Thursday, November 29, 2012

Miles Davis' "Tutu" 2002 remix (DVD-Audio)

Warner Bros. Records released a DVD-Audio of Miles Davis' Tutu in 2002. It includes three versions of the album:
  1. Advanced Resolution Surround (96 kHz/24-bit)
  2. Advanced Resolution Stereo (96 kHz/24-bit)
  3. DVD-Video Compatible Dolby Digital (48 kHz, AC-3)
The new surround / 5.1 remix was done by Bill Schnee. As far as I remember, the stereo mix was downmixed from the same remix, so all three versions on the DVD-Audio contain the same mistakes / imperfections / improvements.

What follows is a comparison of the original 1986 mix and the 2002 remix that I posted on the Miles Davis Mailing List on November 2, 2002. What I did was "simply" downmix both the CD and DVD-Audio versions to mono tracks, synchronize / align them, and assemble them into stereo audio files, with the 1986 mix in the left channel and the 2002 remix in the right channel (or vice versa, I don't remember). Then I simply listened to the album with a pair of headphones and the differences between the two mixes stood out naturally.

  • (+) = missing on the CD (i.e. 1986 mix)
  • (-) = missing on the DVD-Audio (i.e. 2002 remix)
  • (D) = other difference

1. Tutu (5:16)
  • (+) Three notes (trumpet) are missing at 2:01 on the CD

2. Tomaas (5:36)
  • (D) The synth intro (0:00-0:05) is much louder on the DVD-Audio (no fade in)
  • (-) A lot of trumpet overdubs are missing on the DVD-Audio (0:10-0:41, 3:03-3:30), but the main line is the same
  • (+) One note (trumpet) is missing at 2:32 on the CD
  • (+) Another instrument (synth?) is present between 3:32 and 3:50 on the DVD-Audio or is very hard to hear on the CD
  • (+) Several notes (trumpet) are missing between 3:49 and 3:59 on the CD

3. Portia (6:19)
  • (D) The synth intro is louder on the DVD-Audio (again, no fade in)

4. Splatch (4:45)
  • (D) The bass lines at the end (4:14-) are different; the DVD-Audio version sounds slightly longer (less fade out)

5. Backyard Ritual (4:50)
  • (+) One note (trumpet) is missing at 1:38 on the CD

6. Perfect Way (4:34)
  • (-) Some reverberation (on the trumpet) is missing between 2:04-2:14 on the DVD-Audio

7. Don't Lose Your Mind (5:49)
  • (-) On the DVD-Audio, the trumpet does not sound like on the CD at all (some effect is missing)
  • (+) Electric violin overdubs on the DVD-Audio (0:29-0:35, 1:04-1:16, 4:57-4:59, and 5:15-end)
  • (D) Totally different synth sound at 2:33
  • (-) Reverberation on drums completely missing at 2:39 on the DVD-Audio

8. Full Nelson (5:07)
  • (-) Synth missing at 1:14 and 2:34 on the DVD-Audio
  • (-) Reverberation on guitar completely missing at 3:31 and 4:14
  • (D) A lot of differences (guitar, voice samples, synth, etc.) between 4:18 and the end of the track, but the trumpet and bass lines are the same; most of the voice samples are missing on the DVD-Audio