Instead, 5.1 is Disneyland for ears.
Ed: I was going to ask you how you decided where instruments were placed.
Kevin: Well, it depends. On the stuff in the square in Morocco, I tried to sort of have the instruments spread across both rear channels. On "Kashmir", you have all those Indian percussionists, and they're all kind of together...it's like all mixing: where do you pan stuff? That's the art of it; that's the creativity that's there.
Ed: When you have a mix that's as wide as Unledded is, do you have to worry more about how it's going to sound on various home systems?
Kevin: You can't; you'll go nuts if you worry about stuff like that, because there are 75 million home systems in the United States, and no two of them sound the same. Everybody's got bass adjusted for taste, and depending upon the state of your room, there are Bose speakers hidden in the eaves of the ceiling or in the floor, or behind the living room sofa.
You've got to mix for an optimum situation, really, and just expect that people have gotten used to the way that that stuff sounds in their living room.
Ed: I think I read in Billboard is going to be shown in some movie theaters.
Kevin: I read that, too.
Ed: Is that something you took into account when you were mixing?
Ed: When you were mixing Jimmy's guitar or Robert's vocals, were they run through any new effects?
Kevin: I definitely beefed up Jimmy's guitar. You'll notice the inclusion of "The Rain Song".
Ed: Yeah, gorgeous mix, by the way.
Kevin: See, that one came out entirely differently. I don't know if you compared the mixes from the old laser disc. [Only version of Unledded with "The Rain Song"--Ed] But that took a lot of work. Jimmy's guitar was originally recorded with just a pickup on it. I had to put it through a Fishman amp; then with the joys of Pro Tools, I could go in line up the phase of the original acoustic guitar track with the track with the Fishman, and we got this really acoustic sounding instrument, because you just had a pickup on there originally.
Ed: I noticed that at the beginning of "No Quarter", Robert is singing through what looks like a minefield of Boss guitar effect stomp boxes. Was that difficult to mix that down and get a clean sound out of that?
Kevin: No, because there was a clean track as well. Actually, I had difficulty finding the effects track, so I ended up making up my own!