Beatles: Remastering vs. Remixing

Studer J37 No. 1 EMI Abbey Road StudiosCurrent Beatles engineer Allan Rouse explains the difference between remixing and remastering:

The “Yellow Submarine Song Songtrack” was a ‘remix’ which required going back to the original multi-track tapes and recreating a new stereo (and 5.1 surround for the film soundtrack). In the same way as the “Anthology” and “Help!” DVDs were created, along with “Let It Be… Naked” and “LOVE.” The re-masters are made from the original Sixties mono and stereo master tapes, and because of this, do not allow for the changes that can be made when mixing. Therefore, the improvements that occur with the re-masters are: vastly improved digital technology (since their first release on CD in the eighties); in addition, new technology has allowed us to remove or improve technical faults with the recordings, for example bad edits, tape drop outs, sibilance etc. Noises that were part of The Beatles’ performances such as breaths, lip noises and squeaky bass drum pedal were left alone. Finally, EQ has been used where appropriate to enhance the sound.

Master tapes = mixed recordings from which albums are sourced. Multi-track tapes = the original recordings of the separate instrumental and vocal tracks. The master tapes were created by George Martin, Norman Smith, Geoff Emerick, Ken Scott, Phil McDonald, Glyn Johns and The Beatles from the multi-track tapes, and now remastered by Allan Rouse and his team.

Pre-order the Stereo Box and the Mono Box and listen to clips of several of the remastered songs.

Beatles: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki.

2 thoughts on “Beatles: Remastering vs. Remixing”

  1. Very disappointing. I was hoping for remixes of everything. I believe George Martin would be the only man for that job, as he did the original mixes and the 1987 remixes.Remastering can help, but I have also seen it more often than not in recent years, completely ruin the dynamic integrity through the all too familiar misuse of compression, just to make it louder. This is what I am expecting actually. This was the last chance really. Once again, money and ignorance rules.Thanks a bunch Mr. Heath, I mean Rouse.

  2. I agree with the preceding comment. You mean engineers took 4 years to remaster the pre-existing 2 tracks? The projects that are created from the original multitracks really show their sparkle and sonic superiority. It’s significant because they used to bounce original tracks down to reduction mixes to save space and yet the original virgin tracks still exist! Also, mixes from the original multitracks are freed up to pan all around the spectrum, unlike the locked together and asymetrical old mixes. Bad news.

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