posted on September 3, 2009 at 7:31 am

once upon a time recording something was hard work
when frank sinatra recorded only the lonely
that stuff is all one take
no overdubbing
all down/done in one go
all that stuff
those little trills n fills
all in one go
sometime later
someone invented overdubbing

34 Responses to “hit record hit”

  1. avatar
    Melquiades | 3 September 2009 at 9:48 pm #

    Thanks for the talk. I fully understand the bounce technique. I had a Tascam 4-track. I really loved it. it was my first experience putting music to tape. I used to move it from room to room trying to see the acoustics I could get – bathroom bright, living dull. I also learned to sing into a corner padded with foam to get the vocals clean and then add a little reverb. It was a labor of love and I don't think I ever mastered it – ha.

    I have digital software and it is pretty amazing with the limitless amount of tracks you can add. I'm always trying to figure out how to get a thicker sound and that eludes me. I tried multiple identical tracks, panned w/o much success. It is definitely is much an art as it is science. must get back to the muzak….

    thanks for the blog.

    cheers! B

  2. avatar
    RA | 3 September 2009 at 9:52 pm #

    Yes, the ease of it, the way a computer allows for easy recordings. Explains why there's so much mediocre music about. Monkeys and type-writers…



  3. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 September 2009 at 10:14 pm #


    You're back. You're back. We welcome you back.

    Wilfred Paradise

  4. avatar
    cazziem | 3 September 2009 at 10:31 pm #

    This was really interesting, but what’s that about how things were in your day? It’s still your day!

    I think maybe your computer programming background has been a good basis for you to keep up-to-date with modern music making, which is a blessing for us who thrive on your creativity.

    So when do you anticipate the workshops starting? Make sure you schedule some in central England; I’m booking my place now!!! Haha!

  5. avatar
    Freddie | 3 September 2009 at 11:12 pm #

    Ah, Garage Band…I was wondering just recently
    if that was useful to someone like you
    or if it’s just a toy.
    Your video today was making me feel disoriented 🙂

  6. avatar
    Cee | 3 September 2009 at 11:29 pm #

    Such a great professor! You should teach, seriously – amazing to hear you speak on this stuff. I did a film back in the day where I had to splice my baby with a blade and tape it up – it was v. stressful! The name of the film? Split Generations and I got an A because I "accidentally" had some nudity included!

  7. avatar
    princey | 3 September 2009 at 11:37 pm #

    Oh my god, tell us something we didn't know haha!

    More music pleeeeez:)

  8. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 4 September 2009 at 12:19 am #

    The Live Concert Is The Real Test For Bands And Individuals Who Use Effects.

    Pink Floyd and Radiohead are experts at replicating their studio sounds. This past summer The Church mastered the complex tunes from Untitled # 23 in Chicago. I always go on the Jeff Beck soapbox because he caresses and coaxes a universe of sounds from his guitar without using effects. Conversely, Queen is a vexing band to see live. Guitarist Brian May is amazing and his tones are majestic. The rest of the band did not and still cannot replicate their studio sounds in paramount fashion. It's oxymoronish that I'm not a Queen fan but I buy their music to hear their dynamic guitarist's magical riffs. Obviously, Mercury did have great vocals and Paul Rodgers has a nice soulful voice. Queen has actually sold more albums in the UK than any other band including The Beatles.

    Unearthed rules as an overlooked SK gem. It will assuage my battered psyche tonight.

  9. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2009 at 1:24 am #

    Ah recording, I still think it’s amazing you can record something and then listen back to it. That simple thing has given me endless delight.

    I used to make recordings using 2 cassette decks,
    play along to one deck while recording on the other, repeat etc etc.
    One machine ran at a slightly different speed so the recordings would slowly speedup.

    20yrs later and I love the sound quality, the strange cassette tape compression, the speeded up sound changing the eq, and now the tapes are starting to degrade and stretch etc. All that sonic variation is really pleasing to the human ear.

    The analog/digital debate has long ended, we now know they each have their limitations and applications. But the way we perceive sound is still open to debate.
    The fact that mp3’s are so widely accepted is sad.
    It’s sad that people don’t know that they don’t know that they are aren’t hearing. It’s like a facsimile of real sound. More than half is missing….
    Why is it that vision is getting more HI-RES but audio is getting more LO-FI
    …..But that’s another story.

    These day’s there are whole new genres based on the disintegration of old tapes or the decimation of digital recordings etc.
    There is a whole world of archived music sitting in boxes , slowly disintegrating , waiting to be reborn as something people actually want to hear.
    Not so much for the ‘musical’ content but for the way the sound makes us feel.


  10. avatar
    1:33 PM Tomorrow | 4 September 2009 at 3:42 am #

    set aside
    my vice
    first times
    rice and
    you know
    the game
    it all ends
    in dice
    no news
    is good
    first time
    but time
    ain't gonna
    chase you
    i change


  11. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2009 at 3:46 am #

    Bouncing Betty.

