The Beatles: Remastered

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by Tchocky, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. Tchocky

    Tchocky Hall of Fame

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    All of their studio albums have been remastered and are being released this Wednesday. Box sets are available in stereo and mono but already sold out on Amazon. I have most of the '87 CD's which sound sound pretty poor. I'll probably pick up the White Album, Rubber Soul and Revolver in stereo. Did anyone pre-order any of the box sets?
     
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  2. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    Interesting. Any notion of just what kind of sonic difference there will be?
     
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  3. Tchocky

    Tchocky Hall of Fame

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  4. mhstennis100

    mhstennis100 Semi-Pro

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    What's mono and stereo?
     
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  5. Tchocky

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    You cannot be serious! Mono uses one channel, stereo uses two channels. Before 1967, most popular recordings were recorded in mono.
     
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  6. Nuke

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    I bought all the Beatles' albums in vinyl when they were new (yes, I'm that old). I bought all the albums again when they were released in CD. I love the Beatles but no, I am not going to fork over another $250 to buy the albums a third time. I'm sure they are incrementally better than the first CD releases, but really, this is just a scheme to wring some more money from the cash cow.
     
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  7. SempreSami

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    They never made an album as good as Station to Station, so meh.
     
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  8. random guy

    random guy Professional

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    I know it's just a matter of opinion and I really love Bowie but your comment it's kind of strange you know... what about Revolver and Sgt Pepper for instance?:confused:
     
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  9. GS

    GS Professional

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    When I was a kid, I bought all their Capitol records. Later on, I bought a high-quality German boxed set on vinyl for $100. After THAT, I bought all their 1990 cd releases, used, for cheap, and sold all the vinyl. They don't sound that bad.
    Now Capitol wants fans to shell out $485 for their new boxed set? And not even include their live album, "Live at the Hollywood Bowl"? (Never released on cd.)
    Remember when the Beatles posed for "The Butcher Cover" to protest how Capitol butchered their releases in the USA? Now Capitol is butchering the fans....
    And just in time for Christmas....
     
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  10. LuckyR

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    Remastered? The original recordings are of poor quality, by current sonic standards. Sure they can run them through various digital programs but who is in the market for that? The folks who would appreciate it sonically would probably cringe from an artistic and musical history standpoint. Besides can you name a discography that has been listened to more often?
     
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  11. Z-Man

    Z-Man Professional

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    Paul and Ringo oversaw the whole thing, and Yoko and Olivia Harrison also signed off--as is required by the way the Beatles operate--so I think it was done right. George Martin's son was at the helm. The songs are in good hands.

    They cleaned the tapes and did re-transfers of each track. I'm not sure the extent to which they remixed, but I doubt they changed the mixes much. The mix makes the song, and George Martin was a genius. Those songs sound great on any kind of sound system because of the quirky but clever mixes.

    Remastering can mean a lot of things. We will have to wait and see the extent to which they applied compression to each track. I'm expecting some hard limiting of the mixdown to give the songs a louder, more modern sound. As part of the masterning process, they will also add a few miliseconds of delay L-R to give the songs a "wider" stereo sound. A lot of the early songs were mixed on a machine that only had 3 positions for a track--L, R, or center. It will be interesting to see how they tackle that.

    One other thing that's done in mastering is EQing the overall mix. I'm expecting more dynamic range and maybe a little less clutter in the mids. A lot of bass was missing from the early records because too much would make a record skip. My memory is fuzzy, but there may have been an instance in which Paul's bass caused a problem in the duplicating process. Since this is no longer a problem and Paul was involved in the remastering, I'm expecting to hear the bass better. If the Love soundtrack is any kind of indication, I think the songs will sound better than ever.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2009
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  12. Puddy

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    Great thoughts from an obvious insider. IYO, is it beyond limits to think Paul might possibly overdub or even replay some of his bass parts? :-?
     
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  13. Nuke

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    That would be sacrilege.
     
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  14. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Hard limiting..:(

    Hopefully the tracks aren't mastered too loud.
     
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  15. Z-Man

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    There won't be any new bass tracks. I also doubt there will be much if any pitch-correction applied to vocals. I have heard Paul doesn't like to use that sort of thing. A lot of the songs aren't tuned A440, but I think that's because they were sped up or slowed down. Or maybe they just tuned to each other instead of using tuners, which I'll bet were not available in their modern form. However, I do think any producer/engineer would be tempted to pitch-correct a few instances in which the bass or one of the guitars is out of tune with the others. On some songs one istrument is slightly out of tune, and on some songs it's an intonation issue--the strings are in tune, but not all positions on the neck are properly intonated. I don't think the bridges of the day were as presicse as they are now and I doubt the Beatles cared at the time. Also, Gretsch bridges are not glued down, so they can move and ruin intonation. (My White Falcon is that way, and I'm pretty sure the same is true for the Country Gentleman). That said, the slightly out of tune vibe is part of the songs. It's what makes them so raw and beautiful. I think everyone--including the Beatles--liked it that way, so I'm not expecting any changes, even though changes could be made.

    Hard limiting really can get nasty and ruin a recording. I'm sure it will be done tastefully. They will use sidechain compression to just squash the offending frequencies. I think there are a few harmonica parts that get a little harsh, so that should improve those songs. Re: limiting, there is a kind of back-to-the future thing going on. Back in the 60s, the single version of songs (the 45) was often compressed harder so it would stand out on the radio or on a juke box. The album version was often less compressed. Now we're seeing the same thing again--songs are being overcompressed so they'll sound good on computer speakers and iPODs. So ironically, all of those old Beatles singles were mastered in a way that's pretty similar to the current fashion. It will be interesting to see which way they go with the album versions. I'm expecting a happy meduim. Not as squished as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but a little less dynamic than the old CDs. Keep in mind, a lot of analog compression takes place between the needle and the vinyl when you listen to a record. That's part of the listening experience. Tough to translate that to CD--even if you use every digital and analog compressor in Abbey Road.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2009
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  16. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Only difference is the overall gain of modern records is far louder then before. It is basically a square wave with an RMS of -9db, sometimes higher. I believe it causes ear fatigue and ruins dynamics.
     
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  17. LuckyR

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    Sorry, I guess I am clueless, John who?
     
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  18. Tyrus

    Tyrus Professional

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    haha, busted!

    Let's pray it doesn't end up over-compressed and loud as hell like all of today's albums. I might give it a download, but nothing beats the warmth of the originals on vinyl. Re-masters just don't feel right.
     
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  19. GS

    GS Professional

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    Wow---you could of pre-ordered this boxed set early from amazon for $485. Now that it's out, you can get it for $180, a $305 price drop. Huh?
    The first reviews say these discs sound outstanding. Some buyers say they only notice a slight increase in compression, but so far, people are preferring the mono mix.
     
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  20. Z-Man

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    Oops, typo. Fixed it.
     
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  21. r2473

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    Last edited: Sep 9, 2009
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  22. SempreSami

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    Or just save time and don't bother listening to some overrated Scouse tripe.
     
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  23. SuperFly

    SuperFly Semi-Pro

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    I bought The Beatles Rockband. Really good except for the drums, they're a bit off sync.
     
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  24. SFrazeur

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    Hey guys,

    I'm a big fan or music from the late '50s through mid-ish late '60s. The likes of Roy Orbison, Gene Pitney and P.J. Proby. But I've never been able to get into the Beatles. Any suggestions on a few songs that might peek my interest?

    -SF
     
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  25. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    ^^

    1) Baby's in Black (Beatles for Sale)

    2) Dig a Pony (Let it Be)

    3) Hey Bulldog (Yellow Submarine)

    4) I'm a Loser (Beatles for Sale)
     
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  26. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby
     
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  27. David_Is_Right

    David_Is_Right Semi-Pro

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    Love it! Wholeheartedly agree...
     
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  28. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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  29. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    It's far more complicated than that. Accuracy is not the only (or even the main) goal. Consideration is give to what type of system the music will be played on and what will sound the best on that system. Price is also a factor. It is also known that the audience could care less about "accuracy". The audience wants "what sounds good".

    Try plugging an Ipod into a full range, tube based, balanced, "accurate" system. It won't be pretty.

    Put an 80's CD into the same system. Again terrible. These CD's were made to be played on what were called "ghetto blasters".

    Some of the best recordings are certain classical pressings from the 50's and 60's. I don't expect you will believe this.

    "Modern" ideas are always better than "outdated" ideas. All things progress in a positive manner through time. If only this were so. Sigh.

    I
     
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  30. SempreSami

    SempreSami Hall of Fame

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    If the audience could care less about accuracy, what is it that they care the least about?
     
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  31. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I don't understand your question.
     
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  32. SempreSami

    SempreSami Hall of Fame

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    I don't understand why the Beatles are so loved.
     
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  33. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    You know you suggest this may be a counterintuitive idea, but this is actually true. I've read of sound scientists working to pull out all the sound captured on some 1920s recordings of symphony orchestras: sound that the actual playing technology was unable to render, but which was nevertheless captured on the recording.
     
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  34. LuckyR

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    I apologize for being difficult to understand. I didn't mean that vinyl recordings were sonically accurate, I meant that our opinion that vinyl is a better medium than digital was accurate.

    The nice thing about "modern" is that if you want attenuated files if memory is expensive, fine, push a button and the recording is attenuated. If you want something to sound boomy on an underpowered system, fine run it through a program and it will do so. If you want it to sound good on an "accurate" system, great and so forth. I am sure there are programs that will make a digital recording have pops and hiss and simulate non direct drive turntables.
     
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  35. Breaker

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    Couldn't care less > could care less, basically.
     
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  36. Puddy

    Puddy Rookie

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    Interesting posts/points.

    A few years ago I read an interview in Guitar World magazine featuring Jack White of the White Stripes and he claimed he spent way too much money on various ways to make tones sound vintage (circa late 1960's, a la Cream's Disraeli Gears). He basically said he was spending thousands of dollars attempting to capture tones created from an at-the-time 1967ish, cheap-o $40 effect pedal. If I remember correctly, he claims to have spent a fortune trying to make things sound like junk.

    The guitarist for Bush (can't remember his name but he is white and bald) said pretty much the same thing in that he bought so many effect pedals on "FleaBay" trying to get a garbage sound you just can't get in today's equipment.

    I'm not saying one is better than the other, but I found it interesting that some artists are clinging on to yesteryear's tones that are apparently tough to recreate using today's technology. :-?
     
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  37. Lakoste

    Lakoste Professional

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    I bought it, will probably be in next week. Not a huge Beatles fan but I only have Beatles on vinyl, never had anything of theirs on CDs.
     
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  38. Z-Man

    Z-Man Professional

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    A friend of mine has some CDs in the new SACD format--instead of 16 bits at 44.1kHz, it's 1 bit at a sample rate of 2822.4 kHz. I'd like to do some A/B comparisons. I've heard people say that in the 16 bit digital world, there are 16 shades of blue. In the analog world, there are infinite shades of blue. (not meant literally) I think there is something to this, but I don't think that difference is as great as the differences between speakers and rooms. And it's certanly less than the difference between a CD and an MP3. If you mix a song on studio monitors and then listened to the same mix in other rooms from other systems, it's crazy how different a recording can sound. Currently, my favorite speakers are Yorkville NX55Ps. I had no idea what I was missing before I got them.
     
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