Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Jason Manley, Feb 25, 2015.
I'm sure he's said that. I'm curious what he said at the time, however.
Thanks for reinforcing what I posted yesterday. I am still not up to speed on the cutting angle. I believe it is the exact spec to help the decoder function perfectly while others have a different take on its function. Not going to worry about it...
Considering that EV-4 is only a decoder, it doesn't make much sense.
As best as I can gather, the cutting issue had to deal with the amount of out of phase information present. The more out of phase (vertical) information, the harder it is to cut, requiring a lower level or making the record more likely to skip.
Only a decoder? What doesn't make sense?
Me too. I have the 2000 two-fer; will my Denon 3930 SACD player show a noticeable improvement with the new SACDs? Thanks
I have all the Rolling Stones from that time period so I can check when I get home.
You can download the Study videos with jDownloader. Currently downloading the "Break Away" one just for testing. Also noticed there's a new addition, BEACH BOY SURFING HITS, although it might have been there and I just never noticed. Also, the Sunflower videos are available again (they weren't yesterday, kinda).
Yes. I described it several posts earlier. My result sounds very similar to the Sunflower SACD I ordered afterwards. I took the regular CD remaster and the EV-4 coefficients from here:
EV4 revisited »
The SACD sounds a little more balanced and less aggressive from he rears.
(if I hadn't lost interest in the whole thing, I'd try to emulate this for my Surf's Up CD)
On some tracks it REALLY sounds as if there is some intention behind it.
But otherwise... I took the same setting and applied it to some of my own home recordings. And I liked the the result too. I definitely know that I didn't think of quad encoding, while mixing ;-). It's just that the stereo image does not only depend on interchannel level differences, but runtime differences too. And everything that's not in phase is nice for the decoder.
Some interesting comments from the Quadrophonic site:
"Supposedly "Cool, Cool Water" and "Got to Know the Woman" are in quad on Sunflower. I just looked on the quad discography. You're right. They're in DY. I read on some other forum that the Sunflower quad mixes were the first ever released songs mastered in quad."
Then someone mentions about DY and EV-4: "The two systems are very very close, to the point that playing a DY encoded album through the original EV-4 decoder gives very satisfactory results, bearing in mind that it's not quad as SQ & QS are."
And this about Surf's Up:
"I played Surf's Up. I think that it is DY encoded. The sound is mostly blended front and back
But now and then a solo comes from the rear
but there a number of times that the chorus comes from both rear channels
I don't get most of the tracks but
Disney Girls is very good and Load off your feet is a good surround mix"
And someone comments on Surf's Up: " It IS DY encoded."
So if Surf's Up is indeed DY encoded, and AP used EV-4 decoding it should give "very satisfactory results." It sounds like that would be preferable to using SQ or QS to decode a DY album, since DY is not tyrue quad and SQ/QS are. Closer to the original intention. So the question is: what did AP use to decode to surround? I guess with all the controversy and the "permission" problem they would be unlikely to respond to a question about what they used.
More info from wikipedia:
Matrix (4-2-4) formats
With Matrix formats, the four channels are converted (encoded) down to two channels. These are then passed through a two-channel transmission medium (usually an LP record) before being decoded back to four channels and presented to four speakers. To transmit 4 individual audio signals in a stereo-compatible manner, there must be four simultaneous linear equations to reproduce the original 4 audio signals at the output. The term "compatible" indicates that:
A single-channel (mono) system will reproduce all four audio signals in its one speaker.
A two-channel (stereo) system will reproduce the Left Front & Left Back audio signals in the Left speaker and the Right Front & Right Back signals in the Right Speaker.
The original systems (DY & EV-4) were basic and suffered from low front L/R separation (around 12db) and a poor rear L/R separation of 2db. The decoders were designed more to give an effect rather than accurate decoding, which was mainly due to limitations in both systems, although as both systems were very closely related mathematically, users only needed one decoder of either system to play back albums of both systems.
