More Zappa on DVD-A - 9/14/04!

Discussion in 'Music' started by Felix Martinez, Jul 26, 2004.

  1. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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    Hi Folks -

    Great news for Z fans...

    My contact at DTS Entertainment has told me that another Zappa DVD-A disc is scheduled to be released on 9/14/04.

    The only other info I have is that it's going to be original quad versions of previously unreleased material.

    FRANKly, I can't wait!

    Cheers,
     
  2. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    [​IMG]
     
  3. Michael St. Clair

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    'Roxy and Elsewhere' and 'One Size Fits All' were quite possibly mixed for Quad (and, of course, officially released in Stereo).

    Most geeky Zappa collectors have homebrew DTS CDs of Apostrophe (') and Over-Nite Sensation (official quad releases).
     
  4. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Great, great, great, great news! [​IMG]

    I'm hoping it's more live stuff, but I'll take those quad mixes, too! I've got the AU20s of "One Size" and "Apostrophe", and they are deep muffin goodness the both of 'em (unlike so many AU20s), and I sorta doubt any new mix/mastering will best these. But I'd love to hear the "Over-nite" quads ("she said her stereo was four-way!").
     
  5. Michael St. Clair

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    The two official quads aren't spectacular surround mixes, not very inventive. They are interesting, maybe even 'good', but not 'great'. Hopefully he got better as he went along.

    The same can be said of many, if not most, old Quad mixes from other artists. Hey, it was new technology, and it never matured that much. Look how much better stereo recordings got after the first couple of years.

    I think a good Scheiner surround mix of (') and Over-Nite could blow the official Frank versions away.

    But, hey, I'm always excited about new Zappa. Maybe eventually the six-channel stuff he mixed in the 90s will come out...not sure how well it will fit 5.1 without a remix, though.
     
  6. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Felix said the new disc of previously unreleased material, so if that's true, it can't be Sensation or Roxy or any of that.

    I look forward to it, whatever it is.
     
  7. Michael St. Clair

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    Well, there's the possibility that his contact meant that the material hadn't been released in surround (Roxy and OSFA would fit that criteria, along with various other individual songs that were mixed in Quad but not released).

    Given that there hasn't been an official press release, I'm allowing for at least slight miscommunication, which certainly does happen as information gets relayed along. No disrespect to Felix intended.
     
  8. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    Whatever it is, count me in...

    I had Overnite Sensation in the old discrete quad format, and I guess I'd go along with the good-not-great assessment... then, as now, the 'immersive' surround mixes were called into question... for wildly inventive studio music like these mid-70s Zappa works, I think immersive is appropriate.

    Especially if the original tracks are properly remastered.

    Maybe a preview of that effect can be found on the multi-channel version of the Jeff Beck Blow by Blow SACD, apparently made from the old 70s SQ surround mixes... this mix really does seem inappropriate with guitars sometimes placed entirely in the rears... but the remaster clarity is so stunning, I can almost forgive the oddball mix.

    Maybe the Zappa release will make appropriate adjustments for optimum effect... Halloween was thoughtfully produced.

    What I do hope for is economic usage of disc space... they can surely fit two of those short LPs on one DVD-A.
     
  9. Michael St. Clair

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    Agreed. Unfortunately, the mixes are biased towards the front with occasional gimmicks and ambience in the rears. The 'vigorous circular motion' guitar riff doesn't even go in a circle.
     
  10. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Hmmm. Surprising. The only 70s-era quad mixes on SACD/DVD-A I think I have are "Head Hunter" and "Machine Head", both of which are quite surround-happy. In the case of "Machine Head", I much prefer the sorta oddball quad mix to the rather vanilla Scheiner-sounding 5.1 remix of the "bonus" tracks.
     
  11. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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    ...but again, this is all very new info, and I'm sure the forthcoming PR will provide all the details. I'll try to pry some more info in the meantime!
     
  12. Michael St. Clair

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    Well, in that particular case I was referring to Zappa's six-channel mixes from the 90s, which, if I recall, use two front speakers, two side speakers, and two rear speakers. In my opinion, it wouldn't be really feasible to release it that way without at least including a 5.1 (three front, two rear, one sub) mix.

    As far as the quad stuff, I'm not saying I expect them to remix it, I'm just saying that the two albums that have been released aren't the best surround mixes in the world.

