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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Enoch Light and the Light Brigade - Future Sound Shock

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Quadraphonic is something of a tantalizing mystery to me. I have in my collection several quad recordings but have never heard any in their proper 4-channel format, nor any quad recordings for that matter. My copy of Future Sound Shock is actually in stereo but that isn’t neither here nor there since it was converted to stereo MP3 for your listening pleasure.

I’ve always kind of felt that quadraphonic was just a product of a marketing hype machine during the 70’s in an effort to sell more gear. This album is a perfect example of that hype machine operating on all four turbocharged cylinders.

Have any of you heard a proper quadraphonic setup? Has my whole life as an advocate of stereophonic superiority been a sham? This album’s gatefold does its best to make me think so. Take a read of the following and see what I mean.

This record is available in both quadraphonic and stereo versions (this rip is from a stereo version). The quadraphonic version is compatible and will play on standard stereo equipment.

The following short review highlights the development of techniques in the recording studio.

The art of recording has made tremendous progress in the past 25 years. With the introduction of tape it became possible to produce much finer recordings, both in the quality of the sound as well as in the performance level. With tape, the producer could edit and delete errors in the performance and substitute from another “take”, a perfect performance of almost any particular musical selection. With tape, it became possible for both the producer and the performer to listen to the playbacks immediately during the recording session and thus judge whether the overall performance, the musical balance, the dynamics, the tempi, etc. achieve high standards of perfection. Shortly after the introduction of tape into the recording studio producers became aware of the needed for multi-microphone pick-ups so that they could place the different section of the orchestra as well as the individual soloists on individual and different types of sympathetic microphones and could consequently achieve a more satisfying sound and balance of the instruments. This improved sound and balance, contributed greatly to the vitality of the lifelike authenticity of the performance.

With the advent of stereo, approximately 15 years ago, further improvements in the recording field became possible. This was due to the possibility of separating soloists as well as musical sections, both in the studio sessions and also in the mixing of the master recording. Stereo affected not on y the balance of the individual instruments and orchestral sections but also influenced the concept of the orchestra. Arrangers began to think in terms of stereo and the great potential made possible by this new technical breakthrough started to happen (huh?).

During the past two or three years quadraphonic recording has been developed and it really opens up a completely new world of sound. By carefully planning the arrangement concept and by recording on 8, or 16, or 24 tracks, the musical effectiveness reaches a new high standard. Quadraphonic recording makes it possible to create a wrap-around sound ambiance and at the same time to pinpoint solo passages. In creating this musical ambiance, the beautiful contribution of 4-channel or quadraphonic recording is that the producer does not have to sacrifice any musical definition or excitement, and instead of just enveloping the listener in musical sound per se, he can envelop the listener in musical sound containing musical statements which have a definitive individuality and are warmly balanced in the total musical concept. The result is a most complete and satisfying listening experience. Actually, it is the first time the audience really hears the orchestra in the way as the conductor has been hearing the orchestra since the beginning of musical “time”.

At Project 3, we started to work with 4 channel concepts in 1963. We received a call from a research man at General Electric, who paid us a visit and told us about his concept of 4 channel recording. We worked together in the studio and finally, after many weeks of trial and error, produced a 4 channel or quadraphonic reel-to-reel tape. Unfortunately, this man, Dr. Lloyd Ryan, passed away shortly after we enjoyed this cooperative endeavor. After his demise, the whole project lay dormant for approximately seven years. Three years ago, we began, once again, to work with 4 channel concepts, and at the present time have available approximately 40 albums as 4 channel recordings, 4 channel cartridges and 4 channel reel-to-reel tape.

The wonderful and amazing thing about 4 channel sound is that once you allow yourself to really enjoy a good 4 channel recording, you will find it to be the most exciting and completely satisfying musical experience of your lifetime.

In this new album, FUTURE SOUND SHOCK, we have tried to achieve an overall exciting musical content with explores the potential of quadraphonic 4 channel recording. In order to help us do this we have used many instruments which produce highly unique sounds, such as regular sitar, bass sitar, finger cymbals, conga drums, bongos, vibraphones, cow bells, flues, piccolos, shakers, mirambas, vibraslap, English horn, flugal horn, alto flute, oboe, etc. These unusual instruments, use in solo context as well as in combination with other instruments, gave us an opportunity to “point up” the individual channels, and by using them in combination with the other instruments to create and ambiance which achieves a highly colored and dramatic musical impact. The songs were selected because most of them have achieved a great popular success and are also highly individualistic in their musical composition. The recording was done under the most modern studio conditions and involved many of the greatest popular musicians, as well as outstanding engineering talents.

We do hope that this recording will interest and intrigue you, and provide many enjoyable listening sessions.

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Click here to download Future Sound Shock

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Caravan was used as a sample on Bonobo’s “Flutter” Check it out.

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Tracklist

A1  St. Thomas! Everybody! 3:19
A2  Cute 3:16
A3  Recado Bossa Nova 3:11
A4  Caravan 3:30
A5  Pick Yourself Up 3:09
B1  Perdido 3:09
B2  Samba De Orfeu 2:26
B3  Give Joy To The World 3:42
B4  One Note Samba 2:27
B5  Baubles, Bangles & Beads 2:43
B6  The Girl From Ipanema 3:20