During the past few months, Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Getit on and the Allman Brothers’ Live at the FillmoreEast have both received 5.1 remixes at Angel Mountain Productions& Sound in Bethlehem, Penn.
Pictured from left: Carl Cadden-James, director of audio engineeringfor Angel Mountain and the Pro Tools engineer for both projects; JeffGlixman, senior director, studio operations, Universal MasteringStudios-East, who supervised the mixes; Cal Harris, former director ofrecording engineering for Motown Records, now retired, who was theoriginal stereo mix engineer for the Let’s Get it onalbum, and who consulted the surround remix; and Harry Weinger, VP ofA&R for Universal Music Enterprises. Photo: Kim Fallon
The 5.1 projects were spearheaded by Universal’s seniordirector of studio operations east, Jeff Glixman. A veteran producer(Kansas, the Georgia Satellites, Black Sabbath and Yngwie Malmsteen),Glixman chose Angel Mountain because “the equipment and the sound ofthe room are always an important consideration, and Angel Mountaincertainly delivers in that regard. However, the most important aspectto me is the people, and the staff at Angel Mountain not only performsto the highest professional standards, but interfaces transparentlywith my staff and me.”
For Gaye’s album, Glixman and Angel Mountain’s chiefengineer Carl Cadden-James took great care to stay true to the originalrecord while shaping the surround mix, even going so far as to fly inthe album’s original engineer Cal Harris to join the team.“Harry Weinger [Motown re-issue producer/VP of A&R] and Iwanted to take the original album and turn it into 3-D, so there was alot of referencing back to the original mix,” Glixman said.“We found a lot of previously undetectable glitches that becameapparent as we started repositioning items across the 5.1 spectrum.Carl and I worked to correct these glitches when necessary, and thenreplicate the original mixes in the 5.1 landscape. The end result ismuch cleaner and more listenable than the original. I think it puts thealbum in broader perspective.”
Glixman returned to Angel Mountain with the 5.1 mix of the AllmanBrothers’ album, where the overriding goal of Bill Levinson[re-issue producer/ VP A&R] and Glixman was to preserve the feel ofthe original record when making the move to 5.1. Glixman andCadden-James only retained the crucial elements and ambience of theperformance, but also restored the feel of a continuous live concert byeliminating the fades that appeared between each song on the originalmix. They also sharpened the focus of the sound, particularly theguitar interplay between Duane Allman and Dickie Betts.
“There were several open mics onstage that really detractedfrom the image of the recording and the tonality of the guitars,”Glixman said. “Carl and I were able to take advantage ofautomation and eliminate those sound sources from the panorama, whichreally improves the mixes. With this mix, we are able to provide guitartones that are much truer to what Duane and Dickie played, as well ascompensate for limitations in the original recording. I’m very,very pleased with the way it came out.”
Both of the mixes were done in Angel Mountain’s“A” room, which features a Solid State Logic XL 9000 Kconsole. “The XL is my console of choice,” said Glixman.“I like the ergonomics and the sound. Certain consoles require alot of outboard gear to achieve the sounds I want, but the XL justsounds terrific. It’s very versatile—it’s transparentwhen I want it to be, but if needed it can get aggressive sonically, aswell.”
Each album will be initially released as an SACD hybrid featuringSACD 5.1 and SACD stereo, with Redbook audio on a second layer forlistening in a standard CD player. The SACD releases are slated to befollowed approximately 90 days later by DVD-A versions. Glixman saidthat he plan on returning to Angel Mountain for future projects,including the Allman Brothers’ Eat a Peach, which is inthe works. “From a 5.1 and large-format mixing standpoint, Iconsider Angel Mountain my home studio,” Glixman concluded.“Different places work for different people, and this one worksfor me.”
For more information, visit Angel Mountain at www.angelmtn.com.