Rush in 5.1 surround

I was just wondering how Rush fans were reacting to the new album being released in 5.1 Hi rez? I know there was alot of controversy over the final production of Vapour Trails and complaints it was recorded to loud and distorted. I kinda liked it! and I can hardly wait for Snakes and Arrows.
I have not been impressed by Rush recording quality since Moving Pictures. They seem to be mastered with eye to the target market of FM rock stations (a tad over-compressed). Great band though with great music.
Not sure I understand the point of translating music (at least the sort performed by a band or orchestra) into surround sound. If the sound stage is in front of the listener, where ones hearing is by far the best and most direction-sensitive, then what would be put into rear channels and why?

Music that's conceived of from the very beginning as a surround experience would be another thing altogether, and I could imagine this being done successfully by the likes of Laurie Anderson, Kraftwerk, Underworld, etc.. But when the music is conceived of as being performed live on a stage, I don't want to hear detached parts of it creeping up over my shoulder.
You use the rear channels to get a feeling of being in the space its played in, if you see Classical or even rock the music doesnt stop at your ear, it is all around you, and a good multi-channel mix can do a good job of filling your room with that feeling of being a degree.
Shadorne, you should have a listen to Counterparts remastered. Actually if you like the band you should hear all the remasters. They have done a great job with them.
I just hope the songwriting has got better.
I cant wait for the the new album...Though I agree with Shadorne re past recordings. Ghost, do you have Replayx3 dvd. I think by far the best sounding yet...
Chadnliz, not sure what you're saying. And no offense, but I'm not sure that you've thought through your own statement either. The directionality (if that's a word) of sound is not a question of it "stopping at your ear", but rather a question of FROM where the sound seems to originate. Music performed on a stage (or conceived of as being performed upon a stage) comes from in front of the listener. While there is a smal amount of reflection within the concert hall (and usually even much more within your home listening room), there generally are not instruments being PLAYED from behind you. So unless you are talking about music specifically composed for surround sound (conceived of as instruments being played behind as well as in front of the listener), it simply makes no sense to redirect the soundstage to rear channels.
Speaking as a Rush fan (and sorry, I have no info on 5.1), their 2007 album Snakes & Arrows is easily their best album since the 80's - it's an amazing album and a true return to form after the (IMHO only) disastrous Vapor Trails (both in terms of the music and the horrific mastering). For Rush fans it is a MUST HAVE and the production is near flawless.
Ben, I have everything by Rush and love it all. The replay was a nice treat
Ghost rider,

May have to go out and purchase another copy of Snakes..I cannot put this one away...I think its probably the best thing they have done since Roll the Bones.....Agree with Soul re the production....Was at the MSG in NY the S/A material was tight, really tight.......

Quick question...What are your thoughts on Caress of Steel? You are a true fan and I would like to hear your opinion..
Zigonht, I thought Carress of Steel was an amazing album. It is one that I play on a cold winter afternoon. I am not sure why this one did not do well with Radio. I love Geddy's voice on this one. The shrieking pitchy screem is filled with intense emotion which I love. Heck in saying that I think he is a great vocalist not because he has perfect pitch and smooth range but for the fact that his expression of the thought or mood is spot on, in my world anyway. I am picking up my new canvas transfers of 2112 and the 30 aniversary print with all the albums. Check out my virtual room in a couple of days.

Now I KNOW you are a true fan. Couldn't agree with you more about C of S...It is a album...I believe the band recorded some of the material "outside" of the studio(several of the acoustic parts if not mistaken) The birds in the background etc are the real thing)..Anyways.. You nailed it on Geddy's voice. He was killer on this album. I get the chills listening to his voice..You probably have this but Martin Propof did i book basically covers each tour the band has done. Opening acts, songs on tour, memorable dates...Good stuff...

I collect rock memorabilia for my HT room. I can't wait to see the transfers!!!!
C of S was still part of the transition to a true RUSH sound, IMHO. A journey they started and completed with the polished and complex arrangements in Xanadu using synthesizers ....the final RUSH sound of their OWN had arrived on Farewell to Kings (rather than the too obvious heavy influences of Led Zeppelin on their earlier stuff.)

Xanadu is amazing stuff for a three piece band...the live version of Xanadu on Exit Stage Left is perhaps the most impressive variety of sound from a three piece band that I have ever heard.

Does anyone have the DVD of Exit Stage Left, is it any good sound wise? - I am thinking of getting this? (Rush in its absolute prime)

Currently, I am watching Razorlight right now and looking out for their next album (if the band can stop fighting on stage and stay together!) So far, they do not have a sound of their own but like Rush they show remarkable promise on their first two albums...
Caress of Steel was always a very hit and miss album for me. I always loved Bastille Day and Lakeside Park - both amazing early Rush songs. The side long Fountain of Lamneth took about 20 years to grow on me, but now I love it.

