In an interview with The Rolling Stone, Giles Martin, the producer behind The Beatles’ two spatial audio albums on Apple Music said that Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band doesn’t sound quite right. The producer said he has plans to mix it again.
Spatial Audio allows users to listen to music with a 360 audio experience. Instruments are meant to sound as if they are around the listener. The immersive experience is aimed at enhancing how music sounds to listeners.
Beatles producer discusses Spatial Audio in a new interview
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Martin said that the Dolby Atmos mix for Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band “doesn’t sound quite right” in its current form. “It’s a bit like someone you love for years having a slightly different haircut. And you realize you still love them,” Martin said of the Spatial Audio mixes.
Sgt. Pepper’s, how it’s being presented right now, I’m actually going to change it. It doesn’t sound quite right to me. It’s out in Apple Music right now. But I’m gonna replace it. It’s good. But it’s not right. Sgt. Pepper’s was, I think, the first album ever mixed in Dolby Atmos.
The producer went on to say that the aforementioned album lacks “a bit of bass and a little bit of weight behind it”, which is why it did not translate into Spatial Audio as well as Abbey Road because the latter album was much closer to the stereo mix of the original.
And we did that as a theatrical presentation. I liked the idea of the Beatles being the first to do something. It’s cool that they can still be the first to do something. So Sgt. Pepper’s is a theatrical mix that’s then being converted into a smaller medium. Therefore, it’s not quite right. I’m gonna go back to the theatrical mix and make it into what’s called near-field Dolby Atmos, as opposed to the cinema Dolby Atmos. It’s a bit bright. It’s a bit digital. But again, I’m gonna replace it, so that’s cool.
Martin also discussed Dolby Atmos or headphones saying though there has been significant growth in the sector over the past several years, the technology is still in its initial stages. “You can hear the difference with spatial audio. It may not always be better, but there’s a difference,” he said.