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Author Topic: Mono Basic Track Mixes Used For Columbia 8-Track Overdubs  (Read 2228 times)
aeijtzsche
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« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2020, 07:09:33 AM »

That's a lot of supposition.  Lots of questions we have to answer before a winner can be decided.  First, if that's what happened, why and how did a tape from United by a different artist get reused?  Second, IF the sound got picked up at Unite Western, this requires the fairly bold assumption that they did a mix essentially for no reason, sacrificing a whole tape generation in exchange for what?  Portability?  I'd be more willing to buy that if we knew of some 4-track reels with a bunch of the mono backing tracks.  

And then there's the whole issue of how professional engineers are letting this happen.  CBS seems very unlikely to have misaligned machines--they probably had boffins do that every day (as I'd expect U/W did, despite being more of a mom & pop kinda place.)


If the Everlys cut out their final mix off that tape, as C-man suggested, the rest of the tape most likely was binned for less important uses.

I've rethought my initial suggestion. It was not the Columbia machine but some machine that was used for erasing the United recording by the Everlys.


Again, these are pretty evidence-less assumptions.  Do we really know what it would take for old tape to get reused?  I imagine there was some amount of tape recycling done, but on the other hand, depending on the situation, studios may not have had the right to do that with everyone if the record company claimed ownership of all materials.  That's not to say they always did, nor that intellectual property rights were always honored.  The Everly's are a pretty big act, as are the Beach Boys.  Would the studio really deem a Brian Wilson project "less important" and not worthy of a new reel?

I don't know the answer to any of these questions, but we can't close the book on this without better evidence.
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zaval80
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« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2020, 07:12:22 AM »


The bleed-through is also present on the 8-track session tape for "IWFTD" - it's audible on the S.O.T. boot before the song starts, I just don't hear it in the final mix.

Like you, I wonder if the management allowed the engineers at Columbia futzing with the fuddy-daddy brand-new 8-track machine just to save somebody's mix...but most likely so in the case of a common 4-track one. Could it be the SOT bootleg represents the results before the Columbia session?
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zaval80
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« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2020, 07:17:08 AM »

Again, these are pretty evidence-less assumptions.  Do we really know what it would take for old tape to get reused?  I imagine there was some amount of tape recycling done, but on the other hand, depending on the situation, studios may not have had the right to do that with everyone if the record company claimed ownership of all materials.  That's not to say they always did, nor that intellectual property rights were always honored.  The Everly's are a pretty big act, as are the Beach Boys.  Would the studio really deem a Brian Wilson project "less important" and not worthy of a new reel?

I don't know the answer to any of these questions, but we can't close the book on this without better evidence.

If the tape was erased - and it was, just not perfectly - it was marked for a "lesser use", say for a recording by an unproven act, so the act could've save a bit of the money on the tape which wasn't brand new, and the studio was efficient in saving on their expenditure. The only question is, how that binned tape ended up used not by nobodys, but the BBs.
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2020, 07:18:06 AM »


That's a lot of supposition.  Lots of questions we have to answer before a winner can be decided.  First, if that's what happened, why and how did a tape from United by a different artist get reused?  Second, IF the sound got picked up at Unite Western, this requires the fairly bold assumption that they did a mix essentially for no reason, sacrificing a whole tape generation in exchange for what?  Portability?  I'd be more willing to buy that if we knew of some 4-track reels with a bunch of the mono backing tracks.  


Well, regardless of the why and how, it seems fairly clear that this DID happen - I don't know how else to explain the presence of the Everlys song bleeding through. And, as to why they did this mix at Western, sacrificing a whole tape generation - this seems to answer our earlier question of whether Brian did his instrumental dub-downs at Western with Chuck, or relied on the Columbia engineers to get it just right. Since he knew and trusted Chuck to get the sounds he wanted, that seems to explain it. And it seems Brian was less concerned about generation loss as he was about getting the "right" sounds, especially as everything was being dubbed down to mono anyway (I'm trying to think like he did here). And, as zaval80 theorizes, the Columbia engineers would have noticed the bleedthrough (I'm wondering how easy it was to align a 1" 8-track head stack exactly the way a 1/4" mono machine would have been), but Brian told them not to worry about it, and press on. To me, that makes sense.



