30 Minutes with 3 Doors Down

It's always a treat to find a band &Mdash; especially a young one - that's as passionate about sound quality as we are. Mississippi rockers 3 Doors Down (of "Kryptonite" and "Here Without You" fame) are so invested in the concept that they've teamed up with the Consumer Electronics Association to champion "The Great Audio Experience" (greataudio.com). We recently caught up with 3DD guitarist Matt Roberts (third from left) and singer Brad Arnold (far right) at CES Unveiled in New York City, and they were more than eager to extol the virtues of higher fidelity.

You've put out two surround - sound audio releases: Away from the Sun on DVD - Audio, SACD, and DualDisc, and Seventeen Days on DualDisc. Now there's Away from the Sun: Live from Houston, Texas on a Monster Music SuperDisc DVD. What's the appeal? BRAD: It's simple: When you let people hear high - quality audio just one time, they're hooked. And they'll go back to it again and again.

MATT: The brilliant thing about the mixes on the SuperDisc is they're something you can get in your living room but not at the live show itself. It's really a great way to experience music. Actually, my favorite format on the DVD is DTS On Stage. I think it captures the essence of what we're hearing onstage and what we want the fans to hear. Whereas in Pro Logic, you tend to have stuff that's stacked on top of each other.

BRAD: The On Stage mix really sounds - honest to God - like you're standing behind my microphone. It sounds just like you're there.

How adventurous do you feel you can get with a surround mix? MATT: The fact is, we record so many tracks when we're making an album that it's nice to be able to separate them. That way, we don't have to think about layering Brad's vocal track over one of my guitar tracks, which has already been layered on top of another track. It's really cool to have the surround experience enable the vocal to get behind you, let you hear that guitar right beside you, and then have other elements in the center channel. That all makes it easier to hear the music just like we did in the studio.