Beatles Mono discs question | Recording and musicology | Fab forum

Please consider registering
Guest

Log In Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —

  
 

— Match —

   

— Forum Options —

   

Minimum search word length is 4 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

Beatles Mono discs question
16 December 2013
3.15am
bfollowell
A Beginning
Forum Posts: 8
Member Since:
16 December 2013
Offline

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
5.39pm
Inner Light
Friar Park
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 520
Member Since:
20 December 2010
Offline

I would say it's the decision of the record label as far as how the mono recordings or stereo mixes are going to be prepared for release. It's also a money issue and time constraint. The record companies are only interested in making money and will always take the easiest and less path of resistance. I have given up trying to figure out why these companies do what they do. The bottom line is they are in business to make money. They don't cater to just Beatles fans but the whole public. I have not read anywhere on exactly why they put these mono recordings out the way they did but I have speculated above. I pretty much have every different mix of every Beatles song from around the world and I cannot believe that there are so many differences depending on what country released the songs or album. The US have the most. It sure would have been easier to just have the entire world just keep the mixes exactly the same as the ones the Beatles approved and released in the UK but that's just a pipe dream.

The further one travels, the less one knows
16 December 2013
8.28pm
trcanberra
Canberra, ACT
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1770
Member Since:
29 August 2013
Offline

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

 

16 December 2013
8.38pm
Ron Nasty
"Where have you been?" "I'm not telling you..."
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 3212
Member Since:
17 December 2012
Offline

I was actually thinking something very similar, that those original one track mono mixes were done for players with one speaker. There is also the problem that, unless you have the perfect speaker set up, one channel can veer wildly off-centre - depending to where you are in the room, while two channel will pull it closer back to the centre. 

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
16 December 2013
9.16pm
bfollowell
A Beginning
Forum Posts: 8
Member Since:
16 December 2013
Offline

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
trcanberra
Canberra, ACT
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1770
Member Since:
29 August 2013
Offline

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 :)

 

17 December 2013
5.33am
SatanHimself
Hades-on-Leith
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 697
Member Since:
16 August 2012
Offline

Excellent first post, by the way.

E is for 'Ergent'.
17 December 2013
7.01am
bfollowell
A Beginning
Forum Posts: 8
Member Since:
16 December 2013
Offline

SatanHimself said
Excellent first post, by the way.

Thanks for the reply. Also, I believe I have an answer to my question. I've been informed that there is no mono standard in the Red Book audio standard.

Here is a direct quote:

"There is no monaural standard included in the red book. The only way to represent mono on a compact disc is with two identical left and right channels. Of course with zero difference between the channels, it is just as much "true" mono (to the listener) as the result of your exercise. You do save space by ripping to a mono file format (and you can do that without throwing away one of the source channels) but there is zero, as in none whatsoever, difference in the sound..."

Sounds good and makes sense to me.

- Byron

17 December 2013
7.33am
trcanberra
Canberra, ACT
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1770
Member Since:
29 August 2013
Offline

bfollowell said

SatanHimself said
Excellent first post, by the way.

Thanks for the reply. Also, I believe I have an answer to my question. I've been informed that there is no mono standard in the Red Book audio standard.
Here is a direct quote:
"There is no monaural standard included in the red book. The only way to represent mono on a compact disc is with two identical left and right channels. Of course with zero difference between the channels, it is just as much "true" mono (to the listener) as the result of your exercise. You do save space by ripping to a mono file format (and you can do that without throwing away one of the source channels) but there is zero, as in none whatsoever, difference in the sound..."
Sounds good and makes sense to me.
- Byron

Nice find - that was what I was speculating about a few posts up - thanks for confirming it.

 

Forum Timezone: Europe/London

Most Users Ever Online: 597

Currently Online: muzair, Oudis
41 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

meanmistermustard: 10354

mr. Sun king coming together: 6916

Ahhh Girl: 5491

parlance: 5476

Annadog40: 4709

mithveaen: 4651

Zig: 4534

Mr. Kite: 4274

Ron Nasty: 3211

fabfouremily: 2947

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 88

Members: 2684

Moderators: 4

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 3

Forums: 34

Topics: 3148

Posts: 140209

Newest Members: Rocky You're a Blackbird, Johnlovedcats, Alex, Aimo Kankkunen, henrysorren

Moderators: Ahhh Girl: 5491, meanmistermustard: 10354, Zig: 4534, Joe: 3491

Administrators: Joe: 3491, Ellie: 1

Members Birthdays
Today: Mimi
Upcoming: Beatles4ever, Bulldog