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    Jane Ira Bloom's Picturing The Invisible: Focus 1

     

     

     

     

    OTL145-1024x1024.jpgAs anyone knows who has read my articles on the recordings of Benny Green and the stunning Clique album by Patricia Barber, you know that I am a big fan of the engineering prowess of Jim Anderson. It may be a bit of a secret but Jim thinks that his wife, Ulrike Schwarz, is even a better engineer that he is. Ulrike is better known for her engineering on classical recordings and her immersive sound mixes. It is the immersive sound aspect that drew me to this recording given Chris Connaker’s new infatuation with Dolby Atmos.

     

    July 12, 2022 marks the formal release the latest recording by Jane Ira Bloom, Picturing The Invisible-focus 1. This is a special recording in many respects. First, it features Award winning jazz soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom on what else, soprano sax, drummer Allison Miller, Kato artist Miya Masaoka and bassist Mark Helias. Recorded in February 2022, it was performed in real time while connected remotely from each artists’ respective homes in New York City, and captured in 32 bit384 DXD by Ulrike Schwarz. Given that each performer was located in various locations, one could possibly expect a disjointed performance. Not here. The recording and performances are seemless, sounding like the musicians were recording together in the same real vs. virtual space. This is a testament to the talent of the musicians, modern technology and the engineering chops of Ms. Schwarz. The stereo and multichannel versions of the album are available on Native DSD in redbook (gulp) MQA and 24/192 and 24/384 and all flavors of DSD up to 1024. The stereo versions are available as well on Qobuz and Spotify.

     

    I have had a chance to listen to the stereo version of the recording and it is a stunner sonically. It has everything you would expect from the team of Jim Anderson and Ulrike Schwarz, space, spot on timbre, silkiness and dynamics. While a bit on the avant-garde side, the music is beautiful and well worth a listen if you are unfamiliar with Ms. Bloom’s artistry. BTW, Jim mixed the album. While my Atmos system will be likely be completed in late 2022 or 2023, I tipped Chris off on to the release of this recording in Atmos, which was mixed at Skywalker Ranch. The force is clearly with this mix! The Atmos mix is available on Tidal, Amazon and Apple Music as noted on the link below. I expect that Chris will eventually chime in on the Atmos mix when he has the time, but he did indicate to me that it was a really cool album and features great use of all available channels. I would expect nothing less from this stellar recording duo. 

     

    For those without an Atmos system, I have been advised that you can hear the spatial version of this recording with Apple AirPods or Max and via an iPhone or iPad. I have been advised that you need to set “head tracking” and “spatial” to on. Conventional headphones and Android units will also display some aspects of the spatial mix, but that the Apple devices will provide a far superior experience, or so I have been told. In addition to Atmos, an Auro 3D mix is also available which obviously requires an Auro 3D decoder. 

     

    To check out the various stereo and multichannel options for this recording, follow this link:

     

    https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/janeirabloom/picturing-the-invisible-focus-1-3

     

    It is my belief that multichannel and Atmos in particular, is the future of music playback. With this new release, you get not only great music but a stellar sounding recording mixed by true experts in the field of multichannel playback. This release is well worth a listen, regardless of your mix preference.

     

    Happy listening!

     

     

     




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    Thanks for the heads-up on this one yesterday @JoeWhip! I've been listening to the Atmos version this morning and think it's a great immersive mix. The music is cool as well. All around great album. 

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    I am listening in Atmos on Apple..  I see this press release mentions Atmos and Auro3D downloads. It just doesn't say where to get them. http://home.nestor.minsk.by/jazz/news/2022/07/0805.html

    I searched for "Digital Permanent Download" but nothing 

     

    Release Formats:
    - Digital Permanent Download up to 384kHz/32bit in stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound
    - Digital Permanent Download Auro3D flac file (96kHz/24bit)
    - Digital Permanent Download Dolby Atmos
    - Streaming in MQA, up to 192kHz and other formats

     

    This site has downloads but not Atmos or Auro3D.

    https://www.nativedsd.com/product/aanyotl145-picturing-the-invisible-focus-1/

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    3 minutes ago, bbosler said:

    I am listening in Atmos on Apple..  I see this press release mentions Atmos and Auro3D downloads. It just doesn't say where to get them. http://home.nestor.minsk.by/jazz/news/2022/07/0805.html

    I searched for "Digital Permanent Download" but nothing 

     

    Release Formats:
    - Digital Permanent Download up to 384kHz/32bit in stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound
    - Digital Permanent Download Auro3D flac file (96kHz/24bit)
    - Digital Permanent Download Dolby Atmos
    - Streaming in MQA, up to 192kHz and other formats

     

    This site has downloads but not Atmos or Auro3D.

    https://www.nativedsd.com/product/aanyotl145-picturing-the-invisible-focus-1/

    I emailed Jared at Native DSD asking about the immersive downloads. 

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    "It is my belief that multichannel and Atmos in particular, is the future of music playback."

     

    Once Fleetwood Mac Rumours appears as ATMOS version, we can all buy our music yet again. Um nope. Multichannel comes and goes, once Joe/sephine Average knows that audiophiles love ATMOS, it will take it's grave next to SQ, QS, CD4, EV4, UD4.

