my log - remix stereo "Please Please Me" by the Beatles

First Remix finished - 27 December 2010

I am remixing the 2009 stereo “Please Please Me” by the Beatles to obtain stereo with vocals on both channels being centered with instruments on both channels on both sides of the vocals. Not all vocals will be on both channels (to get some
back and forth).

End result changed to drums in the center, vocals on either side not to far apart, the harmonica with Lennon and the instruments in back spanning past the vocals.

When I have exported the completed mix as WAV, I will pass on a copy to any forum member who would like to compare with the 2009 cd or some other version

I will post a msg in red at the top of this page when the export has been made

I have posted questions about editing where I reference the subject. Waxcylinder asked I could keep him posted, so I
thought I would put all aspects of the remix in this one post and add to it as I progress through the remix

The 1962 stereo is
Left Channel: instruments only (weak sound)
Right Channel: all of the vocals and a small amount of instruments (low instrument volume)

Presently (4 December) still creating tracks and clips: With the original left track + 10 that I am creating 11 will
probably be the final count. The foundation for the remix is creating as many distinct clips as possible. The more I
have to work with the more I can alter the sound vs the original. So far I have created 8 new tracks and I am working
on two more. When I have created all tracks-clips and satisfied, will save the project as a new copy then make
adjustments to the new copy. I am resisting the urge to rush to mixing because if the tracks and clips (foundation) are
not right a bad mix will be the result.

I am new to such a project, particularly the adjustmets to some, so any suggestions will appreciated.

Using 32bit float and 44,100 sampling here is what I have done so far up to the last 15 seconds

From the Right Channel - 7 new tracks
Used a combination of duplicating then silencing what I don’t want and time shift to move clips to another track

  • 5 vocals totaling 36 clips and will be placed with the channel shown below
      • Right channel - Lennon only - 12 clips;
      • Right Channel: the rest - 11 clips
      • Left Channel: McCartney/Harrison - 12 clips - some time shift to be determined. There are three segments with
        four “Come On” by Lennon and answered 4 times by McCartney/Harrison. A nice affect hearing the back and forth from
        different channels. Will fill in the McCartney/Harrison right channel silence with instruments from the left channel
      • Left Channel: Harrison - one clip - some time shift to be determined with instruments from left channel to replace the silenced area of the right channel
      • Left Channel - Same right channel one track with 11 clips for time shift vs right channel - testing shows 0.025 seconds and no echo but will test more when I am in the adjustment phase).
  • 1 Guitar w 7 clips (6 at 3 sec and 1 at 1 sec) - very low volume. All will remain on the right channel. A large volume difference with Amplify showing from 4.2 to 11.9. Will amplify some of the clips prior to gain-
  • 1 Harmonica w 4 clips (sec 7, 3.5, 2.5 and 3.5) - with slight guitar mixed

From the Left Channel (Instruments) - 1 new track

  1. Duplicated entire track to gain more sound using time shift. The waveform height pretty much at max but not a lot
    sound so I increased the width. I experimented with time shift and 0.022 gave a noticeable increase in the amount of
    sound without echo. Will test again when I get to the adjustment phase. I read about time shifting in a post I think by

    Presently working on
    track 9 bringing instruments from the left channel to the right channel with right channel instruments and vocals being
    dominate. Not sure yet how I will do this but probably left channel combination of lowering amplification and/or gain
    of the left channel. Right Channel increasing amplification of some clips and/or gain.

track 10 - the last 15 seconds. Not sure yet what I will do here.

If you are trying for a stereo-like effect you could get a better result if you invert* the copy waveform when you copy it to the other side.

[* “invert” is in Audacity’s “Effect” menu]

Just tried the copy-invert and I like what I heard. Maybe I can apply to copy-invert some of the same editing that I am using now to get the changes that I want to hear. Will give it a go after I have finished my present approach.

Chuck, thanks for this thread - most interesting. I look forward to reading you developments on this. I would love to get a copy of your WAV file once you’ve finished so I can audition against the CD originals, 1987 and 2009 re-mix (sady I no longer have the vinyl - it wore out!) on my electrostic QUAD speakers.

With a lot of the 2009 Beatles CD remixes, they appear to (to my ears anyway) make the backing instruments far too prominent at the expense of diminishing the singing. It means that I end up “noticing” the backing stuff a lot more - and I find that somewhat distracting. I’m hoping that your remix will avoid that - from the sound of what you are doing that should be the case.

I can supply you my email once you’ve fnished so you could maybe send me a copy?



what source material are you using for your original “master”.

