Quadrophonic releases how to reference mix (4.0, quad, quadrophonic)

In general we’ve been designating multichannel recordings with disambiguation using "5.1 mix, 5.0 mix, etc.

Recently there have been quite a few new quadrophonic SACD releases and I’ve generally been using “4.0 mix” to disambiguate the tracks/recordings. While that is accurate, if a release specifically describes the multichannel mix as “quadrophonic”, it does seem more appropriate to use “quadrophonic mix” or “quad mix” as it is commonly abbreviated.

Opinions on which is best? Could possibly use a guideline.

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I usually list them as quadraphonic, with the disambiguation “quadraphonic mix” where necessary. Occasionally I’ll deviate from this if the release uses 4.0 or something similar.

Yeah, I am kind of thinking that shortening it to “quad” has no basis. But if the release uses quadrophonic as opposed to 4.0, that is probably the way to go.


I would go with “4.0 mix” (assuming the release is 4-4-4 or 4-2-4). The point of recording this information is to differentiate it from other (normally stereo) formats. In which case copying the release’s style (quad/quad./quad/quadraphonic) doesn’t make sense.
Also note the correct spelling is “quadraphonic”.


I’ve been using 4.0 mix but other editors have started changing it to “quad mix” on many releases. It is another case where people disagree and might start editing things back and forth. As I think about it I like 4.0 mix for recording disambiguation as it is standardized. I still wonder if using eti that matches the release naming should be OK for track titles. Dark Side of the Moon Immersion box would have the redundant “4.0 quad mix” and "5.1 surround mix’ as that is what is on their artwork.

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The way I see it disambiguation comments on recordings have just two (largely overlapping) purposes:

  1. Given two or more recordings that may appear to be the same, they give a hint as to why they are not the same; i.e., the comment disambiguates them.
  2. When associating recordings with tracks, the comment is used to assist with editors selecting the correct recording from a list of possible recordings.

Given (2), if there is specific language describing the recording used on release artwork that exact language should definitely be included in the comment.

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The issue then is what happens when two releases use different terminology. One might say “5.1 surround mix”, another might say “5.1 mix”, etc. In older quadrophonic releases, “quadrophonic mix”, might make sense but on a later reissue it might say “4.0 quad mix”. That is why the recording comment/disambiguation may need to be standardized somewhat.

The description “quad mix” was in general use before we started to say “4.0 mix”. In the same way that we say “stereo” and not “2.0 mix”. Or “mono” and not “1.0 mix”.

Numbers are not a natural way to describe this. I cannot see why it is not acceptable to allow both “4.0 mix” and “quad mix”. I’ve never heard of quadraphonic mixes being described as 4.0 mixes outside of MB.

Dark Side of the Moon is available in all of these different flavours, and it is a different experience when listening to it.

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Pretty much an area where the terminology is all over the place. Hence my initial question!


Someone who can’t decide…

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I think it’s better to use the same terminology as printed rather than trying to standardise to something that would not necessarily appeal to everyone.
At least when it’s what’s printed, everyone will agree, you don’t introduce any personal taste changes.

And only when this happens, which is not the norm, we can take three most descriptive of the variants or a combination of them.

There can be a little bit of artistic choice (artist intent) in naming the versions too. :wink:
Even if it’s a label’s decision.


I was aiming for brevity given people are tacking this detail onto the track titles. If we’re talking about:

  • releases that have track names that include the mix - then sure, go with the release
  • releases such as SACDs that have entire media with a different mix but do not attribute this information to the track title - is the track title the best place for this kind of differentiation? I say differentiation because an SACD cover will often say something like: “Stereo and 5.1 Surround Mixes”. Now, we don’t currently put the words “Stereo” in the track titles - I infer this is because we’re calling out “non-normal” tracks (tracks that are not stereo).

IOW, if we’re trying to be true to the release (verbatim), then on many releases the mix information does not belong on the track title at all (perhaps on the recording title), AND somewhere we should be capturing the words “Stereo” or whatever, because many releases say this.

But if we’re merely differentiating mixes from the “default” stereo mixes (remember, all tracks are mixes), AND you want to maintain using the track title for such a purpose, then all it has to do is be different. I agree that even if this is captured in a style guide it would still be hard to police.

Anyway, food for thought possibly. I’m not a fan of using track titles for mix details when it’s not specified that way on a release but I’ve learned to live with it. MB has this odd insistence on being as verbatim as possible for some fields, and free and easy with others. :slight_smile: I’m not going to die on that that hill.

PS. I just saw that Alice Cooper cover. Does anyone think that adding “(QUAD Multichannel 4.0 mix)” onto every track title is a great idea? I mean, it’s already tautological.

The track title is used if only some tracks of the medium have this information on the printed tracklist.

For example, a live album will not get (live) in all its track titles.
But all of its recordings will get the live comment.

As this should be set on recording comment, anyway (track title or not), to disambiguate it (prevent bad merges).

Then in this case you could set stereo mix for first recording comments and 5.1 surround mix on last recording comments.

Usually we mark stereo recordings, mostly for the era when we were transitioning from mono to stereo mediums and there were mono and stereo mixes for the same albums and singles.
But why not using it for artists who have many non-stereo recordings as well, actually. :thinking:

And what about track titles?

What would the track titles for the SACD @Cheezmo has shown above look like? Would the first track have the track title “Big Apple Deamin’ (Hippo) (QUAD multichannel 4.0”? Or something else?

Also for my benefit please, what would the recording title be for that track? Thanks.

This one?

Track and recording title: Big Apple Deamin’ (Hippo)
Recording comment: QUAD multichannel 4.0

This for all tracks and recordings.
I don’t understand the difficulty with this specific release. All tracks have same mix.

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FWIW, once @yvanzo finishes his code for attributes for other entities than works, STYLE-764 will allow specifying the number of channels in a standard way.


Look closely at the image, it’s a Hybrid SACD. Half of the tracks will be 2CH PCM.

All tracks of the medium have same mix.
Like this one:


Actually that release is likely incomplete as the SACD layer also typically includes the stereo tracks. Therefore the ETI would be necessary to distinguish the 5.1 mixes. Of course we are in the process of changing things to separate SACD multichannel mixes on to a separate medium but would still have the issue for DVD/blu-ray releases.

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It would be silly to have all three. Let’s not pollute a sensible discussion with daft examples. :wink: Either (quad mix) or (4.0 mix) is more than enough. I am someone who likes to see these in the titles, or at least the disambiguation text. I don’t have many in my audio collection so like them to stand out and be easy to find.