Working from his Easter Island Surround facility in Nashville,producer Brian Ahern has been working on the re-release of EmmylouHarris’ 1980 album, Roses in the Snow, and the Johnny Cashalbum Silver (released on SACD in February), which were bothmixed on the Yamaha DM2000 Digital Production Console to create a 5.1mix.
"What I like about the DM2000 is Yamaha’s acknowledgement ofADAT technology," said Ahern. "This soon-to-be obsolete recordingdevice was made fresh again by Yamaha’s double-channeltechnology. So all these people who had ADATs on the shelf are nowdusting them off and hooking them up to Yamaha consoles and masteringon them at 24/96k. I’ve been mixing 5.1 surround sound records tomy old ADATs, and whatever’s in that DM2000, the masteringengineers are very impressed with it.
"I’ve always tried to mix surround sound in four sound stages:the normal stereo, the back sound stage in the rear speakers, and theright and left sides," Ahern continued. "Most people mix the front andback but ignore the sides. I’m experimenting on some reverbtweaks that will simulate a corridor on each side. On some records, Iput a bass right in the middle of the room, so all four speakers sharein the reproduction of that low-end instrument. If you keep the bassall in the front—which are many people’sinstinct—then you’ve wasted all of the energy availablefrom the other speakers. I discovered that while mixing Johnny Cash:There was more room front and center for his thunderous chesttones!
"Another thing I like about the DM2000 is the Solo Contrast," notedAhern. "On other consoles, when you pressed a Solo button, it’seither/or. Sometimes you want to evaluate one track against the band,but you want it to stand out and be featured a bit, not necessarily byitself. So, having that Solo Contrast is an amazing tool, as it cutsway down on mental fatigue. Fatigue is a big thing when working insurround sound because there’s so much to keep track of."
After completing the Roses in the Snow remix, Ahern’snext project is stereo reissues of the first six Emmylou Harris albums."I’m adding bonus tracks, things that I’ve kept in thebasement or Warner Brother’s vault. I affectionately like to callit Pack Rat Payoff."
For more on the DM2000, visit www.yamaha.com/proaudio. Visit Easter IslandSurround at www.baammusic.com/luminaries/gallery/pages/e_sur.html.