*UPDATED* Message from Allan Rouse @ Abbey Road BEATLES CD's (SEE POST 84)*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Gary, Aug 26, 2009.

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  1. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff Thread Starter

    As you can see, a great many people, including those directly involved with the Beatles remastering project, are taking an interest in our Beatles Remasters threads.

    Read on....
    August 26, 2009

    Dear SH Forum members,

    I'd like to start by thanking the Gorts for posting this little note!

    I have been following with interest the Beatles Re-master threads and felt it would be helpful to inform you about some of the topics you have been discussing and not resolving.

    With regard to the tapes that were used for the original CD transfer and the 2009 re-masters. In both cases they were the original mono/stereo masters. The ΒΌ" master tapes are not a second generation tape, but the original mix masters compiled to form the albums. The reason we transferred them a title at a time was simply to make sure that the tape machine heads and rollers were cleaned in between. This may have been partly obsessive as EMI tape 40 years on shows no signs of problems. Incidentally we transferred the mono tapes using a full track head. Also regarding this issue, we do not have EQ'd productions masters from which speculation has arisen that they may have been used for the 1987 release. When Harry Moss originally cut them he made extensive notes and when new cuts were required he used the original master tape and replicated what he had done before. The practice of making production masters did not occur at Abbey Road until much later. Besides which any engineer about to embark on a re-mastering a project would ignore the oft used expression seen on an original master tape DO NOT USE, SEE PRODUCTION MASTER as indeed Steve Hoffman himself has stated, you always want to go back to the original source.

    With regard to cross fades, this is the only time the tape is second generation. Where this occurs (with the mono/stereo mixes) the cross fade is made with two playback machines, one with the outgoing title and one with the incoming, a third machine is used to record the cross fade. Once that has been created the master is assembled using the original mix masters and cutting in only that which is required for the cross fade itself, thereby retaining as much of the original as possible. (Lukpac is right).

    Help and Rubber Soul, what did we use? We used George Martin's 1986 digital U-matic versions and yes the press release did state 'transferred from the original analogue master tapes'. However we are all human and that was overlooked, but not within the CD booklets where this is clearly indicated. Why were they used for the stereo box set and not the original 60's versions? This was not the mastering team's decision; we're not that important (sarcasm). This was made higher up than us, however the team along with Mike Heatley can at least take credit for proposing that the originals should be released as well, which Jeff Jones readily agreed with. Finally George Martin re-mixed these two albums back then at his own studio AIR. I might have to hold my hands up to making a mistake here as I think I have suggested they were mixed in 86, they were actually created in February 1987, sorry. In response to Ron's statement that "I would never say that Jeff Jones ordered the original masters to be redone", you're right I wouldn't, because he didn't.

    Now I would like if you don't mind to take a moment of your time to defend myself. I fully recognise and appreciate Allan Kozinn's expertise particularly with regard to The Beatles. However Allan, your interpretation towards my manner during the playback we did in New York is not accurate, although I recognise that this is more my fault than yours. I was asked what track I had enjoyed working on most. Well as has been pointed out by Brainwashed I didn't actually work on them as an engineer and put on the spot I wonder whether many could answer that question off the top of their head, I couldn't. As to which track I would never like to hear again and my reply straight faced was "all of them" well that remark is simply explained - irony, it was meant to be a light hearted riposte. The same thing applies to being burnt out, I have been working on The Beatles material for many years now and if I was going to be burnt out it would have occurred long before now. I happen to love working with their music and fully recognise the lucky and enviable position I'm in, as indeed do all of the team. Incidentally in an earlier interview (which was actually posted before the press embargo), It was suggested I didn't know which album Eleanor Rigby is on, I DO and I'm also well aware of the double track issue that occurs, unfortunately my misplaced humour fell flat on its face yet again.

