NOVEMBER 2005: UPLIFTING SIGNALS
This sitdown with Alex centered around the surround mix for the R30 DVD, and he seemed to be softening his position — a lot. “Surround is a great, uplifting experience, and I think we have some records that we’d consider doing that way. Again, we [his bandmates] haven’t spoken about any of this yet. Probably the safe thing to say is that I’m much more open to doing this as long as the integrity of the original content isn’t messed with.” Lifeson specifically zeroed in on the running water in "Discovery," Part III of the title suite of 1976’s 2112, as something he’d like to hear in surround. “You could be sitting right by that little stream, you know,” he mused. “It would be quite dramatic and dynamic.” (Uh, we could NOT agree more…)
FEBRUARY 2009: THE FORESHADOWER
Now fully ensconced in the Blu-ray era, Lifeson and I are having a discourse about the utterly fantastic BD for Snakes & Arrows Live. And — yee-hah! — the 5.1 temperature for studio material has clearly changed, due not only the experience of working on this live set, but overseeing the 5.1 mix he and Chycki did for the Snakes & Arrows studio recording. Catalog, here we come! “It's just a matter of sitting in and getting a sense of the placement of everything. I think the important thing with 5.1 is not to get too fancy-schmancy with it, but to create this full-room sound environment rather than tricking it up with stuff ‘whipping’ all around, and that sort of thing.” And, lest there be any doubt, gimmicky approaches need not apply. “When you're in that mode, you want to make it something special. But when you switch from a stereo mix to a surround mix, it fills the room, and ideally, I think that's what you want to capture.”
LISTENING IN THE LIMELIGHT
Having already spent a good bit of time with Moving Pictures’ 5.1 mix on Blu-ray myself, I can attest firsthand that Chycki has brought out the true essence of the original recordings to put together something truly special and dynamic.
But, hey, I’m getting ahead of myself. Come back tomorrow for the next installment: My unreleased exclusive February 2009 chat with Chycki about Rush’s surround future, and a few tasty excerpts from our just-conducted 2011 song-by-song dissection of MP 5.1. Everybody got to deviate from the norm…
See the official Moving Pictures trailer here.
Check out Part 2 of our series on Rush's surround remix plans: Mike Mettler's conversation with band surround guru Richard Chycki
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