Posts by tom

    Unfortunately, the days of physical audio carriers are definitely numbered. Sooner or later, it will no longer be possible to buy playback devices for them.


    Regarding Atmos: I find relatively little sense in imagining that parts of the music come from above (since in reality it rarely happens that musicians with their instruments and possibly amplification systems hover above me). But I wouldn't screw additional loudspeakers under the ceiling, if only because of the cabling.


    On the other hand, I remember I had said something quite similar about 5.1 surround 15 years ago - in the meantime I am a surround fan and even have two complete systems at home... ;)

    Exactly.


    Worth mentioning binaural recordings that allowed headphones to give a surround effect as they were recorded using a dummy head to recreate the way your ears hear. The track Suicide? by BJH ends with a fabulous binaural recording of the songs story, the moment when he steps out of the lift motor room door on the roof, and you hear a dog barking in the distance, will make you look round! :)

    Artificial head recording (more recently also called binaural) has a long history. Invented in the 1920s, it became popular in the 1970s when some radio plays were recorded using this method. It suffers from the same problem: it only works properly if you have a more or less average skull whose dimensions are roughly identical to the dummy they used for the recording. Unfortunately, there are other individual differences besides head circumference that spoil the fun. And the recordings can sound pretty lousy if you play them through a normal stereo system. That was the case then and it is the case now, except that many young people today don't have stereos and then it doesn't matter. ;)

    Well, we could say thanks for posting the link - I should have done that yesterday, but I was only on my iPhone, which makes posting links a bit inconvenient. So I didn't bother, and since anyone can do a quick google themselves... ;)


    I think many people don't understand these terms like "Atmos" correctly - and the Dolby website is not enlightening at first glance either. What is not explained, above all, is the fact that there can be no "Atmos" experience from normal stereo audio. Surely there are processors in the devices that can generate something like a virtual "3D" sound from any kind of audio. However, this is just eyewash (or better: earwash).

    And when I look at this "Echo" speaker from Amazon, the idea of being able to experience spatial sound through it is just ridiculous. The thing is and remains mono, simply because it is only one device in one place - no matter how many internal speakers there actually are and no matter how much phase rubbish they produce to irritate human auditory perception. It's similar to the boomboxes of the past - you could only hear stereo if you pressed your nose against the flap of the cassette compartment.


    The Wikipedia article does mention headphone and smartphone implementations, but only indicates that this is also just virtualisation. This has the disadvantage that it depends, for example, on the circumference of the listener's head. One of the reasons why virtual front localisation in headphones failed decades ago. At least with my thick skull... ;)

    According to the Dolby website, Atmos is available for Tidal and Amazon HD streaming services so far, definitely not for Spotify, although some users created playlists there with Atmos in the titles. They don’t contain any Atmos files of course.

    Dolby Atmos requires remixing the music from the multitracks, just like proper 5.1. But the distribution via Tidal or even Blu-ray still lacks the possibilities of real Atmos for cinemas - which ultimately requires lots of bandwidth and processing power. So Atmos for Home Theatres is just nothing more than surround with some additional channels for ceiling speakers. And the idea to listen to Atmos with headphones or some fancy Amazon Echo speaker is just hilarious.

    I'm pretty sure if I hadn't posted this on April 1, every user would have been salivating profusely. But that would have been extremely dishonest, so I already knew that it would only work on those who didn't pay attention to the date.


    I had found a few photos of these acetate singles with the "Tony Pike" label a few weeks earlier while doing internet research on the studio, all quite small and only with poor resolution (and of course with completely different music on them). But I therefore had reason to believe that the Pennsylvania Flickhouse acetate, long known to exist, also had such a label. I had then emailed the operator of one of these websites and asked him, on some pretext, to send me a high-resolution version of his scan after all. So the only thing that is not genuine is the inscription.

    I can't remember the original, but it had enough letters to puzzle together "Pennsylvania Flickhouse" and "Anon". The fingerprint was also genuine.

    @ TOM, your not confusing the unwrap of a stereo recording into a surround recording? thats the cheap cheating way of doing it. Nick really did go and get the multitracks and do it properly with panning so that the rear channels had some good use.

