You should really read this article from The Quietus by Taylor Parkes about Abbey Road studios. It’s based of a talk from two historians, addressing the changes between recording of the 60s, and the recording of now, and how much gets lost on a laptop….
I love hearing “the room,” in a recording, I love a rich sould full of natural unevenness, undiluted by too many mics, or too much equilibrium. I love sounds made louder and fuller from more instruments, not a knob. I read this story, and I want to be in a studio; I want to see it and learn it and feel it again.
To sum up:
“And Studio Two has something that modern recording studios can’t offer,” adds Kevin. “Because in the early days the technology wasn’t sophisticated enough to alter or enhance the sound after the fact, so you had to make sure the source material was as good as it could be. So they laboured over making the rooms as sonically pleasing as they could be, and that room is unique – everything sounds good in it.”
As for the article, it’s a wonderful story, clear-eyed and detailed. Here’s what The Beatles did, here’s what Floyd did, here’s how the engineers worked. Turns out, the studio wasn’t top-of-the-line at its heyday, a style that aided, if not defined, its favor among artists. You’re transported right there, in front of the four-track recorders and ordinary wall cupboards and gawky Britishisms highlighting the way. The story is deeply inspired, the way it should be, the way so many stories aren’t.
I remember when I felt I could write about people and places and things that way. It’s been some time. I start to fear, have I lost it? The ability altogether? Or just the inspiration? Last night, I considered this, while talking to old friends — “At least then I’d have something to fucking write about again” — I was half-joking, but in that way where the truth pulls the shades up from your eyes in an instant and all you see is what you’ve been missing.
“Once there was a way
To get back homeward
Once there was a way
To get back
Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby”
The Beatles, Abbey Road