Sharoma Talking Heads 5.1 Downmix

Talking Heads 5.1 Downmix

                                        Originally titled Eclectic Remain In Light Downmix

Mojique sees His Village from a nearby Hill
Mojique thinks of Days before Americans Came

Mojique buys His Equipment in the Market Place
Mojique plants Devices through the Free Trade Zone

Mojique smells the Wind that Comes from Far Away
Mojique waits for News in a Quiet Place

Intro

BEING A FAN of the MiniDisc, I enjoy experimenting with new equipment, techniques and manipulation. The Talking Heads remasters, whilst sadly brickwalled to an extent (see: LOUDNESS WAR), were still well presented and restored. The clarity of the 5.1 mixes in particular was appealing. At last, you could hear the smallest handheld wooden percussion instruments - I'm sure their African names are recorded for posterity elsewhere - alongside eerily clear vocals. Many other details emerge, unheard on both my dusty old vinyl and '80s issue of the CD:- perhaps mastered from the same tape as the original vinyl mix, as was the practice in that decade.

Downmixing

So! What I set out to do was press into service my new Onkyo 105FX and utilize its unique ability to record digitally directly to LinearPCM, better known to you as CD quality. The Talking Heads remasters were presented in DualDisc format. One side was the original record, remaster-compressed, and presented in the same manner as the old CD: 44kHz 16bit stereo. The otherside contained a DVD interface with the album presented in DVD Audio stereo and 5.1 surround. The 5.1 mixes were brand new and no doubt contained individual instructions for all five channels and a low frequency effect (LFE) output.

To Hell with SCMS

The Serial Copy Management System employed on MiniDisc prevents a further digital copy being made from any digital copy (by simply adding a "copy" bit to the first copy). I've never had a true 5.1 system, but I played the 5.1 mixes and fed this signal into the Onkyo. An earlier version of this article was confused, and I erroneously stated that the signal was "pure stereo" - this was a mistake I never caught on to. The signal was not "pure stereo" at all - it was the 5.1 signal. I did not install the drivers for the Sound Blaster, using it only to transfer this signal in a lossless, digital way. This signal going into the Onkyo definitely was 5.1, because when I plugged it into a surround receiver, each channel was present, including LFE. The Sound Blaster itself could only achieve this based on how everything was connected. It had to be USB 'in' and a form of digital connection 'out'. What I neglected to explain was the actual mixing and adjustment of the audio levels, which took place in the software realm, in real-time as the 5.1 mix was played. The Onkyo 105FX was and is able to achieve this downmixing, because I later found out how to mute any of the 5.1 outputs before they reached the Sound Blaster. FR/RR mix to the right. The centre channel is then entirely left or entirely right or panned between both. An example is the female backing vocals in 'The Lady Don't Mind' - they are combined with the lead vocals in the official stereo mix and presented in the centre of the soundscape, where you can't really hear them. In the downmix, the lead vocal remains centre, but the backing vocals move to right channel only. They could easily have been left in the downmix, with certain adjustments. In the 5.1 mix through a proper 5.1 system, I assume they are centred and absent-or-subdued in other channels (I have not verified this). If the centre channels was absent, the vocals would be very weak or missing entirely in certain passages. The .1 (LFE) is subdued, and you can tell this because the bass isn't as prominent as in the official stereo mixes. This is my own personal preference. The practice in modern remasters has been to boost the bass, as well as the overall volume, because of what they believe is consumer preference. As for the Rome Concert 1980, there was nothing I could do about the poor quality or the clipping which was present in all versions.

Transcribing

From the Onkyo 105FX the blank was passed to one of my portable HiMD units (the MZ-DH710 'budget downloader'). The portables have an advantage over the deck: they can upload the pure data via USB. This data is then stored as a lossless LinearPCM file within Sony's much-maligned SonicStage software. Thankfully, it can do an easy convert of the files to wave format. Although the Onkyo is able to add trackmarks using LSync, most of the songs were too close together to be automatically split. Using 'Wavesplitter' software, I divided the track and analyzed the waveform. As you can see, it is a lot more natural than the one taken from the Official stereo side:

'Listening Wind' waveform of 5.1 stereo downmix:

Talking Heads: Listening Wind downmix waveform

'Listening Wind' waveform from official stereo mix:

Talking Heads: Listening Wind remastered waveform

Perhaps to make it seem as though loudness wasn't the only intent behind the mastering, they compressed it all and then reduced the overall volume; Certainly not a natural sound, and what a shoddy way to handle such a record.

