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post #1 of 32 Old 02-27-2019, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
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New Alan Parsons album in 5.1

Lots of Alan Parsons fans around here so this should be interesting.

The new Alan Parsons album The Secret will be released April 29. There will be a standalone CD+DVD. It will probably just be a regular DVD, not DVD-A. At this stage I won’t complain. Any surround release these days is good news.

http://www.superdeluxeedition.com/ne...luxeedition%29


The 11-track album sees “a return to the pop-rock sound with symphonic and progressive rock interludes which the Alan Parsons Project was known for”


https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Deluxe...ag=sdepcwus-20
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post #2 of 32 Old 02-27-2019, 03:08 PM
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Thanks for posting, the preview sounds great.

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post #3 of 32 Old 02-28-2019, 12:36 AM
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Is Oprah promoting The Secret?
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post #4 of 32 Old 02-28-2019, 09:55 AM
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I performed the copy-protection on "The Secret" title in over 20 languages. The secret is out.
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post #5 of 32 Old 02-28-2019, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ti-triodes View Post
Lots of Alan Parsons fans around here so this should be interesting.

The new Alan Parsons album The Secret will be released April 29. There will be a standalone CD+DVD. It will probably just be a regular DVD, not DVD-A. At this stage I won’t complain. Any surround release these days is good news.

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Deluxe...ag=sdepcwus-20
$20 shipped for the CD/DVD. I'll pretty much buy anything at that price point. Pre-ordered !

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post #6 of 32 Old 03-02-2019, 02:51 PM
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Pre-ordered as well!
I just hope it's not DD 5.1

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post #7 of 32 Old 03-02-2019, 04:25 PM
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Just preordered as well! Hope it's an interesting album and multichannel mix.

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post #8 of 32 Old 04-26-2019, 10:17 AM
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Listened to this today. I like it alot. Album is good and the surround mix is excellent, recommended!
The album is a bit mellow and some people might not like all the guest singers. I bought the cd/dvd combo. For $15 its a no-brainer.
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post #9 of 32 Old 04-26-2019, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by thetman View Post
Listened to this today. I like it alot. Album is good and the surround mix is excellent, recommended!
The album is a bit mellow and some people might not like all the guest singers. I bought the cd/dvd combo. For $15 its a no-brainer.

Mine just got delivered.

Can't wait to hear it this evening!

Hopefully not too mellow. Is Ian Bairnson playing guitar?

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post #10 of 32 Old 04-26-2019, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by thetman View Post
Listened to this today. I like it alot. Album is good and the surround mix is excellent, recommended!
The album is a bit mellow and some people might not like all the guest singers. I bought the cd/dvd combo. For $15 its a no-brainer.
Surround mix in DTS? I'm assuming since it is DVD there is no lossless option.

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post #11 of 32 Old 04-26-2019, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jeahrens View Post
Surround mix in DTS? I'm assuming since it is DVD there is no lossless option.
correct no lossless, but it still sounds very good. At least we are not forced to buy a whole box set to get the surround mix. for $15, I'm happy.
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post #12 of 32 Old 04-26-2019, 03:31 PM
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I'm listening to The Secret DVD in DTS and it's OK. The authoring of the DVD is very strange. The display on my Oppo is showing track 1 even though it's on the track 5. With each track change there is a slight pop and the track changes but stays on track 1. Kind of lame in my opinion. The music isn't anything great when compared to early Alan Parsons albums. The fact that it's a DVD with lossy audio is also lame. I look at Birdsong At Morning and how they put out two excellent albums on Blu-ray in hi-res. They are a local (Boston area) band and they went the distance as far as audio and production. Don't understand why this isn't on Blu-ray like Eye In The Sky and Tales Of Mystery And Imagination. For $15 The Secret CD/DVD set is again OK but I doubt it'll get played very often.

*I hate to pile on but had to stop this before it was finished. Apologies to anyone that likes it but it's definitely not for me. Now I'm listening to Jethro Tull's Songs From The Wood DVD in DTS. The music is sooooo much better as is the 5.1 mix. I hate to say it but Alan Parsons is embarrassing himself with this album and 5.1 mix.*

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post #13 of 32 Old 04-26-2019, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post
I'm listening to The Secret DVD in DTS and it's OK. The authoring of the DVD is very strange. The display on my Oppo is showing track 1 even though it's on the track 5. With each track change there is a slight pop and the track changes but stays on track 1. Kind of lame in my opinion. The music isn't anything great when compared to early Alan Parsons albums. The fact that it's a DVD with lossy audio is also lame. I look at Birdsong At Morning and how they put out two excellent albums on Blu-ray in hi-res. They are a local (Boston area) band and they went the distance as far as audio and production. Don't understand why this isn't on Blu-ray like Eye In The Sky and Tales Of Mystery And Imagination. For $15 The Secret CD/DVD set is again OK but I doubt it'll get played very often.

