REDISCOVERING SONIC HOLOGRAPHY, AND LOVING IT......
As I mentioned in a prior message, I had been away from my music collection for a while, and I am rediscovering recordings using my new C-1 preamp, rebuilt by DaddyJT, who added the Gundry notch. It sounds great, and seems to get better and better, thank you DaddyJT.
It's entertaining and informative to appreciate the music on two levels simultaneously: the compositions and playing, and the decisions made by the recording and mixing team.
We all wonder why some music sounds wider and deeper in Sonic Holography. Gentle Giant's CD "Interview" literally amazed me - very wide, with specific clear instruments in space and others clearly in front of the speakers - and I found an article in which the band members said that when relistening to their old stuff for the Steven Wilson remixes and remastering, they were quite pleased with how aggressively they utilized the entire stereo field. Looking up "stereo field", I think I found an indication of what the Gentle Giant musicians meant. This is a quote from one article:
"When you’re at a live concert and you close your eyes, you can hear where each instrument is coming from onstage. You can hear that certain instruments are on the left side of the stage, others are on the right, and still others seem to come from the center. You can also generally discern whether an instrument is at the front or the back of the stage. Put all these sounds together, and you have a stereo field.
The stereo field consists of placement from left to right and front to back. When you mix a song, you can set your instruments wherever you want them on the “stage” that’s created by your listeners’ speakers.
You can do this with panning, which sets your instruments from left to right, and you can use effects, such as reverb and delay, to place your instruments from front to back in your mix. When you mix your song, try to visualize where on-stage each instrument may be placed. Some people choose to set the panning and depth of their instruments to sound as natural as possible, while others use these settings to create otherworldly sounds. There is no right or wrong setting when panning and adding effects to simulate depth — just what works for your goals. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try unusual things."
Here's something from another article: "Be bold with your panning decisions: Sure, a panpot allows you to place a signal anywhere in the stereo sound field with pinpoint precision. But ask yourself: How many listeners are going to be able to hear and appreciate all the subtlety that went into your carefully crafted stereo image? Will they really be able to distinguish between that acoustic 12-string at 3 o’clock and the harpsichord sample painstakingly positioned at 4 o’clock? Chances are they won’t – especially if they’re listening on earbuds of dubious quality, or, worse yet, the mono speaker in their smartphone or tablet. So be bold. If you’re panning a sound most of the way, go all the way. It can be especially effective to hard pan rhythmically opposed instruments – for example, a rhythm guitar on one side and horn stabs on the other. The results will be even more dramatic if the two instruments live in predominantly different frequency ranges."
So, it would seem that Bob Carver was really on to something. Sonic Holography apparently provides an exact aural map of where the music was placed by the mixing engineer. I argue that without a correctly-functioning Sonic Hologram set up, this is lost - the music cannot be precisely located in space, untethered to the speakers. Otherwise, the music comes seems to generally come from the right or the left, or the center.
Now, back to "The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions" by Miles Davis, with John McLaughlin's guitar practically touching my left ear!