In a recent interview during “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Peter Jackson described how he was able to use sound-recognition technology to capture conversations between members of the Beatles previously unheard, even from those who initially captured the recordings in his latest project, “Get Back,” released in November on Disney+ streaming service.
In the weeks leading up to the Beatles’ iconic rooftop performance, and “Let It Be” album, the group hired Michael Lindsay Hogg to record their practice sessions. Some of the footage was released in the 1970 “Let It Be” documentary. Most of the footage was archived and kept secret until a few years ago when the lot was handed over to Jackson. He was given access to over 150 hours of audio and 60 hours of video to edit and find the story within these critical moments in Beatle history.
Jackson explains that even though the band had asked (and paid) Hogg to document these sessions, they soon found tricks to avoid having certain conversations recorded, or so they thought. Jackson explains that his sound engineers taught a computer to recognize what a guitar sounded like and then were able to remove it from the recording, leaving the conversation intact.
While this might seem like a novel idea to the public, for audiologists this type of sound recognition has been in use for years in many different types of technology including hearing aids and remote microphones. Isolating speech in a variety of situations is a hallmark of the profession.
As a fans of George, Paul, John, and Ringo, as well as a hearing technology, it was nice to see these two worlds collide.
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