I agree that engineers would have noticed it, but Brian, as usual, didn't care about how the end product sounded--I doubt he'd care if the whole thing sounded like a giant raspberry by the end.  The generation loss question was less about Brian caring about it, but more about the engineers caring.  And I still don't think there's enough evidence to conclude they did an additional transfer.  I mean, sure, he liked Chuck, but some of those mixes and transfers would've been by Bowen David, right?  Unless they had a seperate, undocumented session to do mixes at Western to bring over to CBS?

And, there are lots of other ways for something to end up on a track other than a misaligned head, as plausible as that might be.  All I'm saying is that we can't say "this is definitely what happened."  We can say, "this very well may have happened."
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2020, 07:48:15 AM »

There is no proof that a studio as big as United/Western reused tape for clients for tracking (especially!) or mixing, in fact due to the issues like bleed-through and loss of fidelity, it would be illogical to assume they did. Not to mention the clients themselves might have an issue with their work being given, essentially, to other artists in some way so their unreleased music could be heard or taped over by other acts. TV stations reused 2" video tape because it was so expensive. Audio tape in 1966 was not as expensive. And clients would pay for the tapes used, eventually in the billing process, not the studio facility.

So if the theory hinges on accepting that United/Western was reusing tape for other clients' sessions, and compromising the quality of the recordings in any way, I think it may have to be rethought. The one use I could accept for reused tape would be for the tape delay machine. If there is proof that by 1966 they were reusing tape, then I'll stand corrected. But I doubt United's staff would go into a Sinatra session with stacks of reels that had already been used by other clients and do a session or mix using old tape.
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« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2020, 09:21:32 AM »

I just saw the Hoffman board's topic(s), and it looks like a member named Mal had this mystery noise identified back in 2007! And yes, listening to the Everlys track, that does sound like the Hammond organ from that song on Brian's tracks too. I'm wondering now if this was on the "official" radar in terms of the archival projects and unless I'm just not remembering, I do not recall seeing this mentioned in any of the official releases or interviews surrounding any Pet Sounds or other archival releases since at least 2007 when this person posted it on Hoffman. I think fans beyond the BB's bubble would have been fascinated to learn that an Everly Brothers track ended up on Pet Sounds! Anyone recall any mentions of this apart from the Hoffman board in 2007?

And it becomes a question too of how and why it ended up there, but expand that a bit and ask if Brian intentionally put it there.

I have *zero* doubt that Brian at this exact time (and even prior in a few cases, like 'Wendy') was into "found sounds" as an aesthetic and artistic choice. And I do not mean sound effects, which go back as early as 409 with Usher's Chevy revving up on tape, but found sounds and audio verite showing up on his productions in the form of snippets of conversation, noises, accidental audio, etc. We all know how jazzed Brian was listening to Rubber Soul, the shorter American version. And *that* has the famous false start of McCartney flubbing the guitar intro on I'm Looking Through You, which The Beatles were not happy about but which I think tapped into the audio verite thing for guys like Brian who heard that and were loving it, especially on a Beatles record. Dylan did it too, listen to Bob Dylan's 115th Dream on Bringing It All Back Home where he blows the vocal, then laughs, and the guys in the booth are cracking up too...and they left it on the album! No accident there. The entire Party! album is in that vibe. Mamas & Papas "I Saw Her Again...", they blew a vocal entry and left that mistake on the track - huge hit. Hey Jude, one of the biggest records of all time, has McCartney unleashing an expletive during the song that anyone can hear if they know where to listen - and they left it as part of an in-joke. The Monkees' Daydream Believer - another one of the biggest records of the era - has that whole studio conversation between Davy, Chip Douglas, and Hank Cicalo left on the beginning. No accident there, it was a choice to leave it.

I know - and we have evidence - that Brian was into this more heavily during Smile. At the same time you have Zappa doing needle-drops of old records, Van Dyke Parks doing the same thing on Song Cycle, and in general that more loose vibe of capturing audio by chance (or by mistake) and including it as part of the composition was showing up on various pop recordings.

I think it humanized both the records and the artists to some degree. On some, yes, perfection was the goal. For some, like Zappa, it was part of the sound collage as art ethos. But I do feel that an element of lightening the mood especially on a heavy song was in the air as part of an artistic movement at that time, and not just in music.

So did Brian intentionally leave this mysterious or accidental Everlys sound in his mix? Or...was it put in on purpose? Who knows. But since such things were being done elsewhere in the upper echelons of artistic pop music in 65-66-67, would it be out of the ordinary to suggest it was done on purpose? That's perhaps a more extensive debate, but one for which we already have other examples.

