It's Six Speakers, Man!
Rolling Stone 10.00
by David Kushner
Beasties, Underworld, and NIN explore the new DVD medium - DVD, once the preferred format of film geeks and porn aficionados, could finally make the grade for music fans thanks to new offerings from artists such as the Beastie Boys, Underworld and Nine Inch Nails.
Especially enticing for recording artists making DVDs is the prospect of a whole new kind of listening experience. Most current DVDs offer Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, which utilizes not two but six speakers. "Instead of limiting the sound to one wall," says Trent Reznor, "your palette becomes the whole room." Already, Reznor and Underworld say they're eager to record new material specifically for surround-sound technology. "It's the Wild West for this kind of audio," Reznor says. Or, as Rick Smith of Underworld puts it, "It's six speakers, man!"
Nine Inch Nails, as-yet-untitled: Working with a fleet of Macintosh computers and digital footage from his performances on the Fragility v 2.0 Tour, Trent Reznor is busy in his New Orleans studio assembling this DVD for a November release. Reznor hopes the 5.1 sound - and multiple camera angles, plus maybe even an audio-commentary track - will transcend the ordinary confines of a live concert video without getting too gimmicky. "What this really comes down to is tempering your enthusiasm for a new technology," he says, "and reminding yourself that you're an artist, and try to do something tasteful."