It was now simple case of loading these converted wave files into Nero Burning Rom, titling them, then preventing the addition of the dreaded "two second gap". Once the CD was burned, it was neatly scribed courtesy of a black Staedtler. Later on, I skipped the CD burning and converted the files straight to FLAC.

Acquiring

I do not host the FLAC files or include them on a cloud account. However, an anonymous individual has made them available at this address:
https://mega.nz/#F!vVsBhYLZ!Ga6e6CBJQ29zP_9sC1_uJA

These YouTube videos serve as samplers (the audio is compressed):

Listening

This CD already sounds distinctively different to the standard version, even through a 2-channel stereo system. If you have a multichannel receiver, go ahead and try different combinations. A rather trippy experience is to play the downmix back into a multichannel system by way of the OOPS effect. Since the recording is already a simulation of OOPS (because it includes five channels of audio mixed into two), having it 'processed' again yields a much more spacious sound: the vocals are a lot more pronounced, and on the rear channels you will hear, at the top of the mix, instruments and sounds previously relegated to the background. Percussion defines this album, and it is further brought out in this way.

June 2011 Update

Up The Downmix

Finally got a chance to sit down and listen to the Fear of Music 5.1 downmix you posted. It is astonishing to hear a record I've listened to 1000 times sound so new. Please post any other downmixes you come across. I just love them.
Best,
Ted

"The quality of your Heads downmixes is outstanding. There should be a lot more comments about these. Thank you for your excellent work."
-jupitertwo

"I look forward to hearing these downmixes too. Thanks for the hard work and ingenius approach!"
-tortoised

"Words just don't do these tracks justice. You've taken 3 of my favorite albums and made them more incredible than the released versions. No chance we could get the same treatment for Naked, More Songs About Buildings and Food and 77 is there?"
-MrTHowerton

"You're a genius man, seriously!!"
-Casare Rizza

"Incredible work. As a massive TH fan and a massive Brian Eno fan, the extra 'bits' that are now audible have blown my tiny mind. Anyway, thanks for the work you've done."
-anon

My heart is warmed by hearing of people's appreciation!
I honour all your kind words :)
I would love to do the others, but I will need time to acquire them all. I only ever bought those three and didn't pay at the time for the entire 'Brick' boxset.

Try an OOPS System as an even trippier way to appreciate just what they were doing in Remain In Light - the lead instrument at times is merely a handheld percussion instrument. It's effectively upmixing the downmix.

I hope Eno would appreciate; the vaguer you can make something, the more interesting it becomes?

-Sharoma
5/Jun/2011 23:29

September 2013 Update

Six years later and I've finally completed the downmix of the debut album. But first, a user submission:

Hey,
Thanks for the downmix you made for Speaking in Tongues. The audio is outstanding. I added a photo of the MD I recorded it on.
Best,
Tobias

-Sharoma
15/Sep/2013 18:15

October 2013 Update

Here is another lovely message from Cesare Rizza:

Dear Robin,
I wish to thank you a million for giving away another masterpiece!! I'd always been thinking of 77, compared to the Heads' following albums, as a simple direct tense but still somewhat immature work but of course that was before I could have access to the downmix!! Like for your other productions, the sensorial experience is, apart from the clear crispy deep sound, one of physical space among the various instruments, I heard choruses, voice bits and music lines never heard before, and it's an album I know quite well ... at one point I had the distinct feeling Chris Frantz was banging the drums in front of me in the middle of my room!! It's like sound has been freed from a case it was blocked in ... To sum up, it's like running across one of your long-forgotten childhood toys and discover someone else has found it and restored it, and now it looks much neater and smarter than you could ever remember!!
One question to you now if I may: any special reason that led you to concentrate on this particular band? Something about the structures of their songs blurring geometry and chaos and drawing inspiration from the time's afrofunk?

