AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Hollywood, U.S.A.
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 544 Post(s)
I have no complaints at all about the Sgt Pepper mixes, other than the calibration mistake on the rear channels. The album is immersive when it needs to be, it's focused on a soundstage when it needs to be, and it has some of the best placement in the middle of the room that I've ever heard. Good Morning has lots of fun and well placed ping pong effects too. I can't think of any other surround mix I have that perfectly tracks from front right to rear left like that. I think a lot of the immersive effects depend on the 100Hz to 400Hz range, so it requires having fairly large rear speakers and a very well equalized upper bass. The Beatles in general require good EQ. There is a song on the White Album where Paul plays a descending bass line down a bunch of octaves with each note the exact same volume as the others. I've heard it on other people's systems and I can hear the descending notes get softer then louder. Great way to check your system.
If I had to describe Giles Martin's mixing style, it would be detail oriented. He never gets any balances wrong and achieves some impossible things. For instance in 1+, he takes live TV performances sung to on set playback and filters out the playback perfectly. Then he takes the original studio track and matches the pitch precisely, dials out the vocals and recombines them to sound like they belong together. That is NOT an easy thing to do without creating weird EQ firebreaks and pitch shifts and artifacts galore. He also excels in getting the surround mix to feel like the original mix. That is extremely important with The Beatles, because George Martin's input was a major part of their sound. An example of the opposite of that would be Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. That surround mix is slap dash and anything but detailed. When I listen to it, I keep thinking in my head how much better the old album sounded. It isn't a bad mix in broad strokes, but that album has some very specific production touches that shouldn't be paved over by sloppiness.
I'm looking forward to the White Album a lot more than Imagine. Everything I read about Imagine indicates that they're taking some very direct and not very nuanced approach to mixing it. That's the one I would recommend taking a wait and see approach to. From what I hear, they're mixing it like one of those primitive early stereo or early quad mixes where the guitar is in one speaker and the keyboards in a totally separate one. They call it "raw mix". You don't get any kind of soundstage that way. But it sounds OK on badly implemented multichannel systems. I hope they don't go back to catering to that.
Last edited by sworth; 09-25-2018 at 11:33 AM.