Live in Dublin Sound

This section is dedicated to the new studio album and the Dublin concert video
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jerry
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Re: Live in Dublin Sound

Postby jerry » Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:53 am

holydove wrote:In case this could help anyone: we have the blu-ray version of the DVD, & when we hit the "audio" button on the remote for the bluray player, & let the Mbps go lower, that changed the sound dramatically - the volume & quality of the sound automatically increased, & 1.7 or 1.6 seem to be the best levels. I don't know why that worked, but it did. We never had to do that with any other disc, so maybe this disc has some kind of advanced technology embedded, that needs a lower Mbps. Anyway, maybe that will be helpful for others who have the bluray.
What is Mbps?
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holydove
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Re: Live in Dublin Sound

Postby holydove » Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:15 pm

Hi jerry,

I am not knowledgeable about technology, but I looked it up & Mbps means "megabits per second", & it's a measure of total information flow over a given time on a telecommunications system (it's also known as "bandwidth"); it states the number of bits of data that can flow through a network connection; it's not the same thing as Megabyte (that would be MBps, with a capital "B:), & one megabit = one million bits. When we put the disc in the bluray player, we were just experimenting with different things to see what would happen with the sound, & when we hit the "audio" button on the remote for the bluray, the info regarding the Mbps immediately appeared at the top of the screen, & the number indicating the Mbps started going down on its own; at first the number was "3.something" (maybe 3.7, 3.4, I don't remember) & the sound was not good at that level - it sounded too low, muffled & distant, & the instruments, esp. the violin, did not have the distinct vivid sounds they should have; when the Mbps number reached 1.7, everything sounded great, so that's where we left it. I can't give you an in-depth explanation of the technology involved, or why this worked the way it did; I can only report what my ears told me, & according to my ears, the sound is wonderful at the 1.7 Mbps level. One should also go to the set-up options on the menu screen, & choose "audio options", & click on either "surround" or "stereo", depending on what kind of system you are using (everyone probably knows that, but I thought I'd mention it, just in in case. . .). We have both a surround-sound system & stereo speakers, but our stereo speakers are very good ones - better than our surround-sound system - so we've been using those, & everything sounds really beautiful through them. So if anyone out there has the bluray disc, & is not getting good sound, I highly recommend trying what I've described here. (Maybe it would also work with the regular DVD, or maybe it's not necessary for the regular DVD, I don't know. . .). I hope that answers your question to some degree.
alb123
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Re: Live in Dublin Sound

Postby alb123 » Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:01 pm

I've read through all the replies in this thread and I'm a little shocked to see some people acting like those who aren't thrilled with this mix are in some way denigrating Leonard Cohen somehow. HE didn't record the material and HE wasn't responsible for the engineering and mixing of the audio. Personally, I felt something was off with the mix of this album when I was 30 seconds into Dance Me To The End of Love. Yes, I am certain that there is nothing actually wrong with the sound. The audio tracks have passed through the hands of too many professionals to allow botched source material to be pressed onto CD/DVD/BluRay and shipped worldwide. That's just not going to happen. So, what is it that we are hearing, those of us who are unhappy with the "mix"?

It's just that...the way that the song was "mixed" from the various channels of audio that were recorded September 12, 2013. For those of you who aren't especially technical, let me try to explain things as clearly as I can. All those microphones and guitars and other instruments that were plugged in during the concert get fed into a big soundboard/mixing board/mixing console. Each one of those "things" is a separate "channel". So, Leonard's microphone could be channel 1. His guitar Channel 2. Electric Guitar could be Channel 3. All three of the girls microphones would be on their own channels as well, let's say Channels 4, 5 and 6. Then you get a bunch of microphones pointed at various pieces of the drum kit. Bass Drum could be Channel 7, etc... Now, when they're playing at the concert and they want to bring up Sharon Robinson's volume all they have to do is adjust a "fader" on her Channel 6 (let's imagine the Webb Sisters are on Channels 4 and 5). They raise the volume of Channel 6 and suddenly Sharon's voice is being played louder throughout the auditorium.

Now, they're not just pumping all those channels out to the speakers for the concert that evening, they're also recording all those channels/tracks because they want to sell a CD of the show at a later date. Well, when they get back into the studio they sit down in front of another big mixing board and they get to adjust the levels of each channel again to produce what the mixer feels is a proper representation of the music. Now, this is an insanely simplified description of what goes into mixing a record, but it's the basics. Also, nothing is 'set it and forget it'. For instance, the mixer doesn't just set Leonard's volume at a certain volume and then leave it there throughout the performance. If Leonard starts singing with more vigor or he really starts whispering, to the point it might not be heard, the mixer needs to be on his toes to make sure everything sounds good.

