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Beatles in Mono.

Discussion in 'Music' started by Ockeghem, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Nelson,

    Yep. I suppose one could make the case that I planned it that way. But, you know me better than that. ;)
     
  2. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Originally Posted by Nelson Au
     
  3. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Mike,

    But don't tell anyone, please. ;)
     
  4. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    From a friend of mine. I do hope this hasn't been posted before.

    http://waxy.org/2009/10/audio_analysis_of_the_beatles_multitrack_masters/


    While digging through Usenet, I stumbled on these three unidentified tracks that pick apart three of the Beatles' original multitrack masters, isolating and highlighting pieces from "She's Leaving Home," "A Day in the Life," and "Come Together." It's an astounding, and very listenable, glimpse into their recording process.

    * Multitrack Analysis of She's Leaving Home
    < http://waxy.org/random/audio/beatles_multitrack_analysis/multitrack_analysis_shesleavinghome.mp3 >
    * Multitrack Analysis of A Day In the Life
    < http://waxy.org/random/audio/beatles_multitrack_analysis/multitrack_analysis_adayinthelife.mp3 >
    * Multitrack Analysis of Come Together
    < http://waxy.org/random/audio/beatles_multitrack_analysis/multitrack_analysis_cometogether.mp3 >

    I believe that this is from a BBC Radio 2 program called The Record Producers (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/musicclub/recordproducers.shtml), hosted by Richard Allinson and Steve Levine, that aired earlier last month. Unfortunately, the original BBC broadcast (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00mkgzx) is no longer available on their site.

    If anyone else has heard of this and can provide more complete (or updated) information, please do. Thanks in advance.
     
  5. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Hello Everyone! Been subscribed to and reading this thread
    for weeks. Been some great insightful discussion along with
    some outside links that I eventually bookmarked.

    I have a pretty tough decision to make about these new
    Beatles sets. Perhaps some of you can help me in making
    a final decision.

    First and foremost, I am a huge Beatles fan. I own all their
    original late 80s CDs, official bootlegs and the LIB NAKED

    album. I also own quite a few unofficial releases.

    Originally, the announcement of these new boxed sets had
    me excited. Who wouldn't want improved sound quality of
    their favorite Beatles recordings?


    What bothers me is the way they have gone about releasing
    these sets -- mainly in two different skews. A MONO set and
    a STEREO set.

    Right off the bat, it's almost impossible to point a finger at
    which set is the better of the two. For that reason, one must
    ultimately consider both, a proposition that would cost around
    $500.

    I have the MONO set currently on order, but every day I just
    feel like canceling it.

    First, I don't want to ultimately pay $200+ for each set. I don't
    listen to THE BEATLES much anymore, and I have a feeling
    once purchased, those sets will sit on my shelf.

    Second, everything I do listen to is via iPod. The saving grace
    is that I transfer everything in APPLE LOSSLESS so at least
    I am not losing much quality in the transfer process although
    APPLE LOSSLESS is still a step down from a straight rip off
    the CD.

    So, I have these questions....

    1. Are these sets really, significantly better than the original
    80s releases? From what I read here it sounds like my question
    has already been answered. However, will that quality translate
    through APPLE LOSSLESS transfer to my iPod?

    2. Do you think these sets will be available in January 2010? I
    ask because money is tight for everyone these days and I would
    rather wait until after the holidays to consider purchasing BOTH.
    However, I know these sets are limited and I am wondering how
    fast they are going to sell to the point they will be removed from
    the market.

    Would appreciate the two questions be answered and feel free
    to add any other encouraging words you may have.
     
  6. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    As far as I know, neither of the the sets are limited (the mono one was supposed to be limited but that changed due to demand). At some point, I'm sure they'll go out of print but I can't imagine that it will be before January.

    If you don't listen to The Beatles that much anymore and you think that the sets may just sit on your shelf, you may want to consider passing all together or picking one of the sets.
     
  7. Dave B Ferris

    Dave B Ferris Screenwriter

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    Since money is so tight these days, maybe the best way to go would be to consider the advice already given elsewhere within this thread: buy the mono set, since the mono releases are available only in the set, and then just pick up a few of the stereo releases individually, to fill any holes in your collection.
     