    One last point whilst I'm discussing my personality. Yes Ron, I am actually a nice guy (supposedly you have met me so you must be right - irony!), but I'm afraid I can't be more like the "affable Giles Martin" much as I would like to have his good looks and his public speaking expertise. I and the team were unexpectedly given the task of talking about the remasters just a short time before we started the interview process and in the last two months we have been to LA, New York and Tokyo and completed over four weeks doing the same here at the studios for Europe, in addition to phone, email and TV interviews, in all we have now spoken to in excess of 400 people. None of us had experienced this before or likely to again and I have to say it was quite nerve racking at times. Whilst I accept whole heartedly that we are probably not the best at it, we have always answered questions truthfully and openly about the work we have done. Anyway enough of me/us.

    As an aside regarding two names that have cropped up recently, Mike Jarratt is the brother of Jeff Jarratt, although their paths did not cross at the studios, by the time Mike had started here Jeff was working at EMI as a house producer.

    I apologise for this lengthy post but I hope I may have gone a little way towards clearing up some of your concerns.

    Many thanks,

  2. AudioGirl

    AudioGirl Active Member

    Los Angeles

    Thank you very much for your note, we appreciate it and all of your efforts on behalf of the Beatles' music and fans of same.

    I know we can be a handful here at the SH Forums but never a more dedicated to music bunch will you find in the world.

    Thank you again!
  3. Maidenpriest

    Maidenpriest Cowboys are the only ones who stay in tune anyway!

    Cheers, and I raise a good old British Pint to the team involved in this project, mind you if its crap sounding you can all buy me a pint:D :cheers:
  4. PMC7027

    PMC7027 Forum Hall Of Fame

    Thank you very much Allan for taking the time to post here on the Fourm.

    Have you heard the 27 minute version of Helter Skelter? :laugh:
  5. EveryLittleThing

    EveryLittleThing New Member

    in a snit
    I appreciated your message very much, Mr. Rouse. My thanks to you and your entire team for the care and dedication you put into this project. :)
  6. His Masters Vice

    His Masters Vice W.C. Fields Forever

    Sydney, Australia
    Well thanks to Allan Rouse for giving us this interesting information and thanks also to Allan Kozinn, of course!

    It seems to me that the EMI mastering engineers involved with these remasters really have tried their very hardest to give us the best possible sound. Obviously it wasn't their decision to use the '87 mixes for Help! and Rubber Soul and they had to work with what they were given.

    Despite any reservations that some people on this forum may have about the stereo remasters, it's already obvious that they are far better than most current remasters (and a darn sight better than they would have been if they'd been done back in, say, 2001!)

    By the way ... I "get" Allan Rouse's sense of humour ...
  7. valvehead

    valvehead Forum Resident

    Hampshire, UK
    Many thanks Mr Rouse for going that extra mile to post that message on this forum. Much appreciated Sir! :)

    - John
  8. jricc

    jricc Forum Resident

    Jersey Shore
    Thanks for taking the time Allan, very informative.
  9. reechie

    reechie Forum Resident

    Thank you, Mr. Rouse. I look forward to hearing your team's work on the 9th.
  10. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    Another thank you, Mr. Rouse.
  11. Allan, my hat goes off to you and all members of your team that worked on this project.

    I wish that I liked the 'Photograph: Very Best Of Ringo Starr' set now that I hear
    what kind of care your team takes with a "Beatles" project - I now suspect that
    the sonic aims of that previous release must not have been quite the same
    as with the Beatles' collection. Perhaps you all were taking a
    "how would the man on the street want to hear this" rather than a
    "how would the collector like to hear this" approach.

    At any rate I eagerly await getting to hear these cds all together and in the
    highest redbook reproduction imaginable. The cuales.fm samples from last week
    were STUNNING on headphones. Kudos again!

    I picked up that you were joking (in the comments as to "which track you would
    want to hear again"). It just made sense that it was a put-on! You must be a really great poker player.

    (one request: Chris Hodge, Trash and Ronnie Spector APPLE singles on cd!)
  12. Reader

    Reader Forum Resident

    e.s.t. tenn.
    Thanks for the information Mr. Rouse. I'm sure you and the whole "team" can be proud of your work on this set.

    I'm going to enjoy them for many years and not go crazy looking for little things to complain about.

