Barbra Streisand – Live Concert At The Forum

16 Mar

Much has been written about the mix on this album, which i’m finding hard to understand. With this decode i find that it’s a fair representation of a live concert. There has been mention made that the Q8 is ‘under-whelming’, well i’ve not heard it so i can’t comment.

What i’d really like is those who get this new reissue to make comments on how they find the performance/mix, even more so if they’ve heard the Q8.


Reissue: (D) New source and decode

Release: DS140p

Source: SQ LP

Process: ‘Phoenix’






3 Responses to “Barbra Streisand – Live Concert At The Forum”

  1. mactwit March 20, 2017 at 17:19 #

    Our ringmaster suggested I comment on this reissue as well, and I’m glad he did! Of course, I’m a Streisand fan, and it was fun to reacquaint myself with this classic performance. I listened to the entire new decode the other day, and now I put the old one in the player. The difference is huge! I hasten to add, that since I skipped a version, it’s an older disc I’m comparing to.

    I’ve never done a comparison here before, when the difference has been so remarkable. The older version has no discrete activity at all in the rears; while they do have sound, it seems to only be an echo of what comes from the front. The new decode sounds like quad, with instruments popping out now and then, but perhaps more importantly, with a much better sense of presence and soundspace.

    When it’s any kind of soloist performance, of course you want the soloist to be clearly heard, which is not always the case here, and I’ve complained about this happening on many other quad recordings. This is a live recording however, so it’s much easier to forgive. It happens frequently, but most of the time La Streisand comes through clearly and not as a secondary instrument. Sometimes the music as a whole seems muted, usually on big numbers with loud singing and playing; I guess mixing is easier when it’s just a couple of instruments. These problems have nothing to do with the decode, of course, as they appear on both versions.

    Finally, it must be noted that the mix, although mostly full and fun, is pretty weird for a concert performance. On a studio recording I can’t complain too much about instruments moving around, but having lovely piano accompaniment suddenly appearing in the audience, for instance, is a bit unusual. It isn’t consistent either; sometimes the orchestra is in front, sometimes all around, as if there are too many chefs in the mixing room. But this is a recording one listens to for the joy of reliving an event, first and foremost. I used to just have the stereo CD, which I thoroughly enjoyed, happy the event had been recorded at all. This quad recording of it, with its improved sound, makes me very happy indeed.

    • oxforddickie March 20, 2017 at 19:51 #

      Many thanks for the review. I’m coming to the conclusion that this is a muddy mix that really needs a process that can dig deep into the encoding and truly seperate the fronts and the rears.

      I found it a very pleasant surprise, and i’m with you on the odd way some instruments wander from the front to the rear, do their bit then go back as if nothing had happened, although it does make it just a little more interesting.

  2. Owen Smith March 16, 2017 at 00:54 #

    I think the last time I listened to a decode of this my comment was “yes I had remembered correctly, I find Streisand difficult to enjoy”. How much it sounds like a live concert or not depends very much on how it was recorded and mixed, you either like the treatment that was chosen or you don’t but it is what it is. p

    Generally I find if the rear speakers make themselves noticeable more than occasionally then it’s not a realistic live concert mix, yet many in the quad “community” criticise anything that doesn’t have all four speakers making their presence felt most of the time. To be realistic I find rear speakers should be noticeable only by their absence, ie. they support the ambience in a subtle way and you only notice this if you unplug them and notice what is now missing.

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