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The Good Vibrations Problem

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Many of the Beach Boys’ records were mono only as this was Brian Wilson's preferred format. However, starting in the mid-1990s, stereo mixes of many of these classics were created by synchronizing the tracks from the instrumental multitrack with those of the vocal multitrack. Unfortunately, for a number of tracks, including “Good Vibrations,” elements of the multitracks were missing, making a true stereo mix impossible. This paper deals with how stereo extraction mixes were created for a number of Beach Boys’ songs using sound source separation techniques to separate sources from the original mono recordings, which were then panned to create stereo mixes. These mixes were used in reissues of Beach Boys albums in 2012.

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