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'Abbey Road' 50th Anniversary
5 October 2019
8.46pm
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Timothy
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meanmistermustard said
'Abbey Road ' returns to #1 in the UK Album charts beating 'Pepper' to the record of the longest gap between #1 (49 years and 252 days to 49 years and 125 days).

  

Now that is something to celebrate. The music sounds like it was recorded yesterday too. Incredible.

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6 October 2019
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Thought I’d just drop by and make a posta-hard-days-night-george-10. Though I barely have any knowledge about mixing, I love to celebrate the 50th birthday of this much loved album (and treat it as a perfect timing to pick up my Beatles obsession). Previously I seemed to care for Abbey Road the least among their most applauded albums, but giving the new mixing lots of listens, I hold it much dearer to my heart. And of course the studio takes, it feels great to hear a masterpiece come slowly into being. I like Paul’s two demos, Goodbye and Come And Get It .a-hard-days-night-paul-5

I’ve been writing a piece about Abbey Road for our school website. Hope more of my peers get to love it.a-hard-days-night-john-1

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A girl with kaleidoscope eyes...

6 October 2019
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William Shears Campbell
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I'm not listening to any of it until I buy the box which will happen next time I get paid.

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6 October 2019
2.38am
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Listening to the new mix on a set of headphones really is something else. As soon as the guitar came in during Come Together I knew this was going to be a new type of experience. It was so satisfying. Something sounds clearer than clear. And that goes for the whole album. 

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6 October 2019
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OK, I have just started to make a true A/B comparison, using Logic Pro X (just one click to switch between the 2009 and 2019 mixes) with Apple lossless files, both versions, with my studio headphones. For ordinary listeners, the differences will be hardly audible, on any kind of ordinary equipment. But if you really go into it with good phones, you do hear the differences, and the more I listen to it the more I hear...

Started with this with Come together: The toms in the intro pan from right to centre, and the toms and drums in general, remain panned to the right in the old mix. That is the most prominent feature. Ringo´s phantastic tom fills are now in stereo, and that is the biggest difference. The crash and hit is brighter, especially in the chorus and in the final section. The whole mix is more compact and yet has a better stereo feel. Hope to post more on the other songs...

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6 October 2019
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Something ... Not much difference in the voices and guitars, but again, very much in the drums. There is just more "boom", the fills are in stereo now, which adds a whole new experience to Rings drumming...  (that was my only disappointment in the Sgt Pepper remixes: that Ringo´s fabulous tom fills in A Day In The Life were still panned to one side...). Also the bass is now in centre, was panned slightly right in the old mix... Also the strings are more prominent.

Maxwells Silver Hammer: Again, more compact and brighter. What was panned to the sides in the old version is now somehow split and panned to both sides, with a better compact stereo feel. Again, most prominent for the drums. The piano bridge in the middle section was panned to the left, drums to the right, now it is more in the centre but split to both sides to give a good stereo effect. The harmony voices fill the room now ("Maxwell must go free").

Oh Darling: Again, Ringo´s drumming... stunning to hear his fills in stereo! The harmony vocals are the most prominent difference in this one... also the bass is more prominent.

Now need to go into one of my favourites, I want you...

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7 October 2019
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A/B Penguin Remix Notes:

I thought I'd write an opus instead of separate posts but big thanks to @Choking Smoker  for inspiring me to do an in-depth mix review/opinion/nerd-out.

I always have to hear "past" the production of a mix at first, and sometimes that's useful: it balances between emotional and critical impact before my ears accept the intent of the mix. Overall, Giles' intent is clarity and his priority is vocals and strings, with bass guitar remixing coming close behind. Just about everything else can sink or swim unless it's an important component where Giles felt he couldn't stray too far from the standard; which for me is the 2019 CD stereo remaster (an easy choice). The PCM mix overall I like better, its a bit smoother, the CD audio is too compressed of course. The DTS is difficult to judge in stereo headphones but it's similar to the way the White Album sounded on DTS/stereo headphones to me. I wouldn't be surprised that the CD audio is a mixdown from a DTS master and that's why it's so centred because I had a similar thought to the last two albums.

Giles it seems went in with the intent to rebalance the panning first and remix later and that's affected his choices. It's a mixed result; I like clarity but it's done at the expense of warmth and saturation here, and it comes off as a cold mix. Giles can do better work than this, we've heard it on Love, whatever you think of those experiments they definitely sounded alive. I fear disappointment at the prospect of a Giles remix of LIB now, and I wish Steven Wilson was doing it.