  8. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    The Record Producers: George Martin was a BBC Radio2 program that came out the week of the remasters. There was a 1 hour and a 1.5 hour version of the program. I heard the 1 hour version, and it contained the multitrack explorations that you found separately. As you can tell, they were quite interesting. I don't know what the additional half hour added, I wish I had heard that version of the program. There is a full recording of the short show floating around the net, I just don't have the link.

    - Steve

     
  9. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Ron,

    I am going to go out on a limb here and say that you should just pick up the individual stereo releases and be done with it. They do sound that much better than their 1987 counterparts.

    The only thing that the stereo set gets you is the DVD of the documentary featurettes, which you can see on the individual discs anyway. You will probably be like me and watch it once and forget about it. And the stereo sound is quite listenable, especially on the early recordings. If you find you don't like the stereo separation of the first two albums, you can always revert to the 1987 editions, which you already own.

    I am saying this being an owner of both the stereo set and the mono set. The mono set has supremely excellent packaging, but I think you'll get over not having it. The mono mixes are a curiosity, but I have not been listening to them over the stereo mixes. In fact, I prefer the stereo mixes.

    I have no regrets purchasing both the mono and stereo sets, even though finances were very tight at the time. I am a hardcore Beatles collector. The collector in me still says you should get them both! But the heretic in me knows what I ended up listening to when given a choice...

    - Steve
     
  10. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    There's your answer.


    I picked up both sets, the discs, the reproduced covers, priceless. The music is all in my Zune now, along with 16,000+ other tunes.

    I bought another MONO set for some friends, their 12 year son opened the package
    and said, "This is so going in my Ipod!"
     
  11. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Steve,

    Thanks. Yes, I did listen to some of that program a few weeks ago when someone else (maybe you?) posted it. Very interesting material indeed.
     
  12. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    Ron,
    As someone who bought both (and the old 80s releases, and the old vinyl LPs, and...), I would say if you had to choose, get the MONO box, plus Abbey Road and Let It Be in stereo. I think most Beatles experts would agree that the way to hear these is in mono, as they were originally intended to be heard. No less a fan than Little Steven Van Zandt (of E Street, Sopranos and Underground Garage fame) tells listeners every week that mono is the way to go; he's been saying it for years. The mono box is beautifully produced, with faithful reproductions of the LPs. Yes, they sound better than the old CDs, even on an iPod (IMO). I've played old and new back to back (on the iPod) to check out the sound difference, and the originals sound muffled, like there is a pillow on the speaker that is removed when the new one is played.

    Now, here is something to take note of: If you get the mono box, and the Abbey Road and Let It Be stereo CDs, you will also need Past Masters (stereo) to be complete. This is because the Mono Masters CD (in the mono box) does not include The Ballad of John & Yoko and Old Brown Shoe. However, unless you want the instrumental music, you do not need the stereo version of Yellow Submarine. The four songs unique to that album are included in Mono Masters. Most other sources tell people buying the mono box they need Yellow Sub, Abbey Rd, and LIB. Not so. Also, you won't get the mini-documentaries with the mono box, but honestly, if you have the Anthology DVDs, there is nothing in those docs you are missing.

    As for your second question, I do not know whether these will be going into the vaults any time soon. My guess is that both box sets will eventually be discontinued with just the stereo CDs remaining in production. However, note that the prices (even on Amazon) for both boxes have already gone up since they were announced/released. I think they will be available in the new year, but I suspect the prices will be even higher after the holidays. If you were going to get one before the holidays and one after, I would go with mono first.

    All of which begs the question: Why, if mono and stereo existed side-by-side on the 8 CDs of the Capital Albums (US albums) Vol. 1 and 2 box sets, couldn't they have done so for these releases?
     
