Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

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mc
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Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by mc » Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:26 pm

So I was listening to Pure Phase and reflecting on the crazily wonderful way JP made it - the 2 separate mixes in each stereo channel, painstakingly spliced together 8 bars at a time. Since I first read about the 2 mixes many moons ago I've always wanted to hear them in isolation - to experience the 2 different versions of Pure Phase JP constructed, if you will. Okay, playing with the balance on the stereo lets you do that in a primitive sense, but it's a faff and then you only have sound coming out of one speaker. Not good enough - I've always wanted more.

I decided to do something about it today, and after some playing with Audacity (a freeware audio editor) http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ I now have 3 separate versions of Pure Phase - the original, the "Left Channel MIx" and the "Right Channel Mix" as I have prosaically named them. I'll admit it - what follows is very geeky, and I apologise in advance. But I had fun doing it, and perhaps it'll be interesting to those anyone who fancies a shot at it - who knows!

Anyway, here's what I did. I'm using The Slide Song as an example, because it's my favourite and also because the 2 mixes are noticeably different. I used a Mac, but I'm sure the PC and Linux versions are much the same.

Stage 1: open the song (I used mp3) in Audacity. The two waveforms show the left and right stereo channels respectively. Note how different they are! (They're beautiful waveforms, incidentally - large dynamic range, no brick walling... Pure Phase might be the best produced album I own).

Image

Stage 2: Separate the left and right channels so they can be treated independently. Just click on the down-pointing triangle next to the track name and select "Split Stereo Track".

Image

Stage 3: Now you can play with the L and R channels independently of one another: mute one and listen to the other, that kind of thing. Each channel only plays out of one speaker, though. This may be fine for you, but I wanted more.

Image

Stage 4: Now I want to get the L channel mix on its own. Delete the R channel of the song by clicking on the cross on that particular window. Then you're left with just the L channel window. Click on the information window to the left of the waveform (not a button, where it says 44100 Hz is perfect) and that selects the entire waveform, highlighting it in dark grey as shown below:

Image

Stage 5: Do a Copy then a Paste using the Edit menu or keyboard shortcuts, and then you'll get an exact duplicate of the L channel beneath the original. Now click on the down-pointing triangle of the top window and select "Make Stereo Track".

Image

Stage 6: Now you have the L channel mix of The Slide Song in both channels (and thus both speakers) simultaneously! Now save this as an Audacity project or export it as an mp3, ogg or WAV file depending on your preferences.

Image

Stage 7: Repeat as above for the R channel, then repeat for all tracks. Voila! The two separate mixes of Pure Phase are now yours to listen to at leisure. It took me about an hour (whilst watching the Simpsons!) to get both albums completed.

My biggest initial impression is that the original album is undoubtedly better - the 2 separate mixes combine beautifully to make more than the sum of the parts. For example, the wonderful panning effects in The Slide Song goes - a sad loss indeed! All the building blocks of the songs feature in both mixes, so the differences lie in the little subtle sounds. Both mixes are wonderful to listen to in their own right though, and fully digesting the nuances and differences is going to take a while.

Other initial impressions: the vocals often have different effects applied to them in the separate mixes, making the "Sonic Boom" style echo in the first section of Medication more noticeable for example. In the "L Mix" of Medication, I noticed what I'm sure is a female backing singer accompanying Jason over the first few lines, singing the words in a Rachel Korine-esque barely audible whisper. It's just audible in the original mix, but sounds more like an echo than a different voice altogether. This could be my imagination, but I hope not! The two versions of The Slide Song are quite different to one another (the flute features heavily in one and not so much in the other). The two outros of Good Times are very different from one another, too - virtually all the guitar noise lives in the "R mix", for example.

So I'm going to have a lot of fun comparing the two over the next few weeks. Apologies for the sheer geekiness of this post, but hey, Spiritualized has that effect on me! And if nothing else, this process has really brought home to me just how much painstaking craft and effort JP put into making Pure Phase. It boggles my mind, frankly.

Edit: and here's a link to the two mixes (a zip file containing 2 folders, hopefully!)