An interesting conclusion from comparing this remix with 2009 is how dated it's made that remaster as a stereo mix. That's not a criticism of either, it just reflects the way people thought about using stereo fields when it was first becoming popular compared to now. These days it's practically a dogma that vocals and bass and kick are all centred but back then, rhythm section on one side, vocals on the other was thought best for clarity. Also revealing is the tricky question of "glue" instruments like rhythm guitar and keyboards. It sounds to me that in widening their portion of the mix they also flatten and in some cases thin out their sound, see IWY(SSH) and Polythene Pam .

Come Together - Rhythm guitar on the left is distinctly quieter and less clear in the verses than 2009, which is a very odd result. But drums are given a full stereo treatment which really works.

Something - The big difference here is how the bass is positioned at right-of-centre to the side instead of all the way over. Once again the rhythm guitar is shunted off to the side. At least he does a smoother job of riding the lead guitar level in the final phrase than the 2009 remaster, depending on whether you like/care about that.

Maxwell's Silver Hammer - Centring the bass again, making the mix a little less "scooped" than 2009, but oddly drops the synth level way down in the last verse, it sounds like it's coming from another room.

Oh! Darling - Giles moves the vocals and bass to side-by-side in the centre from the odd left-of-centre position of 2009.

Octopus's Garden - The guitars get a much-needed stereo pan, but the bass is reduced to a "felt" volume. Also missing is the 2009 stereo pan of the middle eight gargles and overall the loudness of all vocals is brick-wall stupid-level, the rhythm section melting into an over-compressed sludge underneath.

I Want You (She's So Heavy) - Speaking of the aforementioned sludge, oh dear. With all his digital weaponry, Giles just seems to have given up on clarity here, which is a really weird result on this remix. I'm probably most annoyed by the treatment of rhythm guitar again but even the bass has more definition and tone in the 2009 remaster...one of the great bass performances of all time let alone the late '60's and it just disappears into the white noise along with the organ. What the eff were you thinking of, Giles.

Here Comes The Sun - Aside from the welcome re-balance of vocals, the synth is blended more into the guitars which I think is an improvement: the original on the Blue Album mix of the 70's really jumped out at you and even on 2009 is quite separated.

Because - This turned out ok, except curiously the dead spot at G# on the bass guitar's E string wasn't altered. It's low but not particularly low especially by modern standards and you'd think it would be a prime candidate for repair in the digital age but no. Just to confirm that, it's not the normal sound you expect at that frequency, unless it be phase cancellation which is inconceivable.

You Never Give Me Your Money - Giles eschews the vocal panning of the original, choosing to emphasise the guitars in the mix, the right-panned guitar is much more prominent. And for some reason we needed more bug sound effects to introduce:

Sun King - Oddly, not a great deal of difference here, just a little cleaner. The guitars are chimier and the kit sounds wonderful. Giles wise to not reinvent the wheel here.

Mean Mr. Mustard (yes he does) - More vocal re panning, which has the effect of masking the rhythm guitar which isn't moved from its formerly distinct place.

Polythene Pam - The acoustic guitar feels punchier in the 2009 mix because it is extreme left in the stereo field, so as not to fight the low mid thwack of Ringo's toms. Making it compete with the toms by widening its share of the stereo field is not a good choice.

She Came In Through The Bathroom Window - yes the vocal is lovely Giles, turn it down.

Golden Slumbers - Little to say about this one except that it really benefits from the cleanup of Ringo's kit, you can actually hear the hi-hats and its definitely a less boofy mix compared to 2009 which is saying a lot with that massive orchestral sound.

Carry That Weight - Another standout kit sound on this track but it's pretty much the same mix as GS except the guitars are missing in action, eclipsed by the orchestra and I miss that little bit of Leslie at the end, poking through the 2009 mix.

The End - There's something weird about the panning of the lead guitars on the CD audio, it sounds a bit..wonky. The 3rd guitar (whoever it is) is a bit left of centre instead of centred equally between the left and right side. The DTS audio enforces this separation and it doesn't sound as odd. Either way, the vocals are too present in the mix, it definitely doesn't gel in the same way the 2009 remaster for me.

Her Majesty - a nice pan across as the song floats by.

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7 October 2019
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@ewe2 said
[snip] Giles can do better work than this, we've heard it on Love and Yellow Submarine Songtrack... [snip]

Giles didn't do the Songtrack. It was done by Peter Cobbin.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty

 

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7 October 2019
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It came!!!

