UPDATE: The advance listing on Music Direct has been taken down. However, listings have subsequently popped up and been taken down elsewhere, and distributors have sent out press releases for the box set. EMI has not responded to inquiries concerning the remasters.
Ladies and gentlemen, the fabled Beatles vinyl remasters are coming. On November 13th, EMI will reissue the complete remastered Beatles catalog, including all 12 studio albums plus Magical Mystery Tour and Past Masters, as part of a 16LP limited edition stereo box set. It also includes a DVD with mini-documentaries. According to the description over at Music Direct, the remastering process took place at Abbey Road Studios over the course of four years. Directly from the press release:
“At the start of the restoration process, engineers conducted extensive tests before copying the analog master tapes into the digital realm using 24-bit/192 kHz resolution and a Prism A-D converter. Dust build-ups were removed from tape machine heads after the completion of each title. Artifacts such as electrical clicks, microphone vocal pops, excessive sibilance, and poor edits were improved upon as long as it was determined that doing so didn’t at all damage the integrity of the songs. Similarly, de-noising technology was applied in only a few necessary spots and on a sum total of less than five of the entire 525 minutes of Beatles music. Compression was also used sparingly and only on the stereo versions to preserve the sanctity of the dynamics.
A rigorous string of checks and balances ensured that the results exceeded expectations. Subject to numerous playback tests, songs were auditioned by the remastering team to determine if any lingering mistakes needed correction. The restored versions were also compared side-by-side against the original vinyl pressings (loaded into Pro Tools), and then again auditioned in the same studio where all recent Beatles projects, including Love, were mixed. Once all EQ issues had been addressed, another round of listening litmus tests occurred in still another location. Finalization required the approval of everyone involved in the remastering process. For this project, there was no such thing as too many cooks in the kitchen. Yes, it took a village to get it right.
Each album features original U.K. vinyl album artwork, original U.K. track listings, expanded booklets containing original and newly penned liner notes, recording notes, rare photos, and fold-out packaging. Everything comes housed in a tall, glossy, hard black lift-top case augmented with a magnetic clasp.”
The box set goes on sale for $399.99, or you can buy the albums individually, all on 180 gram vinyl. Order yours over at Music Direct.