And again, if a major studio (yes, major considering Sinatra and the Reprise crew was almost exclusively recording at Putnam's facilities in the 60's after Frank split from Capitol and helped bankroll those facilities...) was in fact reusing old tapes for new sessions, I'll stand corrected if evidence of this practice exists. But I just cannot see how the staff at United/Western - all of them top-flight pro engineers - would let this go considering the reduction in quality that could be an issue.
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« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2020, 12:34:47 PM »

Well, we know that multi-track tape was often reused during a session - there are several Beach Boys 3- or 4-track reels that start with takes from later in the session, and end with takes from earlier in the session - meaning, they might fill up a tape with, say, 10 takes, then rewind and start from the top of the tape with Takes 11 and up, erasing the first few takes in the process - so there is a precedent, at least for reusing tape during a session with the same artist (which is a different situation then with the Everlys and Beach Boys of course, but defeats the argument that the engineers at Western would never do that).

Also, it might be worth mentioning that, in 1963-'64, at least, whenever the BBs recorded outside Capitol's own in-house studios, the band (or Murry specifically) would pay for the studio time and recording tape on the date of the session, then submit paperwork through the AFM to pay The Beach Boys and any sidemen who were utilized. Capitol (with executive approval from either Karl Enegmann or Voyle Gilmore) would then buy the master tapes from the Beach Boys and pay the musicians through the union at a later date. Not sure if that was still the case by the time of Pet Sounds, but when this did happen, it's not as though the label would have the right to feel "ripped off" by paying in advance for reused tape - they were buying the final product, i.e. the mono (and/or stereo) masters, from the BBs - and wouldn't know any difference if a reused tape was employed at some point in the production process.
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2020, 01:06:56 PM »

Well, we know that multi-track tape was often reused during a session - there are several Beach Boys 3- or 4-track reels that start with takes from later in the session, and end with takes from earlier in the session - meaning, they might fill up a tape with, say, 10 takes, then rewind and start from the top of the tape with Takes 11 and up, erasing the first few takes in the process - so there is a precedent, at least for reusing tape during a session with the same artist (which is a different situation then with the Everlys and Beach Boys of course, but defeats the argument that the engineers at Western would never do that).

Also, it might be worth mentioning that, in 1963-'64, at least, whenever the BBs recorded outside Capitol's own in-house studios, the band (or Murry specifically) would pay for the studio time and recording tape on the date of the session, then submit paperwork through the AFM to pay The Beach Boys and any sidemen who were utilized. Capitol (with executive approval from either Karl Enegmann or Voyle Gilmore) would then buy the master tapes from the Beach Boys and pay the musicians through the union at a later date. Not sure if that was still the case by the time of Pet Sounds, but when this did happen, it's not as though the label would have the right to feel "ripped off" by paying in advance for reused tape - they were buying the final product, i.e. the mono (and/or stereo) masters, from the BBs - and wouldn't know any difference if a reused tape was employed at some point in the production process.

And of course we all wish they didn't tape over the session tape!

This would be a really fascinating avenue of study per se, the study of the sort of de facto intellectual property protection practices at a studio.  Presumably de jure, whoever it was that had the rights to the masters, be it the label or the artist, would have to sign off on any erasure and reuse of tapes that they not only owned physically, but also had copyright protected material thereon.  This could certainly be as simple as an authorised agent saying, here, studio, we will donate this used tape to you to sell to somebody else provided you erase it completely first.

In the case of Brian reusing his own session tape, there's obviously implicit permission given to erase his property when the engineers says, "we are running out of tape, can I go ahead and rewind it and reuse it if you don't think there's anything usable in what we've done so far."  But that sort of assent couldn't be assumed in the absence of something fairly explicit by the rights-holder.

All of that is, of course, assuming that these people were scrupulous about IP rights--I'm sure it'd be very easy to cut corners without people caring much.  But it is still hard to see where this would fit in in the day to day operations of a studio.  I agree with GF Craig that the only way it'd make clear sense to reuse old tape would be for delay set-ups, where it's kind of silly to break out a new reel just for that.  But otherwise, I still think it's a stretch.  But I'm perfectly willing to stand corrected if someone has a quote from an engineer from that time saying they got artists to sign off on donating their used tape to the studios to sell to other artists.
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c-man
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« Reply #33 on: June 05, 2020, 09:37:34 PM »

I would think that the laws of intellectual property as they pertain here would apply to an actual recorded performance only, not the media on which it was recorded - and if the recorded performance was erased, and no longer in existence, then we'd only being talking about laws governing physical ownership of the tapes (meaning, whoever paid for the tapes, not whoever owned the copyright of the performance that no longer exists because it was erased).

