Chapter 3/ Analog Recording

In 1951, Les Paul and his wife Mary Ford recorded "How High the Moon." By using sound on sound on a Ampex 3-track multitrack recorder, they managed to record no fewer than 24 guitar and vocal parts. Even by today’s standards, the result is a great sounding song. Also note the virtuoso guitar playing!

 

For his "Wall of Sound," Phil Spector used 3-track machines too. Although vocal doubling was more or less common, Spector liked to double just about all instruments, even the drums, bass and piano. The only instrument that managed to escape from doubling was often the lead vocal.

 

The extensive arrangements of Beach Boy Brian Wilson were difficult to mix. To solve this problem, many songs got mixed section by section. After mixing, the various pieces were edited together. Some of those edits clearly show that instruments are cut or continuity in general is interrupted. If you listen to "Good Vibrations" for example, a cut can be heard at 0:25, when the first verse transitions into the first chorus. Also, note how precisely Wilson doubled his lead vocal!

 

 

The tape effect with Waves Kramer Tape plugin:

 The audio used in this tutorial can be downloaded here (a new indow will open).