Oct. Issue Supplement: Bob Belden’s Surround-Sound Mixes

Bob Belden image 0
Jimmy Katz

Bob Belden

In our brand-new October issue, resident JT audio expert Brent Butterworth chats with producer-arranger-engineer-saxophonist Bob Belden about the brilliance of surround sound-and why the technology deserves another shot in the marketplace.

To further reinforce his argument, Belden is giving JT readers the opportunity to hear his surround mixes. Below are links to several Belden compositions, with accompanying video. After clicking the link, enter the password, jazztimes. Download and unzip the zip folders and drop the files into your DVD-burner window. Each track is available in both a Dolby 5.1 mix and as an audio/video feature. Belden’s production commentary and personnel notes are located below each title.

Password for all files: jazztimes


Recorded May 10, 2008 in NYC, this track features Souanik on vocals, the keyboard trio of Kevin Hays, Scott Kinsey and Louiz Banks, Matt Garrison on bass and Gino Banks on drums. The video is a mix of footage shot at the recording session interlaced with visuals from Mumbai, India, the home of Souanik, Louiz and Gino.

The basic mix is pure surround with the keyboards forming a triangle. This is what In a Silent Way could have sounded like in discrete surround.

“Cascades” (Dolby audio)

“Cascades” (TS_Video)

“Valley Groove”

This is a basic smooth-jazz/groove piece with drums in the back and the guitar dead center. The bass is in the middle and the synths are in surround with surround reverb. The video, shot while traveling along Mulholland Drive, shows the San Fernando Valley at sunset. John Hart is the guitar soloist.

“Valley Groove” (Dolby audio)

“Valley Groove” (TS_Video)


A sound painting that mixes layers of surround elements in a non-metric form. Lots of subtle panning. Features Jimi Tunnell’s 24-voice choir, Jeff Oster on trumpet and Charles Pillow on English horn.

“Hubble” (Dolby audio)

“Hubble” (TS_Video)

“Miss Information”

A techno-pop-funk vocal track in which the voices are all mixed in complete surround, with counterpoint voices treated with surround reverb and mixed “inside” the basic circle of a discrete speaker sound direction. Vocals by J.D. Walter.

“Miss Information” (Dolby audio)

“Miss Information” (TS_Video)