Beatles seminar Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is set to receive another Dolby Atmos mix when producer Giles Martin, the son of the album’s original producer George Martin, admitted that the current version “doesn’t sound quite right”. The current mix, produced by the younger Martin in 2017, was done with Dolby Atmos theaters in mind, rather than personal listening through services like Apple Music. “I’m going to replace it,” said the two-time Grammy winner that Rolling stone. “It’s good. But it’s not right.”
The current Atmos mix for the album was created at the same time as its 50th anniversary in 2017. At the time, it was designed to be played in Dolby Atmos cinemas at several live listening events. But now that it is available through streaming services such as Amazon Music HD and recently Apple Music, people listen to it in smaller rooms or with headphones.
“Sgt. Pepper was, in my opinion, the first album ever mixed in Dolby Atmos. And we did it as a theatrical performance, ”Martin explains. “So Sgt. Pepper is a theatrical mixture that is then converted to a smaller medium. Therefore, it is not quite right. I’m going to go back to the theater mix and make it into the so-called nearby Dolby Atmos, unlike the Dolby Atmos cinema. It’s a little bright. It’s a bit digital. But again, I’m going to replace it, so that’s great. “
According to Martin, a regional mix Sgt. Pepper “Looks like there’s a little bass and a little weight in the back.” For comparison, Atmos blend Abbey Road, which is made of its The 50th anniversary celebration in 2019 is “a much better-performing Atmos mix because it’s much closer to stereo mix.”
Which is especially fascinating Sgt. Pepper, is that the album was released at a time when monophonic recordings were the main focus of most producers by NPR. George Martin spent three weeks mixing the original monoversion of the album before spending just three days on a stereo release. The album has practically lasted three musical times: first mono, then stereo and now spatial sound.
When the spatial sound is in its infancy, there are a lot of examples of well-known albums that don’t sound quite right in a new format. My colleague Chris Welch outlines some of these in his book an overview of the spatial sounds of Apple Musicwith songs like Weezer’s “Buddy Holly” and “What’s My Age Again?” The Blink 182 suffers from problems such as muted vocals and lifeless guitars. But hopefully these are just growing pains associated with a relatively new form, and we’ll one day look back on these songs rather than the ’60s stereo recordings.
Giles Martinin perfect interview Rolling stone is worth reading about the producer’s insights into the possibility of surround sound.