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Alan Parsons is not happy.......DSOTM (1 Viewer)

Philip Hamm

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last December, at the Surround 2002 Conference, he discussed his philosophy of surround:

“The surround experience shouldn’t be a stereo experience with ambience. It should be four stereo sound fields.
Amen. I long for more of this kind of attitude in multichannel music.

Excellent article, thanks for the link.
 

Kevin C Brown

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I read the article in the mag. To some degree, seemed like there were *some* (not all) sour grapes in there. But he did have some useful comparisons between his quad mix and the SACD MC mix.

One thing didn't make sense. He said that he basically whipped up the quad mix in no time at all. But yet he does a serious comparison to Guthrie's multi-channel mix, that all we know had a lot more time spent on it. ??

For the DVD-A, I guess after reading that article, I'm a little les interested in Parson's quad mix, but what I'd really like to see, is what he would do today within the context of his original mix (and what he did and didn't like about it) vs the SACD mix... :)
 

David Coleman

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I read this article in the magazine and found it fascinating! I have always wondered why Parsons didn't co-operate in the surround mix since he was the original engineer? I thought maybe he didn't want to feeling that was strange because I know he has some DTS CD's?

I can't believe that he wasn't even asked??? Seriously, how many original engineers out there really have tangible surround experience?

He also made a statement that I agree with. Surround shouldn't be there to provide ambience. It should provide presence. Ambience = 4 speaker 2 channel experience. If I wanted that i'd run the A+B speakers. The mixes I prefer are the one's that maintain the dignity of the original mix but show the instrumental/vocal separation you can't have in a stereo mix!!

Fascinating read though!!

David
 

andrew markworthy

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“The surround experience shouldn’t be a stereo experience with ambience. It should be four stereo sound fields.
Possibly with some pop/rock tracks where it sounds 'artificial' in the first place (Mike Oldfield, Jean-Michel Jarre, a lot of Floyd, etc, spring to mind). However, IMHO it's a disaster on most classical music; composers intended the listener to hear the music as a coming from one source. When they didn't, then they specified that some musicians should be placed at different locations (Mahler and some of the early polyphonic choral composers instantly spring to mind) - these are arguably the only occasions when multi-channel is going to be effective with classical music. Also to a lesser extent, multi-channel is unappealing on some 'traditional' pop music. E.g. I think that some of the less 'experimental' tracks on Queen's Night at the Opera sound far better in plain stereo and arguably would have been better served by being recoded as 'stereo + ambience'.
 

Rich Malloy

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It figures that it was "Sound and Vision" that ran this article, and I'm certainly glad to see that "Stereophile" and "The Absolute Sound" are largely rejecting these quad-like, early DTS-CD like multichannel mixes. As for Parsons, he was dropped by the Floyd many years ago in favor of Guthrie/Sax, and his continued whining over that fact is turning ever more pathetic.

Guthrie did a phenomenal job, proving to many of us that a rock album could be turned multichannel without it sounding like the early days of "ping-pong" stereo.

BTW, can anyone confirm whether the DTS CD of "DsotM" is an accurate reflection of Parson's quad mix? If so, I can't believe anyone could possibly prefer it. But if that's it, then perhaps the DVD-A crowd (which seems to prefer this kind of mix) should consider petitioning the studio to release it on DVD-A. I suspect the Floyd would be against it, but if the studio believes you folks will shell out for it, you just might get it. Perhaps as an alternate track. That just might make everyone happy.
 

Lee Scoggins

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Guthrie did a phenomenal job, proving to many of us that a rock album could be turned multichannel without it sounding like the early days of "ping-pong" stereo.
Amen to that.

I am tired of hearing all the BS moaning from Alan Parson groupies.

The band chose Guthrie.

Guthrie excelled.

Parsons is pissed.

As the Eagles say, get over it! :D
 

Lee Scoggins

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The surround experience shouldn’t be a stereo experience with ambience. It should be four stereo sound fields.
I don't agree with this for all music. For classical and jazz, ambience is perfect in recreating the performance.

