THE S&V INTERVIEW

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Mike Mettler Posted: Feb 12, 2014 0 comments
“We would have done surround sound at the time if it had been available.” Original Moody Blues keyboardist Mike Pinder is discussing the always-enveloping signature orchestral sound of the band he was a part of for its first 15 years. Much of the Moodies’ core "Classic Seven" catalog has since seen a series of 5.1 releases in the interim, and Pinder’s innovative usage of the mellotron helped take many of those mixes (“Higher and Higher,” “Watching and Waiting,” “Legend of a Mind”) to the threshold of aural perfection.
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Mike Mettler Posted: Jan 29, 2014 8 comments
“I want to hear what the band heard during playback in the studio. And I want to respect the sound that the engineers and producers tried so hard to capture.” It’s a mantra engineer Steve Hoffman follows whenever he remasters classic, iconic albums, and perhaps those words should be etched between the monitors perched above the mixing consoles in every mastering studio across the globe. One recent labor of reissued love is near and dear to Hoffman's audiophile heart – namely, The Audio Fidelity Collection limited-edition box set that houses four classic Deep Purple albums he remastered: In Rock (1970), Fireball (1971), Machine Head (1972), and Who Do We Think We Are (1973).
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Mike Mettler Posted: Jan 15, 2014 1 comments
“Music is astounding, isn’t it?” Graham Nash is genuinely enamored with the wonders of sound. There’s always a special twinkle in his eye whenever we get together to talk about the indelible music he’s made since the early 1960s, the new music he’s planning to make next, and how he plans to have it all, both new and old, sound even better. Nash, 71, and I met at the Broadway HQ of Random House publishing arm Crown Archetype in New York City to dive deep into his quite revelatory autobiography, Wild Tales. In addition to discussing all of the shadows, shades, and sweet sonic details to be found within Tales, we also delved into why he’s been working “under the headphones” on a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young project that may very well become the first official hi-res Pono release. Carry on...
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Mike Mettler Posted: Dec 18, 2013 0 comments
“That’s the cartridge you want — the one that’ll get you kicked out of the house!” And that’s Derek Trucks, empathizing over the price of high-end audiophile gear, both in terms of how it affects your wallet and your personal life. “I’ve had that conversation too,” he adds with a chuckle. The good-natured Trucks — seen at the center of the above photo, with his arms folded — drenched his sweet-toned slide-guitar stamp all over one of 2013’s best albums, the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s Made Up Mind (Masterworks; you can read my 4 1/2-star review of it in the Discs & Downloads section.) Here, Trucks, 34, and I commune over his favorite gear and LPs, how good Mind sounds on vinyl, and its thematic album-closing parallel. (Hint: “Darling, won’t you ease my worried mind” is a line from said album's title track.)

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Mike Mettler Posted: Dec 04, 2013 0 comments
“Pretty much everything that goes into the music is as analog as I can make it,” says Tom Scholz, chief sonic architect of the longtime rock powerhouse known as Boston. It’s taken him 10 years to deliver the band’s sixth studio album, Life, Love & Hope (Frontiers) — “But who’s counting?” he chuckles — and discerning audiophiles know it’s well worth the wait. Signature stacked harmonies, lovingly layered guitars, emotionally uplifting vocals, sheaves of killer riffs — what’s not to like? (And, yes, Virginia, there will be vinyl.) “All I can say is the tone, the sound, and the way it’s all put together is the way I like it,” Scholz admits. “And I’m just lucky there are other people who like the same things I do.”
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Mike Mettler Posted: Nov 13, 2013 1 comments
“You always think your voice will never end, of course,” observes Jon Anderson, the unmistakable alto tenor fronting indelible Yes classics like “Roundabout,” “And You And I,” “Going for the One,” and “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” to name but a scant few of their progressive gems. About 5 years ago, Anderson’s golden voice was threatened with a health scare, but after a necessary recovery period, his singing voice is back, and stronger than ever.
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Mike Mettler Posted: Oct 23, 2013 0 comments
How low can you go? If you’re Tony Levin, vaunted bassist and Chapman Stick pluckmaster known for adventurous, innovative low-end work with heavy hitters like Peter Gabriel and King Crimson, it’s also a question of how far. Even with such a storied pedigree, Levin, 67, has always been one to constantly seek new challenges, and he’s met that creative hunger head on with his current collaboration, Levin Minnemann Rudess, a progressive trio that also consists of drummer Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, UKZ) and keyboardist extraordinaire Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment).
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Steve Guttenberg Posted: May 30, 2013 1 comments
Grammy Award-winning producer Don Was has had a long and storied career producing records for some of rock ’n’ roll’s most famous acts from the early 1980s to the present. Today, he also holds the title of president of the respected jazz record label Blue Note Records. Home Theater’s Steve Guttenberg recently sat down with Was to get his take on the role of a record producer and what it was like to work with so many great artists.
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Mike Mettler Posted: May 28, 2013 0 comments

