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. Elliottmarx

    Elliottmarx Always in the mood for Burt Bacharach

    Los Angeles
    I mean this respectfully, but at this point you've written a longer statement than the entire article. Perhaps you should click on the article and read it. It's, at best, 90 seconds worth of text. It's hard to have a good faith discussion when you're basing your thoughts on the name of the article and the comments about the article, but not the article itself.

    This 90 second read was extrapolated from a two hour and 15 minute podcast - with a click bait headline created by a third party to create content from someone else's interview and work.
  2. aphexj

    aphexj Sound mind & body

    No. Remixed about twenty years ago by original co-producer/engineer Ken Caillat specifically for 5.1, and if there is a Quad mix it's never been released
  3. manofatom

    manofatom Forum Resident

    London, UK
    the answer to this is, at least, almost everything that UMG put out. Albums and singles.
    chris8519 likes this.
  4. chris8519

    chris8519 Forum Resident

    Seattle, WA
    Fair point! It is!
    But man, chopping up the master tape of OKC and sending it as part of the deluxe edition, yikes.
  5. downloadsofist

    downloadsofist Forum Resident

    New York
    Definitely an interesting debate here about what is the "real" version of a work, and if the artists' intentions matter, not surprising it's contentious. It makes me think of of people analyzing different pressings of MBV "Loveless" and sometimes one is preferred because "the vocals are clearer" and "there's more instrumental separation" when the entire point of the album is that the vocals are buried and there's no separation between the instruments.
  6. Rich-n-Roll

    Rich-n-Roll Forum Resident

    Washington State
    Hard not agree....
  7. Danby Delight

    Danby Delight Forum Resident

    Quad was fundamentally dead by 1977. I've read Ken Caillat's book about the making of Rumours and I don't recall a word about a quad mix. And this is a book that goes deep on Ken and Richard Dashut, like, hand-delivering 50 copies of the lacquers, one at a time, from where they were cut to where they were plated so that they would be as perfect as possible, so he definitely would have mentioned doing a quad mix.
    enro99, slainte, aphexj and 1 other person like this.
  8. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product

    No it was completely remixed by Ken Caillat, who engineered the original album.

    Mick Fleetwood says it is how the album would have been originally released, had there been no time and audio density issues.

    "We were somewhat involved in decisions, certainly in Silver Springs, bringing that back in the album," Fleetwood said. "We'd pop down in the studio and say, 'Fantastic, sounds great,' . . . basically having our minds blown."

    "It's just respectful of where it came from," Fleetwood says. "A Vegas version of Rumours wouldn't be appropriate."
  9. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Follower of Hi-Fi

    New Mexico USA
    So I've now listened to the podcast that's the original source for quotations being discussed here, and for me this thread has instantly become a parable about the ruthless emotional unhealthiness of online piss-taking based on distorted and partial third-hand information.

    The conversation between host Jamie Lidell and Nigel Godrich is low-key, matey, relaxed, meandering, thoughtful, and really, really interesting. It's quite lovely, actually. I learned a lot and ended up liking both these guys a lot. Its objectionable quotient is nil.

    The snark-based curation process that took this conversation and mined it for a reductive Musicradar post drumming up controversy about Godrich expressing criticism of Dolby Atmos, and which then became the even more reductive OP post of this thread (with a "you can't make this up" caricature of an utterly benign and passing mention of compression in mixing), results in an almost criminal misrepresentation of how much insight about audiophile values and love of music can be found in this interview. And Godrich's skepticism about spatial audio seems quite mild-mannered and reasonable, and clearly open to potentially successful approaches. His comments about mono and stereo are similar to intelligent comments I've read dozens of times on this forum, and his attitude toward compression seems completely in line with stuff I've seen Steve Hoffman say about it.

    The idea that the sane takeaway from the podcast is that Nigel Godrich is a contemptible brick-walling loudness-war audio vandal crudely trashing multichannel sound is ridiculous.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2022
    enro99, oneway23, JeffMo and 19 others like this.
  10. Squealy

    Squealy Forum Hall Of Fame

    I haven’t heard the surround mix of Rumours but… there has always been organ on “The Chain.” Is it really a part that wasn’t used or did it just stand out because it could be heard better, and they hadn’t heard the song in a while and forgot there was an organ part?
  11. aphexj

    aphexj Sound mind & body

    His work speaks for itself
    JohnTheBaptist likes this.
  12. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Follower of Hi-Fi

    New Mexico USA
    I like the way this works as either a thumbs-up or a curse.

  13. mightyquinn61

    mightyquinn61 Forum Resident

    Nothing beats Radiohead, either the music, or how it sounds.
    dunce, Elliottmarx and bhazen like this.
  14. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Katy, TX
    You could perchance have something original to discuss, like your own opinion. How's that for a suggestion. As it is, we're discussing this from hearsay. The source information is the podcast.
  15. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Senior Member

    Us "old 'uns" have brains that have been conditioned to translate stereophonic souces into a more immersive experience than can probably be attained by "young 'uns" more conditioned to multi-channel / surround sound sources.