Alas, I still think I Think I'm Going Bald is just too dumb to listen to. I know it's tongue and cheek, but I just can't listen to it. Similarly, the narration parts of The Necromancer ruin that song for me too. Still, almost 30 minutes of vintage Rush. It wouldn't be until 1987 that they put out another song I didn't like (High Water and Tai Shan if you must know).

Hold Your Fire came out when I was in college. I remember saying to myself "How much keyboards are these guys going to use"?....I do think it is some of Neil's best writing...
That was definitely the apex of keyboard use on HYF. After that they started scaling it back more and more dramatically until they were almost non-existent. I really missed the keyboard era, but mostly because I didn't think they made great albums anymore after that with the exception of Counterparts (1993) and the even better Snakes & Arrows (2007).
The new Rush album Snakes And Arrows is their best album in over 20 years,imho.
Can anyone comment on Exit Stage Left 5.1 DVD that was issued this year?
HAAAAAA. Another fan!!! Radical Ushers of the Second Hemisphere!!!

Excellent sound and video......R30 is well worth the price of admission!!!
My wife wanted to pick me up the S/A with the DvD and 5.1 mix...I already have the cd....Was wondering if the bonus stuff is worth it or not....
Well I got both Show of Hands and Exit Stage Left DVD's and gave them a spin yesterday.

Verdict =>Show of Hands is much better sound and better video. Xanadu in Exit Stage Left is worth it just for this one track.

Conclusion => mixed bag really. The guitars and vocals are well recorded but that is easy to do. The recording of the drum set is atrocious. No dynamics at all. You can even hear the change in sound level on the Toms as Neil moves across his set. Clearly they lacked the number of microphones (or channels) needed to properly record such a large drum set. At the end of the day two thirds (Alex and Geddy) of what you hear is good and one third (Neil) sounds muted like it was played from inside a trash can.

A pity but then again Rush never produces good recordings. I suspect Lifeson had something to do with the mix/master of the sound, as the guitars are very good.....Neil got the short end of the drum stick it seems!!!!

If you like watching amazing guitar work it is still a pleasure to own this DVD.
did you purchase the R30 box set?
No I did't get the R30 box set. I thought about it though as it was a pretty good deal - if you wanted all three concerts. (The separate 2007 DVD's are the same though - so I was told at HMV)
Well I got the R30 set and listened last night - I guess I was curious to see if it was better.

It was and it wasn't.

The venue acoustics were terrible...and the guitars and vocals were rather muffled and often seemed to suffer what vinyl fans would call digititus or compression distortion.

The drums were indeed much better recorded on R30 than Exit Stage Left and Show of Hands. The video is tremendous quality on R30. So this is big plus for those who concentrate on video!! However, the band is not tight! Serious timing errors occurring on a regular basis and Geddy's voice ain't what it used to be. Still amazing for a bunch of aging rockers - few bands could pull of such an amazing performance but it is only a pale shade of what Rush could pull off in their early years.

Overall verdict, after reviewing extensively all three ( Exit Stage Left, Show of Hands and R30), I prefer Exit Stage Left for the sound and musicianship ( nice analog sound and great venue acoustics ). Exit Stage Left is an awesome concert and the musicianship is first rate - they are at their peak and you can hear it - you just can't see that much as video is crap - although seeing Neil play such an assortment of percussion is impressive. R30 is frankly kind of ho-hum musically - the timing is more often off than on. Show of Hands is also very good and better sound than Exit stage Left....but Exit Stage Left is the one to is a classic. This is the only one I will replay.
Going to the Dr. today to get my ears checked.. My hearing must be off. I find the R30 to be the best the band has put out both audio and video...

Ghost_ Rider,,,you out there??? Any thoughts on this one??
I find the R30 to be the best the band has put out both audio and video...

I may have been too harsh. The video is indeed exceptional. The digital sound is impressive as it shows up some warts. Perhaps I am focussing too much on those minor can do that...too much detail for its own good. I must affirm that the drums are much better recorded on R30 than both the others I mentioned.

Perhaps it is nostalgia...but Exit Stage Left was most enjoyable to me...they are just so tight musically on this DVD...even if you can't see a whole lot. Like Queen Live at Wembly...there must have been something in the air that night... ;-)
Shardone, my favorite live album..I agree the band sounds very, very tight. This is probably due to the fact that they picked the best of several shows for this album. It is considered a very over produced album,(especially by the band).

As far as R30, I was wondering maybe my hearing is based on my system. Don't get me wrong it is great for ht, but I believe on certain things ( dvd concerts) It may come up a little short in certain areas.... So to review my assesment of R30. "Its the best sound and video the band has put out that I have heard on my system.

