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Sgt. Peppers 50th Anniversary Celebrations - including discussions about the 2017 remixed album
1 April 2017
6.18pm
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Ron Nasty
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Sorry, @Joe, but…

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1 April 2017
6.49pm
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meanmistermustard
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A remix is coming.

From Wogblog

If you’re looking for news about the upcoming anniversary edition of “Sgt Pepper ‘s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, here’s a story which guitarist/bassist/vocalist Keith Allison posted on his Facebook page yesterday:

“A couple months ago I was at Ringo’s home. We were in his man cave watching tv, when a delivery from England came in. It’s was from Giles Martin, George Martins son. What’s this? It’s the Sgt. Pepper album remastered. I said, “I haven’t listened to this in I don’t know how long.” Ringo exclaimed, “You haven’t heard it in a long time? I haven’t listened to it in decades.” So we decide to listen to it on his high def top of the line system. So here we are sitting on the sofa, facing the Tv, muted, but with soap operas playing. We listened to every track together. I thought, this is a historically great moment. Sitting here with my friend, listening to Sgt. Pepper , that he’s on as a Beatle, and that he hasn’t listen to track by track, since it came out”.

“Only two copies of the remastered Sgt. Pepper album were sent out, one to McCartney and one to Ringo, to be approved by them both. So what did Ringo think? He thought it was great! Why? Because it originally was recorded on a 4-track with a lot of over dubs, which buried the drums. Now, the drums have been lifted and come through as they should. He was pleased. You’ll be glad to know it was remastered at EMI Studios where it was originally recorded.”

It was ‘Pepper’ that kick-started the CD releases of ’87 (20 years) and brought the ‘Making of’ documentary (25 years), so whilst Apple have a decade or two history of being next to useless, they do seem willing to put the weekly tea and biscuits vote aside and put some effort into working on something of note that is still appealing when we hear the actual details and not just the sales pitch.

My own hope is that it’s not just a 15 track remix but, at the very least, some deluxe edition which has a number of new true outtakes, not crappy creations from 87 different takes of the same song. And hopefully the reviews and sales are sufficient for Apple to see the benefit of such releases and more albums get the treatment.

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1 April 2017
7.58pm
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The Hole Got Fixed
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‘Tis very exciting, it is! I wonder if it will actually sound better than the 2009 remaster?

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1 April 2017
8.48pm
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meanmistermustard
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Considering Giles’ history on Beatles remixing I’m deeply cautious.

It’s quite surprising even to myself how much I distrust Apple’s handling over this after all these years. So let’s go with it all being cancelled on the 23rd May due to John being 3mm taller than Paul and replaced by the limited edition set of 5 ‘Pepper’ pots; yours for just £182.63. 

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1 April 2017
9.14pm
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Dark Overlord
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Maybe they’ll recut Yellow Submarine so it synchs up with the album.

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2 April 2017
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Joe
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Take a look at this fascinating article on how they ‘demixed’ the Hollywood Bowl tapes to isolate each instrument:

https://www.wired.com/2017/03/…..ade-great/

I’d bet they’ve used the same tech on the forthcoming Pepper remix, separating all the performances that were laid down together or combined in reduction mixes. And if this one does well maybe there’ll be more remixed albums to follow. It’s the only way they can really milk serious money from the back catalogue, so I’m sure they won’t stop with Sgt Pepper .

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2 April 2017
3.08am
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The Hole Got Fixed
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That was a great read, thanks @Joe! I hope they do something like that with Sgt Pepper . And for that matter, the other albums, especially ones with lots of hiss, like Please Please Me and With the Beatles.

