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Every radio engineer has his favorite songs that he uses to adjust a station's processing or to evaluate an audio system's performance. Surround Sound is a newer format, and it can take time to find the works that demonstrate a system's performance.

What are your top picks for outstanding surround sound productions?

David P. Reaves, III,
Translantech Sound

Gaucho - Steely Dan

The clarity of the instrumentation is simply amazing. Singers and instruments seem to leap out of thin air from any direction, then disappear just as magically.

The Beatles Anthology - five DVD set

I loved them first on AM radio, stereo LP, CD and now in surround on DVD. As each new technology reveals previously unheard layers, the original quality never becomes workaday and flaws never seem to surface.

Band on the Run - McCartney & Wings

I suspect the 5.1 surround mix is basically the original quad master tapes with a bit of work, but whatever the history, the surround engineering is superb. "Band on the Run" immerses the listener in a sonic fantasyland.

Frank Foti
Founder and President
Omnia Audio

Tommy - The Who

Pete Townshend created a full-blown 5.1 surround mix from the original eight-track masters to add detail and dimension in surround that should not be missed.

Brothers In Arms - Dire Straits

This masterpiece has been given the Mark Knopfler touch in an astounding 5.1 mix. Using the surround placement augments the subtleties on this recording.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John

Here's an example where surround stands out. Using the surrounds to place harmony vocals really shows off not only what a great performer Elton John is, but what great production was added to this album. "Candle In The Wind" offers chills.

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