The S&V Interview

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Mike Mettler  |  May 07, 2021  |  0 comments
"Audio is my thing," declares Peter Frampton. "And the thing is, I could go on about it for days! I am a big audio freak."

It's not hard to see (and hear) why, considering how Frampton has been most meticulous about getting the exact sound he wants on record, thanks in no small part to his fruitful, decades-spanning collaborations with ace producer/engineer Chuck Ainlay. For sonic evidence of their work together, check out the tone, breadth, and character of this-century Frampton albums like August 2003's , September 2006's Fingerprints, and June 2019's All Blues, for starters.

Bob Ankosko  |  Mar 18, 2021  |  0 comments
Few companies in the home entertainment electronics industry have as storied a history as THX, the company born out of George Lucas’ desire to bring the movie-going experience as close as possible to how he envisioned his theatrical creations on the big screen. Disappointed by the sonic limitations of movie theaters when the original Star Wars film was released in 1977, the celebrated screenwriter/director engaged a team of audio engineers to define a series of technical parameters theater owners could follow to achieve what we would call today an immersive experience. The theatrical program was a huge success, eventually finding its way into the home, and the rest is history. We caught up with Peter Vasay, general manager and senior VP for home products at THX Ltd., to get an update on what the iconic brand has been up to lately and where it’s headed.
Mike Mettler  |  Mar 12, 2021  |  0 comments
It's not a complete misnomer to observe the audience for King Crimson music tends to skew more towards the male side of the listening ledger—but that statement in no way means their forward-thinking music holds little or no sway with female music aficionados and audiophiles alike. In fact, far from it.
Mike Mettler  |  Jan 29, 2021  |  6 comments
"I like to upset people, because it means I'm doing the right thing."

And that, my friends, is Steven Wilson for you in a nutshell. The once and future king of surround sound has taken yet another giant creative leap forward with his new solo album, The Future Bites (Arts & Crafts), which, after a pandemically induced half-year deferral, is finally being released on January 29, 2021.

Mike Mettler  |  Dec 18, 2020  |  2 comments
Gavin Harrison knows what he wants, and he knows how to get it. The critically celebrated, session-bred progressive-oriented British drummer vaulted into superstar status during his jaw-dropping eight-year stint as a member of Porcupine Tree, and he's since moved even further up the wide-acclaim foodchain thanks to all the mind-bending work he's done during his current, ongoing gigs behind the kit with both King Crimson and The Pineapple Thief. The thing is, Harrison pays little or no heed to the constant praise for his innovative drumming, nor does he spend much time ruminating over his impeccable legacy.
Bob Ankosko  |  Nov 19, 2020  |  0 comments
15 Minutes with HDMI Forum President David Glen

Three years ago the HDMI Forum released the highly anticipated Version 2.1 of the HDMI specification, which paved the way for a major boost in A/V performance with support for higher video resolutions, high-dynamic range (HDR), and increased bandwidth plus important features like variable refresh rates (VRR) for gaming and eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) for simplifying system setup. We recently caught up with Forum president David Glen to get an update on where HDMI stands today and where it’s going in the future.

Mike Mettler  |  Nov 13, 2020  |  0 comments
Like most musicians, Jakko M. Jaksyzk was not planning on spending the bulk of 2020 at home. For one thing, the celebrated progressive-leaning British guitarist/vocalist was more than ready to continue with King Crimson's ongoing 50th anniversary tour that had begun in earnest in 2019. (Sidenote: most of Crimson's 2020 dates have since been reset for 2021.). Not only that, Jaksyzk had composed a short set of experimental, narrative performance pieces that were commissioned by BBC Radio 3 for him to perform solo during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August, but that event was also scotched.
Bob Ankosko  |  Oct 22, 2020  |  3 comments
15 Minutes with ATSC President Madeleine Noland

