A Bad Think, a musical project led by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Michael Marquart, recently held an exclusive listening event at Studio A of Capitol Studios in Los Angeles on the evening of Sept. 24, playing through the entirety of the artist’s latest LP The Savior in its 5.1 surround sound mix by award-winning producer-engineer Bob Clearmountain.
The event was attended by top professionals and journalists in the worlds of recording and immersive audio, including the artist Michael Marquart as well as Bob Clearmountain, Dave Way, Jack Joseph Puig, Rafa Sardina, Warren Huart, Nathaniel Kunkel, Julian Frampton (Peter Frampton’s son), and others. All enjoyed beverages and hors d’oeuvres while the 5.1 mix of the album played through the state-of-the-art PMC monitoring system in the control room of Studio A.
The album is available as a 5.1 Blu-ray from CDBaby.com, as well as in lossless 5.1 digital files from online immersive audio stores.
The album was produced by Marquart and producer-engineer Dave Way (Fiona Apple, Echo In The Canyon, Ringo Starr, Michael Jackson, Macy Gray) at The Barn in Malibu, CA, Windmark Recording in Santa Monica, and Waystation Studio in Hollywood. The album was mixed in both stereo and 5.1 surround by Clearmountain (Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Bryan Adams, The Cure, INXS) and mastered by Bob Ludwig (Led Zeppelin, Queen, Jimi Hendrix).
Cinematic in scope with a narrative through-line, “the album tells a story of the rise and fall of a reluctant king,” states Marquart. The album’s style shifts from classical to Americana, from lo-fi acoustic to hard rock.
The surround mix was actually Clearmountain’s idea. Marquart recalls, “When Bob Clearmountain began work on the stereo mixes, he called and asked, ‘Do you want a 5.1 mix?’ It hadn’t been part of the plan at first, but he called Dave Way and me down to the studio to show us something, and we were sold immediately. I thought, ‘This is an album that needs to be listened to in an immersive setup!’ It’s encouraging that someone like Bob Clearmountain is a fan of this project, to the point where he goes out of his way to propose a 5.1 mix. He has some of the greatest ears in the business, and he’s a very deep listener. I’m blessed that he decided to really dig in with the mixing process for The Savior.”
Clearmountain added, “When working on the 5.1 mix, there were so many fascinating elements to use, and the arrangements were very open with lots of space for me to add environmental effects and reverbs. All these elements together create a feeling of depth and width in stereo, and in 5.1, where it’s spread out in all directions, it’s simply stunning.”