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Continuing With A Couple Of Classicals

15 Jun

Here are two previously unreleased (blog-wise) classical albums, being somewhat different in style and mix. The “Stokowski” is a QSd2 decode, whilst the “Georg Muffat” is an SQd2 decode

 

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Replacement Calvin Keys QS Title

2 Jun

My apologises for those that suffered with the incorrect audio on the DTS and AC-3 streams on the title, please re-download this corrected version.

…Continuing the test releases with: SQ

27 May

SQd2

As mentioned in the previous release, the SQd decoding process had a minor upgrade, but the improvements in correcting the rear right issue although small, proved significant. To this end i’m releasing the following six albums:

Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells (QV2001)

Before the Quadraphonic remix box-set “Boxed”, which contained the quad version of Tubular Bells that most are familiar with nowadays, Virgin released a stand-alone Quad version that was an up-mix from the standard stereo mix, although there was an additional added at the end of side two, a short recording of a model plane being flown in the studio. This is the only true quadraphonic track on the album. It is what it is.

 

Mike Oldfield – Exposed

And from Mr Oldfield’s first quad album to his last. Originally released on a two LP’s, this release was only ever released in Quad, no stereo version exists. Sourced from the HDCD release, it was decoded to 20-bit then decoded to four channel.

 

Lee Michaels – Nice Day For Something

An album i don’t remember ever seeing this made available anywhere

 

San Fernando Brass – The New Brass Sound Of The Hits

 

The Taj-Mahal Travelers – July 15,1972

 

Peter Nero – Summer Of ’42

The vinyl transfer used for this decode/release was kindly supplied by “Romanotrax”

 

Popol Vuh – Aguirre

Released as proof that many of Popol Vuh’s album were released in quad

 

 

More What’s,Whys And Wherefores of Decoding, And Three QS “Test” Releases

9 May

Since closing both blogs last year, I’ve spent some time doing some improvement work on all of the matrix decode process’s, one ending up quite a major upgrade and the others a small, but essential, alteration.

At around the time of the blogs closure, Owen made an off-the-cuff remark that it was a shame i hadn’t spent as much time on QS as I had done on SQ. He was correct, of course, my personal dislike of QS, and my preference for SQ, showed in my work and the number of releases (especially in the early days). So began my final work on the decoding process’s for the DY/EV-4, QS & SQ matrices.

The upgrade to the QS process (QS2d) is quite marked, ending up nothing like earlier, or other, versions. I “believe” that finally a QS decode can now hold it’s head up against that of an SQ (SQd2) decode in terms of separation, image stability and low level detail.

Those eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed the upgrade to the SQ decoding process. The upgrade is solely devoted to solving a previously unknown error in the decoding process in decoders based on the official CBS/Sony specs.

I will admit that there is the possibility that many may not notice much of a difference between an SQd1 and SQd2 decode of the same album, it’s partly down to whether you listen, or you . But the improvement is there, none the less, solidifying the overall image like never before.

As mentioned, this upgrade corrects an error in the original decoding mathematics as developed by Ben Bauer, and is inherent in all “official” decoders (be it discreet or based on the Motorola chip set) that introduces a phase error of around 25 degrees on the rear right during the decode process.

If the mathematics of the whole decoding process are checked, all appears correct, but as any engineer who has been in the electronics field for long enough will attest, there are times that unpredictable things happen when it comes to the practicalities of a working model.

My work, and conclusions, were checked not only by using my decoding processes but by the decoded output from a Tate decoder, which showed exactly the same error.

The answer to the question “Why didn’t they see the issue at the time” is simply that they just didn’t have the tools we have today. Many of the tools we take for granted now could probably never even be imagined of back then.

At last SQ is capable of delivering the kind of performance that Ben Baur knew it was capable of, delivering a phase accurate representation of the original master.

Having been able to overcome this long standing issue, I believe that the best, and only worth-while (to date), SQ decoder (The Tate) can be improved by modifying it so it can comply with the above (new) standard, which would not only deliver a better decode, but the logic section should be able to operate more efficiently, or as it was meant too, producing better image stability with less pumping artefacts, etc.

DY/EV-4 decoding has also¬†been tweaked, although it’s impossible to make major in-roads when it come to decoding these two pre-phase matrices, simply because they are just too darned basic.

As a demonstration of QSd2 I’m making available the following three albums, which luckily have two different types of mixes. These are the “Four To The Wall” type that gives an artificial presentation much loved by the majority of quadraholics, and the “Live In The Studio” mix, more often than not, used by jazz labels which attempts to create how things were in the studio when the album was recorded live.