I’ve just had a good listen to both the “original” Album versions I have - the 1987 CD issue is definitely in mono (and it says so on the tin) - the 2009 “Re-master” is a dreadful IMHO faux stereo where the instuments and voices are pushed too far to the left and the right of the stereo sound stage. Listening on good headphones (Sennheiser HD25-1) the middle of the sound stage sounds somewhat “thin to me”. The original mono mix is much more satisfying to me especially on the speakers. On the stereo mix I find it particularly disconcerting (on headphones) to find Ringo placed at the far right instead of solidly behind the other three in the middle. It almost sounds as though you are at the side of the stage watching them play.

The faux stereo is probably iffy as at the time they hadn’t recorded enough tracks to allow a better mix to be made. They certainly weren’t using 8-track at Abbey Road in those days, that came later (c. Pepper-time IIRC).

I do have another mono mix which is from the “Anthology” CD by the Beatles. This is the ealiest available recording of the track - and was formerly believed lost/wiped. The sleevenotes say “It varies from the master take in a number of ways, the most obvious being the absence of harmonica, always regarded as the released recording’s trademark feature. The lead and harmony vocals, and the drum track, also differ”. The guitar has a nice plangent sound on this recording and the drums sound punchier than the “original” that we know and love.


I note from my iPod that I also have a recent interesting cover by Wykham Porteous - it has a pedal-steel giving it a country feel and a lot more bass than the Beatles have. And hey, he even throws in a sitar in the bridge. :slight_smile:

WC - if you would like, I will send the Audacity files.

I am using the 2009 cd. I do have the 2004 Capitol cd, Anthology, 1987 cd, vinyl 1964 Early Beatles (Capitol), and vinyl VeeJay lp Introducing the Beatles (a boot). I have digitized the vinyls

When I finish the 2009, will give it a go with remixing some of the others.

5 December -

remixing 2009 cd version. When finished I will try on some other versions.

Can not move a clip into a track having a 0 amplititude line. Not until after a couple of forum postings did I realize a 0 amplitude line occupies space as any sound clip would.

Completed track-clip creation

    • Track 9 instruments from left channel into right channel - leaving as is for now and see what I can get through the mixing board with gain to this track and all right channel tracks. I still have the idea of splitting track 9 into clips depending on what is opposite on the right channel and trying some amplified base or other effects on different clips to distinguish from the left channel
    • Track 10 and 11 the last 15 seconds. Right channel track 10 can not be extracted for clips (vocals and instruments to thoroughly mixed). Made Track 11, duplicate of 10, inverted, set to left channel and offset 0.035 seconds. Left Channel instruments are in
    • Track 13: Separated the 4 very low volume guitar clips (vs the other three) to a separate track for gain adjustment.

Refined clip sides: When clips were made I left a second or so on either side. I have zoomed in close and silenced the unwanted audio on both sides. Some clips sounded best silenced right up to the start of what I wanted others needed a small amount to remain to which I applied fade-in fade-out. The overlay between adjoining clips on different tracks has not caused any detectable gain change.

Used variation of Trebor’s suggestion copy/invert by inverting the one vocal track with 11 clips on the Left Channel (instrument side). With a 0.030 sec time shift not sure if I am hearing any difference or placement location. Also from his suggestion that I inverted track 11

Right channel has gained 24 seconds of distinct sound differences from the left channel Right channel increased from 30 to 54 seconds with left instrument channel having 1:45 secs (up to the last 15 seconds). Increase obtained by silencing McCartney/Harrison “Come On” on the right channel and moving to the left channel.

Gain and time shift - only adjustments made so far. Thinking about amplifying and mabye base boost but would rather not apply what can not be undone after saving. But then again I have a backup copy of the project. Will see what happens with the mixing board.

Now working in the mixing board - but will probably have to edit the individual tracks during mixing board period. This has been fun and exciting, having all of these different sounds to work with. To early to post anything specific (experimentation). The “Come On” exchange is sounding as I have heard it in my head for years. I did goof during a test “Mix and Render” that I could not undo. BUT I HAVE MY BACKUP COPY. What I have not found is how to copy a needed track from the backup project to the one I am mixing. I posted the question.

Chuck, sending Audacity projects is always problematical - all those little au files … plus the fact that you need to replicate the file locations. Always more trouble than it is worth.

So I’d much rather just hear the results of your labours and get the WAV file which I can then load onto my iPod for easy comparisons, on the Sennheisers, with the commercial versions.


6 December

End result changed to what sounds better instead of vocals to the center. Change came about from a post by WaxCylinder about how drums are not centered. I was defining the end goal before I knew what I had to work with and with the assumption centered vocals would sound better. Making tracks-clips is independent of the end goal. In future remixing I will not decide on specific end results until I have made the track-clips and start working with the mixer board.

Mixing Board results
Drums are now center instead of vocals: WC drum comment combined with Trebor’s invert suggestion for centering vocals lead me wonder how the instument channels would sound if I inverted the right channel instrument track (brought over from the left). I so inverted and I am now hearing the drums in the center which I like better than centered vocals. To keep the drums center, I tested various gain levels between the two channels and found no more than .1 to .2 db difference between the two channels gave the best centering.