  12. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2009 at 4:59 am #

    It was Les Paul who invented overdubbing. He conceived it and modified a reel to reel deck given to him by Bing Crosby. I learned that on his death last month, and think it's nice to know who that someone was. Now, who made the wheel?

    p.s. ctt doesn't know how to contact you. I shoulda got your number

    between planets
    most western bohemia

  13. avatar
    AssMidget | 4 September 2009 at 5:00 am #

    I wish i had all this digital multitrack recordeers, drum machines ect when i was young and inspired.

  14. avatar
    12str | 4 September 2009 at 8:13 am #

    you´re getting really good at creating these vids..always interesting subjects with a psychedelic touch… Im really enjoying this..
    I can imagine for example "Earthed" with music, spoken lyrics and pictures as some sort of installation in this format.. You´re always an inspiration..

  15. avatar
    veleska1970 | 4 September 2009 at 11:29 am #

    thanks for the lesson. there's so much involved.

  16. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2009 at 11:29 am #

    so cool

  17. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2009 at 11:35 am #

    Love the pretense of having no money while somehow finding the $660 per month for your rent, but dude, having heard your voice live you should suck Les Paul's dead cock for the invention of overdubbing.

  18. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 4 September 2009 at 11:39 am #

    i really enjoyed listening to your take on music technology but watching your vid reminded me of trying to follow a conversation when one is stoned……

    love always……

  19. avatar
    Royal Scam | 4 September 2009 at 1:00 pm #

    Steve, listening to the 80's Church studio material, the sound quality, structure,production are excellent, perfectly crafted, very cookie cutter, very big record label. Don't get me wrong, I love those church cookies, but todays church sound is so much more like the storied Frank Sinatra one-takes, free, like pure chance, like Zuma with NY & CH, like space savoir.

  20. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2009 at 1:17 pm #

    hey killer, back in the 90's i really wanted to work on some songs with ya, record 'em in that studio ya had in surry hills. we sent ya a demo and a band biog and you crushed our youthful dreams by saying "no thanks". Looking back, we didnae have the magic, or the originality, to warrant effort on your part. Just wanted to say, 20 years on i still dig yer music and there's no bad karma on my part. got into teaching instead, also a (mostly) worthwhile way to spend yer time, being.
    cheers from a rainy germany

  21. avatar
    steve kilbey | 4 September 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    anon at 935
    i say, thats a bit harsh
    you remain
    my how you must love me

  22. avatar
    matthew | 4 September 2009 at 2:01 pm #

    Hey Steve, what kinda 8 track did you progress to? I still have a great big Tascam 388 with built-in desk sitting beside me even as we type… sadly, in need of some repair these days… It cost me $2500 in a good tax return year (1993) and is now probably unsaleable. And so the jump to Cubase occurred.

  23. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2009 at 2:51 pm #

    Anonymous at 9:35 – please get some help. There must be a lot of turmoil in your life. Perhaps is only inner turmoil. Still, I feel sad for how this must be on a daily basis.

  24. avatar
    Ellen | 4 September 2009 at 2:58 pm #

    … And that concludes today's lesson…

    I don't know a blessed thing about studio recording techniques, so this is all news to me (bouncing, etc.)

    Why aren't there better records today?! God only knows why. Better technology certainly never guarantees better quality music; it just allows people (not necessarily musicians) the opportunity to experiment in a recording studio.

    It's kind of like that with photography nowadays. Everyone is a "photographer." All they have to do is use a little Photoshop and Voila! They have an Ansel Adams.


    Anyway, thanks for the talk, Steve.

  25. avatar
    Concerned #1 | 4 September 2009 at 3:08 pm #

    What does a cyber stalker look like?
    Cyber stalkers can be categorized into 3 types. (Sometimes these  categories may overlap ).

    1)The common obsessional cyber stalker
    The common obsessional stalker refuses to believe that their relationship is over. Do not be misled by believing this stalker is harmlessly in love.

    2)The delusional cyber stalker
    The next type is the delusional stalker. They may be suffering from some mental illness like schizophrenia etc & have a false belief that keeps them tied to their victims. They assume that the victim loves them even though they have never met. A delusional stalker is usually a loner & most often chooses victims who are married woman, a celebrity or doctors, teachers, etc.. Those in the noble & helping professions like doctors, teachers etc  are at often at risk for attracting a delusional stalker. Delusional stalkers are very difficult to shake off.

    3)The  vengeful cyber stalker. 
    These cyber stalkers are angry at their victim due to some minor reason- either real or imagined. Typical examples are disgruntled employees. These stalkers may be stalking to get even & take revenge and believe that "they" have been victimized. Ex-spouses can turn into this type of stalker.
    Two  different kinds of cyber stalking situations which can occur.
    1. Online  harassment & cyber stalking that occurs & continues on the internet.
    2. Online harassment and stalking that begins to be carried on offline too. This is when a stalker may attempt to trace a telephone number or a street address. Always be careful what details you give out over the web and to whom.