QSd2

Due to an issue with DTS and Dolby Digital audio, this is now reissued

Goodbye

15 Aug

It’s obvious I’m wasting my time in attempting to impart some information needed to work on the quadraphonic matrices, so I might as well call it a day now.

The planned final two ‘special’ releases will not be released, because I just can’t be bothered.

FIN

 

The Rolling Stones – Brussels 17th October 1973

11 Aug

Gathering Moss

The original master for this recording no longer exists, so like many of these live recordings from the past, the quality may not be up to what would be expected in an official release.

This concert has had a minor amount of correction/repair performed on the source that had no negative effect on the encoded information. This has been decoded using the SQd process.

This release is intended as a replacement for the poor quality version that is doing the rounds on various sites, and is released for FREE distribution only.

The Kings New DSP Gathers No Moss

10 Aug

For the last week or two i’ve been involved in matters of decoding, but not necessarily blog related. Then at the beginning of the week i was contacted by someone who i’ve gotten to know via the blog with regards a decoded concert he had acquired. Now it seems as though this decoded concert was being advertised as being ‘discrete’, but after hearing it he felt something was wrong, because discrete it certainly wasn’t.

He sent me an encoded track from the file that was said to have been the source of the decode, which i decoded and sent the files bask to him. Seems as though that was all he needed. He sent me the same track from this ‘discrete’ version so i could compare them. It was not nice!

I noticed immediately the Audio fingerprint of the particular method of decoding that was used, and it rather got me annoyed.

The thing is, throughout the week that feeling has grown, and to be honest, i’m pissed off! For too long people have been duped by people who are nothing short of incompetent. What i’m talking about is this useless piece of plastic:

Over on QQ, this unit is thought of as the best thing since sliced bread, and is said to be able to decode QS and SQ. Fact of life, it can’t. When this was first announced i tried to talk to these people because they didn’t appear to understand the issues in getting one unit to be able to do two totally different matrix systems, especially when one of them was SQ, because if ANYONE knows how to decode Ben’s child they’ll understand the special requirements needed.

But they weren’t for listening and tried to ‘put me down’ by stating (and here’s that phrase again) “We’ve Been To University”. Yea, right!

This unit is based around an “Off The Shelf” Stereo Digital Sound Processing IC. It’s said to be based on the principle of Sansui’s original work on the Variio-matrix decoder. The fact it is based on Sansui’s work doesn’t mean that the new DSP IC is actually a QS decoder. It’s basically¬† the logic section as there would be no use in producing anything that can decode something specific like QS.

But then they announced that it will also decode SQ. That was when i knew they didn’t have a clue. Unfortunately, the nobody’s at QQ saw this as the answer to their prayers and didn’t like the fact i wasn’t just questioning the units ability to decode SQ, i point blank said it was impossible, because they don’t understand exactly what is needed.

Anyway, those Australians have sold god knows how many of this piece of crap to really gullible people.

Remember, this unit uses an Off The Shelf Stereo DSP. And there’s the reason why it’s totally incapable of decoding SQ. The IC would have been created for use in today’s Hi-Fi equipment, which means it processing a stereo signal and outputting four (or more) channels.

So, why can’t it decode SQ?

Simples! (copyright Alexander Meerkat)

Due to the way the rear channels are encoded, the SQ encoded signal needs to be decoded in a very specific way. In fact it’s so specific i can’t imagine any other use for for particular circuitry needed, it’s that specific. And if it’s not done in that particular way, it’s not decoded!

For there to be any chance of the DSP used in the Aussie Box, it would require external decoding hardware that would feed FOUR channels into it. And being a Stereo DSP, it’s never going to happen.

All this unit is doing is attempting to create a quadraphonic Sound-field, and failing. It’s very easy to hear the phase mess it produces (look back a couple of posts to find what i mean). I’ve had people complain about sounds appearing in wrong places, images are blurred and move when you move your head, etc etc. And what amazes me, some of the people who bought into this have Tate SQ decoders!! I can’t believe they are willing to let the best SQ hardware decoder gather dust whilst listening to the Aussie Box.

So, why have i finally decided to publicly speak out? It’s because there are a growing number of substandard decodes being made at particular download sites, and these are giving people a completely wrong idea of what Quadrophonie is about. This isn’t the last i’ll be mentioning this bloody awful box, but in the next day of so i will be making available my decode of this particular concert, which i would like to be made freely available anywhere where concerts are made available.

This is an extra release and doesn’t mean i’m continuing, by the way. There’s still two more to go before closing time, one here and one on the classical blog, both on the same day.

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