Very few people have heard how good regular ole two channel sound can be in terms of holographic imaging of the soundstage. Two channel sound carries a lot of information about a performance when done right.
 

Rich Malloy

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Two-channel can sound phenomenal, no doubt. I recently got Alison Krauss+Union Station's "Live" SACD, which I'd previously had on CD (absolutely top-notch quality CD). I was highly anticipating the upgrade to hi-res that the SACD would bring, and that was certainly ear-opening. But it was the multichannel mix that really opened my ears yet again. Anyone who criticizes an "ambient" mix needs to listen to this, or to the recent "4 Generations of Miles" disc, or Telarc's "A Sea Symphony", or frankly any of a gazillion wonderful such mixes.

BTW, I hope everyone's read Kalman Rubinson's first Stereophile piece devoted to multichannel music ("Music in the Round"). I thought it was phenomenal, and I'm certain it'll warm the inner cochleas of the heart of many a multichannel music fan (John Kotches, what did you think?). I've never read a more apt and illuminating description of the difference between two-channel stereo and multichannel stereo (to use Rubinson's terminology), and why the new mixes are finally fulfilling the potential that was squandered by Quad and DTS with their gimmicky, inherently non-musical approaches to remixing. Some similar points were made in a couple of excellent pieces in the last issue of The Absolute Sound. But Kal has issued the clarion call, the primacy of multichannel done right over two-channel... and in Stereophile of all places! This is truly revolutionary.
 

Philip Hamm

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Lee and Rich, did you actually read the article or are you just commenting on what you expect is written there based on the title of this thread? Parsons was actually very complimentary to much of Guthrie's work on the multichannel mix.

I agree that properly set-up stereo can create a fantastic enveloping holographic soundfield.

Which is exactly the reason that multichannel mixes should not be set up as "stereo with ambience". Properly done stereo works fine in that regard already. If that's all you're going to do, you might as well stick to stereo.
 

Rich Malloy

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I read it, as I've read all the other self-pitying comments Parsons has made over the last year, dutifully reported in High Fidelity Review.

I'll ask again: is the DTS CD, in fact, Parson's quad mix?

Which is exactly the reason that multichannel mixes should not be set up as "stereo with ambience". Properly done stereo works fine in that regard already. If that's all you're going to do, you might as well stick to stereo.
John Kotches, among others, have written extensively as to why this is wrong. Again, I recommend Kalman Rubinson's "Music in the Round" essay in this month's issue of "Stereophile" for another excellent take.
 

LanceJ

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There seems to be a large difference of opinion as to what constitutes "listening to music".

* One group thinks it should be a recreation of a real performance venue.

* The other group thinks being immersed in music, to better feel the music ITSELF, is the better option.

I get the feeling this is turning into a political/religion discussion type of thing--nobody is right. It's all just opinion.

That being said......

Pink Floyd was an unconventional band--but it sounds like this surround mix is unfortunately NOT that way. A nice, politically-correct mix to prevent the music purists from complaining. Personally, I think the Floyd's age is what influenced this blah recording choice. Because back in 1974 as adventurous twenty-somethings, would they have approved such a safe surround mix? I don't think so.

Jeez I hope EMI is whipping up a good-n-offensive DSOTM 5.1 dvd-audio for us surround music hooligans.

Maybe they ought to ask for some input from Radiohead. :)

LJ
 

Rick_Brown

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I don't care how good or bad the new surround mix is! I enjoyed listening to Parson's DSOTM mix in quadraphonic for almost 25 years via a vinyl SQ quad LP and quad setup (retired a few years ago when I went digital). I love that mix and I want to hear it again, whether on SACD or DVD-A. To me, this piece of history has been cast aside all too easily.

My first preference would be for the old quad mix untouched, second choice would be for Parsons to remix it with the original in mind. Not gonna happen now. Guess I'll have to try to get a copy of the DTS disk.
:frowning:
 

Rich Malloy

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One of the parameters I always work with when I’m mixing for surround is: Keep the Interest. If there’s nothing going on, then stick something in the back.”
That pretty well speaks for itself. "Stick something in the back."

