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Amazing Missed Opportunities in Surround

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
In these days of expanded editions, legacy editions, and anniversary editions, sometimes we get a labor of love and they get it just right. Many other times a golden opportunity is missed for a surround mix, and sometimes it's hard to understand why. Because misery loves company, I thought I would list a few major laments for these deluxe reisssues, and invite you to add yours....

Peter Gabriel--So Up is one of my most played surround titles. I can't believe he missed the boat on this reissue.

Marvin Gaye--What's Going On The vinyl, alternate mix, etc are great, but the quad mix from CD-4 vinyl days was amazing and would have made this package essential

Who--Quadrophenia only a limited selection of surround tracks... so disappointing

Paul Simon--Graceland A nice authentic surround mix is in the can somewhere and was circulated on the internet a few years ago. It really opened the sound up...where is it?

IQ--Tales from the Lush Attic A Steve Wilson remix but only in stereo?! What's the story there?

David Bowie--Alladin Sane New deluxe reissue but unlike Ziggy, no 5.1 mix! Pass!

Please chime in!
post #2 of 38
What can I say? Record companies are lazy. They just want to grab quick/ easy money. And when they are bored with being bored, they whine about losing money because no one seems to buy cds anymore.
Why they do not care for people who would be ready to pay for a nice package with nice content is beyond me.
post #3 of 38
I am so completely in agreement about So and Quadrophenia! I'm particularly surprised give the great surround mixes of Up and Tommy.
post #4 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorO View Post

In these days of expanded editions, legacy editions, and anniversary editions, sometimes we get a labor of love and they get it just right. Many other times a golden opportunity is missed for a surround mix, and sometimes it's hard to understand why. Because misery loves company, I thought I would list a few major laments for these deluxe reisssues, and invite you to add yours....

Peter Gabriel--So Up is one of my most played surround titles. I can't believe he missed the boat on this reissue.

Marvin Gaye--What's Going On The vinyl, alternate mix, etc are great, but the quad mix from CD-4 vinyl days was amazing and would have made this package essential

Who--Quadrophenia only a limited selection of surround tracks... so disappointing

Paul Simon--Graceland A nice authentic surround mix is in the can somewhere and was circulated on the internet a few years ago. It really opened the sound up...where is it?

IQ--Tales from the Lush Attic A Steve Wilson remix but only in stereo?! What's the story there?

David Bowie--Alladin Sane New deluxe reissue but unlike Ziggy, no 5.1 mix! Pass!

Please chime in!

Record companies were shelling out big bucks to do surround mixes for SACD/DVD-A during the early days of those formats. That is not quite the case anymore. There is a MUCH higher cost in surround mixing an album, versus simply transferring the stereo tracks to DSD or 24/192.

One of the examples of a "new" SACD surround mix was Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. However, that surround mix had been in the can for many, many years.

Have studios given up on this? Of course. Whether hi-res multichannel was a marketing disaster and/or a format that the public at large doesn't care that much about is open for debate, but there is a large financial investment in a surround sound mix, regardless.
post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bo130 View Post

Record companies were shelling out big bucks to do surround mixes for SACD/DVD-A during the early days of those formats. That is not quite the case anymore. There is a MUCH higher cost in surround mixing an album, versus simply transferring the stereo tracks to DSD or 24/192.

One of the examples of a "new" SACD surround mix was Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. However, that surround mix had been in the can for many, many years.

Have studios given up on this? Of course. Whether hi-res multichannel was a marketing disaster and/or a format that the public at large doesn't care that much about is open for debate, but there is a large financial investment in a surround sound mix, regardless.

What doesn't quite add up is the fact that some new mch releases are so affordable, e.g. 3 disc deluxe versions of the 1st 2 ELP albums for $15-16 and the Skynyrd 3 disc set for $12. These were new mch mixes, so if it costs so much, why are they so affordable? And why was the single disc WYWH sacd, for which the mix was already done, more than twice what these 3 disc sets cost, where the mixes were new?
post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWinVA View Post

What doesn't quite add up is the fact that some new mch releases are so affordable, e.g. 3 disc deluxe versions of the 1st 2 ELP albums for $15-16 and the Skynyrd 3 disc set for $12. These were new mch mixes, so if it costs so much, why are they so affordable?

