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Topic: Interesting Dept: Analysis of the Beatles Multitrack Masters

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  1. #1
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    Interesting Dept: Analysis of the Beatles Multitrack Masters

    Waxy.org has a mixing analysis of three of the Beatles' original multitrack masters, isolating and highlighting pieces from "She's Leaving Home," "A Day in the Life," and "Come Together."

    It's a fascinating insight into the recording processes the Beatles used. It's amazing that they used only four and eight tracks.

    Here are the links to the audio:


    And a link to the article.

    Enjoy!

    Gary

  2. #2

    Re: Interesting Dept: Analysis of the Beatles Multitrack Masters

    This is very very interesting.

    Also it reminds me to the days when only real musicians were on stages
    and in studios. Now in our sequencer time with all the auto-tune plugs, there are so many fakes in the charts.

    Thanks for the links, Gary!

    Gunther
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  3. #3

    Re: Interesting Dept: Analysis of the Beatles Multitrack Masters

    what blows my mind is the repeated comments that this guy is making about the recordings being so fantastic. In reality, the recording is pathetic, every track is smashed to death with compression, a common thing with engineers back then when they recorded rock and roll. Compression was not used on everything recorded analog back then,.... listen to any Nat King Cole or other famous recordings of that era, the compression is used moderately, but not to ruin the music.

    I just get sick of hearing people ooh and ah over these old recordings as being so awesome. The recordings are not awesome at all, but the beatles were indeed ahead of their time.

    Just my picky two cents worth.
    Remember the popular saying about opinions,.... and that this is just mine. I'm quite sure most will disagree with me, but that's OK too, because they have theirs
    Dan

  4. #4
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    Re: Interesting Dept: Analysis of the Beatles Multitrack Masters

    Ow... hearing this intimate glimpse into the process makes my heart ache like it did almost 40 years ago trying to do the same disection with my ears on my parents living room floor in front of the "HiFi".

    Now I'll pine away all day.

    It also makes me remember my Art teacher telling us all that Sgt. Peppers was the end of the Beatles.

    Lum

  5. #5

    Re: Interesting Dept: Analysis of the Beatles Multitrack Masters

    Dan, I agree that the recordings were probably not engineered as well as they could have been, given the circumstances.

    However, I think it is incredibly neat to be able to hear each separate track of a Beatles recording and observe how the tracks "Come Together" to form great music.
    Maybe I should have come up with a more original username.
    ______________________________________
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  6. #6

    Re: Interesting Dept: Analysis of the Beatles Multitrack Masters

    Listen to some solo tracks from old recordings. You will be amazed at how unprofessional they are. And?

    The sound is cool and alive!

    Onother problem was the loss of audio quality when they bounced the tracks again and again. So they did hard compression.... .
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  7. #7
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    Re: Interesting Dept: Analysis of the Beatles Multitrack Masters

    Gday,

    As Gunther said:

    This is very very interesting."

    It is good to compare what could be done in those early days of sound recording and what is done today. Although we have so much more technology and the potential for higher quality sound recordings, the end result is often not so good, as it is frequently made to fit low quality sound reproduction equipment.

    Dan said:

    “what blows my mind is the repeated comments that this guy is making about the recordings being so fantastic. In reality, the recording is pathetic, every track is smashed to death with compression, a common thing with engineers back then when they recorded rock and roll.”

    I can not agree. All three recordings have an rms value of around 18 or 19 dB. This is what I usually get with little or no compression at all. Compression in those days was mostly used to get the music over the very limited radio transmission process or onto vinyl. Compression, for what some see as artistic expression, mostly came in years later.

    Herbert
    GPO, JABB, CMB, GWI, GOFRILLER, HALION PLAYER, ACCORDIONS by E Tarilonte
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  8. #8

    Re: Interesting Dept: Analysis of the Beatles Multitrack Masters

    Thanks, Gary, for providing this these links. As a non-audio engineer, it was interesting to hear the narrator share how these tunes were produced. I must say that it was quite emotional for me to listen (and learn) from the analysis, and hear the snip-its of some of my favorite Beatles tunes. (I'm a Beatle fan and love their music. I count their music as an important influence for my own musical endeavors.)

    Anyway. . . Having produced such great sounding music on "just" four or eight tracks was quite an accomplishment back then (for any band). I appreciate the planning and creativity that must have taken place to record their tunes, especially their more orchestrated ones. It is very cool to hear HOW "history" was produced. Literally. I hope they do more analysis of other Beatles tunes and share their findings with us.

    I was struck by the comment how the Rhodes piano they recorded was relative new to the music scene back then. It may be a dated sound but it's a great sound! (Gosh, I wish I still had my Rhodes piano! LOL!)

    Cheers!

    Ted
    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  9. #9
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    Re: Interesting Dept: Analysis of the Beatles Multitrack Masters

    Gday Gunther,

    I just noticed, you said:

    “Onother problem was the loss of audio quality when they bounced the tracks again and again. So they did hard compression.... .”

    Do you mean hard compression has been used on the above three examples, or do I misunderstand you? On what do you base your observation if I understand you correctly?

    Herbert
    GPO, JABB, CMB, GWI, GOFRILLER, HALION PLAYER, ACCORDIONS by E Tarilonte
    Cubase 6, Notation Composer, VSTHost, GoldWave audio editor.

    Interests:
    Good Food, Gemütlichkeit, Wein Weib und Gesang – History, Politics, Civil Law –
    Electronics, Software Development, Physics – Plant Physiology, Creative Horticulture –
    Photography, Painting, Wood Working - Midi Orchestration, Music, Music, und Musik …

  10. #10

    Re: Interesting Dept: Analysis of the Beatles Multitrack Masters

    I think they have not used a compressor in the solo tracks, only the tape compression... .

    But I remember when we did recordings with a 8 track mashine we used compression. I did it always whe I produced radio commercials.
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

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