Thursday, April 13, 2006

Another Thought On Digital Beatles

Reading the report on The Beatles going digital, I see the following note:
Neil Aspinall, a former Beatles road manager and managing director of Apple Corps, was a witness in the company's trademark lawsuit against Apple Computer.

He said that the company was digitally remastering the entire Beatles catalog, which would pave the way for selling the songs online.

Which got me thinking. Remastering? Really? Or do they just mean compressing? Are they really going through and remastering the recordings? I thought they did that once for the CD release? Could a remaster done now (about 20 years after the CD remastering) be any better than the CD remaster?

I'm guessing that yes, advances in technology and all that, they might do a better job. Though I have to wonder how much you will lose when those remasters are compressed to go out over the Interent.

But what I find really curious is that, reading Geoff Emerick's book, he says several times that he doesn't like the CD recordings because they magnify problems in the original recordings. Wouldn't a digital remaster done now just make it even worse? Or will the digitally take out all the noise? And if they alter them so much, then aren't we getting away from the original recordings?

In other words; if The Beatles never made a Dolby Digital 5.1 release of Sgt. Peppers is it okay to do it now? Or is it like colorizing old Black & White movies?

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