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Mono Box Set Box set, Limited Edition, Original recording remastered

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Sept. 9 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 10
  • Format: Box set, Limited Edition, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Apple/EMI
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,269 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

Product Description

Limited digitally remastered thirteen CD box set that contains the 10 albums originally released by The Beatles in mono (1963's Please Please Me up through 1968's The White Album) plus two further discs of mono singles masters. As an added bonus, the mono Help! and Rubber Soul discs also include the original 1965 stereo mixes, which have not been previously released on CD. These albums will be packaged in mini-vinyl CD replicas of the original sleeves with all original inserts and label designs retained. At the beginning of the '60s, stereophonic recordings were just coming into their own but many households didn't own stereophonic record players. In most cases, an album would originally be mixed in mono for mass consumption and then separately mixed in stereo for those with modern equipment. As the '60s wore on, mono mixes became secondary over stereo and then were eventually abandoned altogether. The Beatles' first 10 albums were mixed twice: once in mono and then in stereo. The mono mixes were sometimes strikingly different to the stereo mixes, which has ensured their collectability over the years. This box contains all the officially released Beatles mono mixes in one limited edition box set. Capitol.

From the Artist

Re-mastering the Beatles catalogue

The re-mastering process commenced with an extensive period conducting tests before finally copying the analogue master tapes into the digital medium. When this was completed, the transfer was achieved using a Pro Tools workstation operating at 24 bit 192 kHz resolution via a Prism A-D converter. Transferring was a lengthy procedure done a track at a time. Although EMI tape does not suffer the oxide loss associated with some later analogue tapes, there was nevertheless a slight build up of dust, which was removed from the tape machine heads between each title.

From the onset, considerable thought was given to what audio restorative processes were going to be allowed. It was agreed that electrical clicks, microphone vocal pops, excessive sibilance and bad edits should be improved where possible, so long as it didn't impact on the original integrity of the songs.

In addition, de-noising technology, which is often associated with re-mastering, was to be used, but subtly and sparingly. Eventually, less than five of the 525 minutes of Beatles music was subjected to this process. Finally, as is common with today's music, overall limiting - to increase the volume level of the CD - has been used, but on the stereo versions only. However, it was unanimously agreed that because of the importance of The Beatles' music, limiting would be used moderately, so as to retain the original dynamics of the recordings.

When all of the albums had been transferred, each song was then listened to several times to locate any of the agreed imperfections. These were then addressed by Guy Massey, working with Audio Restoration engineer Simon Gibson.

Mastering could now take place, once the earliest vinyl pressings, along with the existing CDs, were loaded into Pro Tools, thus allowing comparisons to be made with the original master tapes during the equalization process. When an album had been completed, it was auditioned the next day in studio three - a room familiar to the engineers, as all of the recent Beatles mixing projects had taken place in there - and any further alteration of EQ could be addressed back in the mastering room. Following the initial satisfaction of Guy and Steve, Allan Rouse and Mike Heatley then checked each new re-master in yet another location and offered any further suggestions. This continued until all 13 albums were completed to the team's satisfaction.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By LeBrain HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on Dec 7 2009
Format: Audio CD
I'll be brief here, mainly because this is The Beatles and this music is so ingrained into everybody's minds now. I was very happy with my purchase of The Beatles in Mono, despite the price. I was not lucky enough to get a first run, but Amazon hooked me up with the second run when it was in stock.

The Beatles in Mono is, as far as I know, a complete collection of every mono mix they'd ever done. The Beatles were hands-on with their mono mixes, where George Martin and his staff tended to helm the stereo mixes. This is, therefore, the mixes that the Beatles intended you to hear back in the 60's. Playing them remastered on a modern stereo today makes them sound that much more fierce and aggresive, noticeably different from their stereo counterparts. In addition many of the actual mixes are drastically different. "Helter Skelter" is the one in particular that jumped out at me. It sounds like a completely different version of the song. Really refreshing after only having the stereo version for 20+ years!

There are some Beatles albums not included in this set, but that's OK. Let It Be, Abbey Road, and Yellow Submarine were not mixed in true mono. Those mono mixes were just "fold downs" of the stereo mixes. I guess if you were dying to hear them, you can make your own from The Beatles in Stereo set. What is included here is a new compilation called the Mono Masters (a companion piece to the Past Masters) which includes all the non-album mono mixes, and some previouly unreleased ones like "Across The Universe".

