The Beatles in Surround: The Manhattan Center Hosts 5.1 Mixes for Columbia Pictures' 'Across the Universe'

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Elliott Goldenthal, Teese Gohl, Joel Iwataki, Lawrence Manchester and Brandon Mason oversee surround mixing for fresh takes on the Fab Four at elite NYC 5.1 facility.

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

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A new way to listen to the timeless songs of The Beatles is always exciting.

The soundtrack from the highly anticipated new film from Julie Taymor and Columbia Pictures, Across the Universe, makes that happen with stunning new Beatles arrangements mixed for film release in 5.1 surround at The Manhattan Center (

As one of Manhattan's most highly experienced surround mixing facilities, The Manhattan Center was a powerful asset to composer Elliott Goldenthal, co-producer Teese Gohl, and engineers Joel Iwataki, Lawrence Manchester and Brandon Mason in nailing the mixes for the ambitious movie featuring all-new arrangements of songs by The Beatles. The foursome worked in MC's famous wood-trimmed Studio 4 "Log Cabin" with its Neve VR72 console, along with the Grace Design m906 5.1 monitor controller and JBL LSR 6328P monitors to bring the magic of surround to songs like "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" with Bono on vocals, "I am the Walrus" again sung by the legendary Bono and featuring The Secret Machines, "Come Together" featuring Joe Cocker, and "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" with Eddie Izzard.

"When you're mixing it's as if you have a window to fit everything into – at The Manhattan Center that window just gets so much bigger," says Brandon Mason, whose recent credits also include producing and engineering VHS or Beta and The Secret Machines. "In Studio 4, the depth of the soundstage expands, the low end gets clearer and deeper, and the image gets wider. Everything about the monitoring in that control room was all that we needed it to be, and the Neve VR console there has the punch that we were looking for."

Goldenthal's Across the Universe arrangements of the 25 Beatles songs that were mixed in surround at Studio 4 were aided by the unusually deep 5.1 experience of The Manhattan Center, which has been hosting surround mixing sessions for over 15 years from its convenient midtown location at 34th Street and 8th Avenue.

"The Manhattan Center staff worked so well with our engineering team," Mason comments.

"Their chief engineer, Joel Scheuneman, put a very high level of expertise into it. It's great not to be fighting an uphill battle with the studio technically, but instead simply reaching deeper into my own skills so that when the mixes were done, they were completed as well as they could possibly be."

Across the Universe, a fictional love story set in the 1960's, features 34 Beatles songs newly arranged and produced by T Bone Burnett, Goldenthal and Gohl and is slated for release by Columbia Pictures September 14-21 2007.

Prior to the mixing sessions, the team worked in The Manhattan Center's legendary Grand Ballroom, as well as Studio 4 from October through December 2006 finishing the score, which included an 85-piece orchestra. Engineers Halsey Quemere and Angie Teo assisted with the surround mix. The stereo release for the soundtrack album was also mixed at The Manhattan Center.

Gohl, whose score production credits also include Frida and Heat, was first introduced to the facility when working on 1994's Interview with the Vampire. "The Grand Ballroom in The Manhattan Center is still our #1 room for scoring," he says. "When it comes to mixing, their Neve VR72 console is infinitely better for anything that has to do with classical music, scoring or rock. When we are recreating something that was great 40 years ago, like The Beatles, we want to do it right – the Neve board, the space around that console for executing the surround mixes, and the experience of the staff really set The Manhattan Center apart."

For Brandon Mason, whose fast-growing portfolio has enabled him to work in many of the world's top audio facilities, The Manhattan Center is a true go-to facility in the heart of Manhattan. "The Manhattan Center's Studio 4 is one of the best studios I've ever worked in," he says. "The atmosphere is extremely comfortable and focused, the staff is attentive, and from a sonic perspective, I know I can sit down at the console and the keep the process moving forward full speed ahead. The Manhattan Center is very conducive to tapping into my best work."

About The Manhattan Center
Located on 34th Street and 8th Avenue, The Manhattan Center provides a combination of elite audio, video and post-production capabilities unmatched in Manhattan. The Manhattan Center is home to three TV studios, an HD post division, two world-class audio recording facilities, and NYC's legendary Hammerstein Ballroom and Grand Ballroom. The Manhattan Center's highly experienced, service-oriented staff has overseen productions for ESPN, MTV, BET, AOL, VHI, and many more.

For more information, please visit , or call Obie O'Brien at 212-695-6600 ext. 212.

Media Contact: Kevin Fetterplace at (001) 646 359-3961 or via e-mail at kevin @

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