Unless my music system is doing something strange, I think there may be an error on the Revolver stereo remaster. Listen to Elenor Rigby on the original CD release: Paul's vocals during the verses are limited to the right channel. (John's backup tends to be in the left channel, at least toward the end.) On the remaster it seems Paul is now on the left, John is on the right. Is this just my system, or are these actually flipped? Which way matches the original stereo version of the LP?
The original 1987 CD and this remaster sound the same to me as far as which vocals come out of what speaker. The remixed version found on the Yellow Submarine CD from 1999 is different however. Instead of Paul's voice being in the right channel, it comes equally from both channels, and the vocal overdub still comes from the left speaker. I've always thought the 1997 CD came from the same master as the original stereo CD, but I'm assuming that and I don't know for sure.
If anyone's still following this thread, i'd just like one thing about Eleanor Rigby explained: with the very first "Eleanor Rigby," right after the intro chorus, one voice sings "Eleanor Rigby" and another voice (in the left channel, as far as I can tell) sings "Ele" and then quits. I always thought that was an obvious glitch; sometimes glitches can be fun and are left in on purpose, to sort of make the process more intimate and pull the listener into it, but this one has no merit at all. It was far less audible in the previous, slightly muddier stereo incarnation (and I don't remember what mono sounded like), but with the remaster, it's as clear as day. I thought, surely now would have been a good time to fix that. Rushead is not altogether correct: mix and master offer similar options, and silencing a second of unwanted vocal should be fairly easy, although with piles of tracks being bounced in those bad old days, perhaps not that easy. Any take on this?
Muting of a track is not something that's done when remastering, that requires a remix. You could mute one of the two stereo tracks when remastering but that would also mute all other audio on that track.
Is anyone interested in PRINTING ERRORS? Well, apparently the Q.C. person at Apple wasn't either. Note the picture inside listed as being taken at "Chiwick House"...and then on the inside back page another photo is listed as being taken at "Chiswick House". Hmmmm, 4 years in the making and they let THIS kinda thing slip by? Sheesh! (BTW: the correct spelling is Chiswick).
Almost, but not quite, as sloppy as the Magical Mystery Tour remaster booklet that lists the bonus video material as the "Let It Be documentary". ("sloppy" - I can't believe I'm using that term for something coming from my beloved Beatles - then, maybe not - after all, Capitol Records was involved AND spelling has never been considered a high priority with Gen-X'rs, who probably put this package together)
You must be right; as I said, it's that darn bouncing - no telling how much stuff ended up on that one final track, so, indeed, muting anything would mean muting everything else as well. The irony is that, in spite of the string ensemble, the recording of Eleanor Rigby is fairly simple by modern standards. Today, whatever the original intent of that vocal that turned into a mistake was, would have had its own digital track, and it would be deleted without mercy. As it is, one of the legendary summits of pop music goes blemished. Oh well, there's anecdotal value in it, I suppose. I'd wish I knew how it happened.
What happened was, with four tracks available, the original recording had: strings, bongos, harmonies and lead vocal respectively. Paul not being completlely happy with his lead vocal, re-recorded it on track 2, wiping away congas and other percussion. Later it was considered that the lead vocal on track 4 was superior to the newer one, resulting in track 2 being muted for most of the recording except in choruses and the wonderful counterpoint at the end of the song. When it came time to mix, Geoff Emerick failed to mute track 2 properly at the beginning resulting in an audible "Ele" from the left speaker. In the mono version this voice is not audible because it was properly muted. The only way of muting transparently the "Ele" would be to access the 4-track tape, BUT, you could never ever reconstruct the original mix exactly. I hope no one ever accesses those tapes so we continue listening to The Beatles as THEY intended, errors in this case are part of the work of art wheter we want it or not.
Yes, it's all there, I have to say that I completely adore this book, some may find the technical parts taxing but the chapters where production is discussed are extremely valuable for every Beatles fan, though you'll get a real kick out of the whole book if you have a nice understanding of audio principles. Compulsory reading for every audio-loving Beatles fan!