Most Americans don’t know it yet but NextGen TV is already on the air in many markets across the country with dozens more gearing up to launch the service in the coming year. NextGen TV, also known by the technical name ATSC 3.0, greatly expands on the capabilities of the ATSC 1.0 standard that put HDTV on the air 20 years ago. In addition to enabling broadcasters to deliver free, over-the-air access to 4K Ultra HD programming with high-dynamic range (HDR), enhanced color, and immersive surround sound, NextGen TV also allows them to stream local content such as news, weather, and sports updates as well as offer features that enable viewers to personalize and customize that content. A lot has happened since we spoke with Mark Richer, president of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), back in 2017, so we sat down with his successor Madeleine Noland to get an update on how things are progressing with the new TV broadcasting system and what we can expect in the near future.

Mike Mettler  |  Oct 16, 2020  |  3 comments
"See? I told ya!"

It was April 2010, and I was sitting across from Tom Petty in the living room of his home in Malibu, California, where we had just spent a few hours talking about his journey west from Gainesville, Florida in the mid-1970s to the recording of June 2010's Mojo for a Sound & Vision cover feature that would appear later that summer.

Mike Mettler  |  Sep 18, 2020  |  2 comments
Two words I'd never dream of associating with Nick Mason would be "idle hands." If anything, the longtime co-founding Pink Floyd drummer has always liked keeping himself busy, whether it's been behind the drum kit or handling the respective steering controls of exotic cars and/or flying machines (a.k.a. airplanes, in everyday parlance).
Mike Mettler  |  Aug 14, 2020  |  0 comments
Bands that are chock-full of virtuosic performers often need that one key anchor player who literally holds down the fort while the superstars show off their chops. In the case of veteran British rock stalwarts Deep Purple, that anchor is bassist Roger Glover.
Mike Mettler  |  Aug 06, 2020  |  2 comments
Forgive the imagery, but Jon Anderson is like the Energizer bunny of progressive music—he just keeps on going and going. The legendary founding Yes vocalist/lyricist forges ever onward like a man perpetually possessed by his muse, whether he's adding to his own solo canon or collaborating on shared-name releases with the likes of violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, Flower Kings guitarist/vocalist Roine Stolt, or his former fellow Yesmates in the short-lived but quite well-loved musically acrobatic acronym known alternately as ARW, or YES Featuring Jon Anderson - Trevor Rabin - Rick Wakeman.
Mike Mettler  |  Jul 17, 2020  |  3 comments
"I'm a Soundist."

Forward-thinking guitar legend Steve Howe, the maestro of many iconic, nimble guitar riffs that have literally defined a generation or two of aurally challenging songs by the likes of Yes and Asia, is describing his raison d'être. "I'm a sound recorder, in a way," he continues. "I'm like Chet Atkins and Les Paul, who were both sound scientists. They were recording engineers and producers as much as I am, or as much as I hope to be."

Bob Ankosko  |  Jun 11, 2020  |  4 comments
Life is good. You’re digging your big-screen Ultra HD TV, especially since you upgraded to a high dynamic range (HDR)-capable model that takes an already awesome picture and makes it even better. Add to that the expanding roster of 4K movies and TV shows you can stream or watch on disc and you’re all set. Which brings us to 8K, the next-generation TV format you’ve been hearing about — the one that delivers images four times more detailed than 4K.
Mike Mettler  |  Mar 26, 2020  |  0 comments
Some bands have sonic innovation flowing through their veins, right from conception. Case in point: Nektar, the progressive European collective who initially made their bones in Germany in the 1970s, even though their founding members were all from the U.K. Early, mind-expanding Nektar albums like 1971’s Journey to the Centre of the Eye, 1972’s A Tab in the Ocean, and 1973’s Remember the Future were all said to have influenced the always exploratory likes of Pink Floyd. I sat down with Derek “Mo” Moore and founding drummer Ron Howden to discuss the enduring legacy of their deep canon and how they address their history on their recent album The Other Side.

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