  26. avatar
    fantasticandy | 4 September 2009 at 3:08 pm #

    garage band and pro tools have helped fill the world with shite low grade crap.
    when it was tough and required dogged determination it sorted the wheat from the chaff………..
    only the best soldiered on.
    you know that better than anyone.

  27. avatar
    Concerned #2 | 4 September 2009 at 3:09 pm #

    What motivates a cyber stalker ?
    Revenge & Hate.
    This could be an argument that has gone out of hand, leading eventually to a hate & revenge relationship.  Revenge vendettas are often the result of something you may have said or done online which may have offended someone. Vendettas often begin with arguments where you may have been rude to another user. Sometimes, hate cyber stalking is for no reason at all (out of the blue)- you will not know why you have been targeted nor what you have done, and you may not even know who it is who is doing this to you & even the cyber stalker does not know you. In fact you have NOT been individually targeted at all – you have been chosen as a random target by someone who does not know you !! This stalker may be using the net to let out his frustrations online.

    Ego & Power Trips
    These are harassers or stalkers online showing off their skills to themselves and their friends. They do not have any grudge against you – they are rather using you to 'show-off'  their power to their friends or doing it just for fun and you have been unlucky enough to have been chosen. Most people who receive threats online imagine their harasser to be large and powerful. But in fact the threat may come from a child who does not really have any means of carrying out the physical threats made.
    Roughly one in 1,250 persons is a stalker – and that is a large ratio. Of course, no one knows the truth, since the Internet is such a vast medium, but these figures are as close as it gets to giving statistics. Out of the estimated 79 million population worldwide on the internet at any given time, we could find 63,000 internet stalkers travelling the information superhighway, stalking approximately 4,74,000 victims. 

  28. avatar
    Concerned #3 | 4 September 2009 at 3:10 pm #

    So, how would you protect yourself?
    A cyber stalker looks for weaknesses in people. He or she is  cunning & crafty.  People looking for sympathy or wanting to make friends, find romance online etc are an open invitation to many types of stalkers.

    NO ONE has a right to harass, threaten and disturb you. Once harassment becomes a  threat against you, then the harasser has also broken the law and there are a number of steps you CAN take to deal with it including taking help of the Police department. Trying to work out what you have "done" to deserve this will get you nowhere – the attack or harassment will often appear as motiveless and you may have difficulty understanding the psychology of the harasser. With some kinds of online harassment it is better not to waste time trying to work out "why" and to concentrate rather on what you can do to protect yourself & how to end this nightmare. 

    Don't ever reply to provocative e-mails if you get them.  Don't respond to flaming or get provoked online. 
    If anyone is harassing you or you kids by stalking them online  & has begun to disturb you or put your life at risks,  file a written complaint to the Commissioner of Police in your city.

    You could also report harassment mails to your ISP (like VSNL etc) & your e mail provider (like hotmail, yahoo etc) &  take advice from your technical savvy friends. If you remember, even the creator of the 'I love you' virus was tracked down. So through the  I.P address a stalker does leave behind a trail & though difficult it may be possible to trace the stalker.

  29. avatar
    Concerned #4 | 4 September 2009 at 3:12 pm #

    Steve – clearly the Anon that keeps posting is cyberstalking. Hopefully, he (most likely) does not have your email or current address.

    Not sure what the laws are in Australia but I wonder if there is a way to file a complaint with blogspot, google (who owns blogspot), or whatever.

    Best wishes…


  30. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2009 at 4:14 pm #

    anon 9.35 yes, that was a bit harsh

  31. avatar
    davem | 4 September 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    Can't watch your video……it freeeeezes but I have fond memories of a fostex we bought new in 1984ish.
    Out with a lad tonight from those days….hours spent recording ridiculous things (toilet flushing played backwards etc) that sounded like……..flushing toilets being played backwards over the top of a crap pop song. Happy daze though.
    A happy weekend to you and yours hero of mine and to all your global fiends.
    Love you more,

  32. avatar
    the Field Note | 4 September 2009 at 5:16 pm #

    An Australian anti-stalking info site… Lots of dead links though. Still, the information may provide some food for thought.

  33. avatar
    Craig Miller | 4 September 2009 at 6:53 pm #

    I miss my old Yamaha Four track. I squeezed every possible drop out of that thing before it finally conked out.

  34. avatar
    Midnight Toker | 21 September 2009 at 7:05 am #

    "Why isn't music any better as a result of this new technology…" HAHAHAH…VERY TRUE!!! I'm tired of the trash out there that sounds like they didn't even try or put forth any effort…just trashing instruments, etc…man, your music is beautiful, involved, and getting more complicated every year…evolving, as any great musician does…thx Steve!

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