I didn’t have much of a chance to look at it (homework is so ghastly) but I’m quite excited to look through the book and download the music (if I can find my adaptor...)

Love one another.

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(I'm Fiddy, not Walrian)

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7 October 2019
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Ron Nasty said

@ewe2 said

[snip] Giles can do better work than this, we've heard it on Love and Yellow Submarine Songtrack... [snip]

Giles didn't do the Songtrack. It was done by Peter Cobbin.

  

Thanks, fixed that. I don't know where I got that idea! Maybe Peter should do LIB then!

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9 October 2019
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I’ve finally heard the remix. A bigger, clearer sound. I didn’t have any major problem with it, but then again I wasn’t expecting the definitive version.

These box sets are just different ways to hear the album, and I don’t see anything wrong with having more alternatives.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

10 October 2019
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The studio banter is great. Come Together (Take 5) - “He’s got teenage lyrics.” a-hard-days-night-john-6

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14 October 2019
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Definitely the most underwhelming of the three 50th Anniversary Editions so far. Unlike the previous two, the album's new remix is barely different to my ears from its original mix. And most of the extra tracks are basically just rougher versions of the finished songs; it's as if they were all pretty much fully formed from the get-go (most of them having been first worked on during the Get Back /Let It Be sessions probably had a hand in this). The trial edit of the Medley is probably the most interesting item here, along with the usual studio banter. While it's nice to finally have an official release of Paul's "Goodbye" demo, I'm probably most disappointed to not get George's full unused guitar solo during the bridge of "Here Comes The Sun " (first alluded to as an extra on the "Living in the Material World" DVD/Blu-ray, I believe).

17 October 2019
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Here comes the most insignificant, utterly unnecessary, silly comment that will probably be uttered about this release...

The book smells really good.

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17 October 2019
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Ahhh Girl said
Here comes the most insignificant, utterly unnecessary, silly comment that will probably be uttered about this release...

The book smells really good.


  

Okay but its true.

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Here | There | Everywhere

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17 October 2019
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Glad someone out there is with me on this one. paul-mccartney-thumb_gif

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22 October 2019
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meanmistermustard said

Ron Nasty said

I'm also not that keen on Giles' mix of I Want You. I think the problem is the last section. George's mix was heavy growing heavier, the weight of world pressing down as the white noise grew, getting more ominous and oppressive. You can feel it rumbling through your bones. Until it just stops.

Giles' mix just doesn't have that weight.

  

Giles has a history for turning powerful mixes of tracks into meh. The 50th remixes of 'ADITL' and 'WYWY' I won't listen to due to all that makes them great being reduced to bland meh; everything is just there, slopped out on to the floor in one gloop so the depth and feeling are gone.

  

I agree 100%. I've posted my review of the 50th anniversary remix sound quality here:

http://www.thebrokenrecord.net.....y-reissue/

In the above article, I've posted links to samples from the opening of "Come Together " which I've recorded from the 2019 remix, my old Apple pressing, and my old Capitol orange label pressing. As you will no doubt be able to hear, the 2019 remix sounds awful compared side by side with the originals.

For some inexplicable reason, Giles managed to totally kill the sound on "Abbey Road " (mind you, he did the same assassin job last year on the White Album remix).

Now, me being the vinyl snob, I've only listened to the remix vs old pressings on vinyl. Is there a possibility that these remixes sound much better in digital format?

I'm pretty sure if Lennon was alive he'd be livid over the botched job Giles did with his material. For some unexplained reason, both McCartney and Starr are endorsing Giles's atrocious work, which either means they're greedy for the cashflow, or they simply lost their hearing, now that they're pushing 80.

 

Revoke Giles Martin's license to mix and master the Beatles catalog!

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22 October 2019
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Collipso said
- Come Together is absolutely fantastic. I loved it. Same goes for Something , and, well, almost every other track.

"Come Together " sounds fantastic on the remix? Really?

I've recorded the opening of that track using the remix (vinyl pressing), my original Apple pressing and my original Capitol orange label pressing. You can listen to all three side-by-side if you visit my article:

http://www.thebrokenrecord.net.....y-reissue/

Have a listen and tell me if you don't hear how inferior the 2019 remix sounds compared to the originals.

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23 October 2019
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@alexbunardzic That is an interesting comparison and I see what you mean. I would love to hear some of the other songs compared the same way.

You don't need no horoscope or microscope to see the mess that you're in

25 October 2019
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Still enjoying this release. Although the White Album Deluxe still takes a lot of my time. Love that one a LOT.

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