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Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here

Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here

EMI  5099902943527

Stereo/Multichannel Single Layer

Pop/Rock


Pink Floyd


On its release in 1975 Wish You Were Here topped the album charts in both the UK and the US. Reflecting the bands thoughts of the time on the music business, and exploring themes of absence, Wish You Were Here contains the classic cut "Shine On You Crazy" Diamond, a tribute to founding member Syd Barrett. The Immersion version features the classic Studio album digitally remastered and presented as a limited edition high quality box set featuring rare and unreleased audio and video material, plus a new 40 page oversized perfect-bound booklet, a book of original photographs edited by Jill Furmanovsky, exclusive merchandise and facsimile collectables.

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Recording
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5.1 Surround Mix (2009) 24bit/96khz uncompressed
Original Stereo Mix (1975) 24bit/96khz uncompressed
4.0 Quad Mix (1975) 24bit/96khz uncompressed
Resolutions (3)
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  • 2.0 LPCM 24bit/96kHz
  • 4.0 LPCM 24bit/96kHz
  • 5.1 LPCM 24bit/96kHz
Tracks
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1) Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-5)
2) Welcome to the Machine
3) Have a Cigar
4) Wish You Were Here
5) Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 6-9)
Reviews (1)
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Review by Darren McKeown - June 29, 2016

Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (Quad Mix)

I thought I would take the opportunity to do a quick review on the Quadraphonic (4.0) mix that is included as part of the WYWH Immersion Box-set on the Blu-ray (Disc 5)

Some technical info:
The majority of multi-channel (MCH) systems today are usually setup as either 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1/7.2 channel systems, and more often than not most systems with modern receivers and subwoofers perform best when the speakers are configured as “Small” as this allows the Bass Management on the receiver to send the low frequencies to the subwoofers when appropriate.
But back in the days of Quadraphonic surround systems, separate subwoofers were largely unheard of and all of the speakers had at least one woofer to handle low frequencies along with mid-range speakers and tweeters so they were true “Full-Range” speakers.
So depending on your speakers (and more importantly your receiver) and how they are configured, quadraphonic may or may not work (or not work very well anyway).
If you have large floor-standing speakers, you will probably benefit by configuring them as “Large” while listening to quadraphonic music as there is no provision for a subwoofer (LFE) channel. Most receivers will automatically detect the quad audio stream (you will see only 4 speakers lit up on the display) and some will even switch the speakers to “Large” automatically, while some more advanced receivers will figure it all out automatically and still use the .1 channel so try a few different settings to find out what works best for you.

Notable differences:

Shine on you crazy Diamond (Parts 1 – 5)
Immediately I noticed more distinct panning of sounds between all speakers. There seemed to be a lot of left to right panning of higher frequency instruments and effects (synths, triangles etc) which really added nicely to the overall surround experience. There were some additional backing vocals that I had not noticed before in other versions. The saxophone at the end of the track was very well defined between left and right – it seems to float in space above you and then slowly fades forwards off into the distance.
The rear left speaker features very prominently for some reason, especially with vocal effects like the laughter.

Welcome to the Machine
As with the 5.1 mix, all the speakers get a thorough workout as would be expected from this track. The doors and crowd effects are a lot more distinct than the 5.1 mix.
There was a very noticeable echo/delay effect between front left and right speakers all through the track. While not necessarily a bad thing, it did distract me from the actual music at times.
The bass in this track is very intense and at times over-powering. My whole room pulsed intensely and anything that could rattle did. This was even more intense when the subwoofer was used (speakers set to small) – so much so that I had to temporarily lower the volume.

Have a cigar
The vocals on this track sound very flat compared with the 5.1 mix but other than that the only real difference between the 5.1 mix was the fade out at the end of the track ends up in the front right speaker.

Wish you were here
Straight away I noticed the AM radio effect was a lot cracklier and more pronounced than both the 5.1 and Stereo mixes. The rear channels are noticeably absent at the start, only kicking in after the end of first verse (“do you think you can tell….”) and then only the guitars which was a bit disappointing. One very notable mention was a different (additional) guitar track playing through the guitar solo which almost has a country/blues feel to it. And there were also additional backing harmonizing vocals that were not noticeable on the 5.1 or stereo mixes.

Shine on (Parts 6 – 9)
Straight away the wind effects were more vivid with more panning from left to right. The Synths pan around from left to right and front to back a lot more than the 5.1 mix.
The backing vocals are a lot more prominent in the rear speakers, and at times the rear speakers seem to be doing their own thing entirely. The fade out at the end seems a lot more drawn out and subtle – and seems to go for much longer than the 5.1 or stereo mixes although the time display doesn’t reflect this.

Overall:
I’m not sure if it’s just my system but this mix certainly seems to favour the rear left speaker, so much so that it made me check my system several times and even made me re-calibrate just to confirm I wasn’t going crazy.

There is definitely a lot more going on from the rear speakers than in the 5.1 mix, most likely because back when it was mixed the front centre speaker didn’t exist so the rear speakers were relied on more heavily. It wasn’t until “surround sound” movies became common that the idea of front-focused audio happened, and then this concept filtered down to a lot of multi-channel music as well.

At times it almost seemed like a 4 channel stereo version while other times it seems a lot more discrete surround than even the 5.1 mix does. Some sounds/effects are so clear and crisp while others are flat and dull in comparison, especially voice effects coming from the front channels. I’m certain this is because of so many different sound effects as well as vocals all coming out of the same speaker. This could very well be speaker and/or receiver limitations so it would be interesting to hear other people’s experiences with this also but this was always going to be more noticeable with any quad mix because of the lack of a centre channel to send vocals to, especially after hearing it mixed in 5.1.
Conclusion:
To be fair, if I had have heard this mix for the first time before hearing the Guthrie 5.1 mix then I would have enjoyed it so much more, especially compared to the Stereo version. Considering the technology available at the time this was nothing less than ground-breaking and most certainly a must-have for any Floyd fan who has everything else released and is looking for something original but also different at the same time.

Copyright © 2016 Darren McKeown and HRAudio.net

Performance:

Sonics (Multichannel):

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1xBlu-ray + 2xDVD + 2xCD