So if, for instance, Everlys producer Dick Glasser (who worked directly for Phil and Don's label, Warner Bros.) told the engineers he wasn't interested in keeping mix outtakes from a 1/4" reel, and so they could erase and reuse them if they want - he would have the authority to do so, as he was director of Warners' A&R department. So perhaps that's what happened. But little did anyone know there would be a tape head alignment issue when the tape was taken to a non-Putnam studio, and people would be talking about the mostly obscured and barely audible artefacts over 50 years later....!
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #34 on: June 05, 2020, 09:52:45 PM »

I would think that the laws of intellectual property as they pertain here would apply to an actual recorded performance only, not the media on which it was recorded - and if the recorded performance was erased, and no longer in existence, then we'd only being talking about laws governing physical ownership of the tapes (meaning, whoever paid for the tapes, not whoever owned the copyright of the performance that no longer exists because it was erased).

So if, for instance, Everlys producer Dick Glasser (who worked directly for Phil and Don's label, Warner Bros.) told the engineers he wasn't interested in keeping mix outtakes from a 1/4" reel, and so they could erase and reuse them if they want - he would have the authority to do so, as he was director of Warners' A&R department. So perhaps that's what happened. But little did anyone know there would be a tape head alignment issue when the tape was taken to a non-Putnam studio, and people would be talking about the mostly obscured and barely audible artefacts over 50 years later....!

That's correct, the intellectual property rights reside in recorded performance.  And indeed, if an agent of Warner's gave consent to erase the IP on the tape, then the IP nature of the rights is gone and we are talking about straight property rights.  These would of course have to be dealt with similarly, by an agent of Warner's either consenting to make a gift of tape, or making a contract with the studio to sell the tape for an agreed upon sum, thereby passing title to the studio to do what they pleased with it.

But at the moment we have no evidence that this ever happened, and in fact common sense points to it being unlikely.  To be clear -- I don't think it's impossible, I just think it's unlikely.

Now -- if it was an accident, then maybe I could see it; used tape accidentally avoiding getting sent to the Everly's (or Warner's) storage facility, and somehow finding itself used, with someone thinking it's new tape.

But in any case, it's all baseless speculation at this point.
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DonnyL
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« Reply #35 on: June 06, 2020, 12:38:08 AM »

I’ve done a cursory review of this thread and the Hoffman thread, and unless I’m missing something: this makes it extremely obvious to me that Brian took the 3/4-track tapes to Western to mix the backtrack to 1/4” mono, then took that tape to Columbia. Whether there was another reason to be at Western that day, who knows (maybe it’s as simple as they ran out of time at Gold Star and took the tape and did some dubdowns later).  Which opens the door to the theory that this was a standard working method for the era.

I’d also refer to this as *incomplete erasure* to avoid confusion with issues of crosstalk, head alignment, etc. I would also call into question blindly trusting SOT tapes to be 100% always raw transfers of each track as on the tape (though this seems to generally be the case).

The situation would go something like this:

Everly Bros. Session at Western mixed to 1/4”. *Tape was re-used in this era - there’s other evidence to demonstrate this elsewhere*

“Times” 4-track Tape is brought to Western and  is mixed to reused Everly 1/4” tape on mono. Decks of this era often have incomplete erasure issues - the machine needs a calibration tweak on one of the bias pots.

The mono tape is transferred to 1 track on the 8-track at Columbia prior to vocal session.

This clears up A LOT!
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DonnyL
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« Reply #36 on: June 06, 2020, 12:43:14 AM »

Studios provided tape and Billed it to the label. Physical reels deemed unneeded were likely left at the studio after the sessions and likely tossed or re-used. If the Everly Brothers used a bunch of reels to get that mix, they would leave behind the Non-master/working tapeS, and it would be forgotten about by the artist or producer. *not saying it always worked this way, but it happened. More likely something like certain reels being labeled “master”, etc, others being throwaways. Not sure if Brian would leave w the tapes or if they were sent to Capitol by the studio or what.