Here is part of a response to an e-mail I received from DH:

The interesting thing about the TH remixes, especially the Eno albums is yes, he was obsessively trying to insert as many instruments into as many channels as possible, and the band held him back, resulting in the best of both worlds. Those three albums are certainly a compromise between experimentation and pop music, one that leans more towards Eno near the end (with Remain in Light) since he dragged Byrne along too (Bush of Ghosts) and thankfully, because I think those four are _amazing_ works of art. It was already a case of "Band vs Brian" in terms of sound, which is why he only lasted three albums with them. The next interesting thing is the crudity of the 2 channel remastered "CD" side of the dual discs. A compressed, brick-walled waveform and to my ears a very flat sound. What amazed me was the perfect balance when the 5.1 was downsampled into stereo. There's no distortion, none of the material comes anywhere close to clipping, and every instrument is so clear and likewise balanced (eg, no harshness to top end 'cymbals', unlike the official version) I can't believe they didn't mix it and master it that way to begin with, or at least realise it was possible, or remix and/or remaster the CD side _properly_ which was the whole argument behind the Loudness War idea. But the trouble is, they wanted a loud sound over car stereos and iPods, and the 5.1 downmixes do sound quieter. I just disliked the way the CD side was treated as lesser, and was sabotaged in this way. Heaven 17 produced their first album so that it would sound good on a single-speaker transistor radio. You can totally hear that, in any issue of that material, because it does sound very vibrant. Obviously when Remain in Light was produced, they were going for complexity, originiality and pure sound quality - as you'd expect - so making it sound acceptable on what most people would end up hearing it on wasn't a criteria (as far as I assume). Thankfully the dualdiscs allow audiophiles to choose the DVD audio and forget the official CD side. However, the dualdiscs became infamous for not being standard CD size (they didn't confirm to the Red Book and can't display the CD logo) and I recall that they wouldn't fit in most car CD decks. The irony! And the tragedy? Whenever Once in a Lifetime is played over the radio, the stations will source the official stereo remasters, and that's the crudely-mastered one. People will never hear what Eno truly intended, even if they have 5.1 in the car.
As for me doing any mixing, then no. I thought about EQing the material in the process but decided against it. The signal was kept pure and lossless from DVD > HiMD Linear PCM > Wave > CD/FLAC and I didn't change a thing, except editing out longer gaps of silence and keeping the input rec. level at 0.0db, and the source level maxxed. Splitting the tracks and converting requires a fair amount of fiddling around though. The waveform never clipped and to my ears already represented ideal volume for CD audio, and as you say, there's no way to improve the mix.

April-May 2014 Update

I continue to receive positive feedback, mostly in the form of comments on the YouTube videos. Here are some more e-mails I received:

hi. thank you so much for your downmixes of th, they're outstanding. are you willing to do the same with my life in the bush of ghosts?
Francesco from Barcelona


Hi Robin,
Your versions of the classic Talking Heads albums are absolutely stunning. You will probably be familiar with their concert in Rome which was broadcast by RAI and is available on You Tube. I was wondering if you could perhaps enhance the audio quality of the recording? It would be worth it, since Adrian Belew's solos -- mostly not caught on camera! -- are simply amazing. I've found some other recordings of the same tour, but none of them comes close to the Rome performance.
Also, you mention that the vinyl versions of Ultra and Playing the Angel are superior to the CDs. Are they available for download somewhere?
Sincerely,
Reinhard Markner


Hi Robin,
I just wanted to say how much I love the downmixes that you made. It really is amazing how different the mixes sound from the standard mixes.
Are you going to do their other three albums?
Anyway, thank you for these. Again...Quite amazing.


Hey just wanted to say a big thanks, I grew up with this music and have bought all of these on vinyl and again later on CD. This method of downsampling really makes things pop and I'm hearing things I never heard before.
Thanks again so much for sharing these


I came across your "dowmnix" of Remain In Light on YouTube - which sounds absolutely fantastic. From my perspective, it's interesting that the mixes appear to bring quite a bit of structural clarity, particularly to the more perplexing songs, like "Houses In Motion", "Electric Guitar", etc.