Steve Wynn was right there at the forefront when the alternative music scene exploded in the '80s. As a member of The Dream Syndicate, Wynn helped usher in the movement known as The Paisley Underground.

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Feb 14, 2013 1 comments
Spin a few of sound re-recording mixer Greg P. Russell’s movies on a proper 5.1 or 7.1 system, and you’ll soon realize that this guy loves home theater. Having worked on more than 200 movies, including every Michael Bay opus since The Rock (although he freely admits “Armageddon was over the top”), Russell has crafted some of the most thrilling soundtracks of our generation.
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Jamie Sorcher Posted: Nov 30, 2012 0 comments
At Home Theater, we’re all about the gear, but our systems would mean nothing without the memorable films we watch on them. Barry Sonnenfeld has had a hand in a good many of those. A 1978 alumnus of New York University Graduate Film School, Sonnenfeld broke into the biz as cinematographer for 1982’s Academy Award–nominated documentary In Our Water.
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Timothy J. Seppala Posted: Nov 20, 2012 0 comments

Sabotaging a gas pump and watching from inside a dumpster as a criminal walks up to it, takes a phone call, lights a cigarette and then explodes is one of Hitman: Absolution's (out today for PC, PS3, Xbox 360) simplest pleasures. Last week I talked to the game's director,18-year industry veteran Tore Blystad, about his latest project.

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Timothy J. Seppala Posted: Oct 23, 2012 0 comments

Hotline Miami (released today on Steam) is a dark and sordid 16-bit trip through 1989 South Florida and its seedy underbelly. It mixes a retro aesthetic with more violence than you're used to (think last year's cult hit Drive). It plays like earlier entries in the GTA series - but without the tedious driving between missions.

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Timothy J. Seppala Posted: Sep 18, 2012 0 comments

As great a game as the first Borderlands was, it didn't offer much in the way of story. Developer Gearbox Software realized this and brought in Anthony Burch (best known for the often inappropriately hilarious web series, "Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin'?") to write Borderlands 2. Burch was also a member of the video game press corp whose equally sharp analysis and humor made him a must-read in his time at Destructoid and other places around the Web.

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Timothy J. Seppala Posted: Sep 05, 2012 0 comments

Harmonix Music Systems redefined the peripheral-based rhythm genre with Rock Band in 2007. Five years, two numbered sequels and a few notable band-specific spin-offs later, their fans have a huge music library at their disposal. Thanks to smart thinking at the outset, almost all of the material from each successive game release has been playable within the Rock Band ecosystem (The Beatles Rock Band notwithstanding). There's somewhere in the neighborhood of three thousand songs in the Rock Band catalog if you count the community-authored tracks available on the Rock Band Network store.

The problem is, no one wants to buy peripheral-based games anymore. The novelty's over and isn't coming back anytime soon. Despite this, Harmonix has been keeping Rock Band fresh by releasing new songs and albums each week for players to download. This is great for hardcore fans, but not everyone wants to go through the hassle of getting the band back together because they want to play a few new tracks. That's where Rock Band Blitz comes in.

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