jdmack

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Last night, I was able to pick up a Brazilian DVD of "Yessongs." What caught my eye was the indication on the cover that the DVD had Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, and was Telecined from a negative. The *only* reason I bought this is that I didn't already own "Yessongs." I knew darn well that it was going to have fake 5.1 surround, but part of me though "well, you never know." Alas, the 5.1 track sounds like double stereo with a bit of reverb added to the rears, and the rears are about 3 db louder than the fronts. Also, the audio during "Close To The Edge" swishes terribly even on the 2.0 track, as if the film soundtrack was not making good contact with whatever it is that reads film audio (it's not called a head. What is it called?), so perhaps this really is a new film transfer that is different from the standard DVD / Laserdisc. Even if it is, it's still a dark film, and the film print has as many imperfections as one would expect to find on a film of this age, so there's no need to pick this up if you already have "Yessongs."

J. D.
 

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I remember from actually being a projectionist, running Yessongs in the theatre.
The copy we had was a 4 track mag film (as were Woodstock, Fantasia and a few others) and the settings were Left, Center, Right & Mono Surround.
Unfortunately, it (Yessongs) sounded like hell.
Woodstock was OK and Fantasia was nice.
One of the best soundtracks I ever heard in the theatre was the 6 Track, 70mm print of "The Blues Brothers". What a ride that was!!

-Bob
 

atrocity

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The copy we had was a 4 track mag film (as were Woodstock, Fantasia and a few others) and the settings were Left, Center, Right & Mono Surround.
Unfortunately, it (Yessongs) sounded like hell.
I only ever saw it once in four-track and the surround channel was incredibly distorted.
 
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