THE S&V INTERVIEW

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Mike Mettler Posted: Feb 26, 2014 4 comments
Over in Reference Tracks, Steven Wilson, the one true king of transformative surround-sound mixing (Porcupine Tree, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, XTC), and I discuss the building blocks of how he transformed Yes’ groundbreaking 1972 LP, Close to the Edge, into a benchmark 192/24 5.1 mix. It’s as pure and true as you’ll ever hear it on Panegyric’s Definitive Edition Blu-ray/CD combo package. “It’s a bona-fide A-level masterpiece,” Wilson says of CTTE. (The Preacher, The Teacher hath spoken!) Further good news: The venerable surround master has also confirmed more 5.1 Yes album mixes are on the way. All I can say about them at this point is at least one of them was originally released before CTTE, and at least one was released after it.
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Steve Guttenberg Posted: Apr 05, 2012 1 comments
Steven Wilson is best known as the founder, lead guitarist, singer, and songwriter of the progressive rock band Porcupine Tree, but he’s becoming the go-to man for remixing classic rock recordings into 5.1 surround for DVD and Blu-ray. His recent solo album, Grace for Drowning, proves he’s just as adept in creating new music that fully exploits the surround soundscape.
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Mike Mettler Posted: Jan 14, 2015 3 comments
“Once we had dipped our toe in the water, it set us on a course to have a much bigger, much more robust, and not-so-introspective sound.” Roland Orzabal is describing the veritable aural sea change he and his Tears for Fears creative partner and bandmate Curt Smith underwent while recording Songs From the Big Chair, the 1985 followup to 1982’s The Hurting, their highly influential minimalist electronic-music confessional debut platform. In celebration of the album’s 30th anniversary, Mercury/Universal has released a six-disc Big Chair box set that includes scores of demos, alternate takes, live sessions, and a documentary DVD, but the no-contest audiophile grail is Disc 5, a Blu-ray containing the 96-kHz/24-bit surround-sound mix of the original album done by none other than the super-guru of 5.1 himself, Steven Wilson. “I love this mix,” says Smith. “You get a far greater spectrum of sound, and the low end is definitely improved.” I recently got on the horn across the Pond with Orzabal and Smith, both 53, to discuss the benefits of listening to Big Chair in high-res and what they’d like to do next in 96/24 and 5.1 (hint: the Seeds have been planted). Funny how time flies.
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Mike Mettler Posted: May 15, 2014 Published: May 14, 2014 2 comments
Photo by Ross Halfin

"The best way to listen to Led Zeppelin is off of the analog tapes, but unfortunately, I can’t invite you around to listen to them." That's Jimmy Page, answering my question about whether vinyl was still the best way to experience the mighty Zeppelin's music at the press conference that followed the Led Zeppelin Deluxe Editions Listening Event Page hosted at the Crosby Street Hotel Screening Room in New York on May 13. Page also confirmed that he's done "really, really high-resolution files for whatever system comes next" and that 96kHz/24-bit files will be accessible via download cards in each of the Deluxe Edition box sets of the first three Led Zeppelin studio albums being released by Atlantic/Swan Song on June 3. Event moderator Robin Hurley further confirmed that all of the Zeppelin studio tracks from those three album packages coming to HDtracks.com will be 96/24. (Live tracks will be at 48/24.)

Kim Wilson Photography: Rob Hart and Revo Reese Posted: Feb 12, 2009 8 comments

We all know that California has it own unique car culture. Here a person's automobile and their personality are often closely aligned. One homeowner loved their Bentley so much; they couldn't get enough of it and choose it as the theme for their dedicated Home Theater.

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Steve Guttenberg Posted: Apr 16, 2007 0 comments
HT Talks To the Doors’ one and only recording engineer, Bruce Botnick, about remixing and remastering Perception.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 31, 2006 0 comments
HT goes inside the Late Show with David Letterman's HD transition.
Steve Guttenberg Posted: Feb 05, 2008 469 comments
When it comes to home theaters, I thought I'd seen it all. But nothing's come close to this. First, I'm going to try to describe the sheer magnitude of Jeremy Kipnis' theater. His Stewart Snowmatte laboratory-grade screen is the biggest I've ever seen in a home, and in the back of the theater, there's a Sony ultra-high-resolution (4,096-by-2,160) SRX-S110 digital projector. I'm looking everywhere, jotting down questions, and Kipnis sounds almost giddy talking about his theater's capabilities. He refers to his baby, the Kipnis Studio Standard (KSS), as "The Greatest Show on Earth." And from the looks of it, he may be right.
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Nancy Klosek Posted: Aug 28, 2007 0 comments

<I>How three system designers fixed three demonic projects.</I>

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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: 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: Aug 28, 2012 0 comments

The dragons are back from the ocean's depths. Today marks the release of Guild Wars 2, the new massively multiplayer online role playing game (think World of Warcraft meets Star Wars: The Old Republic) from developer ArenaNet. S+V got a chance to chat with Guild Wars 2's audio director, James Ackley, who told us about the challenges and rewards of designing sound for an MMO.

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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: Jun 27, 2012 0 comments

Adding color to the Walking Dead universe was a gamble, but Telltale Games nailed it.

At E3 this year I had a chance to preview the latest episode in the series (out today for Xbox 360, PC, and PS3 Friday) and pick the brain of Telltale's Founder and Chief Technology Officer Kevin Bruner.

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Timothy J. Seppala Posted: Mar 01, 2012 0 comments

The Reapers are upon us. Mass Effect 3 is out next Tuesday, and with it Commander Shepard's story is coming to a close. I took the opportunity to chat with the series' audio lead, Rob Blake about his team's work in defining the Mass Effect franchise. Over the course of his career he's worked on everything from feature films to Spongebob Squarepants games, but counts his efforts at developer BioWare as the most challenging gigs he's encountered.

"What we do here dwarfs anything I've done before," he told me.

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