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Author Topic: Mono Basic Track Mixes Used For Columbia 8-Track Overdubs  (Read 2185 times)
aeijtzsche
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« Reply #50 on: June 06, 2020, 01:04:18 PM »


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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

Would you say the same thing about H. Bowen David?  Because he presumably did the IWFTD mix.  I don't think we should tie things to Chuck because he wasn't always there.
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« Reply #51 on: June 06, 2020, 01:13:43 PM »


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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

Would you say the same thing about H. Bowen David?  Because he presumably did the IWFTD mix.  I don't think we should tie things to Chuck because he wasn't always there.

I would say yes - I'm thinking it had more to do with the culture at an independent studio versus a larger more corporate-based studio like Columbia. I doubt there were union reps regularly dropping in on sessions at Western 3 to make sure no one but the engineer was working the board. And I think the management on a daily level was less corporate at the indies like Gold Star or Western. If a guy like Brian who could work the board wanted to work the board, he could do so more freely at Western, I think that's been established.
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« Reply #52 on: June 06, 2020, 01:22:25 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.

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 ?

The issue of what Mark said about the original tapes, again sorry I don't have it handy to repost, as it would suggest they were using new tapes for these sessions. And if the boxes were not marked or labeled, how would the studio be able to ID them so they didn't wipe or trash something accidentally?

I'll ask another point a different way: If you had a client recording on a recycled/erased tape, and you noticed previous sounds leaking through, would you continue recording that client or would you get a new or different reel of tape?

I'm just asking because I still cannot imagine engineers who worry about the most minute details and noises allowing a session to continue if such a thing were to happen from a reused tape. I'm just trying to connect the possibility that these sounds we're discussing could have been left intentionally. And I'll reference Sinatra again since he was using the same Putnam studios: What would happen if Frank was cutting "All Or Nothing At All" in 65-66 with a full studio of the best players in town, and he nailed a vocal...then they go back and hear a toy commercial jingle bleeding through during a quiet section? Hell to pay puts it mildly lol. LOL
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #53 on: June 06, 2020, 01:23:20 PM »

Well, sure there's more freedom.  But we do have Brian on film freely twiddling knobs at CBS.  To me it just seems like such an unnecessary step considering how little actual mixing would have been involved.  No wonder those final masters are so murky.  Not only could there be up to five or six generations of tape, but they were using old tape that no-one bothered to erase!
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« Reply #54 on: June 06, 2020, 01:27:14 PM »

Well, sure there's more freedom.  But we do have Brian on film freely twiddling knobs at CBS.  To me it just seems like such an unnecessary step considering how little actual mixing would have been involved.  No wonder those final masters are so murky.  Not only could there be up to five or six generations of tape, but they were using old tape that no-one bothered to erase!

Maybe Brian liked the sound of Western's and Putnam's equipment and monitors more than he liked those at Columbia for mixing instruments? No doubt Putnam's gear had some signature sounds that Columbia could not get because Putnam made or designed a lot of his own equipment, as did the guys at Columbia. That's another factor to consider, maybe he simply liked the sounds he got and could get at Western for instruments whereas stacked vocals were not the same concerns. And there's the difference in echo chambers too.
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #55 on: June 06, 2020, 01:33:51 PM »

Well, sure there's more freedom.  But we do have Brian on film freely twiddling knobs at CBS.  To me it just seems like such an unnecessary step considering how little actual mixing would have been involved.  No wonder those final masters are so murky.  Not only could there be up to five or six generations of tape, but they were using old tape that no-one bothered to erase!

Maybe Brian liked the sound of Western's and Putnam's equipment and monitors more than he liked those at Columbia for mixing instruments? No doubt Putnam's gear had some signature sounds that Columbia could not get because Putnam made or designed a lot of his own equipment, as did the guys at Columbia. That's another factor to consider, maybe he simply liked the sounds he got and could get at Western for instruments whereas stacked vocals were not the same concerns. And there's the difference in echo chambers too.

If those are among the reasons, we'd also need to rethink our conception of the mix at that time.  If it made that much of a difference, was Brian adding additional effects at this stage?  Were they running things through additional 176s?  If, as I've usually thought, "mixing the track" at this point would've been setting three (or four) faders -- because the majority of the mixing was done live -- I can't see a reason to add a tape generation.  But if he's actively adding effects and processing, OK.
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« Reply #56 on: June 06, 2020, 01:43:06 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.


I think the question is: why not reuse tape? Tapes are routinely reused. Let's say whoever produced the Everly tape went through tons of attempts at final mix, the 1/4" mono deck was rolling continually let's say they went through 3 reels of tape. At the end of the session, they get the master, the third reel is marked MASTER and either given to the Producer or marked to ship to the label. Producer and artist say thanks and split. You now have two perfectly good reels of tape - literally "one pass" - why wouldn't you use that? You could even argue tape that has been through a pass performs BETTER than on the first pass. The issue is not that a tape was reused, it's that the machine was not calibrated correctly to erase the tape.
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DonnyL
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« Reply #57 on: June 06, 2020, 01:51:06 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.

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 ?

The issue of what Mark said about the original tapes, again sorry I don't have it handy to repost, as it would suggest they were using new tapes for these sessions. And if the boxes were not marked or labeled, how would the studio be able to ID them so they didn't wipe or trash something accidentally?

I'll ask another point a different way: If you had a client recording on a recycled/erased tape, and you noticed previous sounds leaking through, would you continue recording that client or would you get a new or different reel of tape?

I'm just asking because I still cannot imagine engineers who worry about the most minute details and noises allowing a session to continue if such a thing were to happen from a reused tape. I'm just trying to connect the possibility that these sounds we're discussing could have been left intentionally. And I'll reference Sinatra again since he was using the same Putnