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I'm Only Sleeping
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29 September 2009
8.35am
bigtwenty
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Does anyone know how they got that killer acoustic guitar sound throughout the entire song? What is that?

30 September 2009
5.34am
Joe
Pepperland
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Hey bigtwenty. Thanks for visiting the site.

Have a look at this: http://books.google.co.uk/book.....38;f=false

In short, Lennon played a Gibson Jumbo acoustic in e minor, slowed down a semitone.

I really need to get Walter Everett's Beatles books. Every time I delve into them on Google Books they look absolutely fantastic. They're supposed to be more reliable and accurate than Revolution In The Head too, although quite a bit more expensive.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes

30 September 2009
5.59am
bigtwenty
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Woah, that is crazy. I understand what you are talking about. But that book is a bit over my head i think. Well I am going to try to mess with some of that in my studio. Much Obliged!

2 January 2010
5.18pm
mjb
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Joe said:

I really need to get Walter Everett's Beatles books. Every time I delve into them on Google Books they look absolutely fantastic. They're supposed to be more reliable and accurate than Revolution In The Head too, although quite a bit more expensive.


I've just been reading the link you supplied which had some really fantastic information (although a lot went over my head too) and have since done a bit of searching on Amazon. Both the books together would cost around £50, but I am VERY tempted.

I might start saving......Laugh

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
3 January 2010
2.42pm
Joe
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I got them both for Christmas (thanks Dad!). They are excellent books which I thoroughly recommend. Everett says upfront that readers should have degree-level musical knowledge to get the most out of them (I don't), and there's plenty of musical theory and technical analysis of the songwriting and performance, along with notation of certain passages.

However, from a relative layman's perspective, it's clear that Everett knows his stuff, and there's plenty to get out of the books. He's listened to the recordings more closely than Ian Macdonald, and I think his breakdowns of the recording (who plays what, and on which track) is more accurate. The only thing that I found a little irritating is that it's written from a US perspective, so he occasionally talks about songs appearing on albums that people in other countries may not recognise, eg I've Just Seen A Face on Rubber Soul.

Google Books has the first volume (Quarry Men to Rubber Soul), but the second (Revolver to Anthology) seems to be displaying a different book, or at least it was the lasts time I looked. There's no substitute for having both volumes in paper form, though.

When I get the chance I'll add a review to the somewhat small books section.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes

3 January 2010
5.41pm
8tracktgdesk
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bigtwenty said:

Does anyone know how they got that killer acoustic guitar sound throughout the entire song? What is that?


The  guitar sounds  of many Beatles  songs can be attributed  to the  tubes in the Redd-51 recording console along with the  Altec compressors  and Fairchild Limiters. Remember,  the sound went though the Microphone Amplifiers  then to the mic faders (either passing or  not passing through the limited EQ ) on each side of the desk. From there the signal for the guitar    went through the Altec Compressors then  back to  the Multi-track faders (middle 4) of the recording desk. The signal then  went either went direct  to the tape machine   or went to the patch-bay room and onto one the great Abbey Road   sound chambers. From  there the signal was routed back to the console for either mixing or placed , back  to the on one of the tracks on the  four track machine.  Of course their was things like tape delay, ADT and STEED which altered the sound in some way, but point to this topic is that their where many things that changed the sound of their instruments not just though normal playing methods.

Damn the thought of the sound and magic that took place inside those vacuum  tubes in each Amplifier module of the

REDD-51 console.  Think the sound of Vaccum  tubes people because all the euipment at Abbey Road Studios had them

up to the Abbey Road Album.

The beatles sound is the  highly  modfied  tube compressors  and limiters at Abbey Road Studios , always remember that !!!!!!!!LaughLaughLaughLaughLaugh

Wow, I went real off track on this one.Surprised


John Senchak

Beatleogist

Today is Sir George Martins Birthday !!!!!!!!


John@antihotmail.com

And still the Guitar gently  weeps........


4 January 2010
4.28am
bigtwenty
Guest

So what you are saying is that they didnt record the fender amps straight into the computer like today? ha ha just kidding, but seriously, did they only use the pre amp sections of the console, or did they record the amps, then into the sequence you have described? VERY good information!