*I hate to pile on but had to stop this before it was finished. Apologies to anyone that likes it but it's definitely not for me. Now I'm listening to Jethro Tull's Songs From The Wood DVD in DTS. The music is sooooo much better as is the 5.1 mix. I hate to say it but Alan Parsons is embarrassing himself with this album and 5.1 mix.*

Bill
Thanks for your thoughts Bill, much appreciated. I wonder if his rereleases on BD and not here is a record company decision or what, because it does seem very odd. Listening to it now via hi res Tidal. It’s quite tame,but he is 70ish. Kinda reminds me of Gilmour’s Rattle That Lock, a bit tame but he was also around that age when it was released. We’re very fortunate that these guys are making music at all at this stage of life. Oh well, at least David put RTL on Blu Ray
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post #14 of 32 Old 04-26-2019, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Tornado Red View Post
Thanks for your thoughts Bill, much appreciated. I wonder if his rereleases on BD and not here is a record company decision or what, because it does seem very odd. Listening to it now via hi res Tidal. It’s quite tame,but he is 70ish. Kinda reminds me of Gilmour’s Rattle That Lock, a bit tame but he was also around that age when it was released. We’re very fortunate that these guys are making music at all at this stage of life. Oh well, at least David put RTL on Blu Ray
I'd agree that it was probably a record company decision. I now recall that this album came out on Frontier (?) Records as part of a new deal. I have to disagree with you on comparing Alan Parsons to David Gilmour as far as their latest album releases. My thoughts are David Gilmour is an actual musician (legendary I might add) where Alan Parsons is not. I agree that Rattle That Lock is a bit tame but it's far and away a better album than The Secret both musically and sound quality wise.

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post #15 of 32 Old 04-26-2019, 06:18 PM
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I'd agree that it was probably a record company decision. I now recall that this album came out on Frontier (?) Records as part of a new deal. I have to disagree with you on comparing Alan Parsons to David Gilmour as far as their latest album releases. My thoughts are David Gilmour is an actual musician (legendary I might add) where Alan Parsons is not. I agree that Rattle That Lock is a bit tame but it's far and away a better album than The Secret both musically and sound quality wise.

Bill
I like RTL quite a bit. I’m not comparing these albums head to head, I’m more comparing the men, their similar ages and how the music is a little tamer for both of them as they age, as one would expect. Not a lot of commonalities in both’s music, new or old, to draw a correlation. I’ll probably give The Secret another listen or two. Nice to hear Lou Gramm’s voice again I liked it enough to pick up the DVD I think...
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post #16 of 32 Old 04-26-2019, 07:58 PM
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Thanks for the reviews, saved me a regret purchase, even if only $15.
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post #17 of 32 Old 04-27-2019, 04:44 AM
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Played it last night and wanted to give myself time to think my reactions over, and they still are that this is a disappointing album.

The only track I really dug is the opening with the arrangement of The Sorcerers Apprentice featuring Steve Hackett on guitars and Nathan East on Bass. I've listened to this music since I was a child, and this rendition was very interesting, especially in 5.1.

The rest of the album, with maybe the exception of 'One Note Symphony', is innocuous background music. So those tracks will join that playlist.

The 5.1 mix is OK, but nothing like the Wilson mixes of recent vintage. And the lossy DTS pales compared to a DTS-HDMA or Dolby TrueHD.

For the money, it's fine, one good track, and completes my AP collection, but it is a missed opportunity for AP to deliver something better.
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post #18 of 32 Old 04-27-2019, 06:28 AM
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I just finished it and liked it a bit more than some of you. But I understand where you’re coming from.

It is very mellow. The songwriting has kinda been like this on anything after 1999’s The Time Machine album which, in my opinion, was the last great AP album. I’d love to have that and 1993’s Try Anything Once in surround!

The sound is fine to my ear. Would be nice to have lossless but I’ll take this for the good price. Like the Eye In The Sky BR, it is very unprocessed sounding, which is different but not necessarily bad. Surround I thought was good.

