Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Giles Martin on remixing Beatles 1

The Beatles.
From a recent interview with Giles Martin we found published in the Times of India:

In dealing with their catalogue, did you ever feel overwhelmed? Like working on music that is revered the world over...
- Yes and no is the answer. If you ask Paul McCartney whether it's sacred or not, he'll say that he wouldn't want their work to be 'covered in dust'. If there are ways to improve things technically, we should do it. And I think with these new mixes on 1, they just sound more powerful because they are a throwback to the mono mixes. And obviously, we have surround sound we well. It is sacred in the sense that it means so much to so many people and the music is so important to the world. At the same time, you can't be frozen in your actions. You can't not walk on holy ground, if that makes sense.

Are they best listened to in mono or stereo?
- Some of it was created for mono. But you create a song as a 'song' and not as mono or stereo. The Beatles spent way more time mixing their mono versions than stereo. On Strawberry Fields Forever, there's a mellotron pulse that works so well with John's voice. On the stereo version, that mellotron is on the right speaker and so it doesn't work as well. These new mixes are actually mono on stereo, so to speak. Taxman and Paperback Writer are such great tracks. The new mixes, called 1, are sort of like mono, but in stereo. So, it sounds very powerful.



What's your favourite Beatles track from a producer's standpoint?
- A Day In The Life. I love the bass playing, I love Ringo's drumming and John Lennon's voice. And added to that, the fact that it has such a lovely orchestral score. The band recorded a rhythm track — John on guitar, Paul on piano, Ringo playing maracas and George on congas. That's the bedrock of the whole song. Paul and Ringo played bass and drums later together. Ringo's drums are almost backwards drumming. Ringo's a drummer who plays songs, as opposed to just beats.

11 comments:

James19 said...

So is he saying he mixed other songs (He mentions Taxman) as well?

Gabor Peterdi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gabor Peterdi said...

People are complaining about the 5.1 mix which sound nothing like the LOVE project. Most say there is only ambient sound coming from the rear speakers. Is that so???

Internotional Times said...

"These new mixes are actually mono on stereo, so to speak."

Don't you mean 'So to spock', Giles?

:P

ALK said...

Yes, the 5.1-channel mixes are "big stereo" and there are LFE problems throughout disc 1. The rear channels contain discrete instruments but *only* if those instruments are also in the front channels. So, individual instruments only go about half-way back in the sound field. Most of the rear channel information is ambient. It is very different surround mix and less enveloping than "Love".

I can understand the surround mix, if not like it, but the LFE problems are baffling. LFE problems are most prominent on Ticket To Ride (+15dB too loud) and We Can Work It Out (+9dB too loud). It's a shame that quality control was lacking on the 5.1-channel mixes. Ticket To Ride is unlistenable as it appears on this disc.

Gabor Peterdi said...

Thanks for the info. Sad to hear. I expected a real great 5.1 like LOVE. Why Giles, why?

Roger Stormo said...

Because this is not a circus. A better interview here, courtesy of the BBC

Blue Meanie said...

Most titles of the LOVE Project are combinations from different tracks.
There's more basics for surround so to say.
Maybe that's the reason, because it sounds so good!

Gabor Peterdi said...

After reading the interview I understand the approach more. However with surround I'd like to have the band around me and not on the stage in front. So Mrvin Gaye's guitarist can stand behind me anytime. And technology can do multiple audio channels, so both approach could have been used. I just love Walrus on the LOVE disc...

Matheus said...

He just toke it easy with 1 mixes, because it brings the number 1 hits. He said if he would mixing the white album tho...

John Sanchez said...

Oh Beatle people, don't we want it all?