Monday, August 31, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
George Martin and The Beatles spent days, sometimes weeks mixing the mono version of most of their albums. The stereo mixes were done usually by an assistant engineer. Sometimes it was even worse, the stereo mix was done by an apprentice engineer. Paul McCartney briefly mentions this in the extra material on The Beatles Anthology DVDs. Saying roughly, "the stereo mixes were done one day while we (George Martin, the producer and The Beatles) were at lunch." With the exceptions of "Yellow Submarine", "Let It Be", and "Abbey Road" the mono mix was the baby. The stereo mix was the bastard redheaded stepchild at best.
At first blush this sounds like a massive oversight. But as Mr. McCartney goes on to point out ". . . ninety-Eight percent of people were listening in mono." Stereo was new, many thought it was a fad and wouldn't last. Many Hi-Fi enthusiasts resisted it in the beginning. It meant a serious amount of money needed to be spent. They were forced to buy another amplifier, another speaker, a new preamplifier, and a new turntable.
Will the sound live up to the expectations? If the review on Tone Audio is any indication the answer is a resounding YES! Also of interest is an ongoing thread on the Steve Hoffman forum. Amazon has some interesting podcasts on the remasters on the right hand side of the page. In addition to two 10 minute interviews with two of the engineers involved in the 4 year project there are there are numerous half minute samples of various Beatles songs to enjoy until the sets ship. September 9th can't arrive fast enough!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Recently Miles Davis' seminal "Kind Of Blue" album turned fifty years old. It's quite possibly the most re-issued and praised jazz album of all time. The vast majority those accolades are richly deserved. Nearly any jazz fan that wasn't being a pretentious ass would recommend it as one of the ten best jazz albums for people looking to get into the genre. The work has been endlessly analyzed but that analysis hasn't stripped of any of it's power or magic. It's hard to put a finger on what makes it so special, but that's how it often is with things that transcend their genres and become part of popular culture.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
The Gibson Les Paul, a guitar so iconic it is rivaled only by the Fender Stratocaster, was designed in collaboration with Les and Gibson. While he may not have literally designed the entire instrument he made famous, Gibson recognized Les not only invented the technology, but through his own fame gained as a musician, made the electric guitar widely popular.
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Some highlights include seeing vintage EMI tube desks and tape machines still being used by Knopfler and his long-time engineer, Chuck Ainlay. Also, don't miss the pictures of George Martin stopping by to visit the sessions and to show off iPhone pictures from his frequent trips to Montserrat, or indeed, the revelation that Big George actually owns an iPhone.