Van Der Graaf Generator coming in 5.1

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by R E Faust, Apr 19, 2021.

  1. R. Totale

    R. Totale The Voice of Reason

    Just a question which you may or may not feel like answering, but (to your ears) were there specific faults or weaknesses with the original presentation of this music on LP which you felt you could address by remixing them?
  2. krimson

    krimson Forum Resident

    To do 5.1, you have to remix. If you are going to do a 5.1, typically you are doing a stereo mix as well. I know that Steven Wilson starts with a stereo mix before he does the 5.1.
    weekendtoy and mark winstanley like this.
  3. stephenwtayler

    stephenwtayler Forum Resident

    Thanks for asking! I could go on for ever about such things, and I am sure there will be interviews and articles coming up - but first I have to say that it is never about trying to make a better version of the originals - these albums were classics that I listened to as a massive fan when they were released! They are just brilliant!

    The main point of remixing for me is to realise these albums in surround - of course not everyone partakes in surround, so it makes sense to also create a new stereo mix while it is all in progress.

    While I don’t try to completely copy and duplicate the originals, I do like to respect them, especially when such a lot of thought and creativity has gone into the original production and mixes - it feels like an essential part of the arrangement and performance. Especially ‘H to He’ and ‘Pawn Hearts’ utilised a lot of techniques that were ground-breaking at the time - 50 years ago for goodness sakes!!!!

    Many of these tracks were built in short sections that were recorded separately, mixed separately and then combined by editing and crossfading using multiple stereo tape machines. They had to commit as they went along, and there was little opportunity to turn back - no UNDO button.

    By combining my experience with the original methods along with todays production technology and techniques I was, for instance, able to rebuild ‘A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers’ in a single continuous file using multiple tracks, transitions and effects, and making the whole thing more consistent by being able to assemble it in one piece. It’s all about context.

    I’m hoping you all find something to enjoy about these new alternative versions. I must admit they have to be some of the best experiences I have ever had.

  4. stephenwtayler

    stephenwtayler Forum Resident

    Everything I work on these days starts in both stereo and surround simultaneously - whether it is a classic remix or new works.
    weekendtoy, Slim Zooms, fRa and 2 others like this.
  5. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product

    I'm looking forward to hearing these mixes. Cheers
  6. stephenwtayler

    stephenwtayler Forum Resident

    I so hope you can share my wonderful experiences. Funnily enough I found 'Killer' to be harder than all the other remixes - it was the first I tackled and it came with a certain amount of pressure as it had been such an important seminal track in the first place. Consequently all these remixes have been some of the best experiences of my studio work ever. It's hard to express how I feel, but I truly hope that some of you understand what we have managed to achieve.

    Such beautiful, shocking, and mind-bending original creations from Peter, Hugh, Guy, David, and ground-breaking production from John Anthony, along with beautiful recordings from Robin Geoffrey Cable at Trident Studios, and consequently Pat Moran as coproducer at Rockfield Studios...

    What more can I say - these are some of the best albums ever.
  7. Feedbacker1

    Feedbacker1 Active Member

    I can't begin to tell you how excited I am about this set, Stephen! Thank you, in advance!
    Haggis Wampovich likes this.
  8. Sadcafe

    Sadcafe In the kingdom of the deaf, one eared man is King

    This is why I love this site. I am a newbie. Box set ordered. Nothing to compare it to yet even I am now stoked for this release.
    Instant Dharma, samskeyti and ArpMoog like this.
  9. Lands End Drums

    Lands End Drums Forum Resident

    Dream come true box and it’s out the day after my birthday, a sign is ever there was one.
    Instant Dharma likes this.
  10. peterpyser

    peterpyser Forum Resident

    New single out today: Pilgrims.
    They've put the wrong cover, so hopefully Man Erg 2021 remix is next.

    Combat Wombat and ArpMoog like this.
  11. stephenwtayler

    stephenwtayler Forum Resident

    Well they seem to have fixed the cover as it appears here and when you go to the link - but it still comes up wrong when you try to share it!