Again, there is a lot more involved in the process than I'm going to talk about right now, but just remember that when someone says they don't like the "mix" of a record it really just means they don't like the way that maybe the vocals are presented over the instruments. There are a lot of other things like equalization, dynamic range, gates and compression that I'm not going to talk about, but they all play a big role in how the overall package sounds. Effects are added during mixing. Adding things like reverb or delay, for instance, is usually done at this stage. That's why most Live CD's actually sound a lot better then it really did in the stadium that night. They can clean up imperfections.

Oh, I should also add that this is also where it is determined what is going to come out of which speaker for things like stereo separation. That didn't matter when everything was recorded in mono, but nowadays with multi-channel playback equipment it is a very important part of the process. Truly, audio mixing is an art. It really is.

Just because I think there are some issues with the mixing of Live in Dublin doesn't mean I can't appreciate the music. I can. I was just hoping for a different overall feel from the record.
Waterbury, CT - May 14, 2009
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hans_3333
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Re: Live in Dublin Sound

Postby hans_3333 » Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:22 pm

Thanks alb123 for your "audio mixing for dummies" explanation. That helps a lot. I agree with you that it isn't Leonard Cohen's fault.

As I have written in my previous post, the 5.1 surround mix really isn't a 5.1 mix but a 4.0 quad mix. And a very poor one. That is very weird. I only know 4.0 mixes that have ancient quad (SQ) master tapes as a source, such as Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here from Pink Floyd. I really don't understand why the Live in Dublin DVD has a (Dolby-D) 4.0 mix (without centre and LFE channel).

I am not sure whether there is any difference to the blu ray version, as I understand that the blu ray contains both a Dolby Digital and a DTS-HD track. Anyone who can comment on that?
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MarieM
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Re: Live in Dublin Sound

Postby MarieM » Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:54 am

Looks like the CD/Blu-ray box set is back for sale on Amazon in the US and the UK. On the US site there is a note which may explain why it was pulled.
Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
Marie
Speaking Cohen

http://www.speakingcohen.com
Bennyboy
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Re: Live in Dublin Sound

Postby Bennyboy » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:17 am

If you ask me it's mixed to have the same dark tonality as Popular Problems, Leonard deep and upfront.
daveboy
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Re: Live in Dublin Sound

Postby daveboy » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:40 pm

holydove wrote:
...at first the number was "3.something" (maybe 3.7, 3.4, I don't remember) & the sound was not good at that level - it sounded too low, muffled & distant, & the instruments, esp. the violin, did not have the distinct vivid sounds they should have; when the Mbps number reached 1.7, everything sounded great, so that's where we left it. I can't give you an in-depth explanation of the technology involved, or why this worked the way it did; I can only report what my ears told me, & according to my ears, the sound is wonderful at the 1.7 Mbps level. One should also go to the set-up options on the menu screen, & choose "audio options", & click on either "surround" or "stereo", depending on what kind of system you are using (everyone probably knows that, but I thought I'd mention it, just in in case. . .). We have both a surround-sound system & stereo speakers, but our stereo speakers are very good ones - better than our surround-sound system - so we've been using those, & everything sounds really beautiful through them. So if anyone out there has the bluray disc, & is not getting good sound, I highly recommend trying what I've described here. (Maybe it would also work with the regular DVD, or maybe it's not necessary for the regular DVD, I don't know. . .). I hope that answers your question to some degree.
Hi, I sometimes lurk at this forum but I just decided to join in the hope that I might be able to add something here. I think what you did by pressing the 'audio' on your remote was to change between the surround and stereo mixes during the concert. Typical Dolby TrueHD 5.1 streams run between 2 to 4 Mbps, while stereo streams usually run around 1.6 Mbps. That matches pretty much exactly with what your system was showing. The rate should be variable throughout the show, so the exact value should keep changing if you repeatedly press the 'audio' button.
hans_3333 wrote: As I have written in my previous post, the 5.1 surround mix really isn't a 5.1 mix but a 4.0 quad mix. And a very poor one. That is very weird. I only know 4.0 mixes that have ancient quad (SQ) master tapes as a source, such as Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here from Pink Floyd. I really don't understand why the Live in Dublin DVD has a (Dolby-D) 4.0 mix (without centre and LFE channel).