Physical tape has no correlation to the intellectual property on the tape. Possession is 9/10 of the law. If I own a reel of tape and you record your song on it and leave, then I erase the tape - no copyright concerns there, the content is gone. This is akin to you leaving a paper with a poem written on it and me throwing it away. Certainly there were studio terms of use clients agreed to, etc.
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« Reply #37 on: June 06, 2020, 01:25:51 AM »

Studios provided tape and Billed it to the label. Physical reels deemed unneeded were likely left at the studio after the sessions and likely tossed or re-used. If the Everly Brothers used a bunch of reels to get that mix, they would leave behind the Non-master/working tapeS, and it would be forgotten about by the artist or producer. *not saying it always worked this way, but it happened. More likely something like certain reels being labeled “master”, etc, others being throwaways. Not sure if Brian would leave w the tapes or if they were sent to Capitol by the studio or what.

Physical tape has no correlation to the intellectual property on the tape. Possession is 9/10 of the law. If I own a reel of tape and you record your song on it and leave, then I erase the tape - no copyright concerns there, the content is gone. This is akin to you leaving a paper with a poem written on it and me throwing it away. Certainly there were studio terms of use clients agreed to, etc.

Well, we know for sure that many of Brian's "work tapes" were left behind at studios, including Columbia. We're lucky that many weren't!
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #38 on: June 06, 2020, 07:54:17 AM »

Studios provided tape and Billed it to the label. Physical reels deemed unneeded were likely left at the studio after the sessions and likely tossed or re-used. If the Everly Brothers used a bunch of reels to get that mix, they would leave behind the Non-master/working tapeS, and it would be forgotten about by the artist or producer. *not saying it always worked this way, but it happened. More likely something like certain reels being labeled “master”, etc, others being throwaways. Not sure if Brian would leave w the tapes or if they were sent to Capitol by the studio or what.

Physical tape has no correlation to the intellectual property on the tape. Possession is 9/10 of the law. If I own a reel of tape and you record your song on it and leave, then I erase the tape - no copyright concerns there, the content is gone. This is akin to you leaving a paper with a poem written on it and me throwing it away. Certainly there were studio terms of use clients agreed to, etc.

I would like to see some sort of contemporaneous evidence of the process.  I just find it hard to believe that all of the things necessary for it to happen this way happened.  The Everly's would have to abandon some tape they had used, the studio would have to take possession and put it into the supply, then it'd have to get resold to one of the biggest clients at the time who can easily, easily afford only the freshest, shiniest, and newest tape, plus the bad erase job, plus an unnecessary extra mix.

One or two contemporary quotes from engineers or studio personnel saying that kind of thing happened and I'll shut up!   Cheesy


Incidentally, and it has no real bearing on the topic, but I hardly ever get to use my law degrees, so forgive my pedantry; Possession is not 9/10s of the law.  True, having physical possession of some chattel (or real property for that matter) can make it easier to prove title, and can practically speaking make the presumption of ownership in the possessor a hard hurdle for other claimants to get over, possession would be just one aspect of the legal determination of who an owner is (if there is some question.)

And of course, so much of the law is about enforcement.  Hard to enforce my property rights in a written poem I left somewhere, because nobody will go to court over that.  Slightly more plausible to enforce the property rights of a big fish like the Beach Boys or the Everly Brothers on a forgotten tape, but even then, but that was before a real culture of IP urgency had developed (in a way...)

Perhaps there would be a clause in the contract between the artist and the studio that any tape abandoned for 3 days became property of the studio, or something.

Something to research for the PhD in the sociology or LA Studios 1963-1968, I suppose.
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« Reply #39 on: June 06, 2020, 08:21:46 AM »

Whatever the reason for its use, it would seem for certain that the Everlys' tape was badly erased...if it was employed only for a slap-back echo effect on the mono instrumental sub-mix, wouldn't the machine spinning it be in "record" mode, not "play" mode?
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« Reply #40 on: June 06, 2020, 08:26:21 AM »


I’d also refer to this as *incomplete erasure* to avoid confusion with issues of crosstalk, head alignment, etc. I would also call into question blindly trusting SOT tapes to be 100% always raw transfers of each track as on the tape (though this seems to generally be the case).



Side question, I know I've previously read a little bit about how the SOT tapes came into the possession of bootleggers, wasn't it a fellow working on An American Band surreptitiously copied the tapes? And this was done on early, lossless DAT?

I'm just wondering if anybody has more interesting details on the whole story. It does seem to be a fascinating tale of espionage, for which we are all grateful to have this incredible music at our fingertips for historical purposes. Even if it the motivation was purely done for monetary gain, which I'm assuming, but then again I have no idea. Wouldn't it have taken a ridiculously long time to copy as many tapes as he did and get away with it? Or did he just have full access for an indefinite amount of time to the vault? And how would someone like that peddle their wares to bootleggers during the era?

