How to Sound Like The Beatles Revolver: Pushing the Limits
How to Sound Like The Beatles Revolver: Pushing the Boundaries of Recorded Music. ·
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If you ask any music boss, The Beatles Revolver is often in their top 5 albums, even if they’re not a big fan of the band. The way it was produced would open new doors for many who were looking for ways to express themselves using the recording studio as an instrument.
The objective was no longer to create a accurate representation real time musical performance. In place, tape loops have become the building blocks of a new system of sequence the music with the console faders. With producer, Sir George Martin, and maverick young engineer, Geoff Emerick, the Beatles were given the freedom to prioritize ideas in the recording of Revolver.
Instruments that defined The Beatles Revolver
For many, Revolver was a bold move that took you away from the bubblegum sounds of the 1960s as a listener and focused on a sonic storytelling that came out in a much more authentic and original way.
Let’s take a look at some of the instruments that fueled the creative decision-making process and inspired not only musicians, but the generations of sound engineers and producers that followed.
Gibson SG standard from 1964
George Harrison had recently acquired his 1964 Gibson SG Standard before the Revolver sessions. The sound of the SG provided a contrast to the Epiphone casinos used by John and Paul at the time.
1964 was the last full year the model had a traditional 1 & 11/16th nut width and the profile is slightly fuller than previous Les Paul/SGs. This made the guitar particularly comfortable to play, with the string spacing provided by the design.
George’s original 1964 SG also featured on both sergeant. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and The white albumand was eventually auctioned off for $570,000 in 2004. However, you can still get the dirty tone of the SG with a modern 1964 standard SG reissue.
Paul McCartney’s famous left-handed Rickenbacker 4001S was a gift from the manufacturer, John Hall, in 1964. Compared to the Höfner Violin Bass we usually saw him with, the Rick was the perfect instrument for the arrival of the Beatles in psychedelic rock.
Even if it was still Paul’s double bass for live concerts, the Rickenbacker was increasingly used in the studio. Combined with the Fairchild 660which we will see later, he brought a new energy and a new feeling to the rhythm section.
The 4001 was discontinued in nineteen eighty onebut it was replaced by the 4003, which is still available today.
The process of bouncing tracks from a four-track tape recorder to another was really studious. However, after the Beatles’ success, EMI was so impressed that the studio acquired a fleet of eight Studer J37 recorders.
Both Paul McCartney and Sir George Martin were inspired by the way Stockhausen used tape loops in his music and Revolver was the first record where the band would truly embrace these new artistic concepts.
It may not have that vintage tape sound, but the Boss RC 505 MKII is a great loopstation for use in the studio or on stage. In addition, it is equipped with excellent sound effects and three stereo outputs to send your loops through a Sir George Martin-style mixing desk.
The current musical marriage between Hammond organs and Leslie speakers hasn’t always been a match made in heaven. In fact, Laurens Hammond hated the idea so much at first that he made Hammond organs incompatible.
Ironically, the very reason Donald Leslie invented the speaker in the first place was because he found the Hammond’s sound rather flat compared to the livelier sound. organ.
John Lennon’s request to distort his voice on You never know what tomorrow brings was rather wacky, but Geoff Emerick had the idea to re-amp the voice signal through the Leslie speaker, which produced the single effect we can hear on the disc.
One of the album’s defining moments is how the drums hit you You never know what tomorrow brings. The hypnotic groove of the tape’s loop as it “spins” immediately makes the song stand out among the thousands of records that have come before it, as well as those that have followed.
The perfect balance of drum atmosphere and organic tonal warmth is created by more than good microphone location and equalizer. The wow factor is created by the Fairchild 660 limiter, which is used on many instruments throughout the album’s production. It’s not easy to make a loop sound like a performancebut that’s certainly the feel of the listening experience.
The Fairchild is one of the rarest pieces of audio equipment, along with the 660 and 670 currently retrieved anywhere between $20,000 and $60,000 on the second hand market if you can actually find one. For this reason, there are extremely plausible clones like the Heritage Audio Herchild 660, which is better suited to the modern workshop environment.
What is your favorite gear used by the Beatles? Let us know in the comments below!
Learn more about the Beatles revolver:
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- 1964 SG Standard Reissue With Maestro Vibrola: Gibson
- Paul’s Rickenbacker 4001S: Alex Harshegyi / Deviant Art
- Studer J37: Abbey Road
- Speaker Leslie: Beatles Twitter
- Fairchild 660: Abbey Road