SH Spotlight What do engineers mean when they refer to BEATLES MONO LIMITER SPLATTER?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Angel, Mar 19, 2002.

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  1. Angel

    Angel New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hollywood, Ca.
    I hear some engineers talking about limiter "splatter" in regards to Beatles recordings. BUT, just the mono ones. Why is that? Why not the stereo as well?

    And, what IS limiter splatter anyway?
     
  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Angel, you hang out with an interesting crowd.

    Let me go feed the dogs and then I'll come back and write you something on it...
     
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Okay.

    Hmmmm. Let me pick a Beatle song that has MLS (Mono Limiter Splatter).

    "A Hard Days' Night" song off of the CD. We probably all have that.

    Listen to the drums. Notice how the cymbals are "splattering"? In other words, doing weird distorting things, breaking up, overloading, etc.? That's called splatter, and is caused by the Altec compressor/limiter being hit too hard in mixing. The sound has no where to go, so it just distorts. The cymbals are the first to go, because of the high-frequency information on them.

    In this case, it's hard to tell what the heck cymbal Ringo is using. The open hi-hat, the crash or ride? Who knows?

    Now. Why not stereo? Well, the No. 2 studio at Abbey Road used a Fairchild stereo limiter that was MUCH kinder than the Altec mono limiter in use then. The Fairchild DID NOT SPLATTER LIKE THAT no matter how hard it was pushed.

    Now, this is not to say that a channel of the multi-track tape would not have used the splattering mono limiter during the recording process. So, there might be some splatter on the main rhythm track, and the voices, but usually not as radical as during the mono mix stage.

    Listen to "She Loves You". Can you count the edits in that wacky song? Plenty of them. There is one near the end: "Pride Can Hurt You Too". Way more top end on this little edit piece for some reason. You can really hear the splatter on the cymbals in that section.

    It happened outside of Abbey Road as well. Listen to "Surfin Bird" by The Trashman. After the middle silly part, when the music comes back in. When the bass hits, the entire thing turns to splatter.


    Just a part of history.

    So, you see? Now you know why a vintage Fairchild stereo tube limiter/compressor costs 20 grand now!
     
  4. RetroSmith

    RetroSmith Forum Hall Of Fame<br>(Formerly Mikey5967)

    Location:
    East Coast
    She Loves You

    Just for the record....'She Loves You" has a whopping SEVEN edits!!


    I've always felt thats why they never did a stereo mix of that song, because they would never get a stereo version to match the 45 with all the edits.


    mikey
     
  5. RetroSmith

    RetroSmith Forum Hall Of Fame<br>(Formerly Mikey5967)

    Location:
    East Coast
    Joe Meek

    Oh yea...i forgot....

    Steve, your comment about the compressors joe meek used were right on the money.

    Joe used, primarily, a 1933 valve (that means 'tube", boys)
    Limiter that was so old that the tubes were the GIANT tub valves.

    The one he had was used by the BBC in the 30s, 40s and 50s, to broadcast LOUD radio transmissions. No wonder there is "splatter" on Joe's masters!!

    mikey
     
  6. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Re: She Loves You

    Or because the tape was gone by the time they needed a stereo mix...
     
  7. Patrick M

    Patrick M Subgenius

    Location:
    US
    Re: She Loves You

    I found this on the 'net some time back:

    0:13 (seems more like a tape dropout)
    0:38 "splice" (minor sound change)
    0:52 splice (minor sound change)
    1:16 splice (major sound change)
    1:23 splice (MOST MAJOR sound change)
    1:29 splice (major sound change)
    1:31 splice (major sound change)
     
  8. Andrew

    Andrew Chairman of the Bored

    That would be an interesting challenge: attempting a stereo remix if the SLY session twin-tracks suddenly returned from the great beyond.
     
  9. RetroSmith

    RetroSmith Forum Hall Of Fame<br>(Formerly Mikey5967)

    Location:
    East Coast
    She Loves You Stereo Remix

    Well, i'll tell ya what guy...

    I have a sync up of the 45 SLY and the backing to the German SLD and its just about perfect.


    Personally, I believe that the backing track to SLD was one of the completed instrument takes from the She loves You sessions that was deemed "usuable" for the German version.


    mikey
     
  10. GMav

    GMav Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, Oregon, USA
    The stories I have heard (and read) about She Loves You (my favorite song of all time, AND the first record I ever bought), was that the master was "wiped" (by mistake), which I guess they call erased in the industry. Are there other stories about it being lost or destroyed?

    I would have loved to have been able to hear it in stereo. Bought my mono single (with picture sleeve) back in September of 1963. Cost me a whopping $0.29. Still have it to this day. What a song.
     
  11. GuyDon

    GuyDon Senior Member

    I would have loved to have been able to hear it in stereo. Bought my mono single (with picture sleeve) back in September of 1963. Cost me a whopping $0.29. Still have it to this day. What a song. [/B][/QUOTE]


    Although She Loves You was issued in the U.S. in September of 1963, the picture sleeve was not available until the Swan black label reissue in December 1963/January 1964. Regardless, a great first record to purchase!
     
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