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“Dream Theater” – The MIX, MUSIC and REDEMPTION

  • “Dream Theater” – The MIX, MUSIC and REDEMPTION
    October 25, 2013 - 11:11am

    The MIX

    For the second time in Dream Theater’s career, they’ve released an album in 5.1 surround sound.

    The first time was Systematic Chaos in Dolby Digital 5.1. My guess is that Portnoy had something to do with this. While I applaud them for the effort, the surround mix was terrible. It was more like surround ‘separation.’ Cymbals? What cymbals?

    I have a bunch of albums in surround sound. I consider myself a home theater and surround music enthusiast. I was FLOORED to hear that this album was getting a 5.1 mix.

    So many questions!

    1) Who pushed for the 5.1 surround mix? The band? Chycki? Roadrunner?

    2) Why aren’t they making a bigger deal about this?

    3) Why the HELL is Roadrunner out-of-stock of the deluxe edition? Were they ever in stock? - http://store.roadrunnerrecords.com/dream-theater-dream-theater-deluxe-ed...

    4) Is this a lossy Dolby Digital release? Or true DVD-Audio PCM uncompressed? (surprisingly the latter!)

    5) For the LOVE OF GOD, can they go back and re-mix their back catalog in 5.1? Start with Falling Into Infinity!

    I’ve listened to the album ONCE in 5.1 Surround Sound. WOW! This is how it should be done.

    FORGET about STEREO. That should be the bonus disc!

    HD TRACKS is okay, but in my opinion, there is a much bigger distinction between 5.1 and stereo VS. HD stereo and stereo. If you’re not listening to this in 5.1 YOU ARE MISSING OUT!

    In fact, I don’t think I will EVER listen to “Dream Theater” in stereo.

    The MUSIC

    I’m not going to break this down track by track. Let’s look at the 30,000 foot view.
    There’s a saying called, “Never Happened.”

    Batman & Robin. Robocop 3. Speed 2. THEY NEVER HAPPENED.

    Get it?

    Dream Theater’s A Dramatic Turn Of Events NEVER HAPPENED.

    I listened to ADTOE twice. The second time was just to make sure I actually heard what I heard the first time.

    I finally ‘heard’ what non-fans hear when they listen to Dream Theater. NOISE. MEEDLIES. DERIVATIVE.

    Much in the same way Neal Morse unfortunately just re-writes his own music to churn out album after album, ADTOE was the final nail in the coffin for Dream Theater.

    They had already started doing that a few albums prior, to an increasing degree. And I’m not even talking about the songs included in Portnoy’s AA Saga.

    On top of that, Mangini never got his shot to show us what he could do. I’ve been a fan of his since he toured with Vai back in the 90s. Obviously he was the perfect replacement for Portnoy. Unfortunately, he was just a drum machine on this album. A Portnoy clone.

    “Dream Theater” FIXES ALL OF THAT!

    Some honest-to-god new territory for the band that has seemingly done it all!

    Melodies you can hum to. Unfamiliar, yet heavenly guitar and keyboard tones. And of course, Mangini gets his shot. And boy does he RIP IT UP! Christ!

    At times this sounds like a movie soundtrack, although the Six Degrees overture will always be in the top spot for that.

    BEFORE YOU FLAME this “first-tme” poster, please consider…

    1) I’ve listened to Dream Theater since I heard “You Not Me” on FM Radio back in 1997.

    2) I have all of their albums and DVDs.

    3) I’ve been to plenty of shows and meetups, etc. I even dragged my wife to a show and made her sit through In The Presence Of Enemies in its entirety even though she wanted to leave.

    4) I was part of the DT Forum community back when guys like “Innocuous Fox” was around, and Mark Bredius was posting as “DT Itchy” on the SFAM-styled website and forum.

    5) I’m also a recording musician, who has recorded with a progressive rock band and released my own 5.1 surround sound solo-album. (I'll post links if someone asks.)

    I’m a fan, okay? Just like YOU. No better, no worse.

    Thanks for your time. Look forward to any feedback regarding other people’s enthusiasm towards the 5.1 mix.

    In case you aren't aware, Amazon has it for sale. - http://www.amazon.com/Dream-Theater/dp/B00DJ80VLS/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main

    Highly recommended!

    Brian

    4
Brian Dobbs's picture
on October 25, 2013 - 11:11am

The MIX

For the second time in Dream Theater’s career, they’ve released an album in 5.1 surround sound.

The first time was Systematic Chaos in Dolby Digital 5.1. My guess is that Portnoy had something to do with this. While I applaud them for the effort, the surround mix was terrible. It was more like surround ‘separation.’ Cymbals? What cymbals?

I have a bunch of albums in surround sound. I consider myself a home theater and surround music enthusiast. I was FLOORED to hear that this album was getting a 5.1 mix.

So many questions!

