What does Steve Hoffman think of the new Beatles Sgt. Pepper remix?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by NGeorge, May 31, 2017.

  1. gkmacca

    gkmacca Forum Resident

    I don't listen often enough to such records to be able to compare different mixes even according to my own taste. This is a record I once played so much I can hear it in my head without actually playing the real thing, so the prospect of comparing and contrasting multiple versions - as one surely needs to do in order to approximate to an objective judgement - seems far too much like a chore to me.

    I hadn't listened to Pepper for years, so this new version attracted me to listen to the album again and I really enjoyed it.
  2. moople72

    moople72 Forum Resident

    See track five of Rubber Soul, UK version, for the answer.
  3. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    Maybe track 7 of Side 2 of the UK LP. ;)
  4. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Maryland, U.S.A.
    My experience also. :righton:
    gkmacca likes this.

    MILKEY Forum Resident

    Can someone tell me what it should sound like only the 87 is correctly done
    I like to know in simple language why the 87 is considered the best
    905, sjaca and Lewisboogie like this.
  6. delmonaco

    delmonaco Forum Resident

    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Correct, it's not "audiophile-friendly".

    My main problem is that this "modern" remix is following some mixing/mastering trend that's even a bit outdated already, because recently many important releases are mastered with more subtlety and not so loud and compressed as 10 years ago. And possibly if (and there are enough indications that this might be the case) this new mix will be "the mix" for the times to come (because it's hard to imagine that they will keep both stereo mixes available in the future), it may sound completely out of place after five or ten years, because with the advent of hi-rez audio platforms and equipment the future trend can be back to better dynamics and more transparent sound.

    So they had to be more careful and serious when created this mix, and not just make something that's considered very fashionable and modern sounding for the supposedly half-deaf general audience of today, but can be completely irrelevant for the general taste of the audience just few years from now. Because the people are not deaf, they just follow what the main labels and artists present them as "modern".
    One of the main reasons such a taste for bass heavy compressed sound to be heavily cultivated during last decades is because the lossy formats were the main source of music for the young people. I believe that in few years lossy would eventually disappear (faster data stream, no storage limits, etc.) and in order the business to continue to sell more vinyl and hi-res audio it's very possible the labels to start shaping the audience's taste with recordings that exploits the full capabilities of the medium.

    In general, this mix perhaps celebrates some very short momentum, but lacks any wider vision. If they made the mix itself more audiophile, and present it just now in compressed and limited form, but with an option in the future to make it available in his full glory, that's ok. But this is not the case - this mix as it is now cannot be tweaked or remastered for further releases and some audiophile level to be achieved - it's anti-audiophile as a mix.

    Sorry for this long post, it might be off-topic actually...
  7. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Maryland, U.S.A.
    Right, this remix is a one off, and like many things these days it is short sighted.
    NGeorge likes this.
  8. Mike Visco

    Mike Visco Forum Resident

    Newark, NJ
    I'm not an audiophile like many of you, but as a musician who also records original music- I try to take notice...anyway, I always felt that my 87 stereo copy sounded great and didn't bother with 09 (but did buy Revolver, White, Let it Be, AR). Around the time of 09, I had on my hard drive several needle drops, including mono, and they satisfied me with alternative listens (until my laptop froze before I burned CDs). I'm more interested at this point in the reviews of the surround mixes, but am also hesitant to but the 6 disc set $$$.
  9. Vinyl Socks

    Vinyl Socks Forum Resident

    Niles, Ohio
    Or track 2 of the 7LP super set Mega LP re-master.
  10. The 87' cd sounds killa cranked up.
  11. NGeorge

    NGeorge Active Member Thread Starter

    New York City
    The 87 version, IMO, captures the dynamics of natural voices and instruments. Every song has its own uniqueness despite its old technology. The 2017 remix, on the other hand, has all the songs fixed at the same high volume thus making them sounding monotonous. The treble too is excessive making the experience harsh and edgy.

