- Timeline More from year 2010
- Remasters Workshop
- RMW 540
This album has been recorded during the following studio sessions
Jan 01, 1962
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From the liner notes:
OK, Beatle Peetle, this is it! The Decca Tapes…at the honest-to-(insert your favorite deity here) right speed, at last, no foolin’.
Despite what they all said about their Decca Tapes being speed-corrected, they were all wrong. These tracks have always been at the wrong pitch on every single issue – Deccagone, Circuit, Yellow Dog (twice), Vigotone, Masterdisc… but this issue is guaranteed to have these recordings running at A=440 on every track. Each has been played against the grand piano preset on a Korg M50 workstation, and adjusted to match in Adobe Audition 3. Even if the group were not precisely tuned to concert pitch when they played it, they are now. You can play your instrument with all the songs without having to retune or being even a hair sharp or flat.
The source used here is the Masterdisc CD. It sounded the best out of all the other issues, and had no noise reduction, except that it ran a semitone sharp, with some variations. There was a small imbalance in level between channels – that’s fixed. Not a fraction of a second of audio is added or taken away.
Two fixes have been performed. The first note of “Hello Little Girl” ramped down in speed from a higher pitch. That has been straightened out. And the folks at Masterdisc had combined the channels of their tape to mono. This was fine because their playback was in phase to begin with. But on “Searchin'” there were two spots right next to each other where the phase was out for a very short time, as it had the telltale swishing of phase cancellations. Those have been patched with audio from the Vigotone CD “March 5, 1963 plus The Decca Tape.”
That iteration was horribly out of phase due to azimuth misalignment during digital transfer; it was at the wrong speed (which was fixed), and it has a ton of noise reduction applied, which dulled the high end and rolled off the bass. Even after phase correction, it was still brighter in the left and duller in the right, evidence of multiple-generation dubbing on different tape machines. So the two fragments needed for the patches are taken from the left channel, and re-equalized to match the Masterdisc sound as closely as possible. It worked out so well that you’ll never hear it when the patches go by (the patches are less than a second in total).
Barring another issue from even closer to the master, this is about as good as it gets for the Decca Tapes.