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Giles Martin on remixing A Hard Day's Night
27 June 2014
12.14pm
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Joe
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There's an interesting interview with Giles Martin on Music Radar, where he talks about restoring the soundtrack to AHDN for the film's reissue.

I didn't know some of the songs were recorded on two-track.

What I found out was that half of A Hard Day’s Night is two-track. He had four-track available to him, only he didn’t use it. I guess there was no point, as the band was writing these instant hits. You didn’t really think about what was going to happen in the future.

Some songs were four-track and others were two-track. A Hard Day's Night and I Should’ve Known Better were four-track; I’m Happy Just To Dance With You and Tell Me Why were two-track. The very early stuff was two-track. Trying to do a 5.1 to She Loves You was hard. That song is in the live performance section, and it’s in mono. Because of that, you have nothing to play around with; you just have everything on one track.

On the slower mix of And I Love Her :

I read that the mixes of the songs in the film were slower than the album versions. Why was that?

“Yeah, and that’s something I asked them to change. When I was working on the Martin Scorsese-George Harrison film, I noticed it. And I Love Her was a semitone down. It’s got to do with frame rates. I asked them, 'Can you change the frame rate of the film?' and of course, you can’t because that would speed up the film. Pitching the music but keeping it at the same speed might have worked, but then you’re going into a digital world that’s kind of unpleasant. It’s a bit like plastic surgery, and you don’t want to be doing that, putting a new face on something. The thing about And I Love Her in the film is, it’s a different mix. It’s not a double-tracked vocal, whereas the original is.”

I'm not sure how I feel about this bit: re-creating and adding effects and voices.

You said that you had to track down the tapes of dialogue and sound effects. Did you have any problems with those tapes once you found them?

“Oh, yeah, massive. That was a massive problem because quite often the dialogue and effects were together. We ended up sampling and looping various things, like the sound of a train, for example. On the 5.1, you hear the same train sound going around as you do the dialogue and effects. But the weird thing I found was, if I added more effects, they almost canceled the original sounds out.

“Just think, if you have George knocking over an amp, which he does in one scene, we wanted that in there – it’s more immersive. We cheated certain things. It bothered me that when the girls were shouting The Beatles’ names in the concert, you couldn’t hear them. So I got some girls to scream their names [laughs]. It’s very subtle. You wouldn’t notice it. I probably shouldn't have told you that. [Laughs]

“But this is what Paul says, and my dad says it as well: ‘You do what you can if they could do it now.’ It’s not about re-creating anybody's vision - it's preserving it. I didn't want to change what The Beatles or Richard Lester or my dad did. You just have to have empathy for what they did and preserve it.”

Read the full article, it's good. I also learnt something right at the end, which Giles didn't know either: that The Beatles are never mentioned anywhere in the film.

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28 June 2014
1.13am
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Mr. Kite
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The Beatles aren't mentioned thinking about it! Only in writing at the end on the helicopter. I wonder if that was a little joke.

I don't like that they're adding sounds either. When George falls over it looks like an accident and its funny if you notice it. They shouldn't bring attention to it.

I don't know why he'd want to speed up the And I Love Her scene either. It's fine the way it is and I'm glad they can't change it.

Should be a good reissue though overall.

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28 June 2014
7.24am
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vonbontee
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Joe said

I'm not sure how I feel about this bit: re-creating and adding effects and voices.

Well, damn...pretty sure I know how I feel about it, myself. :(

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28 June 2014
2.14pm
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Its not a surprise that little bits and pieces have been modified. Did it need more screams from the fans? Truth be told i'm surprised Apple haven't edited out all cigarettes on screen and Ringo's now chewing on a carrott.

Leave the damn thing alone and let us experience it as it was.

I haven't seen the film and can't say i'm that desperate to pick up a copy the more i read of it. Reading elsewhere the mono mix isn't the original mono mix, the clip of 'You Can't Do That ' is said to be pretty average quality and a line or two of If I Fell is out of sync.

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28 June 2014
4.02pm
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meanmistermustard said

Its not a surprise that little bits and pieces have been modified. Did it need more screams from the fans? Truth be told i'm surprised Apple haven't edited out all cigarettes on screen and Ringo's now chewing on a carrott.

Leave the damn thing alone and let us experience it as it was.

I haven't seen the film and can't say i'm that desperate to pick up a copy the more i read of it. Reading elsewhere the mono mix isn't the original mono mix, the clip of 'You Can't Do That ' is said to be pretty average quality and a line or two of If I Fell is out of sync.