The poor decode performance was the main reason for their disappearance once the improved matrix systems arrived based on the work by Peter Scheiber. His basic formula utilized 90-degree phase-shift circuitry to enable enhanced 4-2-4 matrix systems to be developed, of which the two main leaders were Columbia's SQ and Sansui's QS Systems.
The differences between the original systems and the new were so large that it made it impossible to decode DY/EV-4 with either SQ or QS decoders with any accuracy, the results being just a form of artificial quad.
 This 4:2:4 process could not be accomplished without some information loss. That is to say, the four channels produced at the final stage were not truly identical to those with which the process had begun.
Matrix H (1977)
SQ / Stereo Quadraphonic (1971)
QS (Quadraphonic Sound)/ RM (Regular Matrix) (1971)
DY / Dynaquad (used as an encoding format on some records) (1971)
EV / Stereo-4 (1970)
Derived (2-2-4) formats
Derived (2-2-4) formats were inexpensive electronic solutions that provided back ambiance channels from regular stereo records. There was not a deliberate placement of individual instruments on the back channels.
DY / Dynaquad (1969)
Hafler circuit (1969)
COMMENT: (In Two Parts -- PART ONE)
By the way my website, Stephen W. Desper Study Videos », was compromised due to some problem they are having at ipage.com, the people who support the webpage. Somehow an older version of the website became published, which is why some of you cannot access part one of my book (the recording of Sunflower). Been on the phone all morning to correct. I think the website is now working with the “Sunflower” button connecting to Vimeo. Use passcode #1.
I have read all of your discussion posts about this madness and, if you will indulge me a rather long post, I’ll try to bring some understanding to the situation.
There seems to be some confusion about the terms used here.
The term “matrix” has several definitions. There is the LP matrix, which refers to the master Acetate disk from which all pressings are made along with the mother, stamper etc. I usually refer to that as the “LP matrix.”
With the advent of quadraphonic sound, the term “matrix” was coined to describe various schemes based on circuitry used to encode 4-channel discrete signals onto the LP V-Groove, which is a two-channel signal.
When Dolby came onto the scene they took the old quadraphonic schemes, shifted the math 90 degrees, so that the matrix (so-called) for quad of left-right-left rear-right rear, with speakers placed at the four corners of the sound field, became left-center-right-rear, with speakers now placed left/right/center/rear. The surround signal was mono with all rear speakers the listener, but created a center channel. The main objective of Dolby was to provide a stable center channel for dialog in movie sound tracks. Later as various schemes were developed, discrete rear channels were incorporated so that stereo rear channels were possible.
Today it is common-place to buy a movie soundtrack as 5.1 or 7.1 with all channels discrete, that is, not in a matrix.
When I recorded Sunflower and was the Beach Boys' engineer, I had a studio to my own, with all the funding, time, talent and equipment I wanted. That was around fifty years ago. Quadraphonic sound would not be invented for several years. I became fascinated with psychoacoustics, but while studying that topic I realized the real reasons for sound doing what it does lies in the brain and brain function. So I began to study neurology with respect to recording stereo and found that microphone arrays were the key to making sound appear to originate outside the normal sound stage. I found that I could get sounds, voices, instrument, effects to image out in the sound field or beyond the two stereo speakers and in some cases, image over your shoulder, and even to behind you. Not all types of sounds could image at all locations, but with practice I identified which types of sound did best to image forward of the speakers, or beyond the two speakers.
After some time I also developed circuits that created a matrix that could accomplish almost the same effect. Now remember that we are reproducing stereo over two speakers, that was the standard of the day – and in many cases is still the standard today from FM radio, CD’s, LP’s and cassettes.
I found that I could capture three-dimensional space using just microphone arrays of three or five microphones, matrixed into two channels. The connection of the three or five mics to two channels was done via an electronic circuit, but their inner relationships was acoustic. At first I used transformers connected in a way that generated a matrix, but soon developed circuits to do the same.
