Thursday, 01 December 2005 |
Look, there are some things you just gotta do. Fathers have to tickle their kids. New cars gotta be opened up on the freeway to see what they’re made of. Cops have to be addressed respectfully after they’ve pulled you over. You gotta pop bubble wrap. And in the December issue, I have to review a Christmas album.
Monday, 24 November 2003 |
was I doing around the time that this album came out? I was touring
with Yes, and working in the U.K. with "medieval rock band" Gryphon.
The Ohio Players never even showed up on my radar screen. As a result,
this 5.1 reissue of the quad mix provided me with an unusual
opportunity to hear a 25-year-old album for the first time.
The Honey album virtually documents where studio technology was at the
time. There is enough material on the (probably 24-track) masters to
make for a full, satisfying surround mix, while the instrumentation and
effects used on the recording tell a tale of technology in transition.
We can hear what sounds to me like the very first string synthesizer,
by Ken Freeman, on many of the numbers. In addition to a little
flanging, there’s what sounds like a Countryman phaser on several
tracks. Yet here we are in a time before ...
Monday, 17 November 2003 |
released in 1976, this album was a classic of its time. We can assume
that the original mix was performed for quad, with four speakers
equidistant from the listener. Jim Gains did the mixing, while the A/D
transfer was by Kevin Reeves at Capitol and mastering was performed by
Peter Mew at Abbey Road - a formidable combination.
There are potential challenges when an album was mixed for quad and is
played back in 5.1. For a start, there is no center front channel. This
sounds like a problem, but it's really fine: quite a number of
engineers mixing surround today feel that music should not have a CF
channel, and as the standard HDS liner notes point out, it's an
artistic decision. The other problem is that you may well be closer to
the surrounds than you would have been in a quad set-up. In the case of
this album, it's ...
Tuesday, 26 February 2002 |
am not a country fan, I am not a Lyle Lovett fan, but I am a big fan of
this disc. I picked up Joshua Judges Ruth to use for checking out 5.1
systems. I was expecting to find a well-recorded disc that would help
me evaluate various systems. I found that and more. The music on this
disc is great and has not left the CD player in my theater system since
I put it in over a month ago.
As you can tell from the title, this disc has strong biblical and
gospel influences. The album starts off with a swinging hit called
"I’ve Been To Memphis" and then slides into the high-energy,
gospel-oriented "Church." The album also features some guest vocals:
Rickie Lee Jones on "North Dakota" and Emmylou Harris in a soulful
"She’s Leaving Me Because She Really Wants To."
Lovett’s singing throughout is heartfelt and moving. The ...
Friday, 28 December 2001 |
Matinee, a remarkable album, was originally released in stereo in 1990,
but I was only introduced to it last summer, when a colleague used it
as an aid in setting up a live sound system at an event where I was
engineering. This DTS surround remix (by Elliot Scheiner) has been
around for awhile, so much so that you may have difficulty obtaining
it. I was first made aware of it at a recent Audio Engineering Society
Convention, where someone, once again, was using it to set up a 5.1
system. Professionals are using this album for such purposes because it
is a quintessentially well-produced, excellently recorded (by Bill
Bottrell) and exquisitely performed rock tour-de-force, ideal for
checking a system and blasting out at high levels so everyone else can
To label Toy Matinee, in either form, the ultimate rock demonstration
album is by no means doing it justice. Here we ...