P.s. Your system is very impressive by the way.....
Have to agree with Shadome on this. I've f ound since Moving Pictures that not only their recordings but their live concerts have had numerous problems with overcompression and different levels of loudness even within the same concert performance. Live In Rio is infamous for this, where the sound quality gets much better halfway through the concert (on 5.1 DVD). Wish they would find a more competent recording engineer/company to do their recordings and live performances!! The company that does Peter Gabriel's live performances is excellent (Real World Productions), wish they would do Rush's live concerts! It's such a shame because theyre such a great, talented band, including who i believe to be a great rock drummer who plays with intelligence and energy (Peart). Being a former bass player, I listen to Geddy's bass line with great interest, but find his bass lines usually recorded way back in the mix (even on different pressings of the same vinyl or CD). It's a shame to think that such a great b and has been ill-served by the recording outfit.-Mrmitch

What is your favorite sound quality Peter Gabriel DVD?

Have you tried Black Eyed Peas Sydney to Vegas...rather different genre I know but believe me Tal Herzberg did an amazing job on the recording (it really really sounds live like you are there!) and if you like groovy drumming then Keith Harris is a new young drummer on the rise, IMHO.
First, I owe Shadorne an apology for mispelling his handle-sorry about that!! To address your question,Shadorne, Growing Up Live and Secret World Live are my f avorite DVD's by Peter Gabriel. His daughter Melanie sings harmonies and a few solos on Growing Up Live, and as always has the awesome Tony Levin with him on bass and David Rhodes on guitar as well as other side-persons. An added benefit besides the musicality, which i'm sure Gabriel f ans will attest to, is he puts on a good show. I've been a huge fan of his since his days in early Genesis. And yes, the Black Eyed Peas Sydney to Vegas I caught at a friend's house-it 's an excellent recording of a live event. I should add that in light of what I said a bout the Rush DVD's, I realize that a live recording is rarely up to what can be achieved in studio, but some outfits have managed to do this rather well, and Gabriel's crew are just one-would be interesting to hear from the rest of you on what recording outfits you feel do justice to recording groups live in concert!-Mrmitch
Zignot, I have just tuned in after getting my PC up an running again and I have the following comments to make. I find that I am to big of a fan to criticize any of there work but I as far as the timing goes I am baffled. I have allways found the band to be tight and on the money. All of the recordings are excellent and yes Exit Stage Left is a little more analogue sounding. I actually find Rush in Rio and the R 30 tour to be excellent recordings. But I think after reviewing both of your systems, it probably does have something to do with the set ups we have. And by the way, can I see a close up of the Hemispheres autographed pic on the wall? That is awsome.. I heard Rush may be putting out 5.1 SACD's of there older stuff, I wonder what happend to that project, sure would have been nice..
Ghost rider,
I have been busy with the holidays and hadn't listened and/or watched anything in a few weeks. Last night I watched the Replay x3 DvD's. Then sampled some of the Rio and R30 tracks. They are a band that I totally cannot stop listening to and have to remember that..I know my system is not like most on this forum and would have to agree may have some limitations. However, ne of the reasons I got into this hobby to give me a way of bringing the concert experience of my favorite bands home not to pick apart how they were recorded, compression of sound, bla, bla, bla....You end up listening for the wrong reason, for negatives of the recordings.. When 90,000 people sing every single note to YYZ it should give you the chills not make you wonder why it was recorded a certain way.....Had a beer and jumped up and down with 90k of my fellow Rush fans last night...Got the chill back!!!!

I was looking at your system again..Quick question...I recently placed 22lbs of concrete on top of sub(wrapped in rubber mesh and cloth). I also put the same under it and found a tremendous improvement in bass response. I noticed you did something similar with your mains...Would like to here what kind of improvement you found..I currently have my mains spiked( rug,extra padding on concrete floor)..

Hemispheres..My wife got that one for me. I look to add some better pictures over the weekend!..Got to ask you where you got those prints? Do you have lights on them..Pictures look like they are glowing...AWESOME...
I was just checking on a few emails and read this post. I had come downstairs wondering what I was going to listen to tonight. After reading your post I think I am due for a little Hemispheres. As far as the concrete blocks go it serves two purposes. I find the speaker gets further away from the box sound when sitting on concrete and I highly recomend you try it out. At 5 bucks a block it cant hurt and I think you will be pleased. Also I have used several blocks under the speakers, these adjust the height so my ear is centred between the mid and tweeter. I also have blocks under my sub and will be adding two more to the top this weekend. Again I think it helps a great deal with the speaker sounding less like the box. My sub is a Yamaha and is certaily the weekest link to the system. ( Gotta get that fixed) As for the prints, I had them custom made, the process is called a canvas transfer where a print or poster is transfered to canvas. You sacrifice the poster so only one copy can be made. I like them I think it is alot better sounding than to have glass frames on the walls. I do have lights from the ceiling on them. Let me know how the concrete works for ya.And I have been busy with christmas stuff but over the holidays I will be reposting my system with updated pics. You should check back to see the other prints.


Picked up the concrete stones last night...Will let you know what the results are...Will keep an eye out for the pics...Enjoy your holiday...