Pink Floyd has recently re-released their The Dark Side of the Moon in 5.1 surround on Super Audio CD. Producer and engineer James Guthrie, who has worked with the band for more than two decades, was asked to handle the remix.
“This was a very difficult 5.1 mix,” Guthrie said. “Not from a musical point of view, because the record really lends itself to a three-dimensional treatment, but from the point of view that everyone knows the original mix so well. It is indelibly printed on our minds. We’ve had 30 years to live with it, and some people don’t want that image to be altered. Knowing that you are about to start work on something controversial can be unsettling.
“The issues with a 5.1 remix all come down to one question: Have you retained the emotional impact of the songs?” Guthrie continued. “All this technology is meaningless if you’ve turned the album into a video game.”
Guthrie said that he wanted to mix from the original 16-tracktapes. Fortunately, the source material was cataloged at Abbey Road and was in good shape. The studio made copies for safekeeping and sent the originals to Guthrie’s das boot studio in Northern California.
“As this is a conceptual work, we agreed that I should mix the entire album and then play it to the individual bandmembers for their input. That way, they could experience everything in context.” Guthrie made sure that all of the bandmembers experienced his mixes through the same ATC speaker line that he created them on. “ATC speakers are simply fantastic. I cannot say enough about them. The imaging is unlike anything I’ve experienced. The dispersion characteristic is exceptional, and the speakers always remain phase-coherent.”Guthrie used five SCM150ASLs and two SCM0.1-15 subwoofers.
For more on the ATC system, visit www.transaudiogroup.com.