MAL software saved “Revolver” mix
U.S. based Beatles fan magazine “Beatlefan” reported on their Facebook page that Universal held a Los Angeles listening session for the upcoming “Revolver” release this week. Interestingly, a Dolby Atmos mix of the album was played, although that mix will not be made commercially available, Beatlefan writes.
Likely, the Dolby Atmos mix will find its way to capable streaming providers like Apple Music and TIDAL, just like the three recently released Doby Atmos mixes of the self-titled McCartney albums.
Producer Giles Martin was on hand, and talked about how, previously, the problem with trying to remix “Revolver” is that, on one track, you might have drums, bass and rhythm guitar, and you couldn’t separate them. But, with the audio software developed by Sir Peter Jackson’s Wingnut Films for “The Beatles: Get Back,” they can take any instrument off a track and place it anywhere in the mix they want. In other words, the Jackson software gave them the ability to do a real remix of the album, Beatlesfan reported.
Peter Jackson’s team needed to lift out obscured discussions from the mono Nagra tapes of the “Get Back” sessions. The team scoured academic papers on using AI to separate audio sources but realised that none of the previous research would work for a music documentary. They consulted with Paris Smaragdis at the University of Chicago and started to create a neural network called MAL (machine assisted learning – the name MAL was a deliberate homage to the HAL computer in 2001: a Space Odyssey — and to the omnipresent Mal Evans from the documentary) and a set of training data that was higher quality than datasets used in academic experiments. Using MAL, Jackson and his colleagues were able to painstakingly and precisely isolate each and every audio track — be it musical instrumentation, singing or studio chatter. In the end, that endeavor enabled them to also create stereo mixes from the mono tapes, and Jackson was able to provide Paul McCartney with an isolated vocal track from John Lennon on the song “I’ve Got A Feeling”, which Paul put to use in his “Got Back” tour and subsequent Glastonbury concert.
A few of the outtakes to be included also were previewed at the listening session. Among the outtakes set for the new box set is an early version of “Yellow Submarine” that features Lennon singing the unfinished number while playing acoustic guitar — an indication he was much more involved in the song’s creation than previously had been believed, concludes Beatlefan.
The “Revolver” releases are likely to hit the market on or around October 28, is what we have been hearing.