Clarification: separation of recordings

While working through recordings of works (specifically) I came across an SACD double-release of the same album and automatically assumed it was, at least for this one work, the same recording, because quadrophonic vs. stereo versions would have come from one source, logically assumed: quadrophonic mixed down to stereo.

Then I checked the style guideline, and found this unclear:

It may be the case that very similar released tracks have different numbers of audio channels. The most common audio channel configuration is stereo (two channels; left and right). However, there are several common audio channel configurations used in recordings, including mono (one channel), quadraphonic (four channels) and surround sound (various multi-channel configurations).

These different configurations should generally be distinguished by using separate recordings. However, the original multi-channel recording should be used when multiple channels have been combined into a single channel without actually creating a new mix from the source audio tracks. A similar exception should be made where a mono channel has been split into two stereo channels - for example, in Duophonic recordings.

In this case and cases like it, is this the same “recording” (as it seems to me), across the board, despite having been entered with duplicates across the board?


Quadrophonic & Stereo mixes are NOT the same recordings and must be kept separate. They are different mixes. A recording on MB includes the mix of it, not just the base recording. Stereo mixes are not quad mix downs that I’ve ever seen, but are different unique mixes, typically.


Go look at \ listen to something like Dark Side of the Moon. Stereo, Quad and 5.1 Surround mixes all exist. All made by different people. Making a very different emphasis on the audio.

If you downmix the quad or 5.1 versions to stereo you can hear the differences.

(See also Mono and Stereo)


I’m enough of an audiophile to understand the difference, thanks ;). I think the problem lies elsewhere: first, the guidance referenced is insufficiently clear, and second, if that is the distinction (which I’m happy to honor) the word “recording” is completely wrong. Mixes of this kind are (obviously) not separate commit-to-tape/digital/acetate/etc. musical events.

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Well, maybe the solution to #2 is that every time the word “recording” appears, it is linked to Recording - MusicBrainz

The first time the word appears, it is linked, but it doesn’t look like the remaining occurrences of the word are. I think it’s wrong to assume someone is going to read this page in full, and the link should be present in every subsection that people are going to link to.

It’s why I often say MB Recordings. :relaxed:


Links, clarifications, etc. do not fix using the wrong word to name something.

How would you have called them? Mixes?

The issue here is that there is no separate MB entity for “the output of a recording session” vs “the finished mixed and mastered product”. The Recording represents both of those things.


But having entities for the result of recording sessions (the takes) would be overly complex, with each separate recorded tracks, etc.
I mean it’s extremely interesting but too complex for what we could use them for.
So complex that we would have only 3 editors who would master the subject for a handful of artists, and they would constantly try to fix everything, endlessly.


It would certainly add significant complexity. Whether or not it’s overly complex is open to debate…but I think at a minimum, it would need an inheritance model to be workable at all.

This past discussion is related.

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