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Thoughts on Surround mixing...
Old 7th September 2005
  #1
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Thoughts on Surround mixing...

Thanks for stopping by, Michael!

When you mix a 'classic' album for 5.1 (Like Bob Dylan) how much do you reference the stereo mix and how much do you feel you can deviate from what people are used to hearing? I would think some people are expecting 'stereo plus'...or do you feel you can re-think the mix from the ground up?

Thanks!
Max
Old 7th September 2005
  #2
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Michael Brauer's Avatar
 

Thanks for the invite guys and gals, I look forward to a fun month of Q&A.

When it comes to turning classic records into surround, I insist on maintaining the integrity and balances of the original mix. It's the sound and balances that we all associate with a particular song. It's what brings back the memories. I have no interest in getting clever and putting my take on it. I'd rather be clever and recreate the feel as exactly as possible. That is alot harder to do in my opinion. I remixed Blonde on Blonde about ten years ago. They were releasing the SACD version of it. Steve Berkowitz, the A&R person heading the project noticed the mix was different than on his vinyl record. It turnes out the original stereo masters had been lost years ago and for years all the CD releases were from a remix of the 4 track done by a Columbia engineer. He didn't try to match the original mixes. So I was hired to go in and recreate the original mixes from that record for the SACD release. Steve brought over the best stereo vinyl recording(a mono mix was also available) and I transferred it to a Radar 24, along with the original 4 track, which was not in great condition. I synced up each song to the vinyl and began the process of matching. The result was amazing. It felt and sounded like the original but the image seemed bigger. I had to keep in mind that I was matching the sound of vinyl and the EQ mastering but anything else would not have been faithful to the way we all originally heard the record. Years later, I was asked to do the 5.1 of the record. I did not want to go down the novelty quad path of placing instruments in the back channel that had no business being there. So I came up with a panaramic approach. You don't really notice the rear speakers(except one track) . The result is 3d with great depth, dimension, extreme width and a natural feeling of being at the session. You get the impression that some of the musicians are 6 feet back and others are just a couple feet away. Dylan sounds like he's standing in front of you. But, at no time are the balances different from the original mix. Keep in mind, this approach was appropriate for Dylan. I would not use this imaging for Pink Floyd. First, I'd search my dresser for an old forgotten joint from years past, smoke it, and then think of way to use all 6 speakers to scare myself while mixing their record.
Old 8th September 2005
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Brauer
You get the impression that some of the musicians are 6 feet back and others are just a couple feet away.
This is where I think surround can work really well. Great! thanks!

Max
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