    Not for this black duck.

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    17 minutes ago, One and a half said:

    "It is my belief that multichannel and Atmos in particular, is the future of music playback."

     

    Once Fleetwood Mac Rumours appears as ATMOS version, we can all buy our music yet again. Um nope. Multichannel comes and goes, once Joe/sephine Average knows that audiophiles love ATMOS, it will take it's grave next to SQ, QS, CD4, EV4, UD4.

    Not for this black duck.

    Rumours is already available in Atmos and included for the same price as stereo on Apple Music and Amazon. 
     

    At one time, fans of mono used your same reasoning against stereo. 
     

    Multichannel of old had very different drivers behind it than Atmos. Movies used to be silent. Then mono. Then stereo. Then surround. Now Atmos. I’m sure some people complained, but not me nor the vast majority of people. 
     

    Atmos is different on so many levels from people creating with it to people listening to it on systems from 2 to 16 channels. 
     

    Here’s an interesting video from a couple days ago. 
     

     

     

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    1 hour ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

    Rumours is already available in Atmos and included for the same price as stereo on Apple Music and Amazon. 
     

    At one time, fans of mono used your same reasoning against stereo. 
     

    Multichannel of old had very different drivers behind it than Atmos. Movies used to be silent. Then mono. Then stereo. Then surround. Now Atmos. I’m sure some people complained, but not me nor the vast majority of people. 
     

    Atmos is different on so many levels from people creating with it to people listening to it on systems from 2 to 16 channels. 
     

    Here’s an interesting video from a couple days ago. 
     

     

     

    You can't blame people for being skeptical, the hifi/record industry cartel has been screwing over music lovers since the introduction of the CD. 

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    9 minutes ago, Rexp said:

    You can't blame people for being skeptical, the hifi/record industry cartel has been screwing over music lovers since the introduction of the CD. 

    I’m with you 100%
     

    I was skeptical for the first year after Apple announced support for it. 
     

    One thing to ease skeptical minds is the fact that Atmos is very different from the same stereo release on a different physical medium. Rumours in stereo on vinyl, cassette, CD, etc… was the same thing over and over. Rumours in Atmos is a full-on experience. 

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    I have been advised that the Auro 3D mix will be available in the next few days on immersive audio album and HDTracks. As Auro 3D is limited to 96k, it will not be available on NativeDSD. Keep checking the link posted for updates.

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    11 minutes ago, JoeWhip said:

    I have been advised that the Auro 3D mix will be available in the next few days on immersive audio album and HDTracks. As Auro 3D is limited to 96k, it will not be available on NativeDSD. Keep checking the link posted for updates.

    Nice. Too bad the Auro 3D decoder on Windows and Mac can be flaky. We need an MKV of the Atmos TrueHD. The Atmos will also benefit those with different configurations of speakers. Auro 3D isn’t object based, so if you don’t have the right channels, you don’t get the sound. 

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    3 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

    Rumours is already available in Atmos and included for the same price as stereo on Apple Music and Amazon. 
     

     

     

     

     

     

    Curious, I looked up what reactions were to this .. they ranged from, "greatest thing since sliced bread!" to "just a mix remastering" to "absolutely awful! Hated it!" ... so, like everything in the audio game it depends on a large number of factors as to whether it works for people - it's not a slam dunk ...

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    Just now, fas42 said:

     

    Curious, I looked up what reactions were to this .. they ranged from, "greatest thing since sliced bread!" to "just a mix remastering" to "absolutely awful! Hated it!" ... so, like everything in the audio game it depends on a large number of factors as to whether it works for people - it's not slam dunk ...

    Absolutely Frank. Nothing in this world is a slam dunk for 100% of the people. I’ve heard terrible Atmos mixes and stunning Atmos mixes. You really need to hear it for yourself and spend serious time listening. I’ve probably spent 100 hours listening since I got my speakers. I have a good feel for it. 

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    Just now, The Computer Audiophile said:

    Absolutely Frank. Nothing in this world is a slam dunk for 100% of the people. I’ve heard terrible Atmos mixes and stunning Atmos mixes. You really need to hear it for yourself and spend serious time listening. I’ve probably spent 100 hours listening since I got my speakers. I have a good feel for it. 

     

    I will seek out a retailer who has set up a serious demo of the technology, and go from there ...

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    10 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

    Rumours is already available in Atmos and included for the same price as stereo on Apple Music and Amazon. 
     

    At one time, fans of mono used your same reasoning against stereo. 
     

    Multichannel of old had very different drivers behind it than Atmos. Movies used to be silent. Then mono. Then stereo. Then surround. Now Atmos. I’m sure some people complained, but not me nor the vast majority of people. 
     

    Atmos is different on so many levels from people creating with it to people listening to it on systems from 2 to 16 channels. 
     

    Here’s an interesting video from a couple days ago. 
     

     

     

    Since when did mainstream mixing and mastering engineers do us any favours in delivering music with a great soundstage, placement of voice and instruments, I'm talking 'popular' music, the product that sells, from Doris Day to Led Zeppelin. Audiophiles get stuck with great music, that sounds blah, or great recordings where the music is blah. 