Lance, do you know if the DTS CD is Parson's mix? And do you prefer this mix to Guthrie's? If so, I certainly wouldn't suggest that your preferences are "wrong" -- these are subjective things, after all -- but at least we could then directly compare our responses to the two mixes. That would probably be a more interesting and less antagonistic discussion.
 

Phil A

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Thank goodness Guthrie was chosen after reading the comments by Alan Parsons. It is apparent that the band wanted the music to come first and was not into the ping-pong rear channel games just to show that rear channels are present. Parsons is obviously mad since he was not chosen and the success and praise of the multi-channel mix on the release is obviously something the has trouble coming to grips with. Instead of downing someone else's work, he should do his own thing and perhaps mix "I Robot" or his other stuff the way he likes. After hearing what he has to say, I will be perfectly happy with my 2-channel DAD of "I Robot."
 

LanceJ

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Big Question: exactly WHY did Pink Floyd not approve of Parson's quad mix? I have never read of this.

Rich: I'm going by many people's reviews of this mix, particularly people that I know like aggressive dvd-audio mixes. But I am getting closer & closer to buying it myself to form a better opinion of it (though I would have to go to my local Tweeter dealer to hear it).

DSOTM on DTS-CD

LJ
 

Rich Malloy

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Lance, does that link confirm that the Parson's Quad mix is the same as the DTS CD? Seems so...

And, if so, there's no comparison to me. The DTS mix is not the worst surround mix I've ever heard by a long shot (the last two so-called "bonus tracks" on The Police "Every Breath You Take" SACD take that title, tho' I understand Silverline on the DVD-A side has produced equally execrable mixes), but it's just a night and day difference compared to Guthrie's. And I haven't even began to suss out how Guthrie has achieved the amazingly organic sound he has... I've never heard anything quite like it. And it's not, I repeat not merely an ambient reproduction of the original two-channel mix. It's positively holographic, with sounds placed everywhere, breathing like an enormous beast, turning my entire listening room into a giant Pink Floyd cathedrel.

And I haven't come across a better bargain than the new DSotM SACD in years. I got it for under $12, for cryin' out loud! Buy it, buy it, buy it!!! Whether or not you end up preferring the DTS CD (and I just can't imagine you would), this disc is easily worth the handful of clams they're asking for it. Even if you despise Guthrie's multichannel mix, the two-channel SACD track is the best mastering Parson's original mix has ever gotten. I mean, we can quibble as to whether the CD layer sounds better than the MFSL or the Harvest/UK, but if anyone claims either sounds better than the two-channel SACD layer, then they're just nuts!! Crazy nuts!!! Or they've had their ears assaulted for so long that they actually believe the flat, two-dimensional, digitized, homogenized sound of the CD is somehow "right".
 

Rick_Brown

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Big Question: exactly WHY did Pink Floyd not approve of Parson's quad mix? I have never read of this.
Not sure if I understand your question, Lance. Parsons says that Pink Floyd did not approve his quad mix for the SACD ; I don't think that he meant that they rejected it back in the early 70's when it was done. After all, it was released commercially on an EMI SQ-Quad LP, so they must have approved it then, no?
 

Rich Malloy

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Reading the article, it seems that even Parsons didn't entirely approve of his Quad mix. He thinks the feel was "exciting" but concedes it was a "rushed", "compromised" effort. I believe Floyd dropped him way back then, prior to "Wish You Were Here", but I'm not exactly sure. And I don't think it had anything to do with their thoughts regarding the Quad mix, specifically.

Basically, Parson's argument that he should have been included/consulted for the SACD comes down to this appraisal of his own Quad mix: "Conceptually, it wasn’t so wrong that I shouldn’t have had a crack at the [new] surround mix."

But Guthrie's been with Floyd/Waters ever since. And Parson's great achievement, the two-channel Dark Side mix we all grew up with, is given it's greatest presentation yet on the two-channel SACD track. Not remixed in the slightest, but lovingly remastered into gorgeous DSD. It has never sounded so good.

But I don't know if I'll ever listen to it again after hearing Guthrie's multichannel mix! ;)
 

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