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2 April 2017
8.31am
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Dark Overlord
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Isolating each instrument with their first 2 albums would be a terrible idea because they were recorded on 2 track tape. In other words, the stereo version of these albums are essentially the original multitracks and the only way to further isolate would be by messing around with the EQ or in the case of a couple of those tracks, following this method:

1. Find the original 2 track tape before the overdub happened

2. Find the overdub tape

3. Combine them and make a 3 track tape

Since The Beatles didn’t start constantly using overdubs until they upgraded to 4 track with I Want To Hold Your Hand , there are only a few early songs that have them, and although only a few of these I can confirm are lost, it’s safe to assume most if not all of these are lost:

I Saw Her Standing There (handclaps)

Misery (piano)

Please Please Me (harmonica, lost)

Love Me Do (vocals and harmonica, lost)

Baby It’s You (celesta)

A Taste Of Honey (lead vocals)

There’s A Place (harmonica)

From Me To You (harmonica) (additional lead guitar)

Thank You Girl (harmonica)

I’ll Get You (harmonica, lost)

All My Loving (backing vocals)

Don’t Bother Me (percussion)

Little Child (piano and harmonica)

Please Mr. Postman (handclaps)

Roll Over Beethoven (handclaps) (additional lead guitar)

Hold Me Tight (handclaps)

I Wanna Be Your Man (maracas)

Devil In Her Heart (maracas)

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2 April 2017
9.17am
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meanmistermustard
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Some of the early tracks were remixed for ‘Rock Band’, and sound decent, so it is possible to create new ones. Oh and the ‘Anthology’ series too.

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2 April 2017
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Dark Overlord
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The remixes of the songs from the first 2 albums on The Beatles Rock Band are terrible, it just sounds like they messed around with the EQ for 5 minutes and called it a day.

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2 April 2017
12.49pm
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Necko
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Dark Overlord said
The remixes of the songs from the first 2 albums on The Beatles Rock Band are terrible, it just sounds like they messed around with the EQ for 5 minutes and called it a day.  

Well, since they were using two-track recordings in those days, that was pretty much their only option. 

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2 April 2017
1.19pm
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We could get Paul and Ringo back in the studio to recreate their original drum and bass parts for the first two albums.

 

Folk seem happy with that (new Paul and Ringo parts) whenever ‘Now and Then’ is pushed for a pointless release, the final, final, final, absolutely definitely without any doubt final Beatles reunion the world needs – until the next one is mooted. 

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3 April 2017
12.47am
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I have to be honest and say that I am not that fussed about a remastered Pepper album but about some of the extra material that could potentially be included.

I hope it’s not just stuff that was already included on Anthology 2 but actual unreleased recordings and now is as good as time as any to finally release Carnival Of Light , although I have my doubts about Carnival Of Light being released but it could be a possibility.

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3 April 2017
5.42am
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Joe
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Dark Overlord said
Isolating each instrument with their first 2 albums would be a terrible idea because they were recorded on 2 track tape. In other words, the stereo version of these albums are essentially the original multitracks and the only way to further isolate would be by messing around with the EQ or in the case of a couple of those tracks, following this method:

1. Find the original 2 track tape before the overdub happened

2. Find the overdub tape

3. Combine them and make a 3 track tape

Did you read that wired.com article I posted? It has huge implications for possible future remixes of the two-track recordings. Here:

Technological wizardry helped uncover the hidden sonics. But don’t think you can just run out and buy the same software to make your crappy Can bootlegs listenable. There’s no checkbox in ProTools to reverse-engineer a lousy recording. To get a sense of what the team at Abbey Road Studios did, imagine deconstructing a smoothie so you’re left with the strawberries, bananas, and ice in their original forms, just so you can blend them again from scratch.

To do that, James Clarke, a systems analyst at Abbey Road Studios, developed a “demixing” process to separate each instrument and vocal track from the cacophony. He isolated everything Ringo, Harrison, Paul McCartney , and John Lennon played and sang, separated it from the din of the crowd, and effectively created clean tracks to remaster. Fittingly, Clarke’s audio-modeling process used spectrograms—imagery you might associate with ghost-hunting—to bring the spirit of these live performances back to life.

“It doesn’t exist as a software program that is easy to use,” Clarke says. “It’s a lot of Matlab, more like a research tool. There’s no graphical front end where you can just load a piece of audio up, paint a track, and extract the audio. I write manual scripts, which I then put into the engine to process.”

Before tackling the project, Martin told Clarke to take a crack at a track Martin thought might give the engineer fits. “I challenged him with ‘And Your Bird Can Sing ’ on an acoustic guitar, and I knew just by being a mean, mean bastard that separating acoustic guitar and vocals was going to be the biggest challenge for him,” Martin says. “You have a lot of frequency crossover and distortion of signal path that goes on.”

