Mike Mettler

Mike Mettler  |  Mar 24, 2023  |  0 comments

The Velvet Underground is not for everyone—nor were they ever intended to be. The critically regarded avant-garde darlings of Andy Warhol's Factory scene of late-1960s New York, the VU forged a truly groundbreaking style of music that saw the doo-wop/pop songwriting and seedy poetry predisposition of guitarist/vocalist Lou Reed embed with the hypnotic, drone-centric playing style of violist/pianist/composer John Cale.

Mike Mettler  |  Mar 13, 2023  |  0 comments
John Mellencamp was making waves. Unfortunately saddled with the stage name “John Cougar” when he came onto the scene in the late-1970s, once he began climbing the singles and sales charts, he asserted his artistic identity much more forcefully by crediting his hit October 1983 LP Uh-Huh to John Cougar Mellencamp. He did so again on his full-artistic breakthrough album, August 1985’s Scarecrow, before dropping the Cougar moniker entirely when the ’90s rolled around.
Mike Mettler  |  Feb 24, 2023  |  0 comments

Guitar maestro Joe Satriani has been making strange beautiful music for well over four decades and counting. Given his penchant for exploring the very concept of space itself and all of its dimensions, it should come as no surprise that Satch has wholly embraced the concept of having his music mixed in Dolby Atmos. Recently, Satriani and I got on Zoom together to discuss just how cosmically cool his benchmark October 1987 instrumental album Surfing With the Alien sounds in Atmos, which specific track benefits the most from its Atmos mix, and what earlier surround mix from his storied catalog he considers to be “the most beautiful thing ever.” Read on to discover all the Satch-in-Atmos answers that await. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Jan 27, 2023  |  0 comments

David Crosby spoke extensively with music editor Mike Mettler just a few months before he sadly passed away at age 81 on January 18. The voice of a generation, Croz discusses his knack for recognizing the chemistry he had with certain musicians, how the song “Compass” helped recalibrate his songwriting acumen, what album of his he’d like most to be listened to a half-century into the future, and much more.

Mike Mettler  |  Jan 26, 2023  |  0 comments
In the early-1970s, two new VIP members of The Beach Boys not sporting the surnames Wilson, Love, or Jardine came to the forefront of the band — namely, guitarist/vocalist Blondie Chaplin and guitarist/drummer Ricky Fataar. Though their tenure in The Beach Boys was short-lived, the energy and creative verve these two artists of South African descent injected into this consummate California band’s era-transitional gambits were noticeably palpable for a decade, often overshadowed by the sheer magnitude of their groundbreaking 1960s recordings.
Mike Mettler  |  Jan 13, 2023  |  2 comments

Jeff Beck was the guitarist’s guitarist. He came of age during the British Invasion, and he created sound after otherworldly guitar sound that would cause you to both tap your foot and bob your head in appreciation while concurrently boggling your mind. Sadly, Beck passed away in his native England on January 10 at age 78, following a brief illness. Luckily for us, his recorded legacy spans seven decades, and whether the playback format was mono, stereo, or surround sound, Jeff Beck could always be heard playing on a three-dimensional plane. S&V music editor Mike Mettler looks back on the stellar career of a singular artist who influenced generations of listeners and musicians alike.

Mike Mettler  |  Dec 30, 2022  |  0 comments

Where did all the time go? Time, flowing like a river. Time is on my side (yes it is). Time to play B-sides. Are you eye-rolling at all my lyrically borrowed time comments yet? Anyway, it’s high time to take stock of what we’ve heard and what we’ve learned this past calendar year, seeing how a) time flies, and how b) time is indeed all around us—just like the best Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos mixes are, in fact.

With all this time sensitivity in mind, it seems to be the exact right time (last one, I promise) to comprise my Top Ten list of the best immersive audio tracks of this past year. As always, I’ve thoroughly spec’ed and checked all of the tracks I’ve selected here by way of my personal deep-dive listening sessions on both my home system and headphones alike. You’ll find each and every one of them amidst the cavalcade of Made for Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos tracks within the ever-expanding immersive audio libraries on Apple Music Unlimited, Amazon Music, and Tidal.

Enough with all the time-wasting—here are my choices for the ten best, thoroughly immersive audio tracks of 2022, which are, in reverse order from 10 to 1. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Dec 20, 2022  |  0 comments
The Kinks were at a crossroads. As they entered the 1970s, the British pop/rockers hadn't yet ascended to the next toppermost level, even after achieving new heights following the songwriting leap Ray Davies took with the still poignant 1967 track, "Waterloo Sunset." It took two critical back-to-back albums, November 1971's Muswell Hillbillies and August 1972's Everybody's in Show-Biz, to fully get them there—and then they never looked back.
Mike Mettler  |  Dec 09, 2022  |  0 comments
Checking in exclusively with the producers behind the massive new box set for Queen's stunning May 1989 album The Miracle, to learn why you'll want it all—and you'll want it now.
Mike Mettler  |  Nov 28, 2022  |  1 comments

Tom Petty always, always knew how to ensure the music he made over the course of his long and storied career would sound the absolute best it could during playback in any format. Petty’s longtime engineer and production partner Ryan Ulyate continues to both carry that torch and up the ante, as evidenced by his stellar mixing of all 18 tracks found on Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ November 1993 Greatest Hits collection in Dolby Atmos. Recently, Ulyate and I got on Zoom together to discuss how he created the stems for these Atmos mixes by accessing the original masters, which songs on Greatest Hits are the most immersive and why, and what Tom himself would have said upon hearing his music in Atmos—perfect topics all for deep-dive coverage in this month’s Spatial Audio File, methinks, so read on. . .