I am not sure whether there is any difference to the blu ray version, as I understand that the blu ray contains both a Dolby Digital and a DTS-HD track. Anyone who can comment on that?
I don't have the blu ray yet, but this site (http://www.bluray-disc.de/blu-ray-filme ... u-ray-disc) seems to think there are TrueHD 5.0 surround and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo mixes in the blu ray. Looks like there really isn't an LFE channel anywhere. :/
Steve Wilcox
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Re: Live in Dublin Sound

Postby Steve Wilcox » Sat Dec 13, 2014 8:52 pm

The BluRay disc appears to be programmed to configure the bluray player audio to "Surround Sound" each time the disc is inserted. I don't have a surround system and the result is bad sound - no bass guitar to speak of, the ladies' voices too stark & out front, Hammond organ too loud in the mix, Leonard's voice very dry, etc. Everything that's missing has been output to speakers I don't have.

Once I manually re-configure the audio to Stereo, the sound is wonderful, the mix is much better, and the volume increases substantially.

Anyone else notice or try this?
Steve Wilcox
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Re: Live in Dublin Sound

Postby Steve Wilcox » Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:34 pm

I just had a chance to a-b Live in Dublin versus Live in London. Of course I'm comparing audio, as, for video, there's just no comparison (Dublin, hands-down).

I can see why some people have posted that they prefer LIL's audio. It sounds a bit "cruder", more how you might expect a live album to sound. There is less sonic separation between the instruments and it gives, maybe, more the feel of being there, in a large venue.

But - and, just my opinion - LID has much much greater sonic clarity. The sound is (some might argue 'creepily') clear and tight. They must have achieved super isolation between the tracks (i.e. little bleed through the mics). Each instrument sits in the mix in its own position in the frequency spectrum (to the point some people might consider the mix to be dis-jointed). The high notes on Javier's instruments and the Hammond are so clear. Leonard's voice does appear a bit dry when singing, but listen when he speaks - there is sufficient reverb on his microphone.

The only subjective thing I can find is, personally, I would prefer the violin to be just a bit louder during the solos. But then again, I love violin. All in all 10/10 for me.
Steve Wilcox
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Re: Live in Dublin Sound

Postby Steve Wilcox » Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:42 pm

Hey, sorry to "over-post", but another thing I noticed - and not about the sound - is the positive re-working of a few arrangements.

I haven't listened to the entire show yet but I noticed the harp playing in If It Be Your Will was more complex than in the 10 shows I attended (last in April 2013), a lot more instrumentation was added to Alexandra Leaving, and the intro to The Darkness re-worked yet again. All refreshing changes for me.

Hey, just noticed Ain't No Cure is missing. Was it also not done at the actual show?
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musicmania
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Re: Live in Dublin Sound

Postby musicmania » Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:39 pm

Steve Wilcox wrote:
Hey, just noticed Ain't No Cure is missing. Was it also not done at the actual show?
No Ain't No Cure For Love at either Dublin concert last year. We did however get a very ANCFL type intro to Darkness at the Sept 11 concert. It wasn't repeated on the 12th.
2009 Dublin 2010 Lissadell Katowice LV x2 2012 Ghent x2 Dublin x4 Montreal x2 Toronto x2 2013 New York x2 Brussels Dublin x2

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Jean Fournell
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Re: Live in Dublin Sound

Postby Jean Fournell » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:07 pm

My copy (DVD + 3 CDs) arrived two days ago, and I just mailed my request to get my money back.

Pumping up the volume does the job for the sound, yes it does, but pumping up beyond what I consider healthy.

The phenomenon might be explicable this way: during the mixing process, as described above, the volume has to be lowered artificially, and with a good safety margin, in order to prevent distortion. Later, once all the different input channels have been assembled to satisfaction, the volume has to be restored to normal, so the final product can be listened to, full quality, at all volume levels (as is the case for the DVD "Live in London").
Possibly this step was omitted, or botched.

Whatever the reason, I'm unwilling to bust my ears.

And Columbia Records' "Look, Leonard, we know you're great, but we don't know if you're any good", I will from now on remember the other way around...
___________________________________________________
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
Bennyboy
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Re: Live in Dublin Sound

Postby Bennyboy » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:19 pm

Pumping up the volume of any music makes the brain immediately think it sounds better - thats the way it works.

But its also tiring and bad for your hearing.

There's nothing wrong with the volume of Live In Dublin, or the mix. If you're used to overly bright recordings, then yes you might not like the lower end emphasis, but hey, you only got yourself to blame:

I caught the darkness
It was drinking from your cup
I caught the darkness
Drinking from your cup
I said, "Is this contagious?"
You said, "Just drink it up."
Franks
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Re: Live in Dublin Sound

Postby Franks » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:10 pm

Bennyboy wrote: If you're used to overly bright recordings, then yes you might not like the lower end emphasis, but hey, you only got yourself to blame:
So all previous Leonard Cohen recordings are overly bright?
Frank.
Bennyboy
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Re: Live in Dublin Sound

Postby Bennyboy » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:45 pm

No

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