I guess my point is that some labels aren't necessarily willing to put out the money to do the surround mixes. They aren't as common in new releases as they use to be. (You illustrated some exceptions if those are indeed new mixes and not simply re-releases from previous surround mixes) If a label thinks they'll profit, they'll go for it. But, again, they're not as common as they use to be. And, yes, there is a lot more cost than simply hooking up the stereo master tapes to a DSD or hi-rez converter.
Quote:
And why was the single disc WYWH sacd, for which the mix was already done, more than twice what these 3 disc sets cost, where the mixes were new?

Two reasons - A) Because people had been sweating for that release for so long (and EMI knew this) and B) Because it was released on a boutique label, and they knew that they could get away with a premium price. Pink Floyd was always at a premium price, even on CD.
Edited by bo130 - 4/21/13 at 1:04pm
post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bo130 View Post

I guess my point is that some labels aren't necessarily willing to put out the money to do the surround mixes. They aren't as common in new releases as they use to be. (You illustrated some exceptions if those are indeed new mixes and not simply re-releases from previous surround mixes) If a label thinks they'll profit, they'll go for it. But, again, they're not as common as they use to be. And, yes, there is a lot more cost than simply hooking up the stereo master tapes to a DSD or hi-rez converter.

I agree that the labels just aren't willing to put the money into new surround mixes, I just don't buy that it's too expensive. It can't be that expensive when the releases I cited are so affordable. And they are new mixes- the 2 ELP were done by Steven Wilson, the one man most responsible for keeping mch alive (if barely).

Two reasons - A) Because people had been sweating for that release for so long (and EMI knew this) and B) Because it was released on a boutique label, and they knew that they could get away with a premium price. Pink Floyd was always at a premium price, even on CD.

I agree that this is an example of record co. gouging- knowing that fans will pay inflated prices and trying to maximize profits. Maybe if they thought more about giving fans what they wanted at reasonable prices rather than trying to milk them for whatever they can they wouldn't be an endangered species. Another example is Floyd boxsets- let's force them to buy a lot of crap they don't want to get what they do want so we can sell it at ridiculous prices. Unfortunately, the market seems to tolerate this, so they can continue this practice.

I think one reason record co.'s aren't willing to spend money on surround mixes is because they know the market is a small but very hungry group who will continue to pay exorbitant prices for what they really want, so let's keep demand high and supply low.
post #8 of 38
I can't believe that The Wall immersion set doesn't include a surround mix !! mad.gif

Cheers,
post #9 of 38
I wish I could a Dream Theatre album or two on hi-rez.
post #10 of 38
I'm not sure if it is a significant data point, but I have not bought the Aqualung set with 5.1 mix because it is just too expensive for what I want out of it. Yeah, for the true collector the vinyl etc is great, but I just want a 5.1 mix on DVD-A or SACD, and I will settle for DTS and grudgingly put up with DD.

The aforementioned ELP remixed 5.1 releases were indeed recent, done by Steven Wilson. Maybe his fees are ridiculously small and therefore the cost to create the surround version is minimal to other reissue costs.

Currently listening to Beck's Guero, wishing more of his stuff was released in 5.1 (and yes, Sea Change is AWESOME).

shinksma
post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWinVA View Post

I agree that this is an example of record co. gouging- knowing that fans will pay inflated prices and trying to maximize profits. Maybe if they thought more about giving fans what they wanted at reasonable prices rather than trying to milk them for whatever they can they wouldn't be an endangered species. Another example is Floyd boxsets- let's force them to buy a lot of crap they don't want to get what they do want so we can sell it at ridiculous prices. Unfortunately, the market seems to tolerate this, so they can continue this practice.

