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Surround mixes of classic LPs

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Marcus Willett, Sep 26, 2013.


  1. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Didn't see any threads about this topic...

    In the last couple years, we have been seeing a lot of 5.1 surround mixes of some of my favorite LPs from the prog-rock era. For me a least, this has re-kindled interest in albums I haven't listened to in a long time, and some of the surround mixes are spectacular.

    Just in the last year I've picked up

    ELP: Emerson, Lake and Palmer
    ELP: Tarkus
    ELP: Brain Salad Surgery
    Rush: Moving Pictures
    Rush: 2112
    Genesis: Trespass
    Genesis: Nursery Cryme
    Genesis: Foxtrot
    Genesis: Selling England by the Pound
    Genesis: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
    Yes: Fragile
    Yes: Close to the Edge (coming soon)

    Supposedly the entire Yes catalog of the 70s in being remixed in surround as well as Fish out of Water, due "sometime this year".

    For me it's like being in high school all over again, hearing some of these incredible works of art in 5.1 surround. Anyone else excited about this development? I am:hyper:
     
  2. greggster59

    greggster59

    Oct 31, 2006
    New Jersey
    You may want to check out the Steven Wilson remixes of King Crimson's back catalog. Outstanding stuff in stereo and 5.1 lossless.
     
  3. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Yeah, he's great. He did the first 2 ELP albums and Close to the Edge. Unfortunately, he has said he will not do any more ELP but he has said the "plan" is for him to do the 70s Yes catalog, and 1 other (besides CTTE) has already been done (he won't say which) and will be out next year.
     
  4. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Sheesh...not much multi-channel love. :meh: Oh well....

    Anyway, latest word is that The Yes Album is being released first half of 2014 and Going For The One second half. Also this year we should see Trilogy and another surround of Brain Salad Sugery.
     
  5. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    I would go out and buy some Pink Floyd albums again just to hear them in 5.1
     
  6. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Not really of the "classic LP" variety, but Sting's Nothing Like The Sun and Ten Summoners Tales are wonderful to hear in surround as well.
     
  7. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Yeah...no on seems to care but...April 14, The Yes Album new 2014 remix and surround 5.1 mx by Steve Wilson :bassist:
     
  8. cronker

    cronker

    Feb 13, 2007
    Australia
    Going for the One would be amazing in that format.

    On a slightly different note, wasn't there are series of Audiophile re-releases some years back, where certain albums were remixed at a very serious level by techno-boffins? I seem to remember this, and also that they were wildly expensive.

    Anyone?
     
  9. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    That's next, fall of 2014 also by Wilson. :hyper:
     
  10. cronker

    cronker

    Feb 13, 2007
    Australia
    I hope they capture the buzz saw Ric sound in the title track chorus layout
     
  11. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    I suspect most folks don't realize just how cool these surround mixes are, and think they're just a gimmick like 3D movies with some sound fx in the rear speakers or whatever.

    They're complete remixes and the separation is amazing. You can hear every element clearly, and in many cases stuff that was not evident on the stero mixes.

    Especially in the case of the Genesis remixes, there's so much more clarity and separation that they sound like brand new recordings.
     
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Sorry Marcus, but I remember quadraphonic sound from the 70's, and to be honest, I always hated being in the middle of the music instead of having it come at me from the front, not to mention that positioning is everything when listening. I feel much the same about surround sound, except I could see where it might be cool on a Floyd album or similar album with lots of sound effects. But far be it from me to poop on your fun...it's just not for me.
     
  13. prd004

    prd004

    Dec 3, 2010
    I'm with Jimmy.
    Not to mention, when the artists, engineers, and producers were in the studio, they were creating a stereo album. To me it's messing with another's art IMO
     
  14. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Yeah it's cool if it's not your thing.

    As for messing with the art, most of these remixes involved the artists who fully approved them and in the case of Genesis and Yes, enthusiastically so. Even if you don't care about the surround aspect (I disagree, but I can respect that), there is one other aspect to most of these remixes.

