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  1. #51
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    Default Re: It's time for Saw to rule the world (ProTools 9) !!

    All this Beatles stuff.... my 2 cents?

    Just think what the Beatles could have done if they had the stuff we have now!

  2. #52

    Default Re: It's time for Saw to rule the world (ProTools 9) !!

    Paul and Ringo do inded use it, and so did George before he passed. Have you heard "Love"? Or "Anthology"?

    Thomas

  3. #53

    Default Re: It's time for Saw to rule the world (ProTools 9) !!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Miskimon View Post
    ...
    The mono version of Paperback Writer for instance has a lot more balls than the stereo version.
    Most of the Beatles recordings were recorded & tracked with mono in mind - stereo was an after thought.
    There was much more time and effort put into the mono mixes since most people in the 1960s heard most of their music back through a mono system.
    Same with Motown. Just one example is Smokey Robinson's (Miracles) "Going to a Go Go". James Jamerson's base really rocks the walls in the mono version (eally apparent in the first few bars). And it's nearly gone in the stereo version (like many other recordings and remixes in Motown).
    Carl G.
    Voice Talent/Audio Producer
    www.creativetrax.com

  4. #54

    Default Re: It's time for Saw to rule the world (ProTools 9) !!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Labrecque View Post
    I think Geoff says in his recent book that the boys would stick around for the mono mix, then turn things over to Geoff and the boys for the stereo mix, which they weren't too interested in.

    I'm way too interested in hearing individual details of the tracks, so I feel like I prefer the stereo versions; though, admittedly, I haven't compared the mono mixes to the stereo. I got the whole dang catalog for Christmas last year -- the stereo mixes. Thanks Mom!
    I engineered some commercials for Capitol Records back in the 70's and one time, as a tip, they gave me (promo copies) of every Beatles album. (to be honest - stuff I would have never bought then.... but REAL glad I have it now)! Hardly ever played - mint condition.
    Last edited by Carl G.; 11-09-2010 at 11:31 PM.
    Carl G.
    Voice Talent/Audio Producer
    www.creativetrax.com

  5. #55

    Default Re: It's time for Saw to rule the world (ProTools 9) !!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Labrecque View Post
    I'd think the timing could be matched if they'd bothered to check the new mix against the original and made digital tweaks as needed. Even better if they created pitch maps from the original mix's instrumental/voice components with which they could drive the capstans of the playback decks during transfer of the first generation media.
    I was a techie at Abbey Road from 1991 to 2000 and was around when the Beatles 4-tracks were sync'd up and transferred to digital. As far as we were aware, nothing like this had been done before, so it was a trial and error approach.

    In the late 90s there were no clever digital time-stretching/re-syncing systems available. If we'd used SAW it could probably have been done manually with a load of edits, but at that time the software was way ahead of the hardware interfaces, and getting a large number of tracks in and out was no easy matter. We had ProTools, but in those days it was a slow, clunky, bug-ridden mess and not to be trusted (I'll leave it for others to fill in the obvious jokes...)

    So the transfers took place from a Studer A80 analogue multitrack (or rather many different ones as different originals were in different formats - mainly 1" 4-track) and onto a then state-of-the-art Sony 3348HR 1/2" 48-track DASH multitrack recorder at 44.1kHz, 24-bit.

    Once the earliest tape had been copied onto the first 4 tracks of the 3348, a rough mix was set up of these 4 tracks to approximately match the bounced version on track 1 of tape #2. Then the fun started. One of my colleagues (I forget who, probably the amazing Brian Gibson, who was around at some of the original sessions) rigged up a variable voltage PSU which feed the capstan speed control circuitry on the Studer A80. A long lever was attached to the rotary voltage knob and adjusted so that when the lever was vertical the speed of the A80 matched that of the 3348.

    Then it was down to Allan Rouse, the full-time Beatles archivist at Abbey Road, and probably the one guy in the world who knows more about the Beatles sessions than anyone else - Paul and Ringo and George Martin included! Allan, through experiment, would place chinagraph markings on both the analogue tape and digital tape such that if they were lined up to the heads and the Play button was hit on both machines then the start of the songs would happen simultaneously. He then wore headphones, with the analogue bounced track in the right ear and the digital rough mix in the left ear - the theory being that if they were in sync then he would hear a mono mix in the middle of his head. If the image shifted to the right, then the analogue mix was ahead of the digital mix, and so he would turn the lever to the left to reduce the capstan motor voltage and so slow down the analogue machine. And vice versa. So he had a ear/brain/arm servo mechanism to keep the machines in sync.

    As you can probably imagine it was a bit of an art - and took a LOT of practice. Any overreaction would send the sync way out - and you had to get it right for the whole length of the song. Allan, if I recall correctly, likened it to steering a supertanker. Based as it was on the ability of the ear to hear time-of-arrival differences and interpret them as image shifts there was always going to be a degree of error, and that is what Tim is hearing.

    Some of the later stuff was incredibly complex, with multiple bounces, and it was not unusual to get close to filling all 48 tracks on the Sony digital machine.

    These transfers have now all been copied over to ProTools, and I don't know if any attempts have been made since I left in 2000 to improve the sync in the digital domain using newer tools - it wouldn't surprise me in the least if they had.

    cheers
    Mark

  6. #56
    Join Date
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    2,292

    Default Re: It's time for Saw to rule the world (ProTools 9) !!

    Nothing. they would still be looking for good drivers for their sound card.



    Quote Originally Posted by Microstudio View Post
    All this Beatles stuff.... my 2 cents?

    Just think what the Beatles could have done if they had the stuff we have now!
    Michael McInnis Productions

  7. #57

    Default Re: It's time for Saw to rule the world (ProTools 9) !!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mogers View Post
    In the late 90s there were no clever digital time-stretching/re-syncing systems available.
    Actually there were, and I used them frequently. (although perhaps a little cludgey). And they didn't sound too bad if you didn't have to time stretch/compress too far.

    I was tasked with the job of assembling takes out of different performances of different tempos as others have mentioned starting in 1995 or 1996, if that is considered the late 90's.

    Thanks for your story though. I love hearing these things.

    Thomas

  8. #58

    Default Re: It's time for Saw to rule the world (ProTools 9) !!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mogers View Post
    I was a techie at Abbey Road from 1991 to 2000 and was around when the Beatles 4-tracks were sync'd up and transferred to digital. As far as we were aware, nothing like this had been done before, so it was a trial and error approach.

    In the late 90s there were no clever digital time-stretching/re-syncing systems available. If we'd used SAW it could probably have been done manually with a load of edits, but at that time the software was way ahead of the hardware interfaces, and getting a large number of tracks in and out was no easy matter. We had ProTools, but in those days it was a slow, clunky, bug-ridden mess and not to be trusted (I'll leave it for others to fill in the obvious jokes...)

    So the transfers took place from a Studer A80 analogue multitrack (or rather many different ones as different originals were in different formats - mainly 1" 4-track) and onto a then state-of-the-art Sony 3348HR 1/2" 48-track DASH multitrack recorder at 44.1kHz, 24-bit.

    Once the earliest tape had been copied onto the first 4 tracks of the 3348, a rough mix was set up of these 4 tracks to approximately match the bounced version on track 1 of tape #2. Then the fun started. One of my colleagues (I forget who, probably the amazing Brian Gibson, who was around at some of the original sessions) rigged up a variable voltage PSU which feed the capstan speed control circuitry on the Studer A80. A long lever was attached to the rotary voltage knob and adjusted so that when the lever was vertical the speed of the A80 matched that of the 3348.

    Then it was down to Allan Rouse, the full-time Beatles archivist at Abbey Road, and probably the one guy in the world who knows more about the Beatles sessions than anyone else - Paul and Ringo and George Martin included! Allan, through experiment, would place chinagraph markings on both the analogue tape and digital tape such that if they were lined up to the heads and the Play button was hit on both machines then the start of the songs would happen simultaneously. He then wore headphones, with the analogue bounced track in the right ear and the digital rough mix in the left ear - the theory being that if they were in sync then he would hear a mono mix in the middle of his head. If the image shifted to the right, then the analogue mix was ahead of the digital mix, and so he would turn the lever to the left to reduce the capstan motor voltage and so slow down the analogue machine. And vice versa. So he had a ear/brain/arm servo mechanism to keep the machines in sync.

    As you can probably imagine it was a bit of an art - and took a LOT of practice. Any overreaction would send the sync way out - and you had to get it right for the whole length of the song. Allan, if I recall correctly, likened it to steering a supertanker. Based as it was on the ability of the ear to hear time-of-arrival differences and interpret them as image shifts there was always going to be a degree of error, and that is what Tim is hearing.

    Some of the later stuff was incredibly complex, with multiple bounces, and it was not unusual to get close to filling all 48 tracks on the Sony digital machine.

    These transfers have now all been copied over to ProTools, and I don't know if any attempts have been made since I left in 2000 to improve the sync in the digital domain using newer tools - it wouldn't surprise me in the least if they had.

    cheers
    Mark,



    Mark
    Thanks for that bit of insight - really interesting stuff.
    You explained what I'm hearing and why...
    We've came a long way in digital and sometimes things can get so close that most people don't hear it - but there aren't any miracles....
    I guess my musical background & my good sense of timing can sometimes be a curse.
    When I was a kid I would listen to those Beatles records over & over again.
    It wasn't until I started playing guitar years later that I realized that one of the guitars on the opening riff of Day Tripper is out of tune pretty bad...
    Before that it didn't matter and it shouldn't.
    I keep telling myself - just enjoy the music!...
    Last edited by Tim Miskimon; 11-10-2010 at 09:32 AM.

  9. #59

    Default Re: It's time for Saw to rule the world (ProTools 9) !!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mogers View Post
    I was a techie at Abbey Road from 1991 to 2000 and was around when the Beatles 4-tracks were sync'd up and transferred to digital. As far as we were aware, nothing like this had been done before, so it was a trial and error approach.

    In the late 90s there were no clever digital time-stretching/re-syncing systems available. If we'd used SAW it could probably have been done manually with a load of edits, but at that time the software was way ahead of the hardware interfaces, and getting a large number of tracks in and out was no easy matter. We had ProTools, but in those days it was a slow, clunky, bug-ridden mess and not to be trusted (I'll leave it for others to fill in the obvious jokes...)

    So the transfers took place from a Studer A80 analogue multitrack (or rather many different ones as different originals were in different formats - mainly 1" 4-track) and onto a then state-of-the-art Sony 3348HR 1/2" 48-track DASH multitrack recorder at 44.1kHz, 24-bit.

    Once the earliest tape had been copied onto the first 4 tracks of the 3348, a rough mix was set up of these 4 tracks to approximately match the bounced version on track 1 of tape #2. Then the fun started. One of my colleagues (I forget who, probably the amazing Brian Gibson, who was around at some of the original sessions) rigged up a variable voltage PSU which feed the capstan speed control circuitry on the Studer A80. A long lever was attached to the rotary voltage knob and adjusted so that when the lever was vertical the speed of the A80 matched that of the 3348.

    Then it was down to Allan Rouse, the full-time Beatles archivist at Abbey Road, and probably the one guy in the world who knows more about the Beatles sessions than anyone else - Paul and Ringo and George Martin included! Allan, through experiment, would place chinagraph markings on both the analogue tape and digital tape such that if they were lined up to the heads and the Play button was hit on both machines then the start of the songs would happen simultaneously. He then wore headphones, with the analogue bounced track in the right ear and the digital rough mix in the left ear - the theory being that if they were in sync then he would hear a mono mix in the middle of his head. If the image shifted to the right, then the analogue mix was ahead of the digital mix, and so he would turn the lever to the left to reduce the capstan motor voltage and so slow down the analogue machine. And vice versa. So he had a ear/brain/arm servo mechanism to keep the machines in sync.

    As you can probably imagine it was a bit of an art - and took a LOT of practice. Any overreaction would send the sync way out - and you had to get it right for the whole length of the song. Allan, if I recall correctly, likened it to steering a supertanker. Based as it was on the ability of the ear to hear time-of-arrival differences and interpret them as image shifts there was always going to be a degree of error, and that is what Tim is hearing.

    Some of the later stuff was incredibly complex, with multiple bounces, and it was not unusual to get close to filling all 48 tracks on the Sony digital machine.

    These transfers have now all been copied over to ProTools, and I don't know if any attempts have been made since I left in 2000 to improve the sync in the digital domain using newer tools - it wouldn't surprise me in the least if they had.

    cheers
    Mark
    Wow, Mark. Really interesting to hear the details. Thanks for sharing.

    It strikes me as funny/ironic that even in the 90s, which I usually think of as part of "the modern age" (whatever that means), they were still coming up with creative and not-necessarily-very-high-tech methods of getting things done. Much like the we'll-try-anything creativity that's been characteristic of the Beatles work from the very beginning. And why not? Seems fitting.

    So, do you know, was all that digitizing of which you speak the same transferring that resulted in the LOVE music? Or has more-recent sync technology/capability been employed for later (re-)transfers?
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  10. #60

    Default Re: It's time for Saw to rule the world (ProTools 9) !!

    Hi Dave

    I don't know if the transfers that were done in the late 90s (originally for the 5.1 remix of Yellow Submarine, and possibly the Anthology - I can't remember the exact details) were used again for the Love project. I suspect they were, for a number of reasons...

    Firstly, there are an awful lot of tapes to transfer, and from my previous description I hope you can see that it is a very time-consuming process. The first things to be done were those that were needed for Yellow Submarine etc, and as the years have progressed the rest has been transferred too.

    Secondly, the raw audio quality of the transfers (before any post A/D conversion digital processing) won't have improved much. When we did them in the late 90s we used the latest Prism A/D converters, and despite what the marketing departments of converter manufacturers would like us all to believe about improvements in A/D technology, if they were done again today they would in all likelihood still use exactly the same converters. Given that that is the case, what's the point of transferring again? Especially considering the next point...

    Thirdly, the original analogue master tapes of the Beatles are the Crown Jewels of EMI's archive. And there is a natural reluctance to play them any more than is strictly necessary. They were mostly (possibly completely) recorded on EMI's own in-house tape brand, which was quite excellent and hasn't exhibited any of the shedding problems common to other well-known formulations - so no baking required! However, the transfer process described above could involve a lot of shuttling back and forth, which was part of the reason for it being entrusted to one person who could develop an expertise in controlling the servo-sync and thus get it right with a lot fewer plays than less experienced engineers.

    Fourthly, I don't think that a better way has really yet been devised. In the end you've still got to play the analogue tape on an analogue tape machine and digitise it. And it would be better if the analogue tape played at the same speed as the digital transfers already done. It's quite a purist approach, but one that I feel is appropriate for the material in question. The attitude of all those Abbey Road staff involved in Beatles work over the last 15 years or so (mainly Allan Rouse, Peter Cobbin, Guy Massey, Paul Hicks and Peter Mew) has been to do no more messing and fiddling than absolutely necessary. Tom Roberts was absolutely right to point out my error in saying that there were no clever sync/stretch tools in the late 90s, but his comment that "they didn't sound too bad" shows why such tools were not used. The Beatles archive is EMI's most valuable recorded asset, for which nothing but the best is really the only option. The fuss that was made about the tiny bit of Sonic Solutions NoNoising done on the latest set of remastered albums (maybe less than 10 seconds over the whole catalogue) illustrates the wisdom of this decision.

    Anyway, I've waffled on... and next time I see Allan Rouse I'll ask him about his latest thoughts/techniques for syncing.

    cheers
    Mark

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