    As far as being 'good enough for Frank', he released plenty of stuff that a lot of fans and/or audiophiles think were complete botch jobs (remixed WOIIFTM vinyl/cd, Hot Rats CD, Sheik Yerbouti CD, earlier YAWYI and Tinseltown CDs, etc.) I'm a huge Frank fan but he had some George Lucas revisionist brain fade when he got his hands on digital equipment in the 80s. Fortunately many of the botched releases have since been fixed, but some stuff like Hot Rats and Yerbouti sound pretty awful compared to other versions that are available (vinyl, sometimes EMI CDs, etc).

    If the ZFT really thinks "If it was good enough for Frank, it's good enough for us!", then why did they allow Spence Chrislu to replace the FZ-approved YAWYI and TT discs with secret remasters in 1998? [​IMG]
     
  13. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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    Funny you should mention YAWYI and Spence...

    About that time, I contacted Spence about the remastered YAWYI and brought to his attention my observation that one of the channels (not sure if it was L or R - I got rid of the disc shortly after I bought it) had drop outs throughout. I think TR has the same prob. He confirmed the flaw and told me he had wanted to fix it but was told **to leave it the way it was** - that was the master.

    I had (and still have) in my possession a UK CD pressing of YAWYI, which has the L-R channels intact (no drop-outs). However, the sequencing (song breaks, etc.) were kinda screwy on that UK release, and the sonics were a bit thin.

    For my own personal edification and to tackle the then mysterious world of mastering (for me, anyway), I re-edited (b/c of the screwy sequencing), re-EQ'd/remastered YAWYI using the audio files off the UK disc and sent my final remaster on CD-R to Spence for his thoughts - he was then no longer working for the ZFT. As a novice audio buff at the time, I recall being simply over the moon when I rec'd his nice comments on what I did, and to this day my remaster of YAWYI is how I hear that album on CD.

    Sorry to go OT. Back to FZ on DVD-A...
     
  14. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I mostly wrote that [​IMG] message because this would reduce the time schedule needed for relasing all those other albums, from any artist, in surround form rather than implying that any quad mix from back then would always sound good.

    (so here comes the back pedaling part [​IMG] )

    Though this gets into the messy quicksand of musical opinion, if a quad mix was deemed by most listeners as being truly sucky then IMO a remix would be in order. And also, a quad master recording that was EQ'ed/compressed/mastered for the playback technology of the 70s might not sound very good on today's equipment (especially worrisome were the not-so-great matrix encoding schemes for vinyl--maybe that's why so many quad albums were aggresively mixed to make sure something showed up discretely in the rear channels?).

    Can of worms alert: I have to add that I hope any remixing is done without using the center channel: in my experience they hardly ever seem to soncially match the front mains; IMO having a vocal or instrument pop out from there sounds disconcerting; and how many people are actually able to position them correctly (I can't)? And what about mobile surround listening?
     
  15. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    This is a must buy for me. Hopefully some more Queen is coming from DTS at the end of this year as well.

    J
     
  16. Michael St. Clair

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    Lance,

    Here is a recap of the two official quad discs from the Zappa Patio. I would agree with this (to my recollection, I probably haven't listened to them in about a year).

    Over-Nite Sensation:



    Again, I don't think these are bad, I just don't think they are mixed as effectively as, say, The Flaming Lips or Porcupine Tree DVD-As, or even the original quad 'Dark Side of the Moon' by Alan Parsons (not the Guthrie SACD).
     
  17. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport Cinematographer

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    The last rumor I heard out of zappa.com was that the next release was going to be The Petite Wazoo tour. I also know that Dweezil was preparing Apostrophe for a quad release. Hopefully the Complete Roxy will be coming out soon as well. As soon as the Ryko deal expires we should start seeing more stuff come out quicker, though you might have to sign up as a subscriber like the King Crimson club.
     
  18. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Wasn't there also supposed to be a DVD of the Roxy concert?
     
  19. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    I thought so, too! (And I'd like to have a non-video hi-res version, as well... not instead, but in addition to!)
     
  20. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport Cinematographer

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    There's an ad for Roxy on the Baby Snakes DVD, so it must be in the works. They have all the audio for it but were still looking for film elements last I heard.

    You might check the Billboard archives because I think there was an article with Gail & Dweezil in the past couple months.
     

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