The S&V Interview

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Mike Mettler  |  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.
Steve Guttenberg  |  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.
Mike Mettler  |  Feb 10, 2016  |  0 comments
He’s a man who’s been everywhere and done it with everyone, and lived to tell the tales. He’s Dave Stewart, the production wizard best known for his indelible partnership with Annie Lennox in the uber-popular ’80s electronic duo Eurythmics. His new memoir, Sweet Dreams Are Made of This – A Life in Music (New American Library), was released on February 9, and it chronicles his wonderful life, and especially the fine sonic fruit born of collaborations with artists including Tom Petty, Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Joss Stone, and Stevie Nicks — the list could go on and on. One of the keys to Stewart’s success behind the board is how he’s able to tap into, as he puts it early in the book, “experience and experiment,” two important touchstones for him as a creative person. “I suppose it’s not being afraid to dive into the most wild and interesting situations, just to see what’s going to happen,” he admits. Stewart, 63, and I got on the horn to discuss how to capture great vocal performances, his benchmark albums for great sound, and his futuristic view of streaming. Who am I to disagree...
Mike Mettler  |  Oct 11, 2017  |  0 comments
Photo: Mary Ellen Matthews

I had the privilege of interviewing the late Tom Petty for Sound & Vision on three separate occasions. In these previously unpublished back-and-forths culled from my sitdown with Tom in Malibu in 2010, Tom tells me how The Heartbreakers truly got their start, how the band worked together to create new material, and shares his hopeful thoughts toward the band’s future.

Mike Mettler  |  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.
Mike Mettler  |  Dec 07, 2018  |  5 comments
The Motor City Madman himself, Ted Nugent, got on the line with us to discuss the sonic impetus for his new album The Music Made Me Do It, the never-ending importance of capturing the right guitar tone, and the connection we all have with where and how music itself ultimately originated.
Mike Mettler  |  Jul 10, 2019  |  0 comments
Mike Peters of The Alarm called us to discuss the band's deeply affecting new album Sigma, how the vinyl revival reconnects you with your music-seeking instincts, how a good producer acts as a creative compass, and how The Alarm’s approach to songwriting and song structure set them apart from the pack.
Mike Mettler  |  Jul 20, 2016  |  0 comments
It’s an intriguing concept: Get a number of recordings artists who made their initial impact in the 1980s to record new music in the style of that decade for Fly: Songs Inspired by the Film Eddie the Eagle (UMC), an album to accompany a movie directed by Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service) and starring Hugh Jackman and Taron Egerton about the titular, underdog British ski-jumper who gave his all at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. Among those up for the challenge were Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys of OMD, a.k.a. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, who collaborated with project coordinator Gary Barlow on a vibrant throwback track, “Thrill Me.” McCluskey, 56, called from across The Pond to discuss the genesis of “Thrill Me,” why electronic music continues to thrive and how OMD get modern/retro synth sounds, and wrestling with the concept of streaming. It’s the ultimate discovery.
Kim Wilson Photography: Rob Hart and Revo Reese  |  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.

Steve Guttenberg  |  Apr 16, 2007  |  0 comments
HT Talks To the Doors’ one and only recording engineer, Bruce Botnick, about remixing and remastering Perception.
Michael Fremer  |  Mar 31, 2006  |  0 comments
HT goes inside the Late Show with David Letterman's HD transition.
Bob Ankosko  |  Dec 29, 2016  |  0 comments

15 Minutes with Cleerline President Robert D’Addario

Fiber optics has been around in audio gear for years. Verizon’s Fiber Optic Service, better known as FiOS, has 7 million Internet subscribers in nine states with plenty of expansion potential. Google, too, has been rolling out its Google fiber service in recent years, though on a much smaller scale with limited service in seven states. Meanwhile, copper is still far and away king of signal transmission both inside and outside of the home. But for how long? To get a sense of what role fiber will play in the future, we sat down with Robert D’ Addario, president of Montana-based Cleerline Technology Group, an innovator in optical cable.

Steve Guttenberg  |  Feb 05, 2008  |  467 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.
Nancy Klosek  |  Aug 28, 2007  |  0 comments

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

Mike Mettler  |  Mar 07, 2018  |  0 comments
David Duchovny is no weekend music hobbyist. The original music of the noted actor/director/writer (The X-Files, Californication) is now on full display on his second album, Every Third Thought. I got on the line with Duchovny to discuss the importance of vocal enunciation, leaving what he feels sounds “real” in final mixes, and why you’ll never hear his singing voice on The X-Files — even though you’ve heard one of his songs appear on the show.

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