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=T57XNGC6
Last edited by mc on Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by toomilk » Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:34 pm

Bravo, MC. I'll have to try this out myself.

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by jadams501 » Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:07 pm

Very impressive. I doubt I'll find the time to do it but it sounds really cool.

Though I must say that I find Pure Phase a little too fussy in general. There's abundant brilliance all over the record, but it seems overconsidered and doesn't rock quite as it should. Perhaps this is a non sequitor, but I'd love to hear a record that's an exact combination of PP and Amazing Grace.

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by toomilk » Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:11 pm

jadams501 wrote:I doubt I'll find the time...
mc- would you be able to upload both of the mixes?

(Or, Mods, is that against the rulez?)

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by mc » Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:38 pm

I dunno if it uploading them would go down well, given that it's an official release. If the mods didn't mind I could upload them, though (if I can work out how to do all that megaupload stuff, that is! :lol:)
jadams501 wrote:Though I must say that I find Pure Phase a little too fussy in general. There's abundant brilliance all over the record, but it seems overconsidered and doesn't rock quite as it should. Perhaps this is a non sequitor, but I'd love to hear a record that's an exact combination of PP and Amazing Grace.
I know what you mean - PP is a very fussy record. I find that endearing, though, and listening through headphones is a revelation. The thing that strikes me most is that individually, some of the songs don't work. Electric Phase and Pure Phase are just weak taken in isolation; These Blues was much better in its sparse, hymnal SP3-era version; Take Good Care Of It is sorely lacking compared to the FUI and other live renditions; Good Times is frankly a pretty average song. But strung them all together and the album ebbs and flows beautifully, each song an important part of the whole (Pure Phase itself in particular!) I adore the PP recording of Medication above all others - this is where JP's fussiness really works for me. I even like All Of My Tears - a controversial opinion I know! :D

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by MODLAB » Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:46 pm

Anyone can do it. So I see no problems.

Carry on. Nothing to see.


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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by spzretent » Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:03 pm

Not to mention most who live here hopefully own at least one copy of Pure Phase.
Or like me 10 copies.
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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by mc » Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:24 pm

Cool. They're both uploading to megaupload just now, I'll link to them in the original post once it's finished :D

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by toomilk » Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:26 pm

mc wrote:Cool. They're both uploading to megaupload just now, I'll link to them in the original post once it's finished :D
Thank you sir. You're a scholar and a gentleman.

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by mc » Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:56 pm

Posted a megaupload link to them (mp3 format) in the original post (hope it works OK!) - if anyone objects I can remove them. The differences between the two mixes are subtle, but if you're a PP geek like me you should find them interesting. Enjoy!

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by toomilk » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:31 am

Just downloaded and extracted. No problems!

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by Goodnightgoodnight » Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:07 am

I always wanted to do this.... Am downloading now!

One quibble - I thought the mix would be (this is kind of hard to put into words) that the left channel of the left mix, is entirely in the left speaker, but the right channel is in the center. Same with the right mix - the left channel of that would be in the center, and thus would be cut out by this tinkering. Unless both of the mixes are in mono....

Am i making any sense?

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by mc » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:11 pm

I read somewhere on the internet that both mixes are in mono, and he created a stereo version from them. I've always interpreted the description of the album as 2 separate mixes each confined exclusively to one stereo channel (as JP says in that Uncut (?) article around the time of Songs in A&E; someone posted scans of it a while back). I could've completely misunderstood what JP has done, though!

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by radioshack » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:51 pm

Ah, typical! I go to download and it's ''currently unavailable''.

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by Multi » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:35 pm

.
Last edited by Multi on Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by toomilk » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:05 pm

Multi wrote:Can someone please link me to the Uncut interview where Jason describes the mixing process for Pure Phase?
I believe it's here: http://www.divshare.com/download/7843924-641

EDIT: I went to this page for the download, but it just sent me in circles. Let me know if you have the same problem and i'll upload them elsewhere.


Thank Solarflarez for the scans!