    Not at all, Mark. I've just tried to point out that he first did the stereo mixes from the multitracks, then, from the same mixing session, he just spread the panorama settings to surround while keeping everything else unchanged.

    It's practically impossible to create a new stereo mix that's so close to the original stereo mix when you start with surround and then just make a downmix. This has to do with the different perceptions. With five equal channels, individual instruments are less "in each other's way" - a problem that requires a lot of attention in stereo mixing and which can be rather neglected when mixing in surround.

    Nothing from Genesis or related, that's for sure. My iPhone has music for more than 11 days non-stop, but there is not a single Genesis song. These days I listen to music almost only when I am on the go, thanks to Bluetooth headphones with Active Noise Cancelling. At home I listen almost only to music in surround, which requires unrestricted attention - so rather rarely. ;)


    So it's Robert Reed's "Sanctuary III" for me too (one walk-through in surround at home included).

    Too right. Each album was presented with a stereo, SACD and DVD-A mix in addition to DVD extras including new interviews, promo videos and 'live' footage. If bought as part of the box set, fans were treated to an additional disc of B-sides, all newly mixed in the three formats already mentioned and an interview with the band about those songs.

    I don't mean to be nitpicking, but the 2007 box sets and the following 2-disc editions don't have DVD-As, they're all DVD-V with DTS and Dolby Digital audio in surround.

    Nick Davis's word to me was that the Stereo mixes in the 2006 and onwards, where the fold down mixes from the Surround Sound mixes.

    Well, I think that's a very simplified statement and I think it was actually the other way round. Usually you try to recreate the original stereo mix first. Once this is set, you only need to expand the panorama settings of the individual tracks to the surround channels. This ensures that the volume relationships of the individual tracks are maintained and you get a surround sound image that does not differ much from the stereo impression. Steven Wilson once mentioned that this is exactly what he does with his remixes.

    Of course, a surround mix created in this way can be easily downmixed back to stereo.

    Unfortunately, our favorite band isn't exactly famous for having the greatest variability at live concerts. It took me a long time to notice any differences between individual concerts on the same tour and often from different tours (and the differences were nevertheless rather marginal - apart from the sound quality and the technical issues).

    So I think it was more of a hunter-gatherer phenomenon that made me collect live shows than that I was actually a "fan" of these performances. Now that we have reached a stage where no new recordings have appeared for years, my interest has waned considerably. Sometimes I regret the time I have spent collecting, restoring and remastering these recordings. But I also see the positive sides: On the one hand I have learned a lot (technically) during this time and on the other hand I have met a lot of very nice people, many of them personally and at least in one case, a real, deep friendship has developed that means a lot to me.

    Listened to "Slow Dance" a lot when it was released in 5.1 last year and again during the first weeks of this year while I was remixing our studio recording of the first five minutes (with real guitars and some vintage keyboards).

    In case you haven’t heard about our project, here‘s a report with some links:

    The Slow Dance-Project


    Looking forward to the third PP&P-box and especially the "extra" CD.

    I have never read them and I probably never will. The fact he was drumming on the first two Genesis singles 40 years ago does not generate enough motivation to me to read his books about living in Spain. I would not read a book by Mick Barnard either, I guess. ;)

    I did collect lots of unofficial live recordings (not only Genesis), but a couple of years ago it came to my mind that I never heard them.

    So I stopped that. I have never traded anything, just got lots of stuff for free by some nice chaps. The rest was downloaded (mostly torrents).

    Actually the 2007 versions were remixes, not remasters! - I don‘t know how often I‘ve tried to explain that this is a huge difference, although Nick Davis did what he could to make it not too obvious.

    However, some albums benefitted largely on getting revised from scratch by going back to the original multitrack recordings, so they became very different beasts, almost incomparable to the old stereo mixes. Which was no surprise, since it‘s virtually impossible to re-create a mix in every detail. Especially the return signals from outboard effects like reverb have never been recorded on the multitracks, so it‘s more or less try and error to get these right.


    Having said that, I always thought it was a very bad idea to abandon the old stereo mixes completely, as they are part of the band’s history (and most of them sound fairly good, especially from the DER series).