Mike Mettler

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Mike Mettler  |  Nov 07, 2018  |  1 comments
Photo by Hajo Mueller.

We called Steven Wilson, the once and future king of surround sound, to discuss the differences between mixing live quad for a performance venue and then mixing the same show for his Home Invasion: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall Blu-ray, the importance of creating dynamics and tension release, and how to keep an audience engaged for 3 uninterrupted hours.

Mike Mettler  |  Oct 24, 2018  |  0 comments
The concept of whether sound exists and actually could flourish in space — or not — was very much on my mind as I sat down with the creative and scientific teams behind National Geographic’s groundbreaking series MARS, which returns for a second season on the National Geographic Channel (a.k.a. Nat Geo) on November 12. I asked nine members of the MARS creative team about the aural choices they had to make about scoring the show, the science of sound in space, and whether they’d sign up for a mission to Mars themselves.
Mike Mettler  |  Oct 18, 2018  |  1 comments
Performance
Sound
Calculating how many times key entries in the Yes catalog have been remastered, remixed, repackaged, and reissued can sometimes feel akin to tallying how many official live albums The Grateful Dead have released over the years—well, okay, maybe not quite that many, but still…. It can also be somewhat arduous to keep up with all the ongoing Yes release permutations without a scorecard, let alone decide which ones are worth purchasing.
Mike Mettler  |  Oct 10, 2018  |  0 comments
This is the ballad of Longbranch/Pennywhistle, the legendary 1969 collaboration between late Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey and his longstanding songwriting compadre, JD Souther. We got on the line with Souther to discuss the reissue’s sonic-restoration process, whether he thinks Longbranch/Pennywhistle pioneered the country rock movement, the origins of a truly unique band name, and the singular legacy of Glenn Frey.
Mike Mettler  |  Sep 28, 2018  |  0 comments
Who wins in the streaming war between Apple Music and Spotify? You do, of course.

Last month, you and I made a pact, right here in this space. What, you don’t remember? (Apparently, even audiophiles have ADD.) Well, our agreement was essentially this: We the golden-ear people wholly accept streaming as another worthwhile delivery system for receiving and listening to our music, especially given the strides some of the services have been making in providing higher-quality, higher-resolution streams. (Coming back to you now?)

Mike Mettler  |  Sep 26, 2018  |  0 comments
Some long-gestating sonic missions are simply worth the wait. Case in point: Styx’s June 2017 studio concept album The Mission (Alpha Dog 2T/UMe), which recently entered into the 5.1 stratosphere via the 24-bit/96kHz surround sound mix found on the just-released two-disc CD + Blu-ray Edition of the album. As good and enveloping as The Mission sounds in stereo, it sounds even better in its hi-res 5.1 mix — and that’s due in no small part to the creative synergy between the record’s three chief sonic architects: Styx guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw, producer/guitarist/vocalist Will Evankovich (Shaw-Blades, The Guess Who), and producer/engineer Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Wilco, Dixie Chicks). I spoke with Shaw and Evankovich to delve into the making of the surround sound mix of The Mission.
Mike Mettler  |  Sep 12, 2018  |  1 comments
Photo: Elliot Landy (1968)

Released 50 years ago this past July 1, The Band's Music From Big Pink immediately set the world of popular music on its collective ear, and it's now being celebrated in a super-deluxe box set that includes a 24/96 5.1 mix of the album on Blu-ray. We get on the line with Band mastermind Robbie Robertson to discuss the secret to the overall intimacy of the Big Pink recording itself, the key elements that make the 5.1 versions of “The Weight” and “Chest Fever” instant benchmark reference tracks, and what Band album he’d be interested in having remixed in 5.1 next.

Mike Mettler  |  Aug 31, 2018  |  0 comments
Performance
Sound
Always the pauper, never quite the prince. Such was the case for Love, the racially integrated Los Angeles psychedelic/folk-rock hybrid who were always on the cusp of breaking through the ether during those heady revolutionary times of the late 1960s, but just couldn’t totally get there. While the sounds of other SoCal Sunset Strip brethren like The Doors and The Byrds made the leap into mass consciousness, Love’s impact initially came at more of the cult-favorite level—though their multicultural influence has only grown over the ensuing years, especially within the British alternative scene of the early ’90s.
Mike Mettler  |  Aug 22, 2018  |  0 comments
The peak-era TV juggernaut known as The Walking Dead continues to roll-roll-roll along on its bloody and unbowed path, and it remains one of the best-shot, best-designed, best-looking, and best-sounding shows being broadcast today. That said, TWD is actually best enjoyed on hi-res disc, and its ever-galvanizing eighth season was just released by Lionsgate on Blu-ray and DVD. Lennie James, who plays the struggling pacifist Morgan Jones, discusses why his character endures, why he feels the show’s soundscapes are underrated, and how two other cult-favorite characters he’s portrayed over the years might fare if they met Morgan on the road in the zombie apocalypse.
Mike Mettler  |  Aug 17, 2018  |  1 comments
Has streaming saved the music industry? Depends on whom you ask. If we’re to believe certain vocal factions within the music business, we’re already officially entrenched in the “end of owning music” era...

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