    Anyway, this is a personal favourite of mine - I just can't seem to get it out of my head!!!
    NorthNY Mark and ArpMoog like this.
  12. peterpyser

    peterpyser Forum Resident

    I started listening to VDGG in 1982 at the age of 11 or 12, and when i bought Still Life i got hooked by Pilgrims.
    I used to believe it was the 'obvious' single from that album, but there was no internet then, and info on VDGG were very scarse.
    I remember listening to that song over and over.
    Much, much later i understood there was no single off Still Life, but things have been finally fixed now!

    My most sincere compliments for your work on their most celebrated albums.
    Pierrot Lunaire and ArpMoog like this.
  13. GnuHigh

    GnuHigh Forum Resident

    Montréal, QC
    I have to say the Pilgrims mix sounds fantastic. It's one of my favorite VdGG songs, and all the instruments shine, not to mention Hammill's delivery.

    Most importantly, Evans' drums sound powerful. They're such an integral part of the band's personality, anything less would be a real shame. This is a heavy band, they should sound heavy!
    Feedbacker1 and ArpMoog like this.
  14. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Raleigh, N.C.
    When you're working on a new stereo/surround mix (especially stereo), do you ever listen to it 'side-by-side' with the original to compare? I might be afraid of second-guessing myself if I did that, but on the other hand, I'd want to make sure I wasn't completely out in the proverbial left field. (I've done stereo mixes of my own bands before, but I've never done a surround mix and only occasionally a remix of someone else's original mix -- I didn't do the side-by-side thing.)
  15. DesertChaos

    DesertChaos Forum Resident

    Really great mix of Pilgrims. The one always had a "majestic" quality to it, especially the chorus and this mix really brought a great new clarity to it. Completely stoked for the box and only wish all the albums could've been had the tapes found and given this kind of love.
    fRa likes this.
  16. ArpMoog

    ArpMoog Forum Resident

    Did anyone ever say they didn't have all the tapes ? Was a reason ever given for not giving all albums the full treatment ?
  17. stephenwtayler

    stephenwtayler Forum Resident

    I always start by referencing the original versions. On some albums or tracks certain aspects or treatments in the mix essentially become part of the arrangement, and I usually try to respect those.

    The John Anthony produced Trident Studio albums have a very specific approach, and I started by matching such things as position and panning movements in the stereo picture and various extreme effects. The Pat Moran Rockfield Studio albums are more straightforward from the outset, but all these were very beautifully recorded.

    I reach a certain point in those comparisons, and then I stop that and just concentrate on my personal vision. I do occasionally check the originals to make creative choices about whether certain parts should be more or less prominent, revealed or hidden!
  18. stephenwtayler

    stephenwtayler Forum Resident

    Missing multitracks.
    bleachershane likes this.
  19. Tristero

    Tristero Touching from a distance

    As more of a latter day Van Der Graaf fan, I have only ever known the poorly remastered reissues. I was listening to Still Life last night and despite the great music, it was painfully obvious how compressed it was. I can't wait to finally hear tracks like the amazing epic "La Rossa" presented with the dynamics intact. This has always been one of my favorites from VDGG and the underlying production seems solid, so I'm expecting the new reissue to be a revelation, particularly in 5.1.
    NorthNY Mark likes this.
  20. stephenwtayler

    stephenwtayler Forum Resident

    I was lucky to have never heard those remasters. My main reference while remixing was the original mixes, pre mastering. I do like to leave a lot of dynamics, while trying to give punch to the mix when needed. I haven't actually heard the final mastering yet, but I have had a lot of my work mastered by Ben Wiseman, and he doesn't usually interfere, just enhance when necessary, he's good! Everyone involved seems very happy.
  21. peterpyser

    peterpyser Forum Resident

  22. Godbluff

    Godbluff Forum Resident

    I got some of these stickers from the merch stall on the '76 World Record tour, can't remember if they were on sale or handouts though. Found one unused one recently when I was sorting through some stuff when moving house, completely forgot I still had it.
  23. Dok

    Dok Forum Resident

    crozcat, NorthNY Mark and Uncle_Meat like this.
  24. brimuchmuze

    brimuchmuze Forum Resident

    Crazy, but price has gone up, now $367.49!
    Norco74 likes this.
  25. Uncle_Meat

    Uncle_Meat Forum Resident

    Plymouth, UK

Share This Page