AES Section Meeting Reports

San Francisco - October 14, 2018

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Michael Romanowski guided us through different versions of the Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, from original mono, through stereo and on to surround. Members listened, compared and discussed material from earlier versions through the 50th anniversary edition. The latter includes a new stereo remix of the album, created using modern and vintage technology which retains some of the idiosyncrasies that were unique to the original mono version of Sgt. Pepper's. Producer Giles Martin used first-generation tapes, rather than subsequent mixdowns, resulting in a more clear and spacious sound than the original album.

Attendees also listened to some alternative mixes and previously unreleased session tapes. Regarding the surround version, discussions centred around how effective a mono recording could be translated to an immersive format which did not exist at that time. The same could be said of the original stereo mix, which was created from multi-tracks (rather than seeking to capture a sense of the musicians as they were situated in the studio). Some listeners preferred the original mono, while others preferred the new stereo mix!

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AES - Audio Engineering Society