4 January 2010
5.09pm
8tracktgdesk
Guest

No the recording technology  at Abbey Road was very archaic  by today's standards in the sixties. Remember the first three albums where done live in Studio two with a minimal amount of overdubbing.   What people don't know is that many of their songs  (listen to "She loves you" through a pair of  headphones real loud ) are edited  from many takes. Editing  of songs happened way before " Strawberry Fields Forever" with the famous edit happening at 1 minute.  You see the Redd-51  console  had between 60 to 80 vacuum tubes  and each input or output  of the  signal path went through a amplifier module. If the signal came in to the console, it went though a  amp module, if  it went to  echo chamber or to the tape machine the signal passed through one of those amp module.   The  Redd-51 console was basically   a routing of signal, amplification at the line level, and level control  by way of faders, or pots.  Of the four tracks ,   2 instruments  tracks where sent to the Altec Compressors, and  two vocals  tracks where sent to the Fairchild  limiters more or less in this configuration .  The console had  ten microphone inputs, four  tape outputs with 2 paths going out to the echo chamber, and two inputs coming back from the chamber.  From  a standpoint of  recording the the Redd-51 console was very limited in what they could do This was the  reason why  Revolver and Sgt Pepper pushed the sheer limits of what it could do when it came to recording music. 

 Abbey Road Studios  didn't  have  recording equipment  with semiconductors  in it   , until the Abbey Road album which used the  8 track TG desk.   A  interesting fact is that Abbey Road did have a  highly experimental   transistor console around  1967 which  The Zombies used on their Odyssey and Oracle   album.  I strongly believe that this console was also used on Pink Floyds " Pipers at the Gates of dawn" album


John Senchak Beatlogist   John@antihotmail.com

4 January 2010
5.21pm
bigtwenty
Guest

Wow, this is great info. I am currently involved in a project that has music that is a very subtle combination of modern music and 60's/70's rock music. Our concentration being the vocals and harmonies and I would be lying to you if I said we weren't studying the Beatles vocal methods. Do you have a blog or something? I was also wondering if you could point me in the direction of something that might be of some use to me in getting closer to the Beatles vocal tones and sounds. Maybe harmony techniques or vocal recording techniques.

Much obliged either way. And either way i Might want your blog or email address for further questions. 

Thanks for the fascinating input!

4 January 2010
5.34pm
8tracktgdesk
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Read the  book  "recording the Beatles" which has a section on how they stood around a figure  8  microphone and did their vocal parts.   Remember, that many of the  vocals  that you are hearing  are overdubs to the   instrument tracks.  Some of the songs are done completely   live , like in the case of "Twist And Shout"  But  because they wanted to fix mistakes that happened, overdubs, editing of takes  and punch in's   where part of the process. What you are  trying to recreate is part of the recording process, not something was done completely live on the studio floor.


http://www.recordingthebeatles.com


John Senchak   Beatlogist  john@antihotmail.com

4 January 2010
6.19pm
bigtwenty
Guest
11

I have been more or less studying vocal harmonies in general and have been finding some very interesting things, but I have listened to the zombies, the turtles and the Beatles and for whatever reason, no one sounds like the Beatles as far as vocal harmonies goes. The only people close are the Beach boys. But I have always been intrigued of how they got the "sound". I mean I would like to get as much recorded at the same time as possible, But i think vocals are one of those things that really depend on the feel of the song. Sometimes you would really want the vocals recorded live in the live room with all the other stuff and sometimes not. The real talent comes in when you are able to know when to do so or not to do so. Was this song (only sleeping) overdubbed? The background harmonies have such a different feel than JL's vocals.

4 January 2010
10.39pm
mjb
Candlestick Park
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Joe said:

I got them both for Christmas (thanks Dad!).


Had some cash for Christmas so I've just ordered both from Amazon.co.uk! Just under £47 for the pair. Sorted Cool

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
5 January 2010
5.52pm
8tracktgdesk
Guest

bigtwenty said:I have been more or less studying vocal harmonies in general and have been finding some very interesting things, but I have listened to the zombies, the turtles and the Beatles and for whatever reason, no one sounds like the Beatles as far as vocal harmonies goes. The only people close are the Beach boys. But I have always been intrigued of how they got the "sound". I mean I would like to get as much recorded at the same time as possible, But i think vocals are one of those things that really depend on the feel of the song. Sometimes you would really want the vocals recorded live in the live room with all the other stuff and sometimes not. The real talent comes in when you are able to know when to do so or not to do so. Was this song (only sleeping) overdubbed? The background harmonies have such a different feel than JL's vocals.