The microphones captured audio in an acoustically related way that can only be achieved through the use of arrays. This generates an x-y-z lattice. In other cases I used circuits to produce an x-y lattice, with the z coordinate being synthetically derived.
In order to overcome the limitations of stereophonic reproduction over two speakers, I developed a matrix that would generate a sound field in reproduction that today we would call, virtual surround. Back all those years ago, I called it a matrix sound. In today’s language this can cause some confusion.
You see, your ears and brain were designed to perceive an environment that caressed you with a plethora of sounds encircling 360 degrees to all sides, above and beneath. But note: every sound came from one single source that had a given direction, physical size and distance, all useful to primitive man whether protecting or providing. Your brain evolved to process life's ocean of sounds — what's approaching, what's moving, what's large or small — to save you from harm. The brain was designed for survival — flight or fight — not for entertainment. The fact is . . . the brain has not changed, and how could it? Your body’s ear/brain system has been the same for 60 million years. Around 60 years ago, stereophonic sound reproduction entered into commercial entertainment. Unlike the single-point and constantly varying sound sources of our evolutionary history, entertainment stereo propagates from two widely separated, but stationary sound sources. By using differing signals, two loudspeakers create imagery that seems to emanate mostly between the two sources – an artificial representation of life. Because your brain is not formatted to accurately extract the information from a stereo sound field, it is represented to you as less-then-lifelike. The matrix resolves that limitation by tailoring what you hear from your stereo system so it's compatible with the brain's cognitive methods.
The design philosophy of the “matrix” is based upon a neural processing model. It is not an HRTF device, nor does it use DTF, IACC or PCA functions or formulas. The bases of the design rests on “perceptual Precedence” as a means of biasing the brain’s auditory spatial perception. Perceptual precedence is a reflex action wherein the mind is nudged to realize an entire auditory pattern by presentation of partial information only, similar to our ability to recognize familiar shapes even if most of the shape may be blocked from view.
These techniques are based on an understanding of labeled line code, discharge patterns of rapidly and slowly receptor adaptation encoding and frequency and population codes, etc. used by the brain to overcome its big problem, latencies of action-potentials as each synaptic connection is made to the next level of neural processing.
I realize these are not topics or terms familiar to the average recording engineer, but if you really want to understand how recording and reproduction function, you have to move past sound as something in the air (psychoacoustics). There is no sound, as such, anywhere in reality. In reality all there is is movement of molecules and changes in barometric pressure. Sound becomes meaningful or even identifiable only in the brain. Sound, or what we call “sound” is only a concept. Like music, it is a brain function. An orchestra does not produce sound or music; all it does is move molecules around in the air. By way of brain activity a dog hears the sound of the orchestra and by why of higher brain functions, a human hears the music of an orchestra.
Science calls this "Conceptual Image Space (from a paper at JPL), which basically states that all perceived reality takes place between our ears, not in the external model that is presented to us as humans. Thus, the reality each of us perceives is unique, personal, and is a representation of reality, not reality itself. You can see how this plays into the recording of sound. The engineer is not capturing sound, rather is ultimately compelling the brain to process the undulations of the two speaker cones in an way that will convince the brain of a produced reality.
So it all comes back to the human brain. Using applied neuralplasticity the matrix I developed causes new neural pathways to grow, which bring the added dimensions to stereo perception by the brain. This is not like the matrixes used today that are based on psychoacoustics. Those are based on sound as reality in air, whereas neuralplasticity uses the brain as a processor.
Having said that, Sunflower and all the stuff I recorded for The Beach Boys has within its two channels, a matrix that is musically compatible with regular stereo. That is, all the inter-balance and relationships of elements within the mix offer a compatible listening experience if reproduced in stereo. If however, the matrix is resolved the sound field is expanded and will image well beyond the stereo speakers, in front of them, and in some cases to the rear. This is similar to surround sound but is not the same.