    Obviously, our predecessors, the "ancients," had somewhat the same capability with regard to monaural sources, or recorded / broadcast music would never have taken off.
  16. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Senior Member

    Question and answer in one sentence.
    Stereo mixes were issued relatively quickly.
  17. JohnTheBaptist

    JohnTheBaptist Forum Resident Thread Starter

    It's only benign if you're unfamiliar with his discography
  18. bhazen

    bhazen Fab Fourever!

    Deepest suburbia
    I basically agree with Nigel.

    To me, music coheres best in <3 channels. I've yet to hear an Atmos mix; but I've heard a few 5.1 things and, although a fascinating listen, to me it's a bit clinical. I even dislike stereo in a lot of situations (see: the 1965 Rubber Soul mix and lots of other pre-1970 things).

    However. I'm glad these new multichannel formats exist, for those who dig them; just as I applaud the stereo remixes of classic albums that let me hear deeper into the performances (in my view Giles and Sam's work with the Beatles catalog has generally been a blessing; Steve Wilson's with the prog genre, etc.).
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2022
  19. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    "Old man yells at drop ceiling": reference to his not appreciating ATMOS from a standpoint of extra complexity with what he feels is substandard results.
    "Why doesn't he just embrace mono and be done with it": reference to his thinking the imaginary image of a fake stereo mix designed by producers without having any respect for the further refinements of either standard surround, or ATMOS, which are just expansions of the same process, so why should he have any respect for the stereo in the first place. This sounds to be more conservative thinking that awareness of the very thing he resents surround for, not realizing how many stereo recordings are, through channel assignments and numerous sessions to assemble the instrumentation, the same sort of trickery only in a more limited scale. Thus, as I said, "Old man yells at drop ceiling".

    So, since you obviously missed all that the first time when I just used two sentences to more economically state my position...sorry you weren't able to pick up on that.

    Old man yells at Dillydipper.
  20. dee

    dee Senior Member

    ft. lauderdale, fl
    I'd like to get a budget 5.1 system out of curiosity really. As anyome who 'might' read my ramblings here, I often seek out surround mixes and listen to them with a stereo connection instead. Some are very interesting whether via simply source fidelity, mastering, and and imaging.

    What about concert surround mixes though. Would it be standard practice to mix the audience in the rears? Wouldn't that give one the immersive concert experience? Not that some listeners want that lol.
  21. A well respected man

    A well respected man Some Mother's Son

    Madrid, Spain
    Not all recorded music intends to give the illusion of a live performance on a real stage. There are songs that are made to create an atmosphere, or immerse you in a different world. Would you say, for example, that Strawberry Fields Forever intends to present itself as musicians playing in front of you on a stage?
  22. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    While we're at it, you should know I just listened to the relevant portions of the podcast relating to the "clickbait" portion of the pod (You can zero-in on 79-1/2 minutes in, and if you choose to bail around 85 minutes in, you're good). The whole cast is interesting, but there's only that portion that deals with Godrich's perspective on surround-vs.-mono/stereo, and you can certainly see what informs his viewpoints, and find some validity in it.

    My personal perspective is that, people with a certain comfort with the way things have been before, react to surround (and certainly ATMOS) with the same skepticism people do about the field of colorizing film and video: no vision as to what could make their experience better, and they usually display no willingness to even entertain the possibilities that they're really just reacting to the current state of the technology and craft, not allowing for the potential these processes offer to those who are willing to keep at them, and refine them.

    So, if you have an immediate aversion to my offhand post #4 in this thread, you've probably not read, seen or considered the numerous times I've made my case for seeing these "heresies" as just the beginning of a much larger journey into a new phase of artistic expression. It's all here in these pages, over numerous threads. Already distilled and decanted for your reading offense, for your foot-stamping and holding-your-breath-till-you-turn-blue, pleasure. :pleased:
    Mr. Afternoon likes this.
  23. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    And indeed, the whole album was created with the caveat that, the band felt themselves no longer able to do their best work, performing their art onstage. So, why not kick it up a notch, with music created for studio and for phonograph, rather than for static performance with the limitations of live people in front of live persons who can't even hear them.
  24. The Bishop

    The Bishop Forum Resident

    Dorset, England.
    I take your point and I’m sure the 5.1 sounds amazing. And although I own the 5.1 of Pepper and several other albums, I can’t justify the investment. I love the stereo remix of SFF and it’s immersive enough for me to lose myself in. Maybe one day, I will. Who knows?
  25. Music Geek

    Music Geek Forum Resident

    I don't want to take sides on this discussion but I must comment on the "two ears" and "stereo is more natural".
    Every studio album has drums mixed in a way that you would need to sit with your head on the crotch of the drummer to listen to the drums that way. There is no stereo placement of drums if you want to replicate a real experience of listening to live music.
    Do you have a problem with stereo drums? No. So cut the crap on multichannel mixes being somewhat "not realistic".

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