Billy Cobham- Spectrum DVD-A

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Madalena, Dec 19, 2001.

  1. Chris Madalena

    Chris Madalena Stunt Coordinator

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    Anyone get the "Spectrum" dvd-a yet? I'm interested in the quality. Seems like it would sound great in surround, and I'm also curious about a 24/192 stereo track since it's Warner.
     
  2. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    O gosh, you're making me wish I had a DVD-A player. That album rules.
     
  3. Chris Madalena

    Chris Madalena Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm going to pick it up tonight. It's what's getting me through my day!!
     
  4. Mark F Hall

    Mark F Hall Agent

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    I haven't seen it yet! [​IMG]
     
  5. Chris Madalena

    Chris Madalena Stunt Coordinator

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    Tried to find it at Best Buy last night but they were out. I was really looking forwrd to some pre-xmas fusion!!
     
  6. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

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    I picked this up last night, but haven't listened to it yet - will probably do so when I get home from work today.

    I was quite surprised to find that this is the first Warners DVD-A disc that I know of that is double-sided. So I am assuming that the stereo mix is or should be 192/24.

    On one side of the disc is the surround mix, and the other side is the stereo mix (unlike all the other Warner DVD-As I own that are single sided with silk screen graphics for a label). This disc, on the other hand, looks more like the double sided DVD-Video disc you find where the only indication to what you have in your hand is labeled on a small ring near the inside hub of the disc.

    If this is the way to insure that all DVD-Audio discs have a 192/24 stereo mix, I am all for it.
     
  7. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    Michael,

    It seems that all of the recent DVD-A's coming out from Warner's have 24/192 stereo tracks like America Homecoming, Eagles Hotel California and the Carly Simon disc.

    I wonder why the Cobham one is double sided? I guess it doesn't matter as long as the 24/192 stereo is there.

    Once you get a chance to listen to it can you give us a review of the music as well as the sound quality. I saw this disc yesterday when I picked up Hotel California and a couple of others but I didn't buy it since I had three already.

    Thanks, Patrick
     
  8. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

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    I posted this on audioasylum.com, but for anyone who doesn't go there or just wants to read it again here, I am posting to this board also:

    I only got a chance to listen to the surround mix on the Cobham DVD-A, and it is a solid effort - yet it won't win any awards for sonics.

    The sonic qualities of the surround mix were good, just not what I would call top shelf for DVD-Audio. There were some very good aspects to this disc, and others that were fair.

    The fair aspect that stood out the most was the sound of the cymbals. There was a mild harshness to the overall sound of the cymbals, and at times they tended to "break-up" a little - probably a factor of what is on the master tapes. Another fair aspect to the disc was the way the drums were mixed in surround. I must say, first, that this disc gives your center channel speaker a workout (and it is a non-downmixable surround mix - so those without a center channel speaker need not apply). Billy's snare drum and bass drum were mixed squarely to the center channel. The tom toms were mixed squarely in the left and right speakers, along with the cymbals. Picture yourself looking straight at Billy's drum set, and that was how it was hard mixed to the front three speakers. The aspect of this that made this "fair" was that it tended, IMO, to take away the seamless feeling of the drums in the listening space. It was much too clear that the snare and bass drum were coming directly from the center, which gave them a slightly disjointed feel from the rest of the mix. On the other hand, the sound of the drums (except for the cymbals) was right on. They sounded like drums, with alot of punch and power. The deep bass of the bass drum was part of the LFE channel to give the bass drum that little bit of extra, in your gut, kick.

    I should mention that the rear channels were used judiciously. For most of the songs they were only used for ambience and for bringing the soundstage out into the room a bit. Only on two songs were the surrounds used in a way that attention was brought to them, but it was in a positive way. On "Snoopy's Search" the moog drum synths swirled around and around in a very seamless and exciting way. I know that might not appeal to purists, but these are electronic drums, that lent itself very well to the effect that was created in using them the way they did. It was the only time that the rears were used so extensively, and they worked fine with the song. Once the "real" instruments took over - everything was squarely mixed to the front three channels, with the rear for nice ambience.

    The very postive aspects of this disc were the sound of the drums, as I stated, and the clean, clear bass response - which was mixed to the LFE sub channel (for the deep bass) and the center channel for the upper bass (so you can see the center channel is being used ALOT with this disc). All other instruments, guitar and keyboards came from their respective positions in the mix, left, right and center (although they were not really mixed to the center channel speaker).

    Did I mention the bass. WOW. Very good - one of the cleanest bass mixes I think I have yet to hear on a DVD-A. The bass was not boomy or tubby. It was...well...right. Especially on Stratus. That is one great bass line and the DVD-A in surround made me smile hearing and feeling it. Equally impressive was the nice bass tone on Red Baron.

    Anyway, I wouldn't say that this DVD-A with regard to surround will send anyone running out to get a DVD-A player. But if you like this kind of jazz (Billy was still in the Mahavisnu Orchestra at the time this was recorded) - it might be a good idea to give the DVD-A a try.

    One last few comments. This is a double-sided DVD-A, with the surround mix on one side and the stereo mix on the other, yet the stereo mix is only 96/24. (I just checked it to see if it was 192/24, it wasn't, but I didn't listen past the first 20 seconds.) The extras on both sides of the disc are the same, except, as stated, one is in stereo and the other surround.

    There is a 10 minute video interview with Billy that I haven't watched yet, so that might have eaten up alot of disc space (hence the 96/24 stereo mix). Once I listen to the stereo mix, I will comment on what I hear.
     

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