Vocal tracks to be dominate over instruments in the first 1 minute - 45 seconds
Right Channel: Lennon only lead track and the harmony track set to max gain without clipping.
Left Channel: McCartney/Harrison and Harmony track set to max without clipping
Left Channel Vocal Harmony track to same on Right Channel - for timeshift to hear vocals out of both channels without sounding like being in a cave. Looking into what else can be done to make one track sound different from the other

Right channel: The two guitar tracks and one harmonica track gain adjusted against the vocals.
Above played with the instrument track brought over from the left channel. Adjustments made to the brought over channel. Left Channel instrument gain set to same level as right channel
Both left channel instrument tracks - for time shifting to get more sound without sounding like the inside of a cave. Also looking into making the right channel sound different from the left. Might try base boost.

Last 15 seconds - pretty well satisfied with what I already did, Made a duplicate of the right channel, inverted, set to left channel and offset 0.035 seconds

Will email a WAV copy to you - Chuck

7 December
Remix on hold till sound card replaced Left channel is slightly weaker than right channel for the same track. Discovered while panning during experimenting with the left instrument channel. Tested with some right channel tracks with same result. Confirmed with a mono 30 second tone track. While the difference is not dramatic, it is easily detectable.

9 Dec

Thought I had a sound card problem with one channel louder than the other. Not dramatic but detectable. Posted and
with a reply by Steve I found that the SB mixer was just a tad off center. All the years it has been that way and I never noticed until I got into the details of this remix

Making the “Come On” vocals stronger (center piece of the remix)
What did not work

    • amplify to 0db - not nearly enough
    • Duplicate-offset: two different tracks on two different channels
    • Echo did but I did like the result - tried varying degrees of time-decay. Got some sounds that would work on Sgt Pepper or Revolver

What did work -

Set gain beyond 0db relying on my ear instead of the meter. A “Mix Render” showed quite a bit of red clip lines but the sound was still good. The McCartney/Harrison vocals were a but fuzzy on the cd.

To get the needed volume for each of the 3 segments, I made 3 separate tracks of left and 3 of the right. With just one track for left and one for right, I could not get the right balance between the exchanges and the harmony leading up to the start of and after the each “Come On” segment

Reset the gains as described in 6 Dec.

Ready to “Mix and Render” down to one left channel and one right channel - on Friday. Will take a final fresh listen before doing so. I know I have to adjust the gains for tracks that overlap

Nothing was added to the audio that did not exist before I started. No selections from “Effect” were used. Only used gain and some time shift

I learned a lot about using Audacity by doing, going through the manual along with a lot of great help from the many questions I posted

Steve made a vocal enhancer plug-in which boosts the high frequency content, you can get it here …

I suspect you are effectively doing the same by amplifying the vocal to the point of clipping, (creating extra harmonics).

Steve describes the effect of this plug-in as “a bit rough”, but it’s not as rough as clipping. (I suggest only using this plug-in on low settings 0.01 -0.05).

10 December
Made six more tracks (3 left - 3 right) of the vocals following the three “Come On” to adjust gain for the short vocal segment after to be at the same volume.

Not much work with the remix today

11 December
Putting off Mix-Render to change Audio Tracks - “Come On” vocals to far apart.
Just hit me this evening to make mono tracks of both left and right and try panning. Had not used pan prior. Also made mono tracks of the 2nd vocal track, one right channel and the same on left channel for panning

The result- Drums are still in the center

  • Panned vocals 30% from center left and right
  • Instruments still left or right channel - extending past the vocals

Will try Mix-Render 12 December

Reset the gain. “Come On” gain greatly reducing leaving only a few clipping lines

14 December

Had to put the remix a side for a couple of days. I had been hearing the song so much I was becoming confussed. I tried a suggestion from BillW to use headphones instead of listening through speakers. Much better then judging by what came out of the speakers

Later today (Wednesday), with headphones on, will make THE final gain adjustments.

22 Dec:

Put the remix aside for a while for I have been stuck. Several mix-render attempts resulted in sound problems causing confussion and some frustration. Also noticed the panned vocal harmony (other than the “Come On”) sounds tinny. I duplicate the right channel harmony, changed both to mono, and panned one 35% left and the other 35% right.

I changed the two mono tracks to one left and one right but the pan does not work with the vocals coming out hard left and hard right.

I posted a question about this matter

27 December
The remix has been “Mix-Rendered” and exported as WAV Not completely satisfied for the sound has some differences from the aup but I needed to complete the project to WAV. Still I like the result.

This thread is REALLY old and so it’s a likelihood next to 0 that anyone will reply, but can I have the finished mix?

This may be your lucky day - please see your Forum PM inbox … :sunglasses: