Revolution 1 | Fab Forum

Introducing the inaugural Fab Forum February Fundraiser! Click here for more details.

Please consider registering
Guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 4 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

19 March 2010
10.00am
Avatar
Joe
Pepperland
Admin
Forum Posts: 4390
Member Since:
31 March 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Here's something I never knew before. It's from a short interview with Ken Scott, one of The Beatles' former sound engineers.

http://www2.gibson.com/News-Li.....-0318.aspx

Learn from your mistakes! Today, it’s all cut and paste, on the grid, mistakes aren’t allowed. With The Beatles, mistakes would happen and they became a vital part of the recordings. Making decisions — that’s why so many acts have a hit album and it takes them two years until their next album. We did an album every six months, on tape, cutting it with the razor blade. I miss that so much! I used to drive musicians mad because I would cavalierly go ahead and do it. They’d see me cutting and say, “What is he doing?!” Again, that’s part of making mistakes, but you can always put it back together again. There’s a classic passage in one of the “Revolution”s, an extra beat in there that was an editing accident. The engineer cut one beat too early, but John heard it and loved it and it was kept. That would never happen these days.

The bit he's talking about is from Revolution 1, and takes place at 3'24, shortly after the final "Don't you know it's gonna be all right" line. The Beatles play BAM BAM BAM, and it's goes into the final passage.

I never really thought about it before, but those extra beats were added in the editing stage. The 11-minute rough mix doesn't have them – you can hear the section at 3'51 (slightly later than the finished song due to the preamble at the start).

Now I'm wondering why an edit was made anyway. Since the rough mix and the final version are largely similar in terms of structure (ie they weren't cutting anything out in the final version) why make an edit there in the first place? I guess it was just an experimental test edit that went wrong.

The following people thank Joe for this post:

ewe2, Bongo

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

19 March 2010
12.56pm
Avatar
Joe
Pepperland
Admin
Forum Posts: 4390
Member Since:
31 March 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I used to do a bit of reel-to-reel editing when I was younger. It's not so hard to do – you rotate the tape heads manually, slowly, so you know exactly where you want to make the cut, mark it on the tape (I used a white chinagraph pencil), and repeat the process for when you want the edit to end. Then unspool the tape a little so it's on a flat surface, take a razor blade to the two marks, then splice them together with tape, reel up the tape again and play it back. It's quite fun getting an edit just right.

If you're interested the machines probably aren't too expensive these days, and it's quite fun to play around with, though it's nothing you can't do more easily on a computer.

I presume in the case of Revolution 1, they added a third beat on purpose after the dodgy edit was made. BAM BAM would have sounded a bit wrong IMO.

Incidentally, I think there was only once instance where they directly edited the multitrack tapes – that was on Yer Blues, when the coda/fade out begins. Normally they only did it at the remix stage. There may have been subsequent times, but that was definitely the first.

Don't write off new technology though! The Beatles would have been the first to use it had it been around. Imagine what it would have been like if they'd been able to trigger samples and perform live versions of Tomorrow Never Knows… As for computerising vocals, well autotune may be old-hat now, but experimenting with new digital sounds is only a continuation of analogue experimentation in the 1960s (eg using Leslie speakers from Hammond organs). If it sounds bad it's often the fault of the person who chose it, rather than the effect itself.

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

21 March 2010
2.18am
Avatar
McLerristarr
A Place
Carnegie Hall
Forum Posts: 255
Member Since:
13 November 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Joe said:

Don't write off new technology though! The Beatles would have been the first to use it had it been around. Imagine what it would have been like if they'd been able to trigger samples and perform live versions of Tomorrow Never Knows… As for computerising vocals, well autotune may be old-hat now, but experimenting with new digital sounds is only a continuation of analogue experimentation in the 1960s (eg using Leslie speakers from Hammond organs). If it sounds bad it's often the fault of the person who chose it, rather than the effect itself.


 

Computerised vocals sound all right in certain types of music, like psychedelic, but what I hate is when an artist only ever has computerised vocals, probably because they can't actually sing (i.e. Fergie from the Black Eyed Pees). But I agree, The Beatles definitely would have experimented with technology, but they wouldn't have used it all the time. The solo Beatles don't/didn't seem to use effects much, perhaps because of the back to basics movement of the late 60s, which kind of stuck with them.

19 April 2010
2.45pm
Avatar
Joe
Pepperland
Admin
Forum Posts: 4390
Member Since:
31 March 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I read a quote from George Martin around the time of Love's release, where he spoke of his amazement at how easy it was to digitally manipulate and edit audio using Pro Tools. He couldn't believe it could all be done so simply.

I'm sure if the technology had been around in the 1960s the music would have been quite different. The celebrated edit of two version of Strawberry Fields Forever, for example, could have been done far more easily in Pro Tools than by varispeeding two recordings in different keys and tempos to make them work together. Whether the recordings would have been so creative if it had been easier to do so, though, is another matter. Certainly I hear a lot more experimentation in some 1960s music than in a lot of stuff put out today.

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

6 May 2010
9.39pm
rcsnydley
Guest

I'm afraid I'll have to agree.  Because they were pushing the envelope they had to be always thinking outside the box as they say.  Now it's all done for you and I wonder if that doesn't make us lazy sometimes.

I will say that the technology has opened up the recording process to a lot more people, so those of us who like to participate as a hobby now have the opportunity.

21 May 2010
5.17pm
Avatar
c64wood
Carnegie Hall
Forum Posts: 239
Member Since:
3 September 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

McLerristarr said:

The Beatles definitely would have experimented with technology, but they wouldn't have used it all the time.


 

Yes, you can see that with Abbey Road.  Some groups would have and did overuse the synthesizer in the late 60's early 70's.  The Beatles used it to enhance a few songs, not to dominate them.

 

I know you know what you know, but you should know by now that you're not me ~ Ron Nasty
2 December 2015
8.18am
Avatar
ewe2
Inside the beat
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1346
Member Since:
8 January 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I didn't know that about the edit in Revolution 1, I did know about Yer Blues... I think the value of limitations on what you can do is making you think ahead about the process and in ways you simply wouldn't if you had an easier path. Even now with technology you can plug in, sometimes you get more interesting results by getting different machines to talk to each other and getting what each does best instead of an all-in-one interface that can do everything. I don't think many bands could survive the sheer number of takes this particular song took (and the length of them!), but the Beatles wanted it that way, because they'd tried other approaches and a good take of this would do most of the work needed on it, and they were prepared to get it. Sometimes just recording the band as they are is all the song needs. Sometimes it's much harder or weirder to get there!

I'm ewe2 I'm like Ringo only I'm a bassist penguin. I'm also Necko.
Forum Timezone: America/Chicago

Most Users Ever Online: 597

Currently Online: Necko, Annadog40, Silly Girl
59 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

meanmistermustard: 17120

Ahhh Girl: 10726

Annadog40: 9698

Zig: 7531

parlance: 7092

mr. Sun king coming together: 6980

Mr. Kite: 6092

Silly Girl: 5746

trcanberra: 5528

Ron Nasty: 4926

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 87

Members: 3329

Moderators: 4

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 3

Forums: 42

Topics: 3815

Posts: 201845

Newest Members:

ravenswolf, Gamer1234, Stockholm1955, tomomi, ttn48griff

Moderators: Ahhh Girl: 10726, meanmistermustard: 17120, Zig: 7531, Joe: 4390

Administrators: Joe: 4390, Ellie: 3

Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today: VeraChuckDave
Upcoming: None