I just looked over the  "Recording The Beatles" book on the song  "I'm  only Sleeping"  and their is not a  detail discussion on this song. The reason  why amazes me because I think the song is one of the best  on Revolver.  Anyway, because the songs on Revolver where recorded in Studio 3 , the  recording room gives the song a different feel then normally hear  you  from songs recorded in Studio 1 and 2 which where much bigger spaces.  Whats real   interested about Revolver and the song is the control room ifor Studio 3  was in one of the back rooms  on the second  floor  of the existing house which  normally you only see the front of the building.  Well getting off topic, most of the songs on  Revolver utilized  overdubbing,   tape to tape reduction,   editing,  ADT, Tape echo, Echo Chamber,  tape speed reduction during recording,  EQ'ing ,  and tape loops I strongly believe that the  Lennons vocals used ADT so the it would come across  as a more fuller sound


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A.....e_tracking

Do some research on Abbey Road Studio, it's some real amazing stuff.Smile

If you start  researching The Beach Boys, then you must study Pet Sounds,  The Wrecking Crew,  Western Studios  and Gold Star Studios, Glen Campbell,  Leon Russel  Hal Blaine , Carol  Kaye ,and  Jim  Gordon.

I also need to  clarify what a overdub is because most people don't know exactly  what is involved. The Process of  of Overdubbing (superimposing sound over sound, during playback/recording) is like what you  hear on radio,  when a  DJ talks over the beginning of a  song.  The  process at Abbey Road was just running a four track through  the REDD-51 desk in playback  and having  another four track recording on the output. During the process, they would have  a person sing through a microphone,  while the sound was going  the recording console adding the vocals to  the tape as it was recorded. The vocals could be  EQ,  limited,  compressed ,  adjusted for level or even sent to the echo chambers but the idea was just to add vocals to one of the empty tracks on the multi-track machine usual the third or fourth  track. Tracks one and two  where normally  instrument  tracks (rhythm).


John Senchak  Beatlogist  John@antihotmail.com

8 December 2012
5.15pm
Holsety
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It is a well-known fact that George played some random notes and wrote a backwards solo for I'm Only Sleeping, but how many people have heard it backwards the way George played it? It could be done with audacity, but there are versions on YouTube for those who don't have it. I looked it up but then I decided to listen in audacity and reverse it myself. I thought it would have fit very well originally, but the backwards does make an excellent addition to the song. 

 

I'll just leave it here in case anybody is curious.

Please don't wake me, no don't shake me, leave me where I am, I'm only sleeping~.
9 December 2012
4.40am
mithveaen
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Thanks for sharing this! It is really interesting to hear. So, what we know is that George recorded the guitar and then they played it backwards? Sorry for my ignorance. a-hard-days-night-paul-7a-hard-days-night-paul-7

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9 December 2012
7.39am
Inner Light
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mithveaen said
Thanks for sharing this! It is really interesting to hear. So, what we know is that George recorded the guitar and then they played it backwards? Sorry for my ignorance. a-hard-days-night-paul-7a-hard-days-night-paul-7

Yes and it was George who was innovative and came up with the idea for the backwards guitar solos and not Paul though some have thought it was him.

The further one travels, the less one knows
9 December 2012
12.10pm
meanmistermustard
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Did it not take George something like 10 hours to work it out and record? If so thats nearly how long it took them to make their first album!!! Talk about determination and dedication. Was definately worth it tho, it sounds wonderful and so matches the song.

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9 December 2012
12.52pm
DrBeatle
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I've never read he wrote it "randomly," rather that he wrote a solo, then re-wrote it in reverse, played it in reverse, and the played the tape backwards so that the music was being played forward (as he wrote it) but with the backwards effect on the guitar. It was very well thought out and executed, not just slapped together and played backwards.

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9 December 2012
1.31pm
meanmistermustard
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DrBeatle said
I've never read he wrote it "randomly," rather that he wrote a solo, then re-wrote it in reverse, played it in reverse, and the played the tape backwards so that the music was being played forward (as he wrote it) but with the backwards effect on the guitar. It was very well thought out and executed, not just slapped together and played backwards.

Thats what ive read numerous times, it being all worked out and planned by George. Where did you get it was random Holsety?

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
9 December 2012
3.51pm
Holsety
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I was talking about the rest of the song, where you hear random notes. George said he and Paul played random notes for the rest of the guitar parts on Anthology, in that segment where they listen to Golden Slumbers and Tomorrow Never Knows. I know he spent 5 hours or so in a night session writing the solo. 

Please don't wake me, no don't shake me, leave me where I am, I'm only sleeping~.
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