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The White Album Mono vs Stereo
1 September 2020
10.19am
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hyslope.ryan
Des Moines, Iowa
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1 September 2020
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Hey all,

Does anyone know if The Beatles spent more time on the stereo or mono mix for the White Album ? I know that they spent way more time with the mono mix of Sgt. Pepper and earlier but I can't seem to find anything on the White Album . Did The Beatles switch to stereo here mostly or did they continue to work mostly on the mono?

2 September 2020
12.34pm
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Bongo
Somewhere In Time
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Good question, as Stereo was now the preference around that time.  It was their last mono LP after all.

 

Since mono Helter Skelter does not have Ringo screaming "I've Got Blisters On My Fingers" at the end of the song, I'd like to know if that was the Bands doing, or the record producers, after they went home.

 

My guess? They spent more time on the stereo.....

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2 September 2020
6.21pm
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Ron Nasty
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It's probable more time was spent on mono mixes during the sessions than stereo, @hyslope.ryan (and welcome to the Forum). Many of the songs were given rough mono mixes as they progressed, and when they started on the proper mixes, songs often saw more attempts at the mono mix while many of stereo mixes were done in 1 or 2 attempts. I don't think that indicates that the mono mix was more important to them, rather that it was more complicated to get a mono mix they were happy with as they became convinced that stereo was the future.

As to Helter Skelter , @Bongo, The Beatles were involved in both the mono and stereo mixes. The mono mix was done on 17 September while the stereo mix was done nearly a month later, on 12 October. The Beatles were present for both sessions.

Paul has suggested it was intentional to have differences between the mono and stereo, though it may just be that they didn't reference the mono mixes when doing the stereo.

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3 September 2020
8.31am
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CakeMaestor
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From what I can tell, the "White Album " was constructed with stereo in mind. This is mostly due to the fact that stereo was becoming more and more popular, and with the emerging popularity of the eight-track tape machine. Before that, most of the Beatles (I think all, actually) were using the two-track and the four-track machine. The eight-track tape machine gave them more leeway and freedom to exercise production. Though I'm not the chief Beatles encyclopedia-man here, so I might get some things wrong about this (that title belongs to our ever-lovable, Ron).

Personal opinion: I'm usually indifferent to mono or stereo mixes of Beatles albums, but the "White Album " might be my only exception other than "Revolver ". Stereo is the superior version.

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5 September 2020
3.50am
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Timothy
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Stereo is most definitely better for the White Album .

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