  13. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Ron,

    I had the same dilemma, but I decided to get both sets (having my wife get me the mono set for Christmas). I can tell you that the new stereo releases are a noticeable improvement over the 1988 releases -- even when listening in my basic car system. I have them on my iPod, but have not listened to those MP3 encodes yet. I have sold those old releases, as I cannot imagine wanting to listen to them again now that I own the new remasters.

    I have never heard many of the mono mixes before, so if I could only get one set, it probably would have been the mono set, and then eventually picking up the individual stereo releases later as funds permitted (skipping Yellow Submarine). As others have stated, the documentary DVD included in the stereo box is not a "must have". The material is on the individual discs, and is material covered elsewhere, too.
     
  14. MielR

    MielR Advanced Member

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    I just got my current issue of Sound+Vision magazine and there are several Beatles-related reviews/articles/interviews included (Beatles on the cover, too).

    There's an interview with the remastering team for the new boxed sets, and a very in-depth review of both sets (including some surprising A/B comparisons with the '87 CDs). A must-read, IMO.
     
  15. niceadorn

    niceadorn Auditioning

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    nice
    i love beatles too.they are great.i will buy depending on price.
     
  16. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Welcome, nice!
     
  17. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Just got my MONO set last night. Will opt for the STEREO in
    another month or two. Much smaller package than I anticipated.
    Have not even opened it up yet but will listen to it on the way into
    work.

    Now that I do have the MONO set what songs should I listen to
    that I will hear specific differences in over the stereo version?

    In other words, just for sampling purposes, which songs stand
    out as most revolutionary different in this set?

    I realize this has been all posted before. I'm getting lazy over
    wanting to ponder over 14 pages. If anyone wishes to take the
    time to repost, it would be appreciated.
     
  18. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Ron,

    Congratulations on getting your mono set. :)

    I'm still uncertain which tracks are substantially better than any of their predecessors. However, from what I have read on various Boards and Beatles sites, the White Album seems to be one that was improved significantly with this pressing.

    Years ago, when I first purchased my Japanese imports of Beatles LPs, I noticed a remarkable difference in their first four albums, especially where sibilence is concerned. I have not had that same reaction to these new sets yet, but then again, I really don't listen to Beatles pressings with this in mind. For me, it's the actual music that I listen to and and analyze rather than the recording engineering. But thankfully, there are several people on this Board who listen quite intently to the latter and who can probably determine and suggest which cuts are very much improved.

    Happy listening. :)
     
  19. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I'm no expert, Scott. Far from it. But I recently had the chance to hear some tracks from the early albums and thought there was a fair amount of upper end distortion (more accurately sibilance)--something I didn't find present in the 5.1 "Love" mixes (I Want to Hold Your Hand, for example).

    Those "Love" mixes sound so excellent...I just gotta wonder that they won't be far behind. At least lossless, if not surround mixes. But I hope someone (why not George Martin?) does surround mixes though.
     
  20. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    So, on my way to work I popped one of the CDs into my
    car player. Now I realize the car is not the best environment
    to listen to this music, but I have a Cadillac whose interior
    is quite quiet. The stereo system is also pretty good
    compared to most.

    The first CD I sampled was SGT. PEPPERS.

    I have to say, I was not immediately impressed. Not a
    fan that it's mono sound which took a bit to get
    used to the fact that instead of being enveloped in
    stereo sound which distributes itself across the fronts
    and rear, I was listening to solid mono across the two
    fronts.

    The quality was quite good, but as I went from track
    to track I didn't notice anything unusual despite the
    fact that SGT. PEPPER was pointed out as being one
    of the mono discs that had distinct differences.

    It wasn't until I got to the SGT. PEPPER REPRISE

    that I heard many things I never heard before. First,
    the transition between GOOD MORNING and the REPRISE

    is slightly different (the first sound before Pauls countdown).
    Then, I heard audience noise I never heard before such as
    applause that was far more distinct. Finally, just before the
    REPRISE segways into A DAY IN THE LIFE you can hear
    some additional background screaming. That was pretty
    neat as none of that was ever brought out within the
    original late 80s recordings.

    Question: If this MONO set is missing ABBEY ROAD
    and LET IT BE then what is the STEREO SET missing?
     

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