Producer Nigel Godrich dismisses “all this Dolby Atmos rubbish” as he says that “stereo is optimum”

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by JohnTheBaptist, Sep 20, 2022.

  1. JohnTheBaptist

    JohnTheBaptist Forum Resident Thread Starter

    dunce, AaronW, tug_of_war and 3 others like this.
  2. Raf

    Raf Senior Member

    Toronto, Ontario
    I wonder if it's entirely up to him, though. What to do with the Radiohead catalog, I mean.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2022
    qtrules likes this.
  3. JDeanB

    JDeanB Forum Resident

    Newton, NC USA
    Don't tell that to Jerry Harrison, who created the new (and fantastic) Talking Heads Dolby Atmos mixes.
  4. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    Old man yells at drop ceiling.

    Why doesn't he just embrace mono and be done with it.
  5. dee

    dee Senior Member

    ft. lauderdale, fl
    'rubbish' IS one of the all-time great descriptors though. Gotta give him props on word choice. Maybe pan it from left to right and back again :)
  6. aphexj

    aphexj Sound mind & body

    Guess he shouldn't have worked on the last two Roger Waters concert movies mixed in Atmos?
    Uncle_Meat likes this.
  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product

    I dont have atmos, but 5.1 buries stereo... and I love stereo
    2141, RickH, quicksrt and 10 others like this.
  8. Elliottmarx

    Elliottmarx Always in the mood for Burt Bacharach

    Los Angeles
    I think folks have just decided to not read the article and form opinions based on the clickbait headline.

    Godrich is basing his thoughts on an experience he had, which none of us had. Here is some of his rationale:

    “I sat down there and he played me one of the things that had been knocking about that had been remixed for 5.1 specifically, which was Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. He put on The Chain - the very famous outro that they used to use for the Grand Prix [on UK TV].

    “Anyway, it’s all very exciting and starts building up, and out of nowhere, behind my head, this frigging Hammond organ kicks in, and I was like ‘what the hell is that?’. And he said ‘well, y’know, it’s something they had on the multitrack and they didn’t feel there was enough room in the stereo field in the original mixes, so now that it’s 5.1 they’ve put it in’.

    “And I said ‘OK, that’s enough for me’, that’s proof that this is wrong. It’s just fundamentally not right, because a ‘pseudo-technical’ decision had been made, as opposed to a musical decision. And that’s what’s wrong with all of these things; people are pushing things, and their priority is the technology, not the music.”

    FWIW - I don't have a personal opinion about 5.1. I have no dog in this fight, I just dislike when people jump down the throat of an artist because a journalist or publication created a click bait headline.
  9. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    I kind of get what he means in some respects. My issues with some 5.1s I have heard is what he mentioned. Sometimes, hearing every little thing being fleshed out to where you hear it all clearly is not a good thing. I think of it like a good meal. Some ingredients in a certain dish wouldn't taste good on their own, but when meshed with the others, it results in a very satisfying test. Similarly, for example, you might get a stereo mix where a guitar and keyboard bled together and created a brief unique melody that neither would have gotten on their own, and then when you separate them, it doesn't right or the same, but is promoted under the "but you can hear it all" banner.
  10. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Stereo's enough. I’ve never understood the fascination with 5:1. If stereo is what an album was recorded, mixed and intended to be listened to in, then anything else is a tacky after the fact revisionist gimmick to me. The argument that artists would have gone for it if they had the technology is mere speculation and nothing more. It's not as if loads of artists are releasing their albums in 5:1 now and the technology has been available for many years. I just feel that it's a niche for people who don't have the imagine to look out for music that's new to them, so they just buy a gimmicky take on the same old music they've always known.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2022
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  11. notesofachord

    notesofachord Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)

    I’m with Nigel.
    dunce, MicSmith, supernaut and 20 others like this.
  12. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Planet Earth
    Posts like that are entirely pointless. But somewhat predictable. Why ridicule someone for giving their opinion? :crazy:
  13. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker

    It's his hobby.
  14. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Prefer stereo ..heck even Mono. 5.1 ok for movie soundtrack.
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  15. mightyquinn61

    mightyquinn61 Forum Resident

    Agreed. Two ears, two speakers.
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  16. octophone

    octophone immaterial girl

    Excellent point. How many new albums are released in Atmos/5.1/7.1 simultaneously with the stereo release? It's extremely rare.
    MicSmith, supernaut and Man at C&A like this.
  17. Raf

    Raf Senior Member

    Toronto, Ontario
    I would say at least four a week (probably more—it's just that I don't have any interest in most of them). Most of them show up here: Spatial Audio on Apple Music

    Last week a dozen (by my count) new classical albums were simultaneously released in stereo (CD) and surround (streaming).
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2022
  18. The Bishop

    The Bishop Forum Resident

    Dorset, England.
    A stereo soundstage gives the illusion of musicians playing right in front of you. Like on a real stage.

    I don’t want them all over the place, particularly behind me. But that’s just my opinion.
    dunce, trickness, MicSmith and 11 others like this.
  19. fluxkit

    fluxkit Man-Machine

    Repeating cliched internet jokes that were ageist and not funny to begin with.
    But this is our mass culture.

    As for surround sound remixes, I think it is fine to have as an alternative listening option for certain albums. But I hear what Godrich is saying.
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  20. octophone

    octophone immaterial girl

    Oh! As I don't use any streaming services, I was basing my remarks on physical releases only. I therefore stand corrected. Thank you.
    supernaut and Raf like this.
  21. privit1

    privit1 Senior Member

    If there has never been a surround mix and someone does a surround mix how is that revisionist?.

    In much the same way as the Beatles albums in stereo up to The Beatles is revisionist I guess given that they were all recorded and mixed in mono first?

    it would be better to say preferred format, I think.
  22. So I guess anyone who wants an Atmos 5.1 mix done can stop making plans for Nigel...:hide:
  23. fluxkit

    fluxkit Man-Machine

    I see what you did there.
    supernaut likes this.
  24. drbryant

    drbryant Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    I was all-in on multi-channel in 2001/02. But, I just realized that I like my music in front of me, and particularly with reissues, I like to hear what the artist and producer intended. I sold my center channel speaker. I still have surrounds and a subwoofer, but they aren’t even hooked up.
    dunce, seastman, supernaut and 3 others like this.
  25. aphexj

    aphexj Sound mind & body

    Hilarious that his "problem" with it is that it can't be brick walled (Atmos spec says that overall integrated loudest track on an album cannot exceed -18 dB LUFS, which is like one-third as loud as Nigel's stereo mixes)

    News flash: music can sound good AND have dynamic range!

    How is the decision to NOT include a Hammond part because there wasn't room originally in stereo a musical one, but 'pseudo-technical' when the original technical restrictions are removed? That argument makes no sense
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2022

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