Joined: Oct. 2018
||Posted: Feb. 16 2021, 11:57
Pauken, thanks so much for sharing these with me!
I had always been curious to hear the original quad mixes on Boxed. The mention of this in the booklet in the LP box set was always tantalising to me, but I didn't really have the knowledge to work out how to extract them to listen to, and of course proper quad equipment has long since become unavailable.
So you took these from the CDs, did you? Fascinating. Just goes to show the quad encoding was buried in there all along, despite what the CD booklet says.
I don't really have a surround speaker set up, but I set up a makeshift one by importing all four stems onto my Korg digital multitrack and sending them separately to four different speakers.
Anyway, more importantly, what did I think of the result? Well so far I have only listened to my favourite (Hergest Ridge Part One) and it's a revelation! It's like hearing it again for the first time with fresh ears. I was quite overcome with emotion, honestly.
The 2010 5.1 remix of Hergest Ridge is one thing, and I do like that, but I was never happy with the flashiness and business of it. I always much preferred the Boxed mix (even more than the original 1974 mix), because it it is so mellow and warm and minimal. So experiencing this mix in an immersive way, with the sound all around me, is totally astonishing.
You are right that the channel separation is subtle, and the instruments all bleed across, so there are no massive, showboat touches like instruments in the far corners of the sound field. But the subtlety suits Hergest Ridge to a T, and since a lot of it is washes of organ drones and wordless vocals, it all just wraps around you in a most pleasing way.
Technically speaking, it seems like the two rear speakers are carrying a lot of the pitches at the higher and lower extremes, but that could just be my makeshift speaker setup!
Anyway, thank you so much for sharing this, and I will now have a listen to the rest of the mixes.