Clarke passed that test. Then came the real challenge: Working with those three-track source tapes from the Hollywood Bowl to create digital models of each instrument, the vocals, and the enraptured crowd. From there, engineers could tweak each track to create the final mix.

Separating the kick drum and bass guitar proved relatively easy, because low frequencies don’t suffer from crossover with crowd noise. But vocals, guitars, snare drums, and cymbals share the same sonic real estate with the banshee wail of the fans. The Beatles’ virtuosity and consistency helped here. The modeling process involves using samples of each instrument to help the software determine what to look for and pull out into its own track. If the recording didn’t have a clean enough version of the track Clarke wanted to isolate, he used session recordings to build those audio fingerprints. “I went back to the studio versions to build the models,” he says. “They’re not as accurate, as there are usually temporal and tuning changes between playing in the studio and playing live, but the Beatles were pretty spot-on between studio and live versions.”

After creating spectrogram models of each instrument, he loaded the files into what he calls his “little controller program.” A few hours later, it gave him a clean track of the instrument he modeled. All of those tracks went to the mixing engineer.

The above is about the Hollywood Bowl recordings, which were on three-track. Of them George Martin said this:

You would [normally] record the band in stereo on two tracks and keep the voice separate on the third, so that you could bring it up or down in the mix. But at the Hollywood Bowl they didn’t use three-track in quite the right way. I didn’t have too much say in things because I was a foreigner, but they did some very bizarre mixing. In 1977, when I was asked to make an album from the tapes, I found guitars and voices mixed on the same track. And the recording seemed to concentrate more on the wild screaming of 18,700 kids than on the Beatles on stage.

Last year, they separated all the voices and instruments from those three-track tapes, and the crowd noise too, which allowed them to remix it all over again. They unblended the smoothie.

It should be even more straightforward with the two-track EMI tapes, because they’ll be able to take “audio fingerprint” samples from the same sessions while the band was warming up.

They could not only demix the two-track 1962/3 EMI recordings, they could also tackle things like the Kinfauns tapes, the early Anthology recordings, and the Lennon demos that were used for Free As A Bird and Real Love . It’s far, far more advanced than anything they had in the 1990s, and I think it’s hugely exciting.

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3 April 2017
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3 April 2017
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Joe said
Take a look at this fascinating article on how they ‘demixed’ the Hollywood Bowl tapes to isolate each instrument:

https://www.wired.com/2017/03/…..ade-great/

I’d bet they’ve used the same tech on the forthcoming Pepper remix, separating all the performances that were laid down together or combined in reduction mixes. And if this one does well maybe there’ll be more remixed albums to follow. It’s the only way they can really milk serious money from the back catalogue, so I’m sure they won’t stop with Sgt Pepper .  

I posted something similar to that earlier and @meanmistermustard poo-pooed it.
 

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3 April 2017
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I just hope the new remix doesn’t sound like 1+ did. I’m not really a fan of what Giles did there. But I’m a fan of what he did for Live at the Hollywood Bowl.

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3 April 2017
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meanmistermustard
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Expert Textpert said

I posted something similar to that earlier and @meanmistermustard poo-pooed it.
   

It may be far superior to anything before but you cannot take a smoothie, dissect all the ingredients, stick them back together and claim it’s as perfect as it was at the original beginning. It’s promotional bullshit hype.

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4 April 2017
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Amazon.com is listing a “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (6 Disc)” – CD version, 26 May 2017. I’ve Got A Feeling that the official announcement will come later today.

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4 April 2017
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Ron Nasty
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6 discs! a-hard-days-night-john-6

Since there’s been talk of a 5.1 mix, I’d suggest 5CD/1DVD.

Got to guess that 1 CD will be the new stereo mix, and another possibly the mono mix. That would leave three discs for additional tracks and outtakes.

If this is done right, if we don’t all go “Oh! Is that it!” when the details are released instead of “Oooo…!”, then I agree with @Joe that the clamour is going to rise for deluxe versions of the albums – especially with the 50th Anniversary of the White next year.

The change of trailer yesterday happened at 9 yesterday morning on the East Coast, around 2 in the afternoon here, so I think that’s the time to be watching – America is awake along with the UK.

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