It feels like it must've been something like a drug deal, or Watergate. Fascinating to picture this happening so long ago, amongst the backdrop of 1980s with mullets everywhere. And how much money must this person have made off of the deal? This was a hell of a lot of music. I can't imagine the surprise the band/Capitol must've had when they found out. I certainly remember the days of silver bottomed bootleg CDs in used record stores.

Didn't mean to derail the fascinating conversation, although I guess this is part of the story, tangentially speaking.
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« Reply #41 on: June 06, 2020, 09:59:32 AM »

Whatever the reason for its use, it would seem for certain that the Everlys' tape was badly erased...if it was employed only for a slap-back echo effect on the mono instrumental sub-mix, wouldn't the machine spinning it be in "record" mode, not "play" mode?

Both, actually -- the signal is recorded by the record head and then played back a few milliseconds later by the repro head.
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« Reply #42 on: June 06, 2020, 11:00:58 AM »

One or two contemporary quotes from engineers or studio personnel saying that kind of thing happened and I'll shut up!   Cheesy

This is what I've been saying too.

My issues and questions and doubts are not about property rights as much as quality control. If you're a pro engineer on the level of the people we're discussing, and you're running a session where a reel of tape that was used from another artist has that artist's tracks on that recycled reel and it starts bleeding through to the *new* client's tracks you're recording and being paid to do so...wouldn't the 99.99999% reaction from that pro be "Hold the phone! We can't use this!". It's their name and reputation on those tracks too. Or taking the process further: Let's say engineer John Smith was doing a project for client Band X, and Band X simply *nails* a perfect take and is excited beyond words...then either they play it back or later their bosses at the label play it back and hear bleed-through from a Mattel toy commercial in the middle of a perfect take that can't be replicated...There would be hell to pay, to put it mildly. And engineer John Smith would probably be looking for a new job.

Am I missing something in that aspect of this discussion regarding reused tapes?

This is why I wrote all that about this particular case with the Everlys track being perhaps a deliberate, aesthetic choice to have it in there. However it happened, that possibility, along with hearing bleed from a delay reel, seems to be the shortest line between the two points.

I just cannot see people working at this level in the industry re-using tape to this degree: Yes, they would use the same client's same reel if necessary as described, but to bring in someone else's reel of tape from weeks or months ago that could have been damaged or stretched or wrinkled or recorded over who knows how many times during that first client's sessions...it just doesn't seem like the level of quality control these people and these facilities operated within. And opening up the possibility of a client's work suffering and being affected negatively to save a few bucks by using other clients' recycled reels...I just can't see it.

Like I said before, if there is evidence this was done regularly, I'll stand corrected. But I just can't see it among people in an industry who take so much care in getting the right sounds and maintaining their equipment to where they'd roll the dice and use old tape from other clients to record important sessions.
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« Reply #43 on: June 06, 2020, 11:48:12 AM »

Over the years, I’ve encountered many examples - audio evidence, quotes from people, researching studio practices - and I accepted this was done long ago. I don’t have any immediate “evidence” or quotes, and I don’t believe this was an “official” policy or anything - just a practice that definitely occurred. I’ve also had possession of studio master tapes and original machines, etc, so I have intimate personal experience ... but to be honest I didn’t pay close attention or document these kinds of experiences in this regard. I’ll see what I can come with to present my case - but be assured re-using of tapes definitely occurred fairly regularly on 1960s and ‘70s studio sessions (take or leave my word in it until I find evidence). This practice still occurs to some degree with any studio using tapes (look up tape-based studios that have their policies posted online, for example).

Re: possession is 9/10 law - just using it as a figure of speech. Main point is: if you wrote a poem on a piece of paper that belonged to me, then I threw that paper away - I think you’d be hard pressed to make a case against me if I tossed the paper in the trash after you left.

We have audio evidence of incomplete erasure of a previous track (most notably the part near the coda of “I’m Waiting for the Day” when you can clearly hear a completely different song playing in the background. This indicates: 1- The machine was not calibrated properly; 2- No one noticed and/or cared; 3- Tape was recorded on, then erased recorded over again. This is all the evidence I need. Does it really matter if the tape that was being recorded over was a previous take of the same track or an Everly working reel left behind that the label/producer/artist didn’t care to keep?