    Particularly in the case of the Wilson remixes, they are MUCH cleaner. The original multitracks were digitized and all subsequent DSP and mixing done in hi-res digital realm. Effectively first-gen recordings. The decrease in noise is staggering. For these 70's albums, it's amazing how much noise was added by the time you get to the cutting master.

    "First generation is the 2" multitrack (or 1") or - as was the case with some recordings - the stereo mix was first generation.

    Second generation would be the original unmastered mix tape. This was usually to 1/4 or 1/2" at 15 or 30IPS depending on the engineers preferences & the tape stocks used. A copy of this would (usually) be made to send to the mastering engineer and this is where it starts to get messy.

    Was the mastering being done as a final sweetening or for vinyl? If it was sweetened this is now 4th generation (second gen is mix tape, copied (3rd gen) and mastered back to tape again (4th Gen) which then gets dubbed to another copy for the cutting master (5th gen to cutting master engineer which then goes to lacquer for the stampers). By then 36dB has been added to the noise floor. We are usually not sold "what the artist heard" because they were not listening to the cutting masters." (via Neil Wilkes)

    This difference is shockingly apparent listening to (for example) the Wilson stereo remix of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. The tape hiss is practically gone, the clarity is intensified and the stereo image is broader since it needs to be narrowed for LP pressing, using the cutting master. So again, what we usually get is several notches below what the artists and engineers heard.

    The difference is even more striking with the early Genesis remixes. Drums and vocals are no longer buried and you can actually hear discrete guitar parts which used to just be mush. This is all just talking about the stereo mixes, BTW.

    I get that I'm in the minority here, that's fine. But for anyone who might wanna check out some of this stuff, it's a lot of fun. YMMV
     
  15. cronker

    cronker

    Feb 13, 2007
    Australia
    I'm not sure that Chris Squire would be fretting about messing with the art more than receiving his royalties.

    And besides, we are always going to be slaves to the newest technology.
    Think about it. How many of you replaced your vinyl collection with the same music on CD?
    Or VHS to DVD and now Blu-Ray or HD recording?

    As I mentioned above, there has always been an outlet for high end audio recording, and as JimmyM mentioned, those quadrophonic albums were around in the 70's.

    Delivery of music is all about choice.
    Anyone still have an 8 track?
     
  16. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Minneapolis
    I don't have anything to play it on.

    Let me know when I can come over to listen to "Close to the Edge."
     
  17. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    And whatever his reason, he's currently working on a surround mix on Fish Out Of Water. Yeah, will be getting that too.


    I'm open next week. :D

    Surround systems (especially DVD) are cheap these days. Much cheaper than any remotely comparable quad or even stereo setup was back in the days when these albums were being created.
     
  18. cronker

    cronker

    Feb 13, 2007
    Australia
    And yet, I'd probably prefer to hear Ramshackled or Olias of Sunhillow from the collective solo ventures.

    Ramshackled, now THAT would be a listen!
     
  19. Savage_Dreams

    Savage_Dreams

    Jan 8, 2007
    is that compared to the new stereo mixes or the old versions? they did actually remix the entire catalog in stereo and the surround mixes. just wondering because i have all the new remixed releases but believe or not im one of the few that still doesnt have a surround sound setup!
     
  20. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I have two of those. Caravan's 'In the Land of Grey and Pink' and ELP's 'Brain Salad Surgery'. One reason I don't have more is that they, to me, don't offer any more than a solid stereo mix, and I don't need to shell out as much cash.

    In the case of Caravan's mentioned record, I have it also on vinyl and Cd. And I must say that I prefer the vinyl, with CD a close second. The surround mix to me has a big gaping hole where the bass is supposed to be - to me, it changed the mix for the worse that the bass got the short end of the stick yet again.

    BSS was amazing, but that's not due to the surround mix. I felt it added nothing substantial to the record, and all it was good for, in my humble opinion, was an updated mix with more clarity. Kudos for that, though.

    Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side...' I would definitely give a listen.

    I'll keep collecting vinyl until a surround mix totally catches my eye. More bang for the buck - over here I can get 5 to 6 shiny vinyls for one surround DVD, and I have lots of catching up to do...
     

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