    Try the 87 with the volume up a little bit and you'll enjoy the album so much more!
  12. Sordel

    Sordel Forum Resident

    Midlands, UK
    Our Host is on record as disliking remixes per se but he has wisely refrained from using these forums as a bully pulpit to slag off the work of other industry professionals.
    wwright, RubenH, ifyouever and 13 others like this.
  13. Morton LaBongo

    Morton LaBongo Forum Resident

    Manchester NH
    I have gone ahead and re-listened to the 87 CD for the first time in years based on the positive commentary I've seen here and I have to agree, it is rather good! It's like the 67 stereo original of course, but with more detail. The bass isn't booming like it is on many songs on the remix but at the same time you don't get the distinct separation between instruments that the remix offers. As I recall I was very pleased with this CD back in 87 but as time went on the Purple Chick remixes became my preferred version of Pepper. I love the mono original too and I'm glad that there are many versions of this album (official and unofficial) to choose from.
    Chooke and Yovra like this.
  14. action pact

    action pact Forum Resident

    Large print-runs (more than 1000) are more cost efficient on an offset web press than on a digital press.
    majorlance likes this.
  15. Yovra

    Yovra Forum Enthusiast

    But I guess he knows a thing or two about good vs bad sounding cds or lps and what the crucial difference might be between (in this instance) the 1987 flat transfer and this new mix/mastering.
  16. supermd

    supermd Forum Resident

    Campbell, CA
    You'd think the blu-ray would get the unlimited version, too... Same goes for the surround mix. SO dumb.
  17. Stephen J

    Stephen J Forum Resident

    Baton Rouge, LA
    Look, I agree in the end its all about what your own ears hear, but still, it's gratifying to know the CD i bought 30 years ago yesterday and have enjoyed all that time has the endorsement of a maestro like Steve Hoffman. It just is. :)
  18. John DeAngelis

    John DeAngelis Forum Resident

    New York, NY
    There is no new mono remix.
    lbgarcia likes this.
  19. Mr Bass

    Mr Bass Chevelle Ma Belle

    Mid Atlantic
    I think of it as a remix for the times. Each generation listens to music the way it wants to. As long as previous mixes aren't erased from history it is not a big deal. We can't like everything. Do you think Beethoven's music is performed today the way it was 200 years ago? In any event the children of the M generation will likely want Their own mix too.
    Shak Cohen and The Beave like this.
  20. Careful - don't give them any ideas! :eek:;)
  21. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    In light of Sgt. Pepper teaching the band to play one more time, I've been driving around with the Yellow Submarine "Songtrack" in my car for the past several days. I was delighted to have those 5.1 mixes for my collection, and hadn't paid much attention to the CD. To my ears, this is sort of like what I get from Steve's work: dial back on the sizzle, strengthen the midrange, and give the bass more of a chance to be appreciated without changing the character of the recording you knew and loved.

    In context, I won't be expecting the 1999 mix to be the same as the '09, the '87 or the '17. But I suspect, the Songtrack will be my go-to for the PepperTracks it offers. And the sequence feels fresher to me as well.

    It fixes my hole.
  22. misterclean

    misterclean Forum Resident

    Cleveland, Ohio
    I agree with Steve. The mastering on this set is complete garbage- I could hardly stand to listen to it. And AFAIC, the remix is completely pointless. Just one man's opinion...
    vonwegen likes this.
  23. segue

    segue Forum Resident

    ...is it just a weird coincidence that Steve Hoffman & Susanna Hoffs share the same initials ?
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
    leeanndevi likes this.
  24. Lance Hall

    Lance Hall Forum Resident

    Fort Worth, Texas
    Way back in 2000 when I first got a DAW program (and didn't know what I was doing) I tried to "improve" some of those poorer "diffuse" stereo mixes. I panned the channel with the bass/drums to the center and then ADT'd the other channel across the stereo. This made the vocals kinda floaty and the sound-stage symmetrical.

    A lot of these new mixes sound like my primitive "mixes" except with jacked up bass. :thumbsdow
  25. teag

    teag Forum Resident

    Great thread. Will pull out my 87 disc and give it a listen.

    Did listen to the 09 stereo and mono last week and they both better the new remix.
    NGeorge likes this.

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