Forums > Queen - General Discussion > Is a stereo 'Smile' possible?

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John S Stuart user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 20 Aug 06, 09:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

How do the BBC in their infinite wisdom, create 5.1 surround mixes from classic mono tv shows (Doctor Who, Adam Adamant ect)?
Likewise would it be possible for home PC users to create stereo versions from mono material?

I am specifically thinking of the ‘Ghost Of A Smile’ CD, or Queen’s 'Rainbow ’74' performance – could these be reprogrammed into stereo versions?

I think that ‘the industry’ has massive PC technology which can isolate each ‘instrument’ (and in this case I will classify voice as an instrument) – so by isolating each component into a constituent part – they can then re-assemble as 5.1, but would it be possible for a home user to re-create similar (or at least) stereo effects, or, am I watching too much 'Star Trek'?



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Posted: 20 Aug 06, 12:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

well... i honestly i think many time how they do that...

just see Holywood classics form the 40's, 50's re-mixed in 5.1... how they do that?

also,lock at Queens's Spread Your Wings, i think that sometime ago i read or listen that they don't have the master tapes,or the masters have missing bits,am i'm correct?

but they were able to do a proper 5.1.....ups 4.1 and a karaoke mix out of it

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Posted: 20 Aug 06, 12:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Not yet John, although Frank Zappa was reportedly working on just such a system. We're still quite a few years away from breaking down a stereo mix into the original multi-track recording.

Artificial 5.1 from mono sources is mostly achieved by copying the mono signal a few times and then delaying the new parts just a tiny bit. Also the new parts get different EQ settings and perhaps a bit of reverb. I think it's nonsense, half the world grew up on mono and doesn't seem to like music any less.

As soon as they manage, I'll be first in line to discover all the secrets of A Night At The Opera though!

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Posted: 20 Aug 06, 13:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

(Copied from my reply here: http://www.queenzone.com/queenzone/forumnew/forum_topic_view.aspx?Q=862744)

Well I don't believe I've ever heard a true stereo "remix" of a mono song. Capitol Records in the U.S. famously tried to do this with some of the early Beatles recordings by putting the lower frequencies on one channel and the higher on the other.. just plain silly. You can't get true separation once it's been mixed to mono.

However, you can get the effect of hearing stereo by offsetting one channel slightly.. you can do this in any wav editor and some even have a setting specifically for it. But it's just an illusion :)

I've done it a few times in order to have sound come through all speakers for Dolby Pro-Logic surround, because plain mono sends the whole thing to the center channel only.

I can give you an example actually.. my fake instrumental of It's Late..

Doing this 'karaoke effect' to remove as much of the lead vocal as possible, it leaves you with a mono track, so the majority of this file is mono but using a 'pseudo-stereo' offset:

http://rapidshare.de/files/30118108/Its_Late-instrumental.mp3

It reverts back to the original stereo recording at around 3:28 for the guitar solo and then back to mono after. This is because the karaoke effect removed most of the guitar from the solo also, LOL.

As for 5.1, the same rules apply. If it's mono to begin with, the most you can get out of it is sending it to different channels with slight delays or offsets, or perhaps sending different frequencies around.. but at the heart, it's still just the same mono recording. The deepest bass will always go to the subwoofer though, so that can sometimes give the effect of having another actual channel.

When it comes to stereo upmixed to 5.1 mixes, there's a lot more to work with and these can be fairly good.. Queen uses special hardware & software to make these 'unwrap' mixes for things like the Freddie Tribute, Wembley, and even the recent 'Super Live' is not true 5.1 but upmixed/unwrapped instead. Personally I find them pointless because just like with mono, deep down you can't get more than whatever was in the original stereo mix anyway.. and DTS is a huge waste of disc space for something which is fake.. but anyway..

I guess the short answer is yes.. something like the Smile tracks could be made to go through more than one channel and maybe trick your ears, but don't count on hearing anything new, as they will still just be what they are :)

I'd offer to do them in this pseudo-stereo format but sadly I only have the tracks in bad quality 128k mp3 form. Ghost of a Smile is long out of print and on rare occasions when it can be found, the price is ridiculous.