     

    Chasing formats, like Hi-Res, Atmos, should not be the only path to seek. Often great recordings come from Redbook, but not.all.the.time and not all the time for Hi-res or Atmos. Refer to first paragraph for the fix.

     

    For close to 50 years, Rumours sounds like it always has, I don't need Stevie Nicks to wander about left to right up/down or Mick Fleetwood moving from side to side or move to the back, the band's in front, hello?

     

    Streaming from paid services is another topic entirely, not going there either.

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    2 hours ago, One and a half said:

    Since when did mainstream mixing and mastering engineers do us any favours in delivering music with a great soundstage, placement of voice and instruments, I'm talking 'popular' music, the product that sells, from Doris Day to Led Zeppelin. Audiophiles get stuck with great music, that sounds blah, or great recordings where the music is blah. 

    You should listen to Elton John’s Rocket Man in Atmos. It’s amazing. 
     

     

    2 hours ago, One and a half said:

    Chasing formats, like Hi-Res, Atmos, should not be the only path to seek. Often great recordings come from Redbook, but not.all.the.time and not all the time for Hi-res or Atmos. Refer to first paragraph for the fix.


    There should never be a single solution for everybody. One size never fits all. We agree. 
     

     

    2 hours ago, One and a half said:

    For close to 50 years, Rumours sounds like it always has, I don't need Stevie Nicks to wander about left to right up/down or Mick Fleetwood moving from side to side or move to the back, the band's in front, hello?


    I don’t think anyone needs that. I do think more people need to experience Atmos before rendering an opinion. 
     

     

    2 hours ago, One and a half said:

    Streaming from paid services is another topic entirely, not going there either.


    The owners of the content decide how it’s sold or rented. I can’t purchase most Atmos releases yet. Streaming is the only way for 99% of albums. 
     

    In other words, I have no choice. 

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    4 hours ago, One and a half said:

    Since when did mainstream mixing and mastering engineers do us any favours in delivering music with a great soundstage, placement of voice and instruments, I'm talking 'popular' music, the product that sells, from Doris Day to Led Zeppelin. Audiophiles get stuck with great music, that sounds blah, or great recordings where the music is blah. 

     

    Chasing formats, like Hi-Res, Atmos, should not be the only path to seek. Often great recordings come from Redbook, but not.all.the.time and not all the time for Hi-res or Atmos. Refer to first paragraph for the fix.

     

    For close to 50 years, Rumours sounds like it always has, I don't need Stevie Nicks to wander about left to right up/down or Mick Fleetwood moving from side to side or move to the back, the band's in front, hello?

     

    Streaming from paid services is another topic entirely, not going there either

     

    Curious.... why are you arguing so hard against this when you obviously have not experienced it? You make many unfounded assumptions about what you think Atmos might be. Yes, some are poorly mixed, but so are many stereo recordings. I don't dismiss all stereo because some are poorly mixed.  

     

    Why are you so against streaming? I used to pay $15 to $20 for every new CD I bought. I easily spent 100's of $$ a month. Now for the price of one CD each month I have access to MILLIONS of songs. MILLIONS !!! and now I have access to thousands of them in Atmos if I choose to do so, which I do. As Chris says, when done right it is amazing. . 

     

    It is 2022... multichannel and streaming are not going away. If you don't want to get on board that is up to you, but why waste your time trying to convince the rest of us that it is somehow inferior when we know what it can deliver?

     

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    I’ve obviously been thinking about stereo and immersive playback for a while. How to approach the topic without pushing people away, and how to bring along those who are interested, is something I think about daily. I do firmly believe immersive audio is the future and has the capability to escalate playback quality far beyond two channel. However, I will always love stereo and always have stereo. Improvements to stereo playback still interest me greatly. It’s why I have a dCS Rossini Apex and Clock coming in September. 
     

    I just want people to understand that both high end stereo and immersive audio will coexist wonderfully and both will only get better. The future is bright for music lovers. 

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    I will always keep my stereo and HT/MC set ups separate. I am fortunate to have two separate rooms.  I will be upgrading my HT to 4K in tge next few months with Atmos added. Having poor vision due to cataracts resulted in my abandoning HT but now that that is finally fixed, HT will be fun again. A few years back I got invited to the Dolby headquarters  in NayC for a demo of Atmos and the upmixer and got to pick the brains of the designers. It has endless possibilities when done right!

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    A quick, online check of the two main hifi retailers in Sydney shows that Atmos is just regarded, there, as something to enhance HT; only low end usage is probably where they see it. A bit more digging would be needed to find a serious setup, it seems ...

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    On 7/12/2022 at 8:24 PM, JoeWhip said:

    I have been advised that the Auro 3D mix will be available in the next few days on immersive audio album and HDTracks. As Auro 3D is limited to 96k, it will not be available on NativeDSD. Keep checking the link posted for updates.

    Check again!  😎  Our labels (and customers) want us to carry their immersive versions too.  👍

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    Yes, I see it! Great!

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