Sinatra at the Sands DVD Audio (dvda)
I first came across Sinatra at the Sands when I took a punt and purchased the original Reprise CD about seven years. Whilst not a big fan of Frank Sinatra, I had always admired his music although I had no previous knowledge of this particular recording. However as this album was a live recording with the legendary Count Basie Orchestra and had been arranged by Quincy Jones, it seemed Sinatra at the Sands would be good listen and I was not wrong. Move forward five years when trawling the internet for high definition recordings and I came across mention of a DVD audio version of Sinatra at the Sounds. It took about four months to get hold of a copy without paying silly money (although the copy I bought was not cheap) but it was worth the wait and the outlay.
If you are a fan of Frank Sinatra and high definition audio, then the DVD audio version of Sinatra at the Sands is an absolute must. First of the all the DVD audio has been mixed by the godfather of Surround Sound, Elliot Scheiner and contains not only a pristine 24bit/96khz 5.1 mix but also a 24bit/192khz two channel mix, both of which sound superb. Personally I prefer the standard two channel mix although the presentation of the surround with Frank Sinatra in the centre of the room is clever and it does add to the overall effect of being sat on a table in the middle of the Sands listening to Sinatra and the orchestra and the noise coming from the other tables around you.
As a DVD audio, the original recording may not be the most modern, however it is remarkable how much detail can be extracted/preserved from the original four track tape used for the live recording and then recorded into a digital workstation (Pro Tools HD) to create these new mixes and also a testamnet to the original equipment and engineers. Furthermore, this particular disc adds credence to the argument for remixing classic old albums rather than just remastering them from the original analogue studio masters for future CD and high definition releases as the current PC based digital mixing technology seems to do a much better job than a vintage analogue mixing desk and certainly if you want to get the sound closer to the source tape, then this would seem the way to go.
To sum up, one of my current favourite recordings, with Frank Sinatra, the Count Basie Orchestra and Quincy Jones all on top form.
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