More details about the DVD-Audio production of ‘Hotel California’ have been made available to High Fidelity Review thanks to the assistance of Elliot Scheiner, who created the multi-channel DVD-Audio mix, and Andrew Clark, Marketing Manager of Lexicon Inc.
In our ‘Hotel California’ review, we wondered about the source of the disc’s 192kHz two-channel mix because in part of the ‘Production Notes’ documentary, producer Bill Szymczyk mentions that the original master tapes were only sampled at 96kHz.
Elliot Scheiner, who has recently been producing a multi-channel surround mix for REM, could tell us that the two versions of the Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’ on the DVD-Audio disc had been created in completely different ways.
For the multi-channel version, the original 24-track analogue tapes were transferred to a Sony 3348 48-track recorder via dB Technologies 24-bit 96kHz Blue series A/D converters and track splitting was used, therefore each original track occupied two digital tracks. These were then creatively remixed and re-mastered for the 3/2.1 Dolby Digital, DTS and DVD-Audio mixes.
Ted Jensen created the two-channel version by converting the original analogue two-track master to digital at 192kHz without any creative changes. This means the source material for the two-channel DVD-Audio version is exactly the same as that for the countless 44.1kHz Compact Disc versions produced over the years and can therefore be used when subjectively comparing the merits of the two.
We also raised the issue of what appears to be digital clipping at a number of points on the DVD-Audio disc which is most noticeable during the last third of ‘Life in the Fast Lane’ – highlighted in our review and subsequently by a number of readers. Elliot was not aware of the issue but did comment that the track “…plays back fine on my system”.