To quote Jason:
The mix in one speaker is completely different than the mix in the other. I mixed it twice, and liked bits of both, but didn't like them enough to say this is the finished record. So I tried to run them together...We found we could sample about 8 or 10 bars of music that would run them left and right before the sync started to go out, before the drums started to sound like two drums. Then We'd cut the tape, and we'd do it again. And again...
Thus, the swelling and phasing you hear on some of the instruments on the original mix is due to the two tapes being out of sync.

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by rameses » Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:22 am

toomilk wrote: EDIT: I went to this page for the download, but it just sent me in circles. Let me know if you have the same problem and i'll upload them elsewhere.[/i]

Round and Round and Round and Round and Round. :?

Very annoying. If you could upload again that'd be cool.
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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by squirrel » Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:27 pm

Too fussy? Pure Phase is far and away my favorite Spiritualized record. It's definitely the most suitable for nodding. That thing was born to play on repeat while the listener floats in and out of consciousness. Perfection. Save maybe for the heart attack that happens every time you get back to Electric Phase. Ha.

Nice work, mc. Sounds fun.

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by bbbhenko » Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:38 am

PP is my favourite Spiritualized album as well, an absolute masterpiece! Will be really nice to hear this... thanks! :D

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by BzaInSpace » Sat Aug 21, 2010 12:41 pm

mc wrote:Posted a megaupload link to them (mp3 format) in the original post (hope it works OK!) - if anyone objects I can remove them. The differences between the two mixes are subtle, but if you're a PP geek like me you should find them interesting. Enjoy!
Absolutely!

Fucking weird. Coincidence? Something in the Glasgow water supply?

I was messing about the Pure Phase version of Medication only a few weeks ago. :shock:

Great minds think alike...

except I didn't think of making it two channels. I just used Audacity to create two seperate mono versions of each mix.

I can post 'em if anbody is interested. The two mixes are indeed very different. I also agree that it's one of the most beautiful sounding records...ever! I think that due to it being created all on tape adds to it's otherworldly charm - a digital version (whilst a lot easier to constuct) would never sound the same.

I also keep thinking about how absurd it is that this record was all but forgotten by the UK music press - I think NME gave it 5/10 :roll: - whilst...er, beating themselves into a frenzy about the utter bullshit released from the likes of Oasis, Blur, Cast... and a million other crappy bands at that time.
Insane.
This was a genuine, timeless, amazing record was which had a genuine Sgt Peppers-esque futuristic production style yet was all but forgotten in the pursuit of yet another dull piece of musical bullshit...

An amazing album though.
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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by bbbhenko » Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:18 pm

i may (probably) have misunderstood something, but how can the two mixes run out of sync? i mean, they are two mixes of the same take i suppose? i realize that, for example, two different delays on the drums would make them sound out of sync after a while, but then a delay is not a typical effect to put on the drums... can anybody clear this out for me? :?

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by angelsighs » Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:31 pm

i've always thought it was probably me being a bit thick, but i never quite understood the 'two stereo mixes' aspect of pure phase either.. i can't quite grasp it..
surely all stereo records have seperate things in each channel?.. so this has two seperate mixes in each.. surely each mix would become a mono block of sound with no seperation, and they would have to only be subtly different for the final record not to sound really weird??

maybe i should just shut up and do what is suggested in the original post.. and work it out for myself :)

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by mc » Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:37 pm

BzaInSpace wrote:
mc wrote:Posted a megaupload link to them (mp3 format) in the original post (hope it works OK!) - if anyone objects I can remove them. The differences between the two mixes are subtle, but if you're a PP geek like me you should find them interesting. Enjoy!
Absolutely!

Fucking weird. Coincidence? Something in the Glasgow water supply?

I was messing about the Pure Phase version of Medication only a few weeks ago. :shock:

Great minds think alike...

except I didn't think of making it two channels. I just used Audacity to create two seperate mono versions of each mix.

I can post 'em if anbody is interested. The two mixes are indeed very different. I also agree that it's one of the most beautiful sounding records...ever! I think that due to it being created all on tape adds to it's otherworldly charm - a digital version (whilst a lot easier to constuct) would never sound the same.

I also keep thinking about how absurd it is that this record was all but forgotten by the UK music press - I think NME gave it 5/10 :roll: - whilst...er, beating themselves into a frenzy about the utter bullshit released from the likes of Oasis, Blur, Cast... and a million other crappy bands at that time.
Insane.
This was a genuine, timeless, amazing record was which had a genuine Sgt Peppers-esque futuristic production style yet was all but forgotten in the pursuit of yet another dull piece of musical bullshit...

An amazing album though.
How bizarre! That's fantastic. Perhaps there really is something in the water raining down on Scotland just now :lol:

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by beaker73 » Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:14 pm

What I think Jason did, remembering the Uncut interview, is paste two different mixes he had for the album together as one stereo album. I must say, I'm not quite sure how, cause I can imagine he did stereo mixes and the actual album ended up as a combination of two mono mixes. Probably mixed them down to mono...
Anyways, the running out of sync question is easily answered, as with tape there'll always be some inaccurassy when it comes to speed. There would have probably two different mixes, from the same sessions, but it would impossable to get them to run in sync, just imagine two people hitting start on an tape player at accectly the same time. Hence the splicing and all. It would be bound to run out of sync. It's amazing how they made it work, come to think of it. Nowadays, with digital recording and computers and all, it's really easy to get the same effect.
I myself am currently waiting for the postman to deliver my vinyl copy of pure phase. Can't wait to hear how it sounds compared to the cd version, i'm guessing/ hoping that with the enhanced stereo separation with records that it'll sound amazing :-)
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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by bbbhenko » Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:20 pm

ok, thanks for sorting that one out :D if I understood you correctly, it is the inaccuracy of the tape speed on the analogue tape recorders that is the reason for the running-out-of-sync problem?
anyway, PP definitely sounds wonderful on vinyl. and i love that the title track appears two times on the vinyl release as opposed to once on the CD (btw, has anybody checked if the two versions are the same mix or not or is that to over-geek it?? :D )

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by toomilk » Sat Aug 21, 2010 7:41 pm

bbbhenko wrote:if I understood you correctly, it is the inaccuracy of the tape speed on the analogue tape recorders that is the reason for the running-out-of-sync problem?
Bingo

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by jadams501 » Sun Aug 22, 2010 12:13 am

BzaInSpace wrote: I also keep thinking about how absurd it is that this record was all but forgotten by the UK music press - I think NME gave it 5/10 :roll: - whilst...er, beating themselves into a frenzy about the utter bullshit released from the likes of Oasis, Blur, Cast... and a million other crappy bands at that time.
Insane.
This was a genuine, timeless, amazing record was which had a genuine Sgt Peppers-esque futuristic production style yet was all but forgotten in the pursuit of yet another dull piece of musical bullshit...
While I agree that Pure Phase deserved more attention than it received, but I would say that Definitely Maybe and (What's The Story) Morning Glory cannot be dismissed as "utter bullshit" from a "crappy band." I sure wouldn't put Oasis up with Spiritualized but they've got some great anthemic pop music, Noel is a talented songwriter, etc. Spiritualized is good enough that we need not tear down other good groups to demonstrate its quality!

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by Multi » Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:47 am

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Last edited by Multi on Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by BzaInSpace » Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:35 am

Be Here Now however is a great album. Way underated.
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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by BzaInSpace » Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:58 am

...truly, this album is one of the all-time greats. At 8am on a sunday the (vinyl) record has never sounded better.
When 'Medication' kicks in at the end it truly blasts off, noticably way more dynamics that the cd...jesus!
Sounds champion :D
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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by bbbhenko » Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:05 am

reading that, i had to pick out my vinyl copy as well... :)

the actual tracklisting on the vinyl at the end is:
side 3: lay back in the sun / pure phase / spread your wings / feel like goin' home
side 4: good times / pure phase

does anybody know who the amazing drummer is btw? jon mattock is credited as playing "percussion" and chris sharrack as playing "drums, layin' back in the sun" (which possibly could mean drums on "lay back in the sun"??)

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by radioshack » Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:00 pm

If anyone happens to know of a vinyl copy of PP for sale anywhere, please let me know! PP is my favourite Spiritualized album too and my collection won't be complete until I have it on vinyl.

Thanks.

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by irrelevant » Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:36 pm

To quote Jason:
The mix in one speaker is completely different than the mix in the other. I mixed it twice, and liked bits of both, but didn't like them enough to say this is the finished record. So I tried to run them together...We found we could sample about 8 or 10 bars of music that would run them left and right before the sync started to go out, before the drums started to sound like two drums. Then We'd cut the tape, and we'd do it again. And again...
Thus, the swelling and phasing you hear on some of the instruments on the original mix is due to the two tapes being out of sync.[/quote]


Wow, that's amazing :)

I understand that completely, having used analog tape and reels for years. now with digital recording, you can record on two entirely separate machines, and then play them back and as long as you didn't get any 'hiccups' or pauses in the equipment, they stay in sync the entire time.

I'm very impressed he mixed the entire album like this. and having listened to it for over a decade now, find it amazing that I never knew.

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by Multi » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:24 am

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Last edited by Multi on Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by toomilk » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:36 am

Multi wrote:
toomilk wrote:
Multi wrote:Can someone please link me to the Uncut interview where Jason describes the mixing process for Pure Phase?
I believe it's here: http://www.divshare.com/download/7843924-641

EDIT: I went to this page for the download, but it just sent me in circles. Let me know if you have the same problem and i'll upload them elsewhere.
Yeah, it doesn't work for me either. Could you possible put them on megaupload.com?
Whoops. Meant to do this over the weekend, but got tied up in festivities.

Will put them up right now. Link to come below...


EDIT: Here is the uploaded scans of "Album by Album" with Jason Pierce from the Uncut August 2009 issue. Zip file size: 9.77MB
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=77WS6JNP
Last edited by toomilk on Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by Multi » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:43 am

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Last edited by Multi on Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by beaker73 » Wed Aug 25, 2010 3:49 pm

Got my vinyl copy in the mail yesterday - and there was much rejoicing :-) - and it sounds fantastic (I was amazed by the dynamics of it! what a difference compared to the cd), both records in really good condition, 49 pounds well spent. But i was wondering, the sleeve says it was manufactured in Holland, which kind of suprised me (even though my copy of LGM was pressed in Germany), I was expecting an English pressing. Does anyone know anything about how many pressings were done of Pure Phase and where they were pressed? Just curious :-)
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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by Sim » Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:43 pm

beaker73 wrote:Does anyone know anything about how many pressings were done of Pure Phase and where they were pressed? Just curious :-)

Apparently only 1000, always assumed they were pressed in Holland going by the info on the label. Interesting to watch Ebay prices recently as Pure Phase vinyl is starting to rise whereas the LAGWAFIS original vinyl prices seem to be sliding, possibly as a result of the availability of the reissue vinyl. The original LAGWAFIS vinyl was purported to be a pressing of 2000.
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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by irrelevant » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:51 pm

the last jpg seems to be missing

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by niamhm » Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:06 pm

bbbhenko wrote:reading that, i had to pick out my vinyl copy as well... :)

the actual tracklisting on the vinyl at the end is:
side 3: lay back in the sun / pure phase / spread your wings / feel like goin' home
side 4: good times / pure phase

does anybody know who the amazing drummer is btw? jon mattock is credited as playing "percussion" and chris sharrack as playing "drums, layin' back in the sun" (which possibly could mean drums on "lay back in the sun"??)
Didn`t realize the Spiritualized/Oasis link till I saw this ,Chris Sharrock ,Icicle Works,The la`s, World Party and Robbie f8ck`in Williams played on Oasis`s last world tour.

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Re: Pure Phase - The Two Different Mixes

Post by Shinesalight » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:40 pm

Sim wrote:Apparently only 1000, always assumed they were pressed in Holland going by the info on the label. Interesting to watch Ebay prices recently as Pure Phase vinyl is starting to rise whereas the LAGWAFIS original vinyl prices seem to be sliding, possibly as a result of the availability of the reissue vinyl. The original LAGWAFIS vinyl was purported to be a pressing of 2000.

You're not wrong there!! :roll: -

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