Answering my own question, longtime AP guitarist Ian Bairnson appears on just 2 tracks.

Having seen a recent AP live show, I was kind of dreading Alan’s lead vocal on As Lights Fall (he really shouldn’t sing lead live) but was pleasantly surprised. That song is kind of a touching personal reflection on his long career as it fades with age.

The packaging, artwork and “magic” theme are done well.
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post #19 of 32 Old 04-27-2019, 12:17 PM
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Ive listened to "The Secret" a couple of times now and I personally like some of the songs. It's on the mellow side and may not be for everybody's taste, but that can be said about any music. My biggest issue with this disc is the quality, mastering and production.
I find it disappointing as well that this is not a lossless Blu-Ray audio after being treated to a stellar "Eye In The Sky". That said I don't really mind DTS lossless, but why the 5.1 tracks are only 16/48 when the stereo tracks are 24/96 is beyond me? I find the 24/96 stereo tracks sound much better and the 5.1 could of as well. I feel they dropped the ball on the 5.1 mix by using 16 bit. Other issues already mentioned are the wonky track display. Also I couldn't get the tracks to advance by using the numbers. Can anybody else confirm this? All in all I find the entire package is somewhat of a mixed bag, but I'm still glad I got it.

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post #20 of 32 Old 04-28-2019, 02:35 AM
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I listened to this tonight. It's the best sounding Alan Parsons album I've ever heard. Really clean and tremendous dynamic range. Some really well recorded orchestral music, even if I don't quite get the idea of paraphrasing Dukas like that. Much more natural and realistic sounding orchestral tone than in the past with some nice deep bass. Gorgeous strings and the horn section in that one song was fantastic sounding too. The vocals were a bit too forward, particularly in the first few songs, but oh my... those vocals were so well tracked and finessed. The singers (aside from Parsons himself) were fantastic- flawless pitch. Parts of it sounded like the best of the Beatles or ELO. The guitars were decent (again aside from Parson's own guitar solos). The biggest flaw was that the drums were mixed way back, probably because the drummer isn't very imaginative. He could use a better one- too much treading water there. I had no complaints about the songwriting. Pretty typical for Parsons actually. The surround mix was great, that bridge in one note symphony had real depth with sounds placed all throughout the sound field, and there was one part where the sound moved diagonally across the room. It was a first class job of engineering, but I guess that is to be expected. Well worth $15. I'll play it again.
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post #21 of 32 Old 04-28-2019, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Tornado Red View Post
I like RTL quite a bit. I’m not comparing these albums head to head, I’m more comparing the men, their similar ages and how the music is a little tamer for both of them as they age, as one would expect. Not a lot of commonalities in both’s music, new or old, to draw a correlation. I’ll probably give The Secret another listen or two. Nice to hear Lou Gramm’s voice again I liked it enough to pick up the DVD I think...
Agreed on RTL. It's what Endless River should have been !

Will grab The Secret once it's released down here.

My biggest recent disappointment was the Moby 4 disc set Live at the Fonda. The DVD of the concert is in 2 ch 24/48 !!

Cheers,
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post #22 of 32 Old 04-29-2019, 08:44 AM
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Agreed on RTL. It's what Endless River should have been !

Will grab The Secret once it's released down here.

My biggest recent disappointment was the Moby 4 disc set Live at the Fonda. The DVD of the concert is in 2 ch 24/48 !!

Cheers,
I disagree on ER vs. RTL. I enjoy both as an avid Floyd and Gilmour fan. But ER was a project to use some of Rick's unused pieces from The Division Bell and create something new. I always felt Wright was an underappreciated pillar of Floyd's sound and love that we got to hear something new from him one last time. That duet with Rick on the Royal Albert Hall's organ recorded in either '68 or '69 with the modern Gilmour is justification by itself for the album existing for me.

RTL was new music and served a different purpose. There are a lot of tracks on it really like and think it's a great album. Guess I need to get the Parson's album so I'll have something on topic to discuss
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post #23 of 32 Old 05-04-2019, 05:41 PM
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I spent a little while listening to The Secret in 5.1. Actually I listened to it twice and enjoyed it a lot. I didn't seem to have the trouble described by Bill Mac, so I cannot speak to that. I would have listened to it again except a power surge just killed my Marantz Literally! Since I'm leaving on a bike trip first thing in the morning, I guess I'll have to wait to send it in. Dang it.