    Your work is appreciated and I hope you can go back and enjoy the music yourself.
  13. major_works

    major_works Well-Known Member

    Ramsey, NJ, USA
    Mr. Rouse:

    I'd like to add my thanks to you and the team at Abbey Road for your role in re-presenting the work of the greatest rock band this planet will ever see. I look forward to both box sets with enormous excitement.

    We all appreciate your diligence in providing us with more information. It's heartening to know that you're paying attention to this forum and to the concerns of its coterie of way-hardcore Beatles loonies.

    In gratitude,
  14. dolstein

    dolstein Forum Resident

    New York City
    I was just wondering if there were any way an administrator could compile a list of frequently asked questions to submit to Allan Rouse. Obviously, he answered many of our questions in his message, but there are plenty of others. For instance, I'd like to know what playback equipment was auditioned, which equipment they decided to use and why. Also, I'd like to know whether Allan was aware of the differences between the mono single and album versions of Please Please Me and Ask Me Why, and the different stereo mixes of Strawberry Fields Forever.
  15. Dugan

    Dugan Well-Known Member

    Thank you Mr. Rouse for your very informative post. Kudos to you and the entire Abbey Road team. Looking forward to 9-9-09.
  16. marcel

    marcel Alea Iacta Est

    Mr. Rouse,

    You message on this forum is much appreciated. There must have been tremendous pressure on you and the rest of the EMI\Abbey Road team to make these remasters the best sounding Beatles on CD. Waiting for 09/09/09 to enjoy the new discs.

    A big "Thank you"!

  17. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    Mr. Rouse,

    Thank you for explaining how you folks handled the Beatles masters and mastering. Look forward to hearing them on the 9th. Appreciate the thoughtful approach to the job. Appreciate your post to this Forum and it's members.
  18. Claus

    Claus Foodie

    thx for sharing... can't wait to hear the remaster, especially the mono stuff.
  19. Director

    Director Well-Known Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks for setting a few things straight. Eagerly anticipating the remasters...like everyone else.
  20. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

  21. CybrKhatru

    CybrKhatru Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    Wow.. Allan, thanks for taking the time to clear up some apparently confusing points. I'm really looking forward to the Mono box in particular. :)
  22. Colocally

    Colocally Forum Resident

    Surrey BC.
    Thanks for this Mr Rouse, I was reading your interview in RC today as well as this and it is great you have taken the time to answer some of the long running questions that have been asked.
  23. StrawberryFields

    StrawberryFields Active Member

    New Jersey
    Thanks very much for your explanations, Mr. Rouse. Obviously there are many questions which we already have and which will no doubt arise shortly after the releases are digested. Yes, we certainly appreciate the seriousness by which you approach the project, and of course we hope that this approach is reflected in the final product. I'm especially grateful, as I'm sure many of us are, that at least the mono box will have minimal sonic tampering. Naturally I had hoped the same for the stereo box, but the proof is in the pudding, and I'm trying to keep an opened mind regarding that issue. And the fact that you have seen fit to speak to us on the Forum means at least that I can feel a certain level of trust regarding some of your decisions. It's a relief to know that you've approached this daunting task with not only a sense of responsibility, but also with a good degree of humility. Obviously, this is necessary when dealing with the remastering of the greatest catalogue in the history of pop music, but the fact is, the same degree of care was unfortunately not demonstrated the first time around. Can't help but throw this is, Allan.....is there any chance that by some miracle there could eventually be an "un-futzed with" stereo box? (I know this decision would not be made by you....but I never like to underestimate the power and influence of suggestions from the "A-Team".....just a thought). Anyway, thanks once again for your post, Allan.
  24. mr_mjb1960

    mr_mjb1960 I'm a Tarrytowner 'Til I die!

    Allan,THANX so much for clearing up any doubts about these CD's to us..you opinion is truly appreciated by me and everyone else here..I'm hoping this will clear up any misgivings and unwarranted complaints about these great CD's! Now..ONTO 9/9/09!:righton:Michael Boyce
  25. NGeorge

    NGeorge Active Member

    New York City
    I think it's almost certain these remasters will be worth their ... plastic!

    My system is ready.
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