This box set is for anyone who calls themselves a true Beatles fan, anyone who wants to own the versions that the Beatles themselves mixed, or any completist.

Is it worth the price?
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By N. Chevalier on Sept. 14 2009
Format: Audio CD
If you think you know the Beatles' music, think again: the mono mixes presented here reflect not only the way the albums were originally mixed, but reflect also the way all the singles released in Britain were originally presented to the public. This new box set amounts to nothing less than a restoration of the Beatles' original ideas for their recordings, and, I think, a radical re-thinking of the Beatles you thought you knew. That may be unsettling for some, but it's exciting to try to hear some very familiar music in new ways.

Some of the stereo mixes found on Past Masters 1 and 2 and the second half of the Magical Mystery Tour album were drawn from US or even German and Australian (!) releases, although EMI in Britain presumably did the mixing. In the case of "The Inner Light," no stereo version was available until Past Masters; "You Know My Name" only ever appeared in mono. It has long been known that many of the stereo releases of the earliest Beatle recordings were mock stereo, and they sounded "flippin' lousy" (as Pete Townshend once said). So, sonically, the mono recordings here reflect what The Beatles actually wanted their records to sound like--something that became increasingly important to them as they took more care in the studio.

Second--when you start getting past 1966, the mono mixes become much more interesting, because they are quite different from their stereo counterparts. "Sgt. Pepper" and the "White Album" are essentially completely different albums from the stereo versions. If you want to discover what The Beatles are really about, you need to hear both the mono and stereo versions.

With all that in mind, should you get this set? Most definitely.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Andre Michaud on April 18 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Exept for Yellow Submarine and Abbey Road The Beatles allways did their final mix in MONO.So if you want to hear how they wanted it, that's the occasion.

For example Taxman . On the stereo mix, you hear the bass, drums, gtr all at the left, the ring and the solo gtr at the right and the lead vocal in the center. Kind of odd mix.. On the mono you hear the whole band straight in the center that sounds more rock and united..

Some mono mixes are very different from the stereo mixes. She's Leaving home is not in the same key, the numbers with reverse guitars are also different..If you,re a BIG fan of the Beatles this is a must. If you just like the Beatles the stereo mixes are not that bad..
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By M. Braithwaite on Sept. 9 2009
Format: Audio CD
I spent about an hour doing random comparisons of the mono and stereo versions of songs from the two sets. My son and I both found the mono versions generally more appealing, and in many cases much better. I note as well that the staff at the store I was at and most critics/reviewers seem to share the same view. Although the critics, I suspect, favour the mono because that is the format to which the Beatles themselves applied their artistic talents in production and is therefore more "authentic". I am not fussed about artistic authenticity myself--I just found the mono versions sounded better. That said, the stereo version is still fantastic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Roy Thompson on Feb. 5 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It is facinating to listen to these songs that are so familiar and yet so unfamiliar. Since I was born in the late 1960's my earliest experience with the Beatles was with the stereo vinyl versions. When I began really appreciating their music I was in High School and I had no idea at that time of the issues that characterized their catalog (mono versus stereo versions, UK EMI vs US Capitol versions of their albums). Certainly, like many others, I was unaware that the fab four were mainly concerned with the mono mixes of their music, at least until post Sgt. Pepper's. Listening to the mono versions of these songs is refreshing and energizing to me. Having all the energy of the band concentrated in the centre of the soundscape, especially the rhythm section, but also the vocal performances, reveals the group's power, cohesiveness, and how the timbres in their voices blended so well. In contrast, the stereo versions (especially the earlier material) sound somewhat disjointed and sparce. There is too much space in the stereo field between the lads because of the hard left-right panning. This is especially true when compared to later stereo mixes that emerged in pop/rock music once stereo became more common place. Abbey Road is a quantum leap in stereo production compared to those early "primitive" stereo mixes. In addition, it is interesting to hear the differences in some of the mono vs. stereo versions of songs, since the production team often used different takes for the mono and stereo versions. All very enjoyable. A word of advice: unless you are a die hard Beatles fan, save your money. The things I've mentioned, although worth every penny to me, are generally too subtle to matter to the casual listener.Read more ›
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