Hi Robin,
Thanks! I managed to make my own downmixes after some futzing around (and crucially, installing a piece of software called "DVD Audio Extractor" that ripped the DVD Audio to FLAC, normalizing and downmixing along the way) but I wouldn't have even known it was possible (or worthwhile) without finding your YouTube uploads and your web site. I've had (and loved) those reissues for 8 years and never realized there were alternate mixes lurking around on each of those discs. Quite a revelation!
I'm a bit disappointed by the lack of bass in so many of these downmixes -- the original stereo mixes tend to be beefier -- and also interested by how many have slightly different tempos (generally faster). Are the new mixes sped-up slightly or were the original mixes slowed down a bit? But as you noted, there are loads of elements in each that I've never really heard before that are front and center in these "new" mixes. A huge sonic revelation, especially for records I have known so well for so long.
Thanks again for all of the detail and the YouTube uploads. Hearing FEAR OF MUSIC and REMAIN IN LIGHT with new ears is a mind-blowing experience.
best, Phil


Hi Robin,
I just wanted to say how much I love the downmixes that you made. It really is amazing how different the mixes sound from the standard mixes.
Are you going to do their other three albums?
Anyway, thank you for these. Again...Quite amazing.


Hey there,
Just discovered your Talking Heads 5.1 Downmixes on Youtube and I'm obsessed! Thank you SO much. I'm already enjoying these so much. It's amazing how new they sound! How sad that most people haven't heard these amazing tracks the way they should be heard!
Thanks again, Michael


August 2015 Update

Since almost daily e-mails are received praising the downmixes or asking for links to download the FLAC files, I thought I'd update the page with the latest comments. Unless the sender's name was specifically signed, I won't include it. There's also been a few requests to perform the downmix treatment on 'My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts' or the works of Japan. Whilst I would love to downmix MLITBOG and Japan's discography (I'm fan of theirs) I am currently unable to, since financial difficulties forced me to sell nearly all the equipment I used to perform the TH downmixes.

Hi Robin,
I just wanted to say how much I love the downmixes that you made. It really is amazing how different the mixes sound from the standard mixes.
Are you going to do their other three albums?
Anyway, thank you for these. Again...Quite amazing.

Omg! Just listening to Naked now. Amazing.
The regular mixes are so tame compared to these mixes. There is so many new things to hear. Tina's bass on mr. Jones is so powerful. Wow. The maddness of the democratic circus... incredible.



Tina's vocals on the last don't mind sound so sexy. It is a favorite of mine too. Her vocals are so clear on Little Creatures. I want to see if I can do a remix where Tina's vocals are more out front and David's are less so.
Everything on naked is so much better.

These downmixes have been a real ear opener
-Steven Boettcher


ROBIN YOU'RE MY HERO!!!!!!!!!! EVEN THE ROME CONCERT!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU WANNA SEE ME DEAD???
Thank you so very much my friend, truly appreciated, best regards, have a great weekend!

best regards from your No 1 Italian fan!!
-Cesare Rizza


Oh! You're the one who did those Talking Heads mixes! I just wanna say, as a huge Talking Heads fan, they were like hearing those albums for the first time all over again. Kudos to you.
-Jerkstorecalling


Hello Robin Sharrock,
I have found and downloaded your files of Talking Heads in Flac this week.
I thought I mail you just to say what a wonderful job you've done! How clear is the sound, incredible, and amazing. What a new listening experience of albums by Talking Heads, I have heard many times..
-Martijn Sandberg


Thank you Mr. Sharrock for posting such a beautiful album. The sonic textures in the 5.1 mix provide an excellent source for discovering its finer details. Arigatou gozaimasu and konnichiwa from Yokohama.
-Salgoud Samoht


Hello Robin,
I saw your site, and I'm really grateful for the work you've done. Would you be so kind as to add me so I can listen to the 'More Songs..' 5.1 downmix? I just recently discovered the joys of listening to FLAC files through my home stereo. It's like starting all over again, especially with favorites like the Talking Heads. I've listened to the Youtube versions, but would love the FLAC experience.
Thanks much in advance!
-Mike Abeyta