And they will, particularly when physical media inevitably drops in demand in the coming years.
Quote:
I think one reason record co.'s aren't willing to spend money on surround mixes is because they know the market is a small but very hungry group who will continue to pay exorbitant prices for what they really want, so let's keep demand high and supply low.

True. When SACD and DVD-A were in its infancy, I think the record labels were going to do all they could to promote those formats. Now that both of them have been relegated to "audiophiles", they don't see the dollar signs that they use to (for the most part). DVD-A is pretty much a dead format. 24/96 or 192 releases on Blu-Ray will likely become the norm.
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter M View Post

I can't believe that The Wall immersion set doesn't include a surround mix !! mad.gif

Cheers,

The original tapes (not a stereo mixdown master) are in bad shape. I have heard that an attempt at doing a surround mix may likely happen, but the tapes are in such bad condition that there's a lot of concern that they preserve them at all costs.
post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by shinksma View Post

I'm not sure if it is a significant data point, but I have not bought the Aqualung set with 5.1 mix because it is just too expensive for what I want out of it. Yeah, for the true collector the vinyl etc is great, but I just want a 5.1 mix on DVD-A or SACD, and I will settle for DTS and grudgingly put up with DD.

The aforementioned ELP remixed 5.1 releases were indeed recent, done by Steven Wilson. Maybe his fees are ridiculously small and therefore the cost to create the surround version is minimal to other reissue costs.

Currently listening to Beck's Guero, wishing more of his stuff was released in 5.1 (and yes, Sea Change is AWESOME).

shinksma

I'm with you. I avoided the Immersion boxsets and even the WYWH sacd, until I found it for $30 w/ free shipping; even then, it was over-priced, but I just had to have it. Also passed on the Aqualung box until I found that for $80 shipped. Again, over-priced, but at least semi-reasonable for the box. But a standalone of the BR or DVD-a would have been nice.
post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bo130 View Post

And they will, particularly when physical media inevitably drops in demand in the coming years.

While discs do appear to be on the way to obsolescence, the crowd that wants hi-rez surround discs is, for the most part, the crowd that will continue to want physical media. So, while it continues to be a niche market, I believe the demand for mch discs will stay pretty constant for quite some time. Until hi-rez mch downloads are available, this market will continue to grab up any quality mch releases. Even then, a demand will still exist, as the majority of this niche are collectors- and they want something tangible to collect.
Quote:
True. When SACD and DVD-A were in its infancy, I think the record labels were going to do all they could to promote those formats. Now that both of them have been relegated to "audiophiles", they don't see the dollar signs that they use to (for the most part). DVD-A is pretty much a dead format. 24/96 or 192 releases on Blu-Ray will likely become the norm.

BR does seem to be the future and does offer an excellent way to get high quality mch releases to the masses. With the upcoming push for BR audio discs, there is reason to hope. However, given the history and what little info we have about the new releases, there is also reason to feel that the record co.'s will miss this opportunity as well. While the BR pure audio specs certainly support mch, there has been no mention of mch in the little info we have; it seems they're pushing this as a hi-rez replacement for CD, not as a revitalization of surround music. Hopefully as this progresses we will get more surround releases. It would seem a no-brainer to get all those existing mch mixes that never saw the light of day onto BR, but nobody ever accused record co. exec's of having much in the brains dept.
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bo130 View Post

The original tapes (not a stereo mixdown master) are in bad shape. I have heard that an attempt at doing a surround mix may likely happen, but the tapes are in such bad condition that there's a lot of concern that they preserve them at all costs.

Very sad. frown.gif
post #16 of 38
There is problems with the Multitrack tapes and further Restoration is required A SACD 5.1 is coming of The Wall
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by dargo View Post

A SACD 5.1 is coming of The Wall

You have actual information on this?
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bo130 View Post

Record companies were shelling out big bucks to do surround mixes for SACD/DVD-A during the early days of those formats. That is not quite the case anymore. There is a MUCH higher cost in surround mixing an album, versus simply transferring the stereo tracks to DSD or 24/192.