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Posted: 20 Aug 06, 13:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Computer programs can sample each individual frequency and split it


Dislocate your spine...
John S Stuart user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 20 Aug 06, 14:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

pcgenius9 wrote:

Computer programs can sample each individual frequency and split it


Do you know of any such programs - as I too think they are a bit too futuristic at present.


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Posted: 20 Aug 06, 14:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yes but it's still coming from what was already there, so it's an illusion :-P

Spread Your Wings from GVH was mentioned above.. that was made using this unwrap/upmix process.. have a listen to that in DTS.. big deal.. you're just hearing the same stuff you hear in stereo. If you extract the channels individually the all sound pretty much the same.. if they can isolate frequencies better I sure wish they'd actually do it :)

My point is simply that you can scrw around with things and trick your ears into thinking you're hearing something maybe surrounding you.. but why not stick to the pure original version then? If they can do something properly and new from multi-tracks, fine.. that's interesting, but it's the fake stuff that seems pointless to me.

Spread Your Wings was necessary to do so that you'd get an even flow of 5.1ness within the video program, so that was a good use.. but on its own, still pointless. LOL

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Posted: 20 Aug 06, 14:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

pcgenius9 wrote:

Computer programs can sample each individual frequency and split it


Multi-track recordings are split by instrument, not by frequencies. You'd end up with tracks that roughly share the same frequencies, such as guitar and vocals, drums and keyboards all over the frequency spectrum, and bass drum and bass guitar on another track. The technology just doesn't exist yet, unfortunately.

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Posted: 20 Aug 06, 14:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Mikahl wrote:

Yes but it's still coming from what was already there, so it's an illusion :-P

Spread Your Wings from GVH was mentioned above.. that was made using this unwrap/upmix process.. have a listen to that in DTS.. big deal.. you're just hearing the same stuff you hear in stereo. If you extract the channels individually the all sound pretty much the same.. if they can isolate frequencies better I sure wish they'd actually do it :)


I don't get it. Does that mean the master tapes of Spread Your Wings were lost?

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Posted: 20 Aug 06, 15:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I know a music teacher who also does some work on the side for Sony BMG and he has a Sony product in his recording studio...unfortunately, the name escapes me.


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Posted: 20 Aug 06, 15:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

John S Stuart wrote:

pcgenius9 wrote:

Computer programs can sample each individual frequency and split it


Do you know of any such programs - as I too think they are a bit too futuristic at present.


John

the simple answer is - without the original masters - NONE of this can be done properly...there's some pretty good software out there...but it's more about how you hide what's left...as opposed to removing it

this forum covers loads of similar topics
http://www.acapellas4u.co.uk/viewforum.php?f=31
...and most of the "experts" agree - making karaoke tracks or a capellas is not perfect, and certainly not 100% do-able...just sometimes they get lucky

hope this helps


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Posted: 20 Aug 06, 19:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Fireplace wrote:

Mikahl wrote:

Yes but it's still coming from what was already there, so it's an illusion :-P

Spread Your Wings from GVH was mentioned above.. that was made using this unwrap/upmix process.. have a listen to that in DTS.. big deal.. you're just hearing the same stuff you hear in stereo. If you extract the channels individually the all sound pretty much the same.. if they can isolate frequencies better I sure wish they'd actually do it :)


I don't get it. Does that mean the master tapes of Spread Your Wings were lost?


well,as you can see i was the one that spoke about SYW in the second reply to this topic.

really i don't remember when/where i saw someone saying that master tapes of SWY have missing bit's or,even worst, they completely lost the tapes.

can anyone confirm this?

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Posted: 21 Aug 06, 08:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yes 'twas in early 2003, Brian announced that some mastertapes had been lost including SYW, Prophet's Song (interlude), All Dead, GTSQ, Staying Power, Coming Soon...


John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 21 Aug 06, 09:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Darn. Why didn't they lose Body Language?

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Posted: 21 Aug 06, 10:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I dunno ... their archivist is stupid, I guess ;)


John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 21 Aug 06, 11:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

You can't 'make' a stereo out of a mono; you can FAKE it though. Hey, it's only a one-letter difference.


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