Friday, April 2, 2010

Recording Presentation Week 1

The two presentations that were given this week featured two widely know producers: Butch Vig and George Martin. Early in his career, Butch is know for his work with bands such as Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins. He was able to create the heavily grunge rock sound that created a new direction in popular music in the early 90's. He was able to trick Kurt Cobain into double tracking all the guitar parts twice by telling him, "John Lennon double tracks." This lead Butch to be able to sculpt the heavy and raw sound that was heard on the early grunge records. Another interesting fact is that Butch made Billy Corgan play almost all the instruments on the Smashing Pumpkin debut, Gish. On that record, the drum mic set up is identical to the go to set up that we have at the school studio. A d112 and RE20 on the kick, a 57 on the top side snare, 414's as OH's and 421's on the toms.
George Martin is sometimes referred to as the fifth Beatle. He was born on January 3rd, 1927 and began playing piano and eventually realized that we had perfect pitch. He found his way into working at Parlaphone (a division of EMI) records as a lead engineer. It was the littlest branch of EMI and he didn't always get to work with the biggest acts. He was always looking for band that had a unique sound that he could put his 2 cents on. At the age of 29, George took over Parlaphone and was in search of an artist that could be featured to create hit songs. Brian Epstien, the manager of the Beatles, met with George and agreed to listen in on a practice session. George was really excited with what he heard, other than the fact that drummer Pete Best, wasn't really the best... At the consent of George, Pete was replaced by a guy named Ringo Star and the rest is history. The first Beatles album was made in 12 hours at Abby Road Studio 2. The Beatles and George always were looking for ways to push the musical evolutionary envelope, which is heard in all of the Beatles material, especially the during the latter years. Automatic Double Tracking was created with the help of Ken Townsend during an experimenting session where the idea came up to barry the top of the playback head speed on the tape machine. In songs such as 'All You Need Is Love,' a mixture of Bach's Greensleeves and 'In the Mood' can be heard among other Beatles tunes. George went on to help the Beatles reach the top and keep them there by continuing to pursue the greatest sounds and performances that were possible, and of course composing all the background orchestrations and ideas.

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