One of the examples of a "new" SACD surround mix was Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. However, that surround mix had been in the can for many, many years.

Have studios given up on this? Of course. Whether hi-res multichannel was a marketing disaster and/or a format that the public at large doesn't care that much about is open for debate, but there is a large financial investment in a surround sound mix, regardless.

This is s such nonsense that it almost boggles the mind that people keep falling for it.
The cost of a remix from original multitracks to 5.1 is about £2,000/album plus the cost of getting the multitracks restored & transferred - this is not "much higher" in terms of costs.
post #19 of 38
If there were half decent marketing execs it wouldn't take much to realise a good 5.1 mix will sell WAY MORE than a stereo release. FACT! The cost of a remix would be paid back many, many time over.
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by HomerJau View Post

If there were half decent marketing execs it wouldn't take much to realise a good 5.1 mix will sell WAY MORE than a stereo release. FACT! The cost of a remix would be paid back many, many time over.

Unfortunately, that "IF" has been proven not to be the case.
post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by neil wilkes View Post

This is s such nonsense that it almost boggles the mind that people keep falling for it.
The cost of a remix from original multitracks to 5.1 is about £2,000/album plus the cost of getting the multitracks restored & transferred - this is not "much higher" in terms of costs.

So, it's $2k including studio costs, and the costs of a decent surround engineer (such as Elliot Scheiner) etc etc?
post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bo130 View Post

So, it's $2k including studio costs, and the costs of a decent surround engineer (such as Elliot Scheiner) etc etc?

Having owned a post production / mastering studio in my past life, 2k Pounds seems to be onna VERY low side even if it is only the studio cost. Where can you get a studio rental for 100 Quid per hour? Even then you can't remix an album of 8 songs into multichannel in 20 hours, that's just impossible!! eek.gif
post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bo130 View Post

So, it's $2k including studio costs, and the costs of a decent surround engineer (such as Elliot Scheiner) etc etc?

The $2-3k figure seems low to me as well. Especially if a decent engineer is used which I think would cost more than $2-3k.

Bill
post #24 of 38
Um, guys.
Neil Wilkes does this for a living, i.e., he might just know what he's talking about.

http://www.opusproductions.com/
Edited by Milt99 - 7/4/13 at 10:55am
post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milt99 View Post

Um, guys.
Neil Wilkes does this for a living, i.e., he might just know what he's talking about.

Yeah, but we have another pro commenting on the reality of studio costs.
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milt99 View Post

Um, guys.
Neil Wilkes does this for a living, i.e., he might just know what he's talking about.

I didn't realize Neil was in the recording industry. So then yes he would definitely know what the costs were. I don't doubt his opinion at all. But $2-3k still seems like a very low amount of money IMO. I would think to have blockbusters like DSOTM or WYWH mixed to multichannel would cost more than $2-3k. But then again I am just guessing with the thought of paying for an engineer(s) and studio time.

Bill
post #27 of 38
I may be am completely out of touch with studio rates nowadays, but 3K quids for engineer + studio time is mighty mighty cheap.

Edit: I just checked, for an entry level (but well known) studio in Canada where Destiny Child once recorded, their mastering studio rental rate is $200 per hour not including engineer.
post #28 of 38
Thread Starter 
Newly announced expanded edition of Bachman Turner Overdrive--Not Fragile. Sorry, no surround. A shame...it was a fun Q8 Quad tape back in its day!
post #29 of 38
[quote name="dargo"
There is problems with the Multitrack tapes and further Restoration is required A SACD 5.1 is coming of The Wall?[/quote]


Quote:
Originally Posted by dweltman View Post

You have actual information on this?

????????
post #30 of 38
Thread Starter 
Then there's the newly announced deluxe reissues of Deep Purple Made in Japan, and the Led Zeppelin titles that didn't yield surround mixes. Made in Japan had a quad release back in the day, didn't it?
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