Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Enjoying 5.1

That's just exactly what I am doing at the moment. Staying at a posh house for the next few days and I'm really enjoying their schweet set up. All the speakers are mounted in the ceiling with a tremendous woofer on the wooden planks. As I write this, the Beach Boys Pet Sounds is rumbling the floor beneath my feet. This kind of set up is the next thing on my list of electronic gadgets to procure. Despite the fact that I've invested in several dvd-a discs, I still don't own one.
The most dynamic mix I've encountered so far is the Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. They remixed the entire album for just this kind of set up. So, if you think you've enjoyed the recording on cd, you have no idea what you are in for. My only complaint it that they didn't offer the original mix on the dvd-a as well. Surely there was enough space left on the digital media to have been included. I've grown very fond of the original mix for Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell and was a bit saddened by the fact that they had completely changed it for 5.1. According to Kliph, the 5.1 mix for The Soft Bulletin was completed earlier this year and might be out by fall. Let's hope so. GEEZUS, this sounds good. I'm gonna bring my new SMiLE dvd over tomorrow and watch it in its entirety.
The best way I can describe it is, having a psychedelic experience while totally sober. The music shoots above, below, around, and right through you. Spinning your head and sinking you in to the couch further and further. There doesn't seem to be that kind of trickery on the Pet Sounds disc, but it doesn't really call for that type of thing. It suits Flaming Lips music very nicely though. As does it for Beck's 2002 release Sea Change.
Already an album of moody folk rock, the 5.1 mix swirls around you like a music cocktail, intoxicating you more and more with each delicious note played. I'm truly swimming in an ocean of sound. What a delight!
The dvd-a I have of Neil Young's Harvest doesn't seem to have a 5.1 mix. Strictly phat stereo. I does, however, put you right in the middle of Neil's Northern California barn(converted to a recording studio) with the Stray Gators performing their musical wizardry as I've never heard. Thumping bass, floating pedal steel, and winning guitars all intact. I would have liked a 5.1 mix, though.
I'm gonna go out tomorrow and buy more dvd-a discs. Fuck SACD and HDCD, DVD-Audio is where it's at!

Ipod Song of the Day: Speed of Sound from Coldplays X&Y


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