Alan Parsons on 5.1 Music Mixing, Live and Studio Page 3

Valid Pathmarks (and Other 5.1 Notes)

0606_parsons_mic
The mic, provided by Neural Audio specifically for Alan's 5.1 XM session
Speaking of 5.1, I've been enjoying the A Valid Path release on Immergent. It's a very immersive experience. A lot of things go on behind the listener, a lot of the keyboards... The consumer pays for his six speakers, he might as well hear them. [laughs] I don't use the center channel very much. I have a firm belief that the center channel has its roots in the cinema, not modern music. If you have a good home system, the center channel is pretty redundant. People tend to put vocals in it, and if you take it away, you've got an instant karaoke mix. You can either isolate it or remove it - neither of which is very desirable.

When you knew you were recording the album in surround, did that change your approach in the studio? We had to double up more when there was an opportunity to double-, triple-, or quadruple-track things. I think "We Play the Game" and "Mammagamma 04" came out really well. I just love hearing things going on in every corner. When I'm sitting there doing a mix, I'll be thinking, "Hmm, nothing's been going on over there for a while; let's do something about that."

Have you found the Easter eggs yet? I can give you some clues. If you go to the Discography section, highlight the Try Anything Once and Time Machine albums, and, at that point, you're one click away. You'll get two videos, one of which is in surround.

Have you listened to other artist's surround mixes? Any you think turned out well? I like [Steely Dan's] Gaucho. Elliot Scheiner is quite a master at that kind of mixing.

How did you feel about the Alan Parsons On Air 5.1 release from DTS? It was an afterthought, as the album was not actually conceived for surround sound. But I think it turned out well in surround.

How about those two Sound Check discs you put out through Mobile Fidelty in 1993 and 1996? Any thoughts of bringing them to surround? Oh yes, I've long had a desire to do that. The Sound Check project is largely mono. I would obviously like to include surround sound on a future version, and include some video tests as well.

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