I’ve been busy working on a vinyl to digital conversion of George Bensons The Other Side of Abbey Road. I have a purchased MP3 version and we have access to 2x streaming versions, which I suspect are same sourced. They are not great, a bit flat, even when the HD version is streamed. So I’ve been working on my own copy.

I’ve digitized the album once already with a traditional stylus, but today I tried again with an elliptical stylus and I think I prefer the results for this recording. The process goes something like this:

  1. Record both sides of the album
  2. Normalize and offset any gain
  3. automated click removal
  4. Split the stereo channels into two individual tracks
  5. work on any surface noise a track at at time so as not to alter whats on the other channel
  6. rebalance the levels especially in the quiet parts
  7. sort out the tonal qualities
  8. rejoin the two tracks as channels in a single stereo track
  9. set the amplification and export as a vbr MP3. (Yes, I know it’s a lossy format, let’s discuss sometime)

During the process of manually cleaning up the tracks, the left and right channel separately, I realised just how good this album is. Some of the performances, especially Freddie Hubbard, Bob James, Ron Carter and Hubert Laws, are great, and obviously George Benson himself. However, they are often masked by Don Sebeskys orchestration and arrangement.

I’ll come back later to the album, which George Benson, in his autobiography said:

We cut The Other Side Of Abbey Road on which we covered most of the Beatles final album, and man, critics all over the world hated that one.

In retrospective, I love it. I’ve spent hours trying to produce a great digital version. Here though, for fun, is my “Something for the weekend” edit. I’ve never done editing before, I have no idea what I’m doing, but enjoy.

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