Recording/mastering here too Rush. It's not HIGHLY technical, but, not everyone who loves the Beatles will understand it completely. I think it's worth stating that because, like with Bruce Swedien's In the Studio with Michael Jackson (Book), some fans can buy it and realize later that they did not find most of it entertaining/worth the money. Having said that, I hope it's back in stock soon, cause you'll absolutely love it!
I wonder what happened to the poor schmuck responsible for the "Ele." Considering that everyone at that point knew that a Beatle album would set them up in clover for years to come, you'd think anyone throwing a wrench into such a deal would be fired on the spot. On the other hand, perhaps it is precisely because it was such a surefire money maker that no one worried too much. Still, I am surprised that no attempt was made to remaster without the glitch. As you point out, the original mix could never be replicated exactly, but you could probably come close enough to satisfy everyone. Although I would not dare call myself a pro (more like an amateur groping in the dark), I have created, produced, mixed and mastered a complete CD and many individual songs with minimal tools, and I know that it is a heck of a hard job with endless attempts at improvement, so you take detailed notes of what you're doing with each successive try. So finding a 99% exact mix is not impossible, and the Beatles would undoubtedly have agreed to it, if asked for approval. They seem to have been and still are extremely adventurous when it comes to tinkering with their stuff - witness G. Martin's "Love."
That "schmuck" turned into one of the most respected recording engineers ever. Though at that time of the recording of "Eleanor Rigby" he was only 18. So much for the mystical super experienced engineer! (His first Beatles session was "Tomorrow Never Knows".) Not that I don't love or respect his work with the Beatles, but let's face it, you have little recording experience and you are ˇˇ18!! and you are given your first session with the biggest band in the world and it turns out to be "Tomorrow Never Knows"... Talk about pressure!!! He must have been scared to death, EMI trained and all. I think the reason the glitch didn't surface at the moment was because stereo remixing was far from being a priority at Abbey Road during the time, so it went unnoticed until turning back wasn't much of an option. Regarding recreating the mix, you'd have to get, original studer 4-track, console, outboard gear, echo chambers... (I believe they achieved something like this for "Love") but I still think it would be far from 99%, only to fix something that every owner of a Revolver stereo record (virtually every Revolver owner) has heard since the late 60s? Artistic implications aside. I quite enjoy Martin's "Love", though it is a new and different work of art, not an older one technically corrected.
For the OP, Paul is supposed to came from the right speaker in the verses, I suspect the wires coming out of you turntable must be the other way around. If you have LP and CD versions of another record you can check this easily. I have a lovely vinyl single with a 700Hz tone, on track 1 plays it in the left speaker and track 2 on the right one. Pretty handy! You can borrow it if you decide to travel 6000 miles! :)
Hmm, I don't actually see where you are from your profile; and how do you know I am 6000 miles away, except for the fact that you seem to be posting when i'm sleeping? It's probably one of those totally obvious things somewhere on this page and the fact that I don't see it is going to place me on the embarrassment list of the century. In any event, you have a good sense of humor, but it would be even more hilarious if I knocked on your door and requested to hear that recording. btw, "Love" is very good, and, appropriately for our discussion, it is much more of a thrill if you have an inkling of what it took technically to put it together than if you just enjoy the music for itself. Final note: you should never offer to lend a (presumably rare) vinyl to anyone, not even your best friend. I actually pissed off most of my friends that way in the past, but now they understand very well, and I still have a few pristine LPs. Cheers.
:) I don't mean to be rude but the offer was for the original poster, who had the problem identifying the channels, and is from California, some 6000 miles from Montevideo, Uruguay, my home. The offer implied though, that he should bring his turntable so we could check with my single how his channels are set up! If you have trouble with your gear and seem to desperately need it, you too are welcome to stop by and we'll see if it helps, but I think any mastering house that cuts vinyl in NY could make something similar for a lot less money than the air ticket though ;) Cheers
My first thought for the guy who heard the voices in the wrong speakers: Take off your headphones, turn them around, and put them back on. (o: As for remixing, I'm glad somebody somewhere fixed "Let It Be." Originally released in two different mixes for the 45 and the album, one had the better lead solo and the late guitar fills practically muted, while the other had the excellent guitar fills prominent, but a weaker solo. I heard a version recently that had the better solo with the prominent lead fills. Something I've wished for since the early 70's.