Additionally, there is no plausible scenario here in which there are crosstalk issues that caused this - unless someone is implying that “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times” used the same 4-track tape that the Everly Bros. used, and/or the Everly Bros. tape somehow ended up on a Columbia 8-track. If so, let me know the details that theory because I can’t wrap my head around it.

In a nutshell - With this new info, there is no doubt in my mind that the backtrack for “I Just wasn’t made for these times” was mixed to 1/4” mono at Western, then the mono tape was taken to Columbia and transferred to one track on the 8-track.

Seems like you guys are taking issue not with reuse of tapes (that 100% definitely did occur, no question), but with the reuse of a tape that included ANOTHER ARTIST’S work. What if Chuck and/or Western personal we’re simply using the Everly tape to test the machines, etc after that session?
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« Reply #44 on: June 06, 2020, 11:54:37 AM »

... listen to the mono mixes of “I’m waiting for the day” and “I just wasn’t made for these times”.

From around 0:05-0:09 on “times”, you can hear tape rewinding (squeals) in the background (some people think this sounds like some kind of high pitched organ).

On the quiet string breakdown on “waiting” - particularly leading into the drum rolls, you can hear a completely different song playing faintly in the background.

« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 11:55:10 AM by DonnyL » Logged

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« Reply #45 on: June 06, 2020, 12:47:37 PM »

Re: possession is 9/10 law - just using it as a figure of speech. Main point is: if you wrote a poem on a piece of paper that belonged to me, then I threw that paper away - I think you’d be hard pressed to make a case against me if I tossed the paper in the trash after you left.

Autistic lawyers don't do figures of speech!  I get what you're saying, though -- I could easily make a great case against you, the problem is enforceability and the inadequate value of whatever restitution you could provide, not the law itself.


Quote
We have audio evidence of incomplete erasure of a previous track (most notably the part near the coda of “I’m Waiting for the Day” when you can clearly hear a completely different song playing in the background. This indicates: 1- The machine was not calibrated properly; 2- No one noticed and/or cared; 3- Tape was recorded on, then erased recorded over again. This is all the evidence I need. Does it really matter if the tape that was being recorded over was a previous take of the same track or an Everly working reel left behind that the label/producer/artist didn’t care to keep?


It matters in the sense of getting a complete picture of what was going on and how it happened.


Quote
Additionally, there is no plausible scenario here in which there are crosstalk issues that caused this - unless someone is implying that “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times” used the same 4-track tape that the Everly Bros. used, and/or the Everly Bros. tape somehow ended up on a Columbia 8-track. If so, let me know the details that theory because I can’t wrap my head around it.

Agreed.

Quote
In a nutshell - With this new info, there is no doubt in my mind that the backtrack for “I Just wasn’t made for these times” was mixed to 1/4” mono at Western, then the mono tape was taken to Columbia and transferred to one track on the 8-track.

I think it points pretty heavily to that, too -- but the question remains of: why do this?  I'm not sure that comfort at Western is a great answer, since he'd just have to go over to CBS and mix the 8-track there?

Quote
Seems like you guys are taking issue not with reuse of tapes (that 100% definitely did occur, no question), but with the reuse of a tape that included ANOTHER ARTIST’S work. What if Chuck and/or Western personal we’re simply using the Everly tape to test the machines, etc after that session?

For me it is both the fact that it's not just another artist's work, but the Everly Brothers, who presumably had/have a major label behind them who would potentially have some interest (in the legal/custodial sense of the word) in the tapes.

I think the main sticking point for me about tape reuse is, even with the uncomfortably unsubstantiated idea that the Beach Boys would have used used tape, to accept that it happened this way amost requires an entire paradigm shift in the way we think about the studio.  These were not in fact, gifted engineers, working for one of the great technicians of sound, Bill Putnam, to create hi-fidelity records.  These were hacks doing bad, hurried work, pumping out teenage crap that didn't matter.  At least the Studio Musicians pretended to like it so they sounded good.  But imagine the colossal lack of care all around that this stuff slips by EVERYONE.  Either they didn't care, or there were a bunch of people who weren't great at their jobs.  OR, as GF says...Brian put it in there on purpose.  OR!  Brian's own impatience and loss of interest drove these people to take shortcuts.
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« Reply #46 on: June 06, 2020, 12:48:37 PM »

Donny, you're bypassing a few issues. If I can find it I'll post it, but hasn't Mark Linett said the reason why the original tapes sounded so good 50 years later was because they used new, high quality tape for the sessions and they held up with excellent fidelity? If Mark said that, wouldn't that negate the reuse/recycle element?

