Music On Record That Is Better Than Reality

02 Jan 2015

For the first seven decades of recorded sound, the goal of the technology was to try to make a recording that sounded as close to reality as possible. But with the advent of  and sophisticated studio technology, perfection wasn’t enough. Instead of trying to make recordings that were merely faithful to performance, many artists, producers and engineers sought to achieve something beyond perfection. Using twenty-four track (and beyond) machines running reels of tape two inches wide at up to 30 inches per second , artists were able to create unimaginably complicated multi-layered compositions that were impossible to recreate outside the studio.

 

For example, Mike Oldfield constructed the entire Tubular Bells album himself by playing each instrument and overdubbing it onto a master tape.  Although this is common today, it was ground-breaking in 1973.  That same year, Pink Floyd created the cash register sounds at the beginning of “Money” from Dark Side of the Moon using long loops of tape that were measured out by a ruler, cut with a razor blade and then spliced back together.  Another fantastic example is 10cc’s “I’m Not in Love” (1975) with its 256-voice virtual choir.

Just another example of how advances in technology shaped advances in the sound of rock n' roll.

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