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Steve Wilson - Hand Cannot Erase & Multi-Channel Mixing Interview

by May 11, 2015
Steve Wilson

Steve Wilson

It was with great pleasure that we had the distinct opportunity to interview prog-rock legend Mr. Steve Wilson.  I’ve been following Mr. Wilson’s work since his early days of Porcupine Tree where he served as their front man for over two decades.  One thing that has always drawn me to his music is its diversity and the fact that it could not be boxed into a particular genre.  I especially like his usage of diminished chord structures that sets the mode of isolation and allows you to peer inside of his mind to get an idea of what issues may be troubling him at the time of writing the music.  I really relate to this and find it quite a rewarding experience to fully immerse myself in the storyline of the music.

I would say his roots are deep in progressive rock with influences by King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd and Gentle Giant.  However Mr. Wilson doesn’t necessarily categorize his music with prog-rock as much as perhaps post-prog rock with influences from jazz, rock, and elements of pop.  What makes his latest works truly stand out is the excellent fidelity of his multi-channel music mixes along with the accompanying artwork which have ALL been released on Blu-ray and mastered in 5.1 DTS HD. 

We sat down with Steve prior to a gig he was playing in Sweden to promote his latest album Hand Cannot Erase.  In this interview we discuss his views on multi-channel audio mixing, the state of the music industry when it comes to hi fidelity playback and what inspires the sounds and moods in his music.

 Steve Wilson - Hand Cannot Erase & Multi-Channel Music Mixing Interview

Some Key Points from our Interview with Steve Wilson:

  • Mixes are NOT mastered.  No master engineer touches them during final production which helps preserve dynamic range.
  • Recorded music doesn’t have to be tied to the live performance, instead it should be a unique experience.
  • The studio is used as an instrument for the music when developing the multi-channel mix.
  • Mixes in 5.1 with Genlec speakers as a reference and a dedicated sub for LFE effects.
  • Mixes are developed to sound good on modest 5.1 systems.
  • He does what sounds good to him.  He doesn’t follow any rules on mixing multi-channel because he doesn’t know what the rules are to begin with.
  • There is very little budget in the music industry to produce multi-channel music mixes. It’s an unlikely proposition to adopt a new immersive surround format like Dolby Atmos or DTS:X for music applications.

The Great Escape

Hand Cannot Erase - Steve WilsonIf you’re looking for the ultimate escape from reality by surrounding yourself in an immersive multi-channel sonic experience, then you owe it to yourself to check out the works of Mr. Steve Wilson on Blu-ray.  Just be forewarned that his music is NOT for the faint of heart.  It’s not mainstream, nor will it get any radio play (at least in the USA).  It’s not feel good music.  However, the incredible musicianship, impactful bass and musical dynamics will leave you smiling.  You will truly be able to test the limits of your home theater system with these recordings.  If your subs aren’t up for the challenge, then I suggest upgrading immediately so you can fully appreciate these albums.

Recommended Steve Wilson Solo Works on Blu-ray:

  • Hand Cannot Erase
  • The Raven that Refused to Sing
  • Grace for Drowning
You can order these Blu-rays on Amazon or directly from Steve Wilson's Official Website



About the author:
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Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

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