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Discussion on new albums, developing listening skills, critical listening to others' work, as well as TOMB members' MP3 links, online recording critiques

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austin
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Post by austin » Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:50 pm

iamthecosmos wrote:
Aj wrote:Question I had... I read somewhere that the first few albums are presented in stereo for the first time. What's the story behind that? Who mixed them into stereo, and when? And why weren't they ever released until now? I know a fair bit of Beatles recording trivia, but that part slipped by me.
Nah, absolute bollocks that. The stereo mixes were done at the time because their American distributors insisted on it. These were done either by George Martin, after The Beatles had been present for the mono mixing, or more commonly by just the engineers. The only stereo mixes that weren't available until now on CD (officially) are the '65 ones for Help and Rubber Soul.
No, I'm pretty sure the stereo versions of the first few records (the first four, I think?) were never on CD before this -- the original 80s CDs of those albums were mono. And in the case of the first two, at least, this was with good reason! The stereo versions sound ridiculous. I can't imagine why anyone would prefer them -- they were recorded on 2-track, so they're literally instruments on the left, vocals on the right...

As a Beatles geek, it's cool to be able to isolate either the vox or instruments... but for regular listening? There is no good reason for the widely-available versions to be the stereo ones. I bet there will be some confused/freaked-out people who buy these.

Speaking of mono, I'm really excited that I found a copy of the mono box set... Had to do a whole lot of calling around to different stores before I finally found one who said they'd have it -- I showed up right when they opened yesterday, asked the girl behind the counter, and she said they'd only received ONE copy! I bought it. She congratulated me. :D

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Post by Aj » Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:05 pm

Hey, I'm kind of digging those weird early Beatles stereo mixes!

Yes, I know they are hard panned primarily due to the primitive mixing setup (I've got my handy Recording the Beatles mixer diagram right here!).... but there's something kind of fresh and avant-garde about the "drums on that side of the room please; singer you over on that side" approach.

Dunno. Any one else agree? Maybe it's just me.

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Post by woodhenge » Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:27 am

Aj wrote:Hey, I'm kind of digging those weird early Beatles stereo mixes!

Yes, I know they are hard panned primarily due to the primitive mixing setup (I've got my handy Recording the Beatles mixer diagram right here!).... but there's something kind of fresh and avant-garde about the "drums on that side of the room please; singer you over on that side" approach.

Dunno. Any one else agree? Maybe it's just me.

Aj
I'm kinda digging the weirdness as well... Although, I had a funky experience trying to rock out yesterday in my work truck... It turns out one of the speakers is out, so I got to hear the vocal/percussion version of "Taxman"... wacky... yet still enlightening, somehow. 8)
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acjetnut
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Post by acjetnut » Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:45 am

austin wrote:
No, I'm pretty sure the stereo versions of the first few records (the first four, I think?) were never on CD before this -- the original 80s CDs of those albums were mono. And in the case of the first two, at least, this was with good reason! The stereo versions sound ridiculous. I can't imagine why anyone would prefer them -- they were recorded on 2-track, so they're literally instruments on the left, vocals on the right...
Well, a few years ago Capitol Records issued two box sets with the US versions of the Beatles albums, which had different names, configurations, and sometimes mixes (reverb added). Each disc had the mono and stereo version of the album, so a lot of those stereo mixes did digitally see the light of day. Now that proper remasters are here, I see no reason to pull those box sets out again.

After listening to the Mono and stereo mixes, I think I actually prefer the stereo for all the stuff until Revolver, which is when I start to prefer the Mono mixes. I like the Stereo early stuff because the Mono gets muddy sometimes. However, with the more complexly produced albums, I feel that all the production was done with Mono in mind, and the weird stereo separation bugs me.

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Post by Trick Fall » Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:15 am

I have a vinyl box set of the Beatles, but it's old. I probably haven't touched it in twenty years. I was thinking of picking up the new mono set for my dad though when the hype dies down.

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Post by LeedyGuy » Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:24 pm

I got the Mono in the mail today. This may seem horrible, but I went to ebay before I opened it to check and see what it was worth just in case I wanted to flip it.

ANYWAY

I started with Revolver and it rocks, but this is totally audiophile stuff man. This is not really for casual listening or for a more "modern" version like Love was. I can't really picture myself putting this on unless I am sitting at my studio desk. Anyone else feel this way? The drums aren't thumpin on the Mono box like on Love. But is Love even the thing to be comparing any of this to?

Also, at first, I sorta felt like I was hearing a lot of compression and I couldn't tell if it was on the mix or what, but as the tracks wore on I think it's just that we are finally hearing that Fairchild in its full action.
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acjetnut
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Post by acjetnut » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:11 pm

LeedyGuy wrote:I got the Mono in the mail today. This may seem horrible, but I went to ebay before I opened it to check and see what it was worth just in case I wanted to flip it.

ANYWAY

I started with Revolver and it rocks, but this is totally audiophile stuff man. This is not really for casual listening or for a more "modern" version like Love was. I can't really picture myself putting this on unless I am sitting at my studio desk. Anyone else feel this way?

Yes. Since my post (right above) from 6 weeks ago, I have fully moved my vote to the stereo mixes all the way through. The mono's just sound so squashed and thin. The stereos breathe and definitely stand on their own (producing with mono in mind be damned!).

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Post by chris harris » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:22 pm

LeedyGuy wrote:But is Love even the thing to be comparing any of this to?
no.

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Post by Jeff White » Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:44 pm

Both sets sound absolutely ridiculous. I have heard them at listening parties on great systems, and at home on my system with good D2A on a variety of speakers. Even have everything in iTunes as AIFF files (both the 1980s CDs and the new remasters). Going back and forth ABing them is just night and day.

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Post by Nathangrn » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:00 am

I like the stereo mixes because they are fun to pick apart. On Revolver, you can pan to one side or the other and hear 2 of the 4 tracks. For example, on Taxman, you can hear some pretty abrupt punching in to get backing vocals, percussion and lead guitar on one track. However, the left speaker went out in my car so the stereo mixes are really annoying to listen in it.
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Post by LeedyGuy » Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:22 am

Nathangrn wrote:I like the stereo mixes because they are fun to pick apart. On Revolver, you can pan to one side or the other and hear 2 of the 4 tracks. For example, on Taxman, you can hear some pretty abrupt punching in to get backing vocals, percussion and lead guitar on one track. However, the left speaker went out in my car so the stereo mixes are really annoying to listen in it.
I am really digging this aspect of it. You can really hear the track faders being brought up left and right and it's almost sloppy. The tambourine track on Taxman is most obvious. It almost pops when it comes in and out!

Also, the sound of the reverb is now SO clear....especially on the German versions of the tunes in stereo. the reverb is just speaking like crazy on the side opposite of the vox. It's great!
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