1. Wouldn't surprise me if they did!

2. Why do they have to mess with it at all, especially if they're making things worse?

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28 June 2014
4.15pm
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Same as with anything that's slighty out - you try and fix it but you only end up making it worse. Good intentions and all that.

From what i understand (again i haven't seen the remaster) where Paul's voice "cracks" in IIF (it didn't by the way, it was an error when mixing back in 1964, the mono is the same vocal take) they corrected it but somehow whilst doing so it knocked it out of sync on that line. 

No master copy of the YCDT performance exists so they had to hunt down a clip. 

Remember these are very small details, to the very large majority it won't matter, the film itself is still excellent.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of self to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

28 June 2014
7.11pm
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IveJustSeenAFaceo
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I wish they'd just touch up the audio and visuals and leave it.

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2 July 2014
12.24am
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As for George Martins son , I have a problem with this " son of BEATLE" or son of BEATLES' producer, no the LOVE project does not count anymore than that dreadful Seargent Pepper film.

2 July 2014
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unclegilly said
As for George Martins son , I have a problem with this " son of BEATLE" or son of BEATLES' producer, no the LOVE project does not count anymore than that dreadful Seargent Pepper film.

Me too.  They should have gotten Phil Spector out of jail and him do his wall of sound technic on it... Ha-haa-hard-days-night-ringo-10

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2 July 2014
4.19am
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unclegilly said

As for George Martins son , I have a problem with this " son of BEATLE" or son of BEATLES' producer, no the LOVE project does not count anymore than that dreadful Seargent Pepper film.

You don't think he did a good job on that? Or just don't like it for what it is?

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!"
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2 July 2014
5.09am
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@unclegilly I have never had any problem with the Beatle, or fifth-Beatle in this case, children pursuing the career they want. Those Beatle children involved in music have shouted much less about their parentage than the media, as to them they are just "Dad". Giles spent many years building his reputation as a producer, largely avoiding "pop" music and concentrating on soundtrack and classical music. He got himself some bragging rights - producing the multi-platinum Pure by Hayley Westenra, the fastest-selling classical album ever in the UK (at the time). Why should he be prevented from following in his father's footsteps merely because of who his father is? It is not as if it is uncommon for children to follow their parents. It only seems to be the children of the rich and famous who are criticised for it.

I also have no problem with Giles as Beatles producer. After all is said and done, what producer is in as good a position to discuss any issues and difficulties they may be having with the material with the original producer than Giles?

As to "Love", while I understand you don't like it, it can hardly be said to have as little value as the "Sgt. Pepper " movie. One simple reason is that the "Sgt. Pepper " movie used no original music and had no involvement by The Beatles; "Love" used the original and had full backing by The Beatles and their survivors (even starting life in the mind of a Beatle).

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

 

The Beatles Non-Canon Poll List

3 July 2014
3.57am
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IveJustSeenAFaceo
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unclegilly said
As for George Martins son , I have a problem with this " son of BEATLE" or son of BEATLES' producer, no the LOVE project does not count anymore than that dreadful Seargent Pepper film.

That's totally ridiculous. It's like saying Wayne Gretzky's son shouldn't be allowed to play hockey (though he actually plays baseball) because he won't be the original. 

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5 July 2014
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IveJustSeenAFaceo said

unclegilly said
As for George Martins son , I have a problem with this " son of BEATLE" or son of BEATLES' producer, no the LOVE project does not count anymore than that dreadful Seargent Pepper film.

That's totally ridiculous. It's like saying Wayne Gretzky's son shouldn't be allowed to play hockey (though he actually plays baseball) because he won't be the original. 

What ever you say .I guess being a purist and unlike you not willing to settle, I expect more. I mention in another post (somewhere)  that Riley in his book " TELL ME WHY " believes original mixes are sacrosanct , and the only worthy discussions should be original mixes ,mono or stereo. As to your GRETZKY reference ,to quote JOHN LENNON, "

"Don't be silly love "

5 July 2014
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unclegilly
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Von Bontee said

unclegilly said

As for George Martins son , I have a problem with this " son of BEATLE" or son of BEATLES' producer, no the LOVE project does not count anymore than that dreadful Seargent Pepper film.

You don't think he did a good job on that? Or just don't like it for what it is?

Very good point, another reason I really enjoy this site is thinking  like yours. Yes  The reason is ,I do not care for what it is,  Technically I'm certain any name producer could do a good job ,whether he is George Martins' progeny or no.As for his being more in tune with BEATLE " vibe" because he is MARTINS son ,strange that really doesn't appy to BEATLE kids and their " music" /

5 July 2014
1.21am
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So what about the '87 Help ! and Rubber Soul remixes that are commonly available on the stereo cd's? Or the anthology remixes, Let It Be Naked, Yellow Submarine Songtrack ? All that you throw in the bin and never mention because it isn't the originals? The commonly available Strawberry Fields Forever is a 1971 remix that replaced the original (see here), do we ignore that?

If the mix sucks then fair enough gripe but many of these remixes are really good, were never designed to replace the originals andto discard them out of hand because they aren't originals seem over-critical and foolhardy. The complete stereo remix of I Am The Walrus for Anthology is stunning, have you heard it?

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5 July 2014
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@unclegilly Sad to see you didn't take on my post. Reality is, if your dad's a postman, why shouldn't you be a postman? Same thing, if your dad's a producer, why shouldn't you be?

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5 July 2014
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meanmistermustard said
So what about the '87 Help ! and Rubber Soul remixes that are commonly available on the stereo cd's? Or the anthology remixes, Let It Be Naked, Yellow Submarine Songtrack ? All that you throw in the bin and never mention because it isn't the originals? The commonly available Strawberry Fields Forever is a 1971 remix that replaced the original (see here), do we ignore that?

If the mix sucks then fair enough gripe but many of these remixes are really good and not designed to replace the originals but to discard them out of hand because they aren't originals seem over criticial. The complete stereo remix of I Am The Walrus for Anthology is stunning, have you heard it?

I have heard basically everything , and you really must listen to an original vinyl of " Strawberry fields" the ones I have are from 1967 an original mix ,ever experience one of those ? I am thinking ....no.

5 July 2014
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Ron Nasty said
@unclegilly Sad to see you didn't take on my post. Reality is, if your dad's a postman, why shouldn't you be a postman? Same thing, if your dad's a producer, why shouldn't you be?

No Ron ,your post was quite good, but reality is just because your dad is a postman ,doesn't mean you will be as good or maybe you should think of being dog catcher and becoming truly unique, instead of " son of postman" you dig baby ?

5 July 2014
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unclegilly said

meanmistermustard said
So what about the '87 Help ! and Rubber Soul remixes that are commonly available on the stereo cd's? Or the anthology remixes, Let It Be Naked, Yellow Submarine Songtrack ? All that you throw in the bin and never mention because it isn't the originals? The commonly available Strawberry Fields Forever is a 1971 remix that replaced the original (see here), do we ignore that?

If the mix sucks then fair enough gripe but many of these remixes are really good and not designed to replace the originals but to discard them out of hand because they aren't originals seem over criticial. The complete stereo remix of I Am The Walrus for Anthology is stunning, have you heard it?

I have heard basically everything , and you really must listen to an original vinyl of " Strawberry fields" the ones I have are from 1967 an original mix ,ever experience one of those ? I am thinking ....no.

I have heard the original mix yes. And i find it to be really good. But so is the '71 remix. Do you think its lesser simply because it was done 4 years later?

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

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5 July 2014
1.47am
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unclegilly
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meanmistermustard said

unclegilly said

meanmistermustard said
So what about the '87 Help ! and Rubber Soul remixes that are commonly available on the stereo cd's? Or the anthology remixes, Let It Be Naked, Yellow Submarine Songtrack ? All that you throw in the bin and never mention because it isn't the originals? The commonly available Strawberry Fields Forever is a 1971 remix that replaced the original (see here), do we ignore that?

If the mix sucks then fair enough gripe but many of these remixes are really good and not designed to replace the originals but to discard them out of hand because they aren't originals seem over criticial. The complete stereo remix of I Am The Walrus for Anthology is stunning, have you heard it?

I have heard basically everything , and you really must listen to an original vinyl of " Strawberry fields" the ones I have are from 1967 an original mix ,ever experience one of those ? I am thinking ....no.

I have heard the original mix yes. And i find it to be really good. But so is the '71 remix. Do you think its lesser simply because it was done 4 years later?

Yes, if you want to play the better than game, you know George Harrisons' quote about the BEATLES sounding better on 45 ? that wasn't him dismissing technology, but the process of recording as I am sure you know ,is /was such a big part of the overall sound of the recording itself and George wasn't being a curmudgeon when he said this, there is a lot of truth in what he said. like vinyl versus digital for example vinyl all the way to my ears for BEATLES and more and also so much Jazz just sounds better . remember, analog is  a wave digital a pulse. Maybe the answer is in there. 

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