Today’s surround sound is a perimeter surround. That is, real speakers are placed about the edge of the sound field and create a sound around you, which you hear with your two ears. The matrix used in Sunflower, etc. creates sound around you and also within the sound field using your two ears and your brain as a processor. Under controlled listening conditions, you cannot tell the virtual experience from the real experience. In fact, because the virtual system is based on spectral time shifts rather than amplitude changes, the virtual system can also steer sounds to points within the sound field. Thus, rather than hearing sound around you, the virtual can place violins in front of horns, or the lead singer forward of the group. You can’t do that with multiple speakers, only with two speakers. Two ears; two speakers. Multiple speaker surround sound is very good and works over a large listening area (such as a cinema), but using many speakers in a smaller room can confuse the image with its multiple sound sources all speaking at once. Virtual surround is limited to one or two listeners, but if in the “sweet spot” can mimic the envelopment of the speaker-surround format.
PART TWO FOLLOWS . . .
COMMENT: PART TWO
As I said, this concept (later to be patented internationally) was thought up when state-of-the-art was the 12 inch LP. The mixes made on Sunflower, etc., where done with NO consideration of anything like a four-discrete-track future release. These mixes are not conceived for reproduction over a multiple speaker surround system. The matrix is meant to be heard over two stereo speakers only. That is the sound the producer has set as a standard.
I will be the first to agree that there is no right nor wrong in art; only preferences. But if the art form is supported by science, then a standard must be applied that represents the producer’s intentions with respect to the science. In this case, the standard is by listening in virtual surround over two speakers.
To make a musically compatible stereo version of the matrixed version, we mixed down while monitoring (listening) through the matrix (resolved), but recording without. The “without” is the stereo version. To get the virtual surround sensation the stereo must be resolved through the matrix. Remember, I was the engineer for a huge group, their market is the stereo LP. So if I’m using an advanced idea, in the end it must become an LP vinyl record. Knowing this, I cut hundreds of Acetates as recording of the songs advanced, correcting many problems. Together with Brian Ingoldsby of Sound Master Studios and using his lathe, we worked out the geometry and ballistics of how to get the cutting stylus to cut a groove that the average consumer could trace. It required the change of two parameters on the cutting lathe. Now I’ve already cut a matrixed version of Sunflower onto an LP using Brian’s lathe. It plays on all varieties of players, poor and great. I played parts of the record for the cutting engineers at Warner. They were impressed with the sound, but not willing to re-adjust the lathe. Even when presented with concrete (or acetate) proof, looking at it through the microscope and the results on the scope – shaking their heads NO, impossible. But yet there it is in the looking glass and being played on their record-player. So we fell back on the master without resolution that is musically compatible with the matrix version. That became what has always been issued; remastered, yes, but always the two-track stereo. When I left the Beach Boys to move on with Zappa, the matrix and the entire studio was discarded as a new console and engineer moved in.
Some years ago I decided to rebuild the matrix and started listening, refineing the design as time let me. No one at Capitol, Warner’s and BRI has shown interest in releasing a matrixed version of Sunflower – even after demonstrations – claiming that other versions would confuse the puplic. When digital came along, I tried to get matrixed versions released – now completely mechanically compatible. But "stay the course" was always the answer.
Finally, I decided to decode many songs that have never been heard that way, doing it under the educational aspects of the copyright law. Only the diehard Beach Boy fan is going to care about listening this way so I provided a playback of the original mastering done with Carl’s (acting producer) and my approval, resolved through the matrix, the one I built to use back then. How much more original do you need. The original mastering, done the way we heard it at playback. To me that is the standard.
By way of a need for education on this subject, you can hear the original intention of the producer at the time of mixdown, by going to my (now working) webpage, and at page 3, click on the “Recording The Beach Boys – part one (Sunflower” button. There you can read part one of the book and hear the album in virtual surround or whatever you wish to call it.