Really enjoying the Talking Heads remasters you made from the 5.1 surround mixes.
One question: did you notice the Great Curve runs faster than the original? so, it's a faster tempo and a higher pitch - if you slow it down by about 13% (i think - it's a few weeks now since i did it) it comes out about right. Is that in the new remaster, or did something funny happen in the conversion?
Anyway, they're revelatory, so much better than the terrible original CD - thanks for putting them out there.
-David Williams


I ran across your downmix samples on youtube this morning. I was absolutely stunned by them. I have been a huge Talking Heads fan since the very early 80s, and these make the albums sound brand new again.
-Lance Williams


I cant wait to get through all of these albums. I listened to a bit of Naked last night and was floored by the textures in "Blind" I never knew were there. I've also discovered that my mild dislike of Little Creatures and True Stories may have been caused by the CD mixes more than the songwriting! It's like I'm hearing these albums in a completely different light. Again, much appreciated.
-Andrew SD


I just found your Talking Heads 5.1 downmixes and they are incredible! As a fellow audiophile and Talking Heads fan, you have given new life to these recordings. Unfortunately, the only TH stuff I own are the original CDs from the 80s and some FLACs from the Brick boxset, which I believe are the CD-side brickwalled tracks. Although the Brick tracks add a certain dimension to the stereo mix, they don't quite do it for me and the original CDs are a cleaner mix when the volume is cranked, but can be rather tinny and thin.

Anyway, I love your downmixes and would love an opportunity to get a hold of the FLACs if possible. They are the revelation I was hoping for with the Brick boxset. I have tried several torrents but they have stopped seeding. So I figured I would reach out to you and see if this were in someway possible. I really enjoy these mixes. You did a fantastic job. Thanks for adding a new dimension to the Talking Heads.
-Eric Carr


...Wanted to thank you for taking your time to create that beautiful 5.1 downtown Talking Heads collection.
-Emanuela Motta


The Talking Heads 5.1 Downmixes are astounding, they sound so, so good! And I've only heard what is on YouTube so far.
By the way I made a ringtone from the Born Under Punches intro; FYI for grins it's @ http://ringtones.alkdale.com
-Adam Schwartz


I've been listening to your Talking Heads 5.1 downmixes on YouTube and love them. The Talking Heads have been a favorite group of mine for a long time, and with your mixes I find myself enjoying the albums more than the original versions. I totally agree with your comments about the "loudness war" and can hear the difference in these-- maybe that's the main thing I'm enjoying-- I feel like I've noticed the "loudness war" effect on albums before, but didn't have a name or explanation for the phenomenon. Anyhow, these are really great-- I can't say I've ever preferred a reprocessed version of an album over the commercial release, but with these I prefer them a lot.
-Jim Davis


I'm listening to the Talking Heads downmixes on YouTube and they sound a lot more modern and innovative than the muddied official stereo mixes - a ton of clarity from all the members, especially David and Jerry.
-Shane Smith


A massive, hearty hefted to you for your curating and compiling all the great music on your site, and for posting on youtube, where I found your Talking Heads downmixes just recently.
-Andrew Collins


I heard the Talking Heads 5.1 downmixes on YouTube & they sound utterly incredible.
-Don Alexander


Dear Robin, I gave More Songs About Buildings and Food a listen on Utube, It is unbelievable! I was doing side by side comparisons and was amazed at the difference. I need your files!!!!!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I have been a life long fan of the Heads from the beginning.
-Jack Shelley


Hi Robin, I posted a couple of comments on the remain in light you tube post you have - which I have to say even in the compressed state that you mention - opens up the whole album again, so its like hearing it anew... brilliant.
By the way the vinyl copy I had sounds... a bit muddy/indistinct compared to this, but that's to be expected?
-Alan Parsons


I recently discovered your downmix of Talking Heads' Remain In Light on YouTube and am really impressed with the quality. I'm not really a tech-savvy person, and so I'm new to the flac format, but wow, what a difference it makes, say, compared to mp3's.
And for what's it worth, I'm a professional drummer, and am really inspired by the percussion on this album. Your mixes make it much clearer and easier to discern what is actually going on rhythmically with the percussion.
-Ben


Hello! I just found your page with the Talking Heads downmixes, and I have to say they're brilliant!
-Aaron Hudspeth


Awesome work btw. The versions on YT already sound pretty good on my PC speakers.. Looking forwards to hearing the high quality versions on my headphones!
-Jason Bowers


I just found your site with the talking heads down mixes ... they sound incredible on youtube... Also thank you so much for doing this ... really really amazing.
-Joe North


absolutely amazing. like hearing it for the first time as a live concert in someone's living room.
-Barajiwa Gamelan


This is absolutely amazing work!!


Been listening to the downmixes on YouTube for a little while now, really in love with them!
-Harry Yeates


I've been listening to LPs and CDs of all TH albums since the 70s, and I'm completely blown away by your mixes.


Just wanted to let you know that I find your Talking Heads downmix a great listening revelation. I am slowly getting up to speed on how digital audio works, and your text and audio files opened up a new avenue to understand a complex technology.
Keep up the fine and generous work.
-Jeff Holt


I downloaded your Talking Head downmixes a few months ago and they are amazing sounding! Thank you for sharing those!
-Tyler Dorris


I've been listening to the talking heads consistently for a month or so now. I've especially been listening to your downmixs on youtube and they sound amazing. I just realised that those are the compressed versions and my eardrums collectively gasped. Also I've never tried flac and would love my first experience to be houses in motion because holy shit that song is fucking amazing. Anyway, let me know, and congrats on your project, it's phenomenal.
You sir, are a great man.
-Elie Bou-malhab


These are awesome. I really appreciate your work on this... they one of my fave top bands of all time.
-John Wagner


March 2016 Update

I love your 5.1 downmixes of the Talking Heads discography, they really bring a layer of depth to the music that I never noticed. I especially like how it brings out Tina's voice on Little Creatures.
-Matthew Dreher


Robin,
I want to thank you for posting those downmixes online. First, I'd like to say thank you for making them available in this age of the internet for younger people like me who are just now getting into Talking Heads. I've showed all of my friends all of these songs. I've blasted most of theses songs out of the speakers of my boyfriend's Honda. I have listened to "Once In A Lifetime" about 200 times more than any twenty-one year old man should. It makes me wish that I could have seen these guys live because I would have loved to have been there and seen them just blow a room away man! Thank you for putting these on the internet and mixing them right though! I have a Spotify account but even the HQ audio options on there just don't do TH justice you know!! I've directed countless numbers of my friends your way and I'll probably be telling many more people to come about your other mixes too!

So thanks man, thanks for letting me love this band the right way, and thanks for letting their legacy live on yet again for many more years to come. Keep doing what you do!
-Kaegan Townley


Your work is amazing, thoroughly enjoying it, maybe so you can do more future releases you should set up a Paypal account for your site for people to donate? Nice Japan avatar too ;)
-Curtis


Great work! I really enjoyed listening to the work you've done. Still going through them all, but they sound great so far.
-James Ghofulpo


Hi Robin,
I felt compelled to thank you for your work on your 5.1 downmixes of Talking Heads. I am completely blown away. Talking Heads has been my favourite band since I was a teenager. I had just discovered these today and I felt like I was 13 again. I literally teared up listening to your downmix of "This Must Be the Place." Thank you for giving me a second chance at hearing the Talking Heads for the first time.
Will you be working on any other downmixes of other post-punk/new wave bands?
Regards,
Chris


Hello! First of all, I wanted to congratulate and express my admiration for your work - I've only just heard the 5.1 downmix of what is one of my favourite records, Remain In Light, and it's absolutely mind blowing. I have not been this taken a back by anything related to sound quality in a long time - It makes the version I've been listening to for years sound amateurish by comparison.
With that said, I simply wanted to ask if you have any plans on working on the bonus tracks for the album - They're not really tracks, granted, as they are unfinished and are more like demos, but I still find myself extremely interested in how they would sound under your special treatment.
Regards, and once again, amazing work.
-guillermo gonzalez


December 2016 Update

Here are more comments that I've received via e-mail. First though, a question: A couple of years ago, Mike A. posed this question about the downmixes and FLAC in general:

...It's around the nature of FLAC, and whether there is a multi-channel version of it. I have a 5.1 system at home, powered by an amp that can decode all sorts of formats. I recently picked up the 5.1 surround DVD-A of Remain in Light, and when I play it through the system on my Blu-Ray/DVD player, it sounds wonderful, I can hear what they're doing with each channel. But I ripped it (just for fun) using DVD extract, and I got FLAC files from it, but when I play them through the same system, they don't *quite* do it, as far as the surround effects. I can hear all the detail and instruments, but the surround effects, panning between speakers, etc., isn't as prominent. I wonder where the "loss" is happening in that process.


It took a little bit of work, but I got myself set up to convert .flac to whatever format I want, so im all good now. Thank you for uploading these! They sound great, and have helped me complete my Talking Heads discography. Peace!!


Robin,
just a quick note to thank you for your endeavours. The remixes are stunning (in mere stereo) with so much detail that I never heard despite owning all the relevant vinyls since the original release dates. It's like hearing them for the first time, is all I can say.
Thanks again,
Ben


Robin, I wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying your 5.1 download flac files. Being 63 years old and just recently rediscovered how much I was a big fan of the talking heads in my 20's, I'm blessed to find and explore the complete works of David Byrne's career to-date. To me, there NO ONE who compares to this musical icon. Your work in remastering these albums has made my enjoyment of Byrne even better. Thank you so much!
I'm saddened that due to hardships, you had to sell off some or all of your equipment.....been there and done that... if I had the funds you would be working on the rest of David Byrne stuff... It's the Walter Mitty in me, I do daydream big....
Again, Thank you and god Bless.
Jim


Hey there,
I just wanted to extend my thanks for the work you did with the Talking Heads 5.1 Downmixes. I downloaded them around 5 or 6 months ago and haven't stopped listening to them-- I discovered Talking Heads far too late and the versions you put out there are the difinitive ones from my perspective. So thank you! It's up to passionate music-nerds like yourself to preserve and disseminate music and musical history. Keep being awesome!
-Russ


Hey Robin,
I just found your Downmixes and was instantly intrigued. i've been a huge talking heads fan since i was young and recently been listening to them a lot again. i have most albums i regularly listen to on vinyl which kind of puts me in the position that i can only listen to them at home. I've read "how Music works" by David Byrne and he himself doesn't seem to be to happy about the sound of CDs in general.
Would be really great if you could give me a chance to listen to some real high quality files of that Album. Would mean a lot to me to stroll around the city and listen to that album!
Greetings from Berlin,
Thomas


Hello, Robin
I am a 14 year old boy from the Philippines, and I'd like to tell you that the 5.1 downmix you created for Talking Heads' "Remain in Light" sounds brilliant! All the instruments in every song are crystal-clear and distinguishable even when played back on a pair of 2.1 computer speakers (this is most notable on "Houses in Motion") And although there was some complaint over the lack of bass on some of the tracks, they all bring a nice thump that pounds my chest. (It could just be my setup or something.) Your downmixes are not squashed to the ceiling like most of the pop hits today (like, I don't know, "Closer"?), and they prove that digital audio can be better than its analog mutual.
Tonight, I am planning to download your downmix of their debut album, '77; hopefully my internet connection holds itself well.
Yours truly, Gabriel


January 2017 Update

Hello Robin,
My name is Alexander, I've recently seen your remixes of the Talking Heads catalog... wow! seriously, they're one of my favourite bands and you've done a stellar job with the remixing. I'm a musician myself and am hoping to release an album in the near future. I'm not sure if you've had any similar requests, but would you be interested in mixing the album once the songs are recorded (using the same techniques you've used for the Talking Heads albums)? my songs are in a similar style (guitar augmented with keyboards and sound effects) and I love the crisp clear sound you captured. I've included some links to the kind of music I've done. A lot of it is embryonic, but if you're up for the challenge let me know and i'll stay in touch and update you on the progress of the album... I'm not joking when I say this mate, but frankly the remixes you've done are on a par with other records such as Abbey Road, Dark Side of the Moon and Back In Black production wise.
Kind regards, Alexander Wood.