That is some seriously wicked multitracking overdub.

Giving the audio geek in me a second of blog time:

Described as a movement to inspire and connect the world through music, Playing For Change was created in 2002 when founders Mark Johnson and Whitney Kroenke began recording local street artists. Mark then had the idea to layer the separate tracks over each other to connect artists from all over the country. The result was an award-winning documentary, “A Cinematic Discovery of Street Musicians.”

For those audio hipsters that bemoan the death of analog and vinyl, this is what audio is all about: Good music by good players brought to people. And yes, having musicians in different parts of the world overdubbing a track was possible back then, but only if you had lots of money to be sending a messenger around the world with the master multitrack tape and praying to every deity that it wouldn’t get damaged.

Plenty of more songs in the link. Enjoy.

3 Replies to “That is some seriously wicked multitracking overdub.”

  1. The love for analog and vinyl is a load of anti-science bull. The human brain likes patterns. It likes things that are predictable. When human beings are faced with low resolution detail, our brains fill in what it thinks is the missing information or remove background static it thinks we don’t need.

    Analog (magnetic tape) and vinyl are very low resolution. Sharp sounds, very high and low frequency noises are not captured very well, and there is a lot of static. Our brains do a lot of filtering when we listen to low resolution audio.

    Digital on the other hand picks up everything. When the singer is just a little off key, digital picks that up and hits your brain with it. Analog is too low resolution for your brain to make that fine a determination.

    Photographers employ the same technique. “Good photos” use a soft focus which is nothing but a lens with a deliberate spherical aberration built in. A very sharp focus is very clear, but your eyes don’t like seeing all that detail all over the place and so it hurts to look at a large sharp focus image. Analog audio is the sound equivalent to soft focus.




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    1. I lived through the transition from Analog to Digital. Our studio went full ADATs and we were happy as hell. We did learn from the mistakes of others (Mix Magazine be praised) so we were sure we had good electrics and killed anything that could make recordable noise. Our AC main duct had both baffles and a home made “phase reversal” duct.

      Do I have glory tales of things we had to do with analog tape that can take me into the halls of Audio Valhalla? yes, every decent engineer should have a book full. Do I miss them when I went digital? Hell the flock no. I still have the editing block and a box of razors somewhere as a souvenir from that age as reminder.




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