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Beatles Mono discs question
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16 December 2013
3.15am
bfollowell
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I've seen lots of posts concerning the Beatles Stereo and Mono sets that were released back in 2009. I have a question about mono discs. It isn't the typical mono vs. stereo questions I see. I understand the reasons why we have two different sets of discs. I understand that The Beatles focused on their mono mixes until about the Magical Mystery Tour disc. I understand that the stereo mixes most of us in the U.S. grew up listening to were mixed later and most were a gimmicky sort of stereo at best until The Beatles changed their focus.

My question concerns how this current batch of mono CDs, The Capitol Albums box sets from 2004 & 2006 and The Beatles in Mono from 2009, were produced and why. This question would also apply to the Live At The BBC disc from 1994 and the recently released On Air - Live At The BBC Volume 2 as they are both mono discs as well. While these discs are mono, they're not a "true" mono. They're really more of a two-channel mono, if such a term makes any sort of sense at all. Rather than being a true mono, the tracks are made up of an identical left and right channel. I'm lucky enough to have all of these sets. When I recently ripped my collection for archival purposes and use on my ipod in the car, I got rid of the left channel and converted these to true single-channel mono tracks. They sound exactly the same to me. Why would this not have been done this way when these discs were produced? They take up much less space and from what I can tell, I've not lost anything. They were mono tracks after all. The two Live At The BBC releases for example could have been released on a single disc each rather than on two-disc sets had these been released as true single-channel mono discs.

Am I missing something? Is there some reason that it would be better to have these tracks left as a two-channel mono that I'm no seeing, or hearing?

Thanks to anyone that may have answers or wish to speculate.

- Byron

16 December 2013
8.28pm
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trcanberra
Canberra, ACT
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bfollowell said
I've seen lots of posts concerning the Beatles Stereo and Mono sets that were released back in 2009. I have a question about mono discs. It isn't the typical mono vs. stereo questions I see. I understand the reasons why we have two different sets of discs. I understand that The Beatles focused on their mono mixes until about the
Magical Mystery Tour disc. I understand that the stereo mixes most of us in the U.S. grew up listening to were mixed later and most were a gimmicky sort of stereo at best until The Beatles changed their focus.
My question concerns how this current batch of mono CDs, The Capitol Albums box sets from 2004 & 2006 and The Beatles in Mono from 2009, were produced and why. This question would also apply to the Live At The BBC disc from 1994 and the recently released On Air - Live At The BBC Volume 2 as they are both mono discs as well. While these discs are mono, they're not a "true" mono. They're really more of a two-channel mono, if such a term makes any sort of sense at all. Rather than being a true mono, the tracks are made up of an identical left and right channel. I'm lucky enough to have all of these sets. When I recently ripped my collection for archival purposes and use on my ipod in the car, I got rid of the left channel and converted these to true single-channel mono tracks. They sound exactly the same to me. Why would this not have been done this way when these discs were produced? They take up much less space and from what I can tell, I've not lost anything. They were mono tracks after all. The two Live At The BBC releases for example could have been released on a single disc each rather than on two-disc sets had these been released as true single-channel mono discs.
Am I missing something? Is there some reason that it would be better to have these tracks left as a two-channel mono that I'm no seeing, or hearing?
Thanks to anyone that may have answers or wish to speculate.
- Byron

Not sure if I'm off -track on what you are saying, but mono these days has to be two channel as most of us are listening on a stereo system that has two (or more) speakers.  The only way to have it have only one channel would be to make it run through the centre channel if you have a 5.1 setup but then I'm not sure how folks with 2.0 would manage.  Makes more sense to use the left and right channel and have them identical so it sounds like mono when you listen

 

==> trcanberra and hongkonglady - Together even when not (engaged for those not in the know!) <==
16 December 2013
9.16pm
bfollowell
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trcanberra said
Not sure if I'm off -track on what you are saying, but mono these days has to be two channel as most of us are listening on a stereo system that has two (or more) speakers.  The only way to have it have only one channel would be to make it run through the centre channel if you have a 5.1 setup but then I'm not sure how folks with 2.0 would manage.  Makes more sense to use the left and right channel and have them identical so it sounds like mono when you listen

 

Nope, it doesn't really work that way. I'd wondered about that myself and experimented a little. I have true mono, single-channel audio files now and they play through all four speakers in my car. They play through all the speakers on my home system too. It's just like if you're listening to an audio CD on your home theater system. 5.1 DVD audio is a rarity but most home theater systems pickup on two-channel, stereo CDs and push the music out to all speakers in some sort of "simulated" 5.1 anyway unless you go in manually and force it to do something else with the audio. Mono is  the same way with "stereo" systems. In the car, I used the balance and fader controls to make certain that I have audio coming from all four speakers, and I do. These sound exactle as they did when they were two-channel mono, they're just true single-channel mono now and take up a little over half the space they originally did.

- Byron

 

16 December 2013
10.51pm
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trcanberra
Canberra, ACT
Apple rooftop
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bfollowell said

trcanberra said
Not sure if I'm off -track on what you are saying, but mono these days has to be two channel as most of us are listening on a stereo system that has two (or more) speakers.  The only way to have it have only one channel would be to make it run through the centre channel if you have a 5.1 setup but then I'm not sure how folks with 2.0 would manage.  Makes more sense to use the left and right channel and have them identical so it sounds like mono when you listen

 

Nope, it doesn't really work that way. I'd wondered about that myself and experimented a little. I have true mono, single-channel audio files now and they play through all four speakers in my car. They play through all the speakers on my home system too. It's just like if you're listening to an audio CD on your home theater system. 5.1 DVD audio is a rarity but most home theater systems pickup on two-channel, stereo CDs and push the music out to all speakers in some sort of "simulated" 5.1 anyway unless you go in manually and force it to do something else with the audio. Mono is  the same way with "stereo" systems. In the car, I used the balance and fader controls to make certain that I have audio coming from all four speakers, and I do. These sound exactle as they did when they were two-channel mono, they're just true single-channel mono now and take up a little over half the space they originally did.
- Byron

 

Cheers - and I forgot to say welcome aboard.

I suspect that maybe they go the 2-channel mono route in case any decoders got a true mono signal wrong and only send it to one speaker.  The files you have may be different from the way they get encoded on an audio CD.  Please note this is all speculation on my part :)

 

==> trcanberra and hongkonglady - Together even when not (engaged for those not in the know!) <==
17 December 2013
5.33am
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SatanHimself
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