Alongside that, let's say they were reusing tape on PS. We have the original tape boxes showing the branded tape - Are any of them crossed out, as in "Everly Brothers" with all the markings from that crossed out and the Pet Sounds info written underneath? I doubt they had a supply of Scotch empty reel boxes laying around new or unused to give clients. As far as standard practice goes, when a client left with a tape it was put in the box with all the session markings and info.

As someone who has worked with tape, what would you say is the approximate "shelf life" in terms of reusing a reel of tape for a session? As I mentioned, if you have a piece of tape that has gone through the process with other clients, how many times can you expect to record and rerecord over that same tape, and how many winds and hard stops could you get before you see stretching and drop-outs and wrinkles and the like?

Again, not saying it didn't happen, but is it feasible for a studio to have someone on their payroll on the clock checking over a stack of old tapes to reuse and recycle versus simply buying new reels for clients like Brian Wilson in 1966 since the studio didn't pay for the reels anyway?

Just trying to wrap my own head around the process.
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« Reply #47 on: June 06, 2020, 12:57:11 PM »


Quote
In a nutshell - With this new info, there is no doubt in my mind that the backtrack for “I Just wasn’t made for these times” was mixed to 1/4” mono at Western, then the mono tape was taken to Columbia and transferred to one track on the 8-track.

I think it points pretty heavily to that, too -- but the question remains of: why do this?  I'm not sure that comfort at Western is a great answer, since he'd just have to go over to CBS and mix the 8-track there?


Having read numerous accounts from people who were both there at the time and people who worked with the tapes later, I think it actually is one of the key answers. Brian preferred to work with Chuck at Western for a variety of reasons, and as early as some of the Vosse articles and his "Fusion" piece on Smile, Vosse specifically cited this reasoning because Chuck gave Brian more freedom than some of the union guys at CBS/Columbia would allow. That's pretty much set in stone, and that practice continued even a few decades later to where I heard Phil Ramone say he would run into issues with the union engineers who would get very upset if Phil tried to touch something, and this is Phil Freakin Ramone years after 1966.  Smiley
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« Reply #48 on: June 06, 2020, 01:00:42 PM »

Donny, you're bypassing a few issues. If I can find it I'll post it, but hasn't Mark Linett said the reason why the original tapes sounded so good 50 years later was because they used new, high quality tape for the sessions and they held up with excellent fidelity? If Mark said that, wouldn't that negate the reuse/recycle element?

Alongside that, let's say they were reusing tape on PS. We have the original tape boxes showing the branded tape - Are any of them crossed out, as in "Everly Brothers" with all the markings from that crossed out and the Pet Sounds info written underneath? I doubt they had a supply of Scotch empty reel boxes laying around new or unused to give clients. As far as standard practice goes, when a client left with a tape it was put in the box with all the session markings and info.

As someone who has worked with tape, what would you say is the approximate "shelf life" in terms of reusing a reel of tape for a session? As I mentioned, if you have a piece of tape that has gone through the process with other clients, how many times can you expect to record and rerecord over that same tape, and how many winds and hard stops could you get before you see stretching and drop-outs and wrinkles and the like?

Again, not saying it didn't happen, but is it feasible for a studio to have someone on their payroll on the clock checking over a stack of old tapes to reuse and recycle versus simply buying new reels for clients like Brian Wilson in 1966 since the studio didn't pay for the reels anyway?

Just trying to wrap my own head around the process.

They used Scotch 201 and 203. While 203 has held up fairly well, 201 is a 1.5 mil acetate tape and has most distinctly not held up particularly well over the years.

203 is poly so it’s better but is also 1.0 mil - which was actually designed for and used for consumer-machines as it’s thinner/longer running fine.

201 is mostly unusable now. 203 is fine but is fragile IME.

Doubt anything would be scratched out. Because 1 - it was likely a working Everly tape without anything written on it, 2- I also doubt the box that containing the dubdown from 4-track to 1/4” then to 8-track even exists anymore - that was a working tape/step along the way and was likely tossed or even re-used again.

Shelf life for reusing is more or less indefinite IME. I’ve used tapes well over many hundreds of passes, and most of my own recordings were mixed on vintage 1960s tapes, some used.

What issued am I bypassing ?
« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 01:44:33 PM by DonnyL » Logged

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« Reply #49 on: June 06, 2020, 01:02:28 PM »

[duplicate post]
« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 01:44:23 PM by DonnyL » Logged

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