1) Who pushed for the 5.1 surround mix? The band? Chycki? Roadrunner?

2) Why aren’t they making a bigger deal about this?

3) Why the HELL is Roadrunner out-of-stock of the deluxe edition? Were they ever in stock? - http://store.roadrunnerrecords.com/dream-theater-dream-theater-deluxe-ed...

4) Is this a lossy Dolby Digital release? Or true DVD-Audio PCM uncompressed? (surprisingly the latter!)

5) For the LOVE OF GOD, can they go back and re-mix their back catalog in 5.1? Start with Falling Into Infinity!

I’ve listened to the album ONCE in 5.1 Surround Sound. WOW! This is how it should be done.

FORGET about STEREO. That should be the bonus disc!

HD TRACKS is okay, but in my opinion, there is a much bigger distinction between 5.1 and stereo VS. HD stereo and stereo. If you’re not listening to this in 5.1 YOU ARE MISSING OUT!

In fact, I don’t think I will EVER listen to “Dream Theater” in stereo.

The MUSIC

I’m not going to break this down track by track. Let’s look at the 30,000 foot view.
There’s a saying called, “Never Happened.”

Batman & Robin. Robocop 3. Speed 2. THEY NEVER HAPPENED.

Get it?

Dream Theater’s A Dramatic Turn Of Events NEVER HAPPENED.

I listened to ADTOE twice. The second time was just to make sure I actually heard what I heard the first time.

I finally ‘heard’ what non-fans hear when they listen to Dream Theater. NOISE. MEEDLIES. DERIVATIVE.

Much in the same way Neal Morse unfortunately just re-writes his own music to churn out album after album, ADTOE was the final nail in the coffin for Dream Theater.

They had already started doing that a few albums prior, to an increasing degree. And I’m not even talking about the songs included in Portnoy’s AA Saga.

On top of that, Mangini never got his shot to show us what he could do. I’ve been a fan of his since he toured with Vai back in the 90s. Obviously he was the perfect replacement for Portnoy. Unfortunately, he was just a drum machine on this album. A Portnoy clone.

“Dream Theater” FIXES ALL OF THAT!

Some honest-to-god new territory for the band that has seemingly done it all!

Melodies you can hum to. Unfamiliar, yet heavenly guitar and keyboard tones. And of course, Mangini gets his shot. And boy does he RIP IT UP! Christ!

At times this sounds like a movie soundtrack, although the Six Degrees overture will always be in the top spot for that.

BEFORE YOU FLAME this “first-tme” poster, please consider…

1) I’ve listened to Dream Theater since I heard “You Not Me” on FM Radio back in 1997.

2) I have all of their albums and DVDs.

3) I’ve been to plenty of shows and meetups, etc. I even dragged my wife to a show and made her sit through In The Presence Of Enemies in its entirety even though she wanted to leave.

4) I was part of the DT Forum community back when guys like “Innocuous Fox” was around, and Mark Bredius was posting as “DT Itchy” on the SFAM-styled website and forum.

5) I’m also a recording musician, who has recorded with a progressive rock band and released my own 5.1 surround sound solo-album. (I'll post links if someone asks.)

I’m a fan, okay? Just like YOU. No better, no worse.

Thanks for your time. Look forward to any feedback regarding other people’s enthusiasm towards the 5.1 mix.

In case you aren't aware, Amazon has it for sale. - http://www.amazon.com/Dream-Theater/dp/B00DJ80VLS/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main

Highly recommended!

Brian

Forum category: 
Digital_M's picture

I'm just listening to "Dream Theater" for the first time, in a darkened room in 5.1, and it ist just like... WOW! beautiful! Amazing! I love this record.
I have every Dream Theater album ever released, and this one is one of the best from the first listening!
I cannot agree with you about "A dramatic turn of Events", though it's a terrible sound (real garage quality! ), the music is good. I am very happy that the actual album has a much better sound, and the 5.1 is like a preview of ho it could be in heaven ;-) .

dimar's picture

I listened to the DVD-A 5.1 mix couple of times during the first week of release/purchase. I even messed with the mix on few tracks extending the surround speakers to the surround back speakers creating 7.1ch, and merging the center with LFE channel, because few of the songs contained drums and bass on the center. It felt like I was getting nicer bass on LFE after that. The only complaint I have is that there's too much dynamic range compression on this album. HDtracks fixed it a little, but it's still not as good as the previous album audio quality wise.

Brian Dobbs's picture

Interesting that you did that.

Wouldn't you agree it's a superior mix to Systematic Chaos?

All of the instrumentation is clear. The surround channels are not used in a gimmicky fashion, but really do spread the music out over 5 speakers quite evenly.

JLB's voice is used quite nicely in the center and surround channels as opposed to SC 5.1 where he was only really in the center.

AKexpress's picture

Listen to A Dramatic Turn of Events more than twice.