Sound & Vision
Sucked into the vinyl vortex. Across the Atmos universe. Kloss encounters. Wheel of artifacts.
After reading about The Beatles’ Let It Be super deluxe box set in the December/january 2021 issue of Sound & Vision, I ran out and bought it so I could hear “Across The Universe” in Dolby Atmos. It sounded horrible—about half the volume of the DTS track, and almost like it was squashing down to mono. I then put on my Abbey Road album, and the Atmos mix sounded fantastic, even better than the DTS version. Have you had any similar problems listening to Let It Be?
Richard Thiboutot / via email
AG responds: I conducted my own listening comparison of the Atmos and DTS- HD Master Audio versions of “Across The Universe” from the Let It Be box set’s Blu-ray, and did find the volume of the Atmos version to be notably lower than the DTS one. I’d argue, however, that Atmos is the superior mix here. Instead of folding down to mono, John Lennon’s vocals in the Atmos version are locked to the center speaker, with acoustic guitars spread subtly to the front left/right channels and overhead effects used to convey “ethereal” elements in the mix such as vocals and strings. The DTS multichannel mix mashes all these elements together and also makes overly aggressive use of the surround channels. Ultimately, I preferred the clean sound and clearer separation that the Atmos mix provided, though I did have to crank up the volume to fully appreciate it.
Sound & Vision
Chicago Transit Authority: Chicago Transit Authority.
he seven-man band then known as Chicago Transit Authority were at the forefront of the horn-driven jazz-rock movement when they emerged in April 1969 with their self-titled double-length debut album, thanks in no small part to the knob-turning efforts of their semi-svengali producer James William Guercio. (The band eventually had to shorten their name to Chicago because the real CTA threatened legal action.) Rightly spread out across four sides, the 76-minute Chicago Transit Authority, a.k.a. CTA, has always been properly represented on double vinyl. My original 2LP 1969 Columbia set was well-worn by the time I got to college, and it was virtually impossible to keep the black-bordered cover with the postage-stamp size band logo in the center from showing signs of ringwear. The 2LP 1984 Mobile Fidelity version ultimately became my spinner of choice, though more recently I picked up Rhino’s finely remastered 50th anniversary 2LP 2019 set for active duty. The latter is the only wax I’ll allow my Blackbird cartridge to make contact with these days so I can best enjoy the breadth of Terry Kath’s furious, sustained guitar riffage on “Listen” and “Poem 58.”
Naturally, I had to have CTA on CD, and the 1988 Columbia Redbook CD was adequate enough—and don’t get me started on the inferior Chicago Records CD. When Rhino took over the band’s catalog, their 2002 CTA CD appeared in sleeved digipak form that never stays square— no matter what, it always buckles to resemble a parallelogram. Good thing the rise of quad was in sync with the band’s brassy improv vibe, as Chicago took full advantage of the format during their ’70s heyday. That said, I didn’t get my hands on the 1974 quad CTA Columbia LP until years later— but I remain nonplussed by the Dolby quad 8-track attempt. As soon as the Rhino Handmade Quadradisc DVD-A came into existence as a 40th anniversary limited edition in 2009, I was all over it. Even better, Rhino dropped the cleverly dubbed nine-disc Quadio Blu-ray box set in 2016, a collection of Chicago’s first eight studio albums from 1969-76 plus their initial greatest hits compilation, all of them appearing as (wait for it) DTS-HD Master Quadio 4.0 mixes in 24-bit/192khz. And, yep, you guessed it—the 4.0 BD is my favorite of the CTA lot.
Co-founding trumpeter Lee Loughnane readily confirmed to me just how much quad suited the progressive, compositional nature of Chicago music. “I like to have it so when the listener is immersed in the song, it feels as if you’re almost a part of the band. That’s the most satisfying for me,” he admitted. “The album was originally designed sonically as though you were listening to us live, and
this is what we do for audiophiles. That’s the whole point of our music—to make it sound like you’re right there with us.”
True, we could probably use more bass content overall—though it’s not really lacking here, tbh— but CTA on BD maximizes the quad format to a Q, er, T. Clarified Loughnane, “When quad came to be, the CTA mix had to be redesigned sonically, because it was initially set up to be stereo, which was what was available at the time we recorded it,” he explained. “We did it on an 8-track machine, so there was some bouncing to be done too.”
The CTA quad table is set perfectly with “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” and the harmonic pendulum swing of its intuitive piano lines and horn accents. Plus, the percussion-fueled hooting and hollering section at the end of “Beginnings,” Peter Cetera’s clockwise vocal responses all throughout “Poem 58,” the drum-and-organ-driven rolling and tumbling boastings of “I’m a Man,” and the all-out free-form jamming of “Liberation” (I continue to marvel at how Chicago wriggles their way out of each false ending) all serve the intended purpose of putting listeners right in the room with the band.
Of course, I’d be all-in on having CTA delivered in a full 5.1 presentation someday, if not Dolby Atmos. At least for now, all you got to do is listen to CTA on BD to get all the right 4.0 answers to Questions 67 and 68.
Sound & Vision
在阅读了披头士乐队在2021年12月/1月期的Sound & Vision上设置的"Let It Be超豪华"盒子后，我跑出去买了它，这样我就可以听到杜比全景声（Dolby Atmos）的"穿越宇宙"。这听起来很可怕 - 大约是DTS轨道的一半音量，几乎就像它被压低到单声道一样。然后我放上了我的Abbey Road专辑，Atmos混音听起来很棒，甚至比DTS版本还要好。你有没有遇到过类似的问题，听《Let It Be》？
理查德·蒂布托特 / 通过电子邮件
AG回应：我自己对Atmos和DTS-HD Master Audio版本的"Across The Universe"进行了听力比较，这些版本来自Let It Be Box Set的蓝光，并且确实发现Atmos版本的音量明显低于DTS版本。然而，我认为，Atmos是这里的高级组合。约翰·列侬（John Lennon）在Atmos版本中的人声没有折叠成单声道，而是锁定在中央扬声器上，原声吉他巧妙地传播到前左/右声道，头顶效果用于传达混音中的"空灵"元素，如人声和弦乐。DTS多声道混音将所有这些元素混合在一起，并且还过于积极地使用环绕声道。最终，我更喜欢Atmos混音提供的干净的声音和更清晰的分离，尽管我确实必须调高音量才能完全欣赏它。
- Education, Language, Culture & Travel
- Health, Psychology, Fitness, Food & Drink
- Home, Garden & Local Living
- News, Business & Current Affairs
- Computers, Science & Technology
- Music, Art, Hobbies, Entertainment & TV
- Sports, Outdoors & Gaming
- History & Significant Events
- Fashion & Photography
- Parenting, Family, Religion & Spirituality
- Automobile, Boating & Aviation