Forums > Fan mixes > Is a stereo 'Smile' possible?

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John S Stuart user not visiting Queenzone.com
John S Stuart
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Posted: 20 Aug 06, 09:10 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 effect, or, am I watching to much 'Star Trek'?




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Posted: 20 Aug 06, 13:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

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: 21 Aug 06, 22:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

There's also some neat stuff being done out there with vocal removers that end up with stereo instead of the usual mono, the side effect of which is you get the "center" channel:

http://moitah.net/#dsp_centercut

I think Audition has a "stereo-izer" but it's probably a distortion, like Mikahl said above.

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Posted: 22 Aug 06, 04:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

If you need the FLAC's to do a stereo mix I'm sure something could be arranged...

V.



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Posted: 22 Aug 06, 13:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

bigV wrote:

If you need the FLAC's to do a stereo mix I'm sure something could be arranged...

V.


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Posted: 02 Sep 06, 07:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I usually use the 'expand stereo' option in the flanger tool of Adobe Audition.. make sure you convert the mono file to stereo first (left/right channel remain the same)

imo you cannot make a convincing stereo mix without the original split 24-track recordings.


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Posted: 02 Sep 06, 12:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Dane wrote:

I usually use the 'expand stereo' option in the flanger tool of Adobe Audition.. make sure you convert the mono file to stereo first (left/right channel remain the same)

imo you cannot make a convincing stereo mix without the original split 24-track recordings.


IF they were recorded on 24 track machines that is...

V.



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Posted: 02 Sep 06, 20:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Although after listening to Mikahl's karaoke version of It's Late I'm getting second thoughts :p

Very good job!

have to teach me that sometime ;)


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Posted: 02 Sep 06, 20:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

indeed if they were recorded on 24trk. thnx V.


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Posted: 02 Sep 06, 21:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Dane wrote:

Although after listening to Mikahl's karaoke version of It's Late I'm getting second thoughts :p

Very good job!

have to teach me that sometime ;)



Thing is... it works well SOME of the time because of the way the track is mixed. That's why some songs can be "karoke'd" well, while others don't fare so well.

Like it has been said, no-one has the ability to do a really clear job of these things without the original multitracks. But the Audition center channel extractor is the closest idea yet that actually works. I use it a lot these days. It gives interesting results. And it does it with phase, not distortion.

Peace,
Adam.

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Posted: 13 Sep 06, 03:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Adam Baboolal wrote:

Dane wrote:

Although after listening to Mikahl's karaoke version of It's Late I'm getting second thoughts :p

Very good job!

have to teach me that sometime ;)



Thing is... it works well SOME of the time because of the way the track is mixed. That's why some songs can be "karoke'd" well, while others don't fare so well.

Like it has been said, no-one has the ability to do a really clear job of these things without the original multitracks. But the Audition center channel extractor is the closest idea yet that actually works. I use it a lot these days. It gives interesting results. And it does it with phase, not distortion.

Peace,
Adam.


Exactly. I have tried endlessly to try and explain this to many users on this site about 5.1 mixes. It cannot be done WITHOUT THE MULTI-TRACK AUDIO!


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