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What are the differences between stereo and mono?
12 June 2013
7.22am
Funny Paper
America
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Thanks Inner Light! 

 

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12 June 2013
11.50am
DrBeatle
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Inner Light said
The bottom line is that the 'mono' versions from EMI in England are the original mixes that George Martin and The Beatles approved and were a part of during the mixing process. When they recorded their songs, they envisioned them in mono and not stereo. Stereo masters were done as an after thought because of the new 'at that time' technology that was surfacing and they wanted to be a part of this new format.

Exactly. As an example, the Beatles and George Martin spent almost 2 weeks mixing Sgt. Pepper in mono. George Martin's enigineers spent about 4-5 days mixing it in stereo afterwards (with no Beatles or George Martin even present). That's basically how it was, until Yellow Submarine, which was the first album mixed only in stereo.

 

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12 June 2013
4.36pm
Zig
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Funny Paper said
Thanks Inner Light! 

 

My wallet echoes that sentiment – thanks Inner Light!

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12 June 2013
9.08pm
Funny Paper
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DrBeatle said

Inner Light said
The bottom line is that the 'mono' versions from EMI in England are the original mixes that George Martin and The Beatles approved and were a part of during the mixing process. When they recorded their songs, they envisioned them in mono and not stereo. Stereo masters were done as an after thought because of the new 'at that time' technology that was surfacing and they wanted to be a part of this new format.

Exactly. As an example, the Beatles and George Martin spent almost 2 weeks mixing Sgt. Pepper in mono. George Martin's enigineers spent about 4-5 days mixing it in stereo afterwards (with no Beatles or George Martin even present). That's basically how it was, until Yellow Submarine, which was the first album mixed only in stereo.

 

So the initial reel-to-reel tapes (I assume that's what they recorded the actual music and singing on) were used by both Beatles and George Martin mixing Sgt. Pepper in mono, and then by George Martin's engineers mixing it in stereo?

I.e., George Martin's engineers did not touch the mono in order to create the stereo, correct?

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12 June 2013
10.15pm
Ron Nasty
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That's it, spot on, Funny Paper. The mono mixes were the best central "picture" from what were 2-track tapes in the beginning, moving up through 4-track, 8-track, etc. The stereo mixes were about placing those individual tracks within the "picture".

The reason there is no true stereo mixes of some songs, eg. She Loves You, is because the studio master was destroyed after the mono master was created, leading to all stereo mixes actually being "fake" stereo produced from the mono master – where, generally, they weight the high end to one channel and the low to the other. This is the case with several '62/'63 songs.

Another famous instance where there is no true full stereo mix is I Am The Walrus. That is because all of the twiddling through the radio dial during the second half of the song was done directly, as a live overdub, onto the mono mix during the mix session. This meant that when time came for the stereo mix the only thing to do, once John started twiddling with the radio dial, was to edit the stereo mix up to that point to a "fake" stereo of it from that point on.

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12 June 2013
10.50pm
meanmistermustard
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To clarify what mja said there is no true original stereo mix available due to how the song was constructed in the studio however one was finally made for the Anthology series, and is available on bootleg, and there is the remix on Love which i believe is also true stereo all the way thru.

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13 June 2013
9.19am
Linde
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Interesting!

You learn something new here every day.

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