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Tomorrow Never Knows
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22 January 2015
11.08pm
Joe
Pepperland
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Ah, I see. Sorry. This might be of interest (the whole thing is worth a read if you want to geek out a little).

Though the Beatles were innovators in the use of two or four tracks, they often put all the instruments on a single track and then used the remaining tracks for ancillary sounds and effects. Apple Corps wanted the game to cover the span of the band’s career, so Harmonix would have to find a way to extract the different instruments from those early songs.

”We were thinking, oh crap, this is a daunting challenge,” recalls Rigopulos, ”but it’s a problem worth solving.”

Working with Martin, Harmonix first tried to use conventional audio engineering tools to filter specific sounds from the original master tapes, recorded at Abbey Road Studios in the 1960s. But the method required too many steps, and the results often weren’t accurate enough.

”You couldn’t just set up a single filter to remove the tambourine,” Egozy says.

A more hands-on process was necessary. Egozy and his team turned to audio forensic software normally used by law enforcement and in restoration projects. These tools, equipped with advanced digital-signal-processing capabilities, include more controls than those offered by most audio-filtering packages. Myriad audio parameters can be tweaked in order to zero in on specific sound elements.

Egozy says that although sounds with distinct frequency ranges were easily separated using equalizers, the work became much more difficult as the frequencies were intermingled.

”The forensic tools really helped in cases where we had several more full-frequency instruments on the same track,” he says. ”For example, guitar on the same track as drums, or vocals on the same track as guitar, or all three on a single track.”

Fine-tuning the filters was a painstaking process. Harmonix and Giles Martin spent several months going through each song, separating instruments and vocals onto different tracks and then identifying every bit of sound, note by note.

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23 January 2015
1.25am
ewe2
Inside the beat
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Wild stuff! Of course, it makes sense that forensic tools would be handy in this context. I hope that kind of stuff has made its way into the general market, I find it very addictive to play with vsts and I don't understand half of it.

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