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post #24 of 32 Old 05-22-2019, 03:56 PM
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I wish EITS and Tales sounded this good.
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post #25 of 32 Old 05-22-2019, 07:30 PM
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It definitely has impeccable sound. The vocals are recorded as good as I've ever heard vocals recorded.
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post #26 of 32 Old 05-23-2019, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post
I'm listening to The Secret DVD in DTS and it's OK. The authoring of the DVD is very strange. The display on my Oppo is showing track 1 even though it's on the track 5. With each track change there is a slight pop and the track changes but stays on track 1. Kind of lame in my opinion.<snip>

Bill

Well, I stand corrected on my previous statement regarding the above observation. Although the video does change with each track, my Oppo shows track 1 even though the counter resets with every track. Odd for sure.


Aside from that, I spent a lot of time listening to this during my MC trip. (Audio in my helmet, stereo version) At least for me, the more I heard it the better I liked it. I will admit though to being a die hard AP fan so I realize my view is probably skewed. I have my spare AVR rigged up at the moment and have listened to the 5.1 mix several times since I got back from the trip. Track 1 doesn't wow me like the others but that doesn't dissuade me from listening to it. I do feel this is a well crafted album and IF this is his swansong, I consider it worthy of the final effort.


As for my good AVR, shame on me for not having a decent UPS on this stuff. Now I do. You folks out there that do not: Don't get complacent as I did and assume everything is okay simply because it has been for years. Save yourselves some aggravation. Don't learn it the hard way as I did. (And I knew better too!)


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post #27 of 32 Old 05-23-2019, 10:56 AM
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I wish EITS and Tales sounded this good.
Do you feel that The Secret DVD 5.1 mix sounds better than Eye In The Sky and Tales of Mystery and Imagination Blu-rays 5.1 mixes? I think the Blu-ray 5.1 mixes sound much better audio and music wise.

Bill

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post #28 of 32 Old 05-23-2019, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post
Do you feel that The Secret DVD 5.1 mix sounds better than Eye In The Sky and Tales of Mystery and Imagination Blu-rays 5.1 mixes? I think the Blu-ray 5.1 mixes sound much better audio and music wise.

Bill

I do think the mix is better but it's the SQ that really shines. Eye and Tales just don't have the clarity and impact that this has. The material on the old stuff is much better but the new one is growing on me. I bought Tales and Eye on vinyl as soon as they came out and thought the SQ was amazing. It just doesn't feel as sharp and the drums are lacking by comparison. YMMV of course. I still have to increase my Center CH on those 2 to come closer to how I think it should sound. Interesting that he uses the center a bit more on Secrets.
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post #29 of 32 Old 05-23-2019, 05:14 PM
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The multichannel mix on Tales seems like the mix was a bit rushed. It has some raggedness here and there, particularly on side 2. Eye in the Sky is a bit better, but neither of them are as polished as this new album. I had a gold vinyl copy of Tales and the dynamics on House of Usher was a lot more broad than the multichannel mix. It could be that the masters were getting old. The remixed and remastered CD has the same problem.

It says in the liner notes that Parsons mixed the magic album at his new home sound studio. He evidently had all the time in the world to finesse the balances. If you listen closely to the vocals, he has gone through and perfectly balanced the softer consonant sounds against the full voice, with corrections going on at several points in a single word... All tapered and made flawless. The enunciation of everything is clear and balanced. That takes a LOT of time to polish to the level it is on this album.

The only problem I noticed with the magic album is the drums... they appear to be recorded well, but for some reason they are mixed way down. The drummer is only so so. I think perhaps Parsons didn't like the job he did and underplayed him in the mix. That makes the music sound a lot softer. But really well recorded and mixed drums are often the exception, not the rule in pop music. Especially since so many people use synth drums now. Can't hold it against him.

Musically, Tales is the best. I Robot was very good too. The real standout in the early albums were the vocalists, particularly that guy from Ambrosia... David Patch? something like that. That Ambrosia album sounded a lot like an Alan Parsons album.
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Last edited by sworth; 05-23-2019 at 05:22 PM.
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post #30 of 32 Old 05-23-2019, 06:53 PM
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Hopefully Robot, Eve, Turn, and Pyramid will get the same treatment as secret but with more impact from the drums.
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Last edited by GZAP1; 05-23-2019 at 09:25 PM.
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