What makes me mad is that after no one was interested in making the virtual surround version available to the public, Capitol licenses all the Beach Boy catalog to AP with the express stipulation not to change or modify, or re-mix anything.
So out of ignorance and arrogance, AP takes it upon themselves to apply a matrix for speaker surround to the virtual surround lattes. To make matters worse, they use a matrix designed for quadraphonic record playback, not recording, is 90 degrees shifted, and intended for four discrete channels as the source. My matrix uses x-y-z coordinance. They used x-y coordinance.
You bet I am mad. I tried over the years, decades, to get the record companies to embrace, what has come to be termed 3D Sound, the Beach Boys would be the first group to offer such a sound, and on a record, but no. Now AP misses the mark entirely, screws up the matrix, makes changes to the standard, and disrespects the terms of their contract (as I understand it).
And it pisses me off that after so much work was put into recording the virtual experience, getting it to cut to an LP, and to be compatible for broadcasting, to have it butchered so openly, is an offence to me and to the memory of Carl Wilson. AS I’ve always said, it’s the music business – emphasis on business. If there’s a buck to be made, they’ll do it. It is such a shame that the original intension of the producer was shoved aside by engineers who have no idea what they are doing. And then shoved onto an unsuspecting audience.
After all, my engineering efforts have been demonstrated to work. Professional Spatializer with its 24 joysticks, was/is used by Warner Pictures (Spelburg used it) MGM, Hans Zimmer bought three, NBC, many major studios domestic and foreign, the Olympic committee bought 11 units broadcasting virtual surround to 2-Billion people, Michael Jackson even put a song on an LP via HIStory. Then the commercial offering of an IC sold over 60 million channels of virtual surround (called 3D Sound). So the concept is well proven. With the advent of 5.1 surround and surround-sound-in-a-box, consumers liked getting real speakers rather than virtual ones and could relate to that. Soon so-called 3D sound was gone.
AP did not do their homework. They should have made a connection between the guy who engineered these albums and his company that made matrixes. After all, my devices, equipment and albums are known. I have written numerous articles and been reviewed and analyzed in the press. The Spatializer product came after The Beach Boy recordings and is more refined, but the Sunflower matrix is based on microphone arrays whereas the chip is not. At least AP could have tried something virtual or contacted me for consultation, or something other than just blindly venturing into a field they evidently know little about. Talk about confusing the public. AP is doing it royally, through misrepresentation. I wonder if they understand how a matrix works? Or does just any ol, one work.
If you disregard the standards of science as an art form, then the bottom line in listening is to enjoy what you hear. If it makes you happy – the entertainment value is high, money will be made, and the hell with the artist.
Let me relate a story to you. When I had my sound research lab in Los Angeles, it was located up in the northern part of the city in the foothills. I lived in the area too. There was a fellow, a retired frail old man who, with his dog, would wonder the neighborhood with a cart full of used radios, speakers, and amplifiers of all sizes and shapes. I learned he was a retired radio repair serviceman. He must have been in his 80’s and had been collecting for a decade. Occasionally I’d give him a piece of equipment no longer needed. Over the years we became friends. I don’t know where he got all his used equipment, but his cart was always brimming with audio things. I always assumed he repaired and sold the stuff, and one day asked him how he was doing with that. To my surprise I learned he did not sell anything, rather he took it home and added it to his collection of working sound devices of all types. Fascinated, I ask if I could see his collection, which was in his home. The day of my visit I found that his home was nestled, or should I say, hidden way back off a small street, behind hedges, bushes, and up against a hill. It was an old house, kinda rundown. Going inside it had that musty smell I remember from my grandparent’s house. I was shown into a rather large room, I guess the living room. Then looking around I could not believe all the speakers, some mounted in enclosures, some just sitting by themselves I could see. There were guitar amps, clock radios, tweeters, PA speakers, and every other type of sound generating transducer you can imagine. They were everywhere, floor to ceiling, left, right, behind me, in corners, shelves, tables – every nook and cranny. An amazing sight. But not as amazing as what happened next. I ask him if this was his stereo system. But he said he didn’t think much of stereo, instead he liked mono and told me that every one of the devices I was seeing was connected to his one turntable. I said, you mean all this stuff is one very large and elaborate sound system? Yes was the emphatic answer. Knowing in my head that this was going against every design fabric in my audio head, I was anxious to hear this gathering of sonic junk. My friend pulled out an LP of symphonic pops and placed it on his old Garrard record changer, fitted with, I think, a mono GE pickup cartridge. Now I had been living with state-of-the-art Tannoy monitors in the lab, so this was going to be an interesting sound, I thought. But was I wow-ed! It wasn’t anything like I was expecting to hear. In fact it wasn’t anything like I had ever heard, or have heard since. The sound was certainly open, and spacious – what with all those separate sources, each with its own sound tonality. Yet it was surprisingly detailed and interesting. You could direct your ear’s attention and hear whatever part of the sound you wished. In that way it was enveloping. As I listened I thought, here is a guy who could not begin to afford one of my lab speakers, and yet, his ingenuity and resourcefulness has put that refined listening experience to shame. Here was something completely different in approach and execution, but it worked and it worked just fine. I could relate to what I was hearing and could see how a person could be quite happy listing in this way. During the next few hours, I was treated to many old and wonderful songs, even some of the early 45 Beach Boy surfing hits. Those were especially enchanting, sounding anything but mono.
The point of this little story is to illustrate that in art, there is neither right nor wrong, only what you like.
If you wish to buy a re-mastered SACD and have some wrong algorithm re-negotiate the spectral and spatial elements, so that it is no longer near the intentions of the producer, go ahead? If it turns you on, makes you sing along with the music, gets your foot tapping, and leaves you satisfied, that makes it a good listening experience. Or if you just like to collect things, spend your money. I think what you get is the most expensive bootleg of all times. Bootleg because it wasn’t authorized, screws up the sound, and is not what the producer intended to be released, and is sold for profit.
You know the Beach Boy organization paid me a lot of money to keep them at state-of-the-art. Then they sat on the technology until finally releasing it through a bungling mastering house. Now the product Sunflower, etc., is officially released with the wrong matrix in place. This is worse than releasing it, just in Stereo.
For Carl and the rest of the Beach Boys and myself, at the time of release, the sound we liked and set as a standard can be heard at my website, that is, if you are interested from an education aspect in the history of this album, in words and sounds. I suppose you could compare it to the SACD version, but that does not change the original intensions of the artist, as does this latest issue. Not only does the SACD multi-channel change the sound concept of the album(s), but invents tracks that were never there and were never suppose to be there.
If you’re still reading, thanks. I hope I have clarified some of the issues.
Good Listening, ~Stephen W. Desper
Stephen W. Desper Study Videos »
Thank you for caring. Obviously, the people that control the Beach Boys catalog, including Capitol, with their reissue of the unimproved Pet Sounds box for twice the price of the 19 year-old original, along with the AS Sunflower surround SACD atrocity, don't. Thanks for the study videos, which are great, as is your originally envisioned Sunflower.
Music BUSINESS, indeed. Dylan was right: money doesn't talk, it swears.
Thanks for explaining all this! Though it was detailed and complex, I could still follow it. But to be clear: from the sounds of it, no release of Sunflower, from the original lp to the first cd issues and now to the AP CD/SACD, is what you and Carl intended and is a travesty, right?
COMMENT to Dr. J.:
Essentially yes. I can understand the original hesitation of issuing an LP with a new technology, but not with the issue of Digital versions. Now we have a digital release that AGAIN, does not represent the original and, in fact, represents itself as officially sectioned. The SACD from AP is fraudulent, a fake and a shame on the unsuspecting public. Shame on AP. Very un-professional. ~swd
I totally understand where you are coming from, and your response makes me want to revisit your web page and hear your matrixed version again. I did so a few years back but don't think I did it right; I played it from my laptop through an external DAC, which may have squashed the 3D effect.
However, let me play devil's advocate. Until these Beach Boys releases, I had purchased only 3 SACD titles from AP. I don't have any reason or invested interest to defend them, but AP never advertised Sunflower and Surf's Up as Multichannel SACDs. I think they did this as an Easter Egg type of prize for the die-hard fans. I only learned about the multichannel through the serendipity of one of the Hoffmanites here who stumbled upon it and reported back to the forum. Such reports made many, including myself, add these releases to our check out baskets much quicker than normal (that is, before the reviews started to come in). The excitement, it has to be appreciated, was due to your fabled and (now we know) much-misunderstood virtual "surround" version of these two awesome albums. The word "quad' was haplessly thrown around for years and then, all of a sudden, here they are. To be honest, even knowing what I know now, I am still going to enjoy these albums in multichannel, knowing that all versions of any album I play on my modest systems are not going to faithfully reproduce the intent of the artists, engineers, and producers. If I played my original Artisan pressing of Sunflower through one of the surround sound settings on my AV to approximate the 3D sound you went for, no one would give a crap, including you, I suppose. AP did not, as far as I know, advertise these releases as anything but "from the original master tapes" or some such thing. If they said something more misleading, please pass that along.
This is what I've found so far:
By Mitchell Newman
Rolling Stone/December 24, 1970 p56
"Another four-channel system is designed to make use of intentionally out-of-phase recorded information. Developed by Dynaco, this system departs from other quad set-ups in that it "rotates" the speaker setup 45 degrees, sort of putting the listener in the middle of a baseball diamond, facing home plate, with speakers on all four bases. The rear channel and the front channel carry pretty much the same information, so in actuality, the Dyna system uses three channels, but four speakers.
The great advantage of this system is that all four speakers may be powered by one stereo amplifier, greatly reducing the cost of going quad. Its great disadvantage is the lesser separation available than with the other systems.
Dyna offered a demonstration record for this setup for awhile, and is expected to offer another shortly; additionally, the Beach Boys' record label is set to release some discs using this process in the near future."
Oh, here we go:
Four for the Price of Two
Rolling Stone/October 29, 1970
"LOS ANGELES - If you have a stereo system, you're a lamp cord and two more speakers away from having a quadraphonic (four channel) system.
Brother Records, the Beach Boys' label, discovered the instant conversion system when their director of engineering, Stephen Desper, read about it in a technical magazine, and their first compatible quadraphonic album - quad, stereo, and monaural - should be out next week.
The system, according to Jack Reilly, Brother's director of creative services, was developed by Dynaco, and electronics parts company in Philadelphia, and it enables consumers to bypass new tape equipment and new kinds of records to get the four-channel effect. Brother Records will include an instruction sheet with their next album releases. The first one will be by Flame, the South African band discovered by the Beach Boys in a London cabaret several months ago.
To get the quad effect in a phonograph record, Reilly said, the stereo mixdown "goes through a matrix which electronically combines and properly shifts each of the four tracks into the walls of the groove." When playing the record, the instruction sheet explains, "the stylus in the groove may move one of four says: left-center, right-center, up-center or down-center...but records have never before been mixed down in a way as to take advantage of the full range of movement by the stylus.
The listener converts his stereo amp into four-track by hooking up all four speaker outputs by either speaker wire or lamp cord.
The system, Reilly said, was successfully tested on the recently released Beach Boys' Sunflower album - two tracks, "Cool Cool Water" and "Got to Know the Woman," are actually quadraphonic - and will be used on all future Brother releases. Reilly is hoping other labels will follow.
"The industry," he said, "would just love for all of us to have to buy new equipment to get quadraphonic sound. But the Beach Boys feel it's time one company give the public what they can get without making them spend more money."
So far, most quadraphonic marketing has centered on four-channel tapes and tape systems."
I guess I'm even more confused now. How would you decode the matrix without additional equipment?
I have both the Sunflower and Surf's Up SACDs and think they sound great; much better than any version I have heard before, vinyl or digital. I agree that "listening is to enjoy what you hear." With that as the standard, these discs are a success and thank you AP. I do not see how one can say "the standards of science" are an art form, the art form is the music. I also do not see how one can say that to like these discs is saying "to hell with the artist." The Beach Boys presumably made these albums to be appreciated and loved. These new discs, specifically the faux quad versions, have enhanced my appreciation and love for these albums, which I have appreciated and loved since they were released. And presumably, the artists are benefitting financially and their egos are boosted by the new interest in their creative works. In my opinion, this discussion has wandered too far off the trail of what is the most important inquiry: Do these sound great and "make you happy?" I say "yes" and that seems to be the consensus. The fact that they were futzed with and may not be what someone else thinks would be better (or more true to the artists' intention -- many years ago when current technology wasn't even possible) really shouldn't affect the conversation. We are assessing these versions of the discs. As this thread shows, there are other versions, vinyl and digital, created over the years that have their own pluses and minuses. If, as Desper's comments indicate, there still are possible other versions that are superior or "truer" than these versions, please bring them on. In the meantime, these are what we have lately, so let's enjoy what we hear or at least judge these on that basis. Apparently, no one disagrees with that proposition.
Now, can someone please tell me what they think about other than these two discs, particularly Holland and Smiley Smile?
So if I understand this correctly there is absolutely nothing wrong with the stereo on Sunflower and Surfs Up which is all I'm interested in and listen to anyway. Correct?
The Four for the Price of Two article is clearly prerelease, and mentions a test pressing (the acetates Stephen made at Sound Master studios and demonstrated for Reprise) with "actual quad" on two tracks and the rest presumably with the matrix Desper designed, but it certainly implies 4 speakers are to be used to get the effect. Does anyone have the instruction sheet that came with the Flame album? It also says the system was designed by Dynaco which is consistent with the quotes I had from the Quad website that says Sunflower and Surfs Up were DY/Dynaquad or at least DY compatible.
From what Stephen said above it seems that between the time of the press article and the release of Sunflower the 4 speaker set up and DY encoding was abandoned for the 2 speaker virtual surround concept and an altered matrix? Can we find any press releases discussing "quad" for Sunflower AFTER its release? Or did Jack Reilly mis-speak about the whole situation?
I haven't listened yet but from reports the stereo on the AP is the best sound yet for the album in digital format. Like I said upstream, no one has to listen to the multichannel layer if they don't want to!
COMMENT to Dr. J. : Thank your for your well-thought-out statements. See my last post, a long one in two parts, (a few posts back) for a better perspective of the situation. Certainly and literally you can state that all the sounds on the SACD multi-track release came from the original. I could use equipment and split the two-track into 12 channels if you like. Hey, I can take the Mona Lisa painting and re-paint the highlights in the newer paint technology ... acrillic. That would update that old painting into the modern age, but it would no longer be painted by Leonardo da Vinci. Creating new tracks via a matrix violates the standard, the science part of art dependent on science. That is, not the artistic judgment about music or even the sound texture of the production, rather first must come the format. This format is virtual and will not translate accurately to real speakers. It is best perceived as intended, virtually. It won't hurt all you four-channel fans to listen to two channels of virtual surround. Try it out.
You ask me about playing your premo-Sunflower record through several different decoders. You can reach back to a mastering approved by Carl and myself, that is resolved through the matrix, as we heard it at the time of mixdown, at my website. That is a standard. Then you can go from there. Use different schemes to create any illusion you wish. What I don't like is creating one of those illusions and then passing it on as "official." Bull Crap! What you Dr. J, have done with your experimenting is creative, what AP has done is deceptive. ~swd Stephen W. Desper Study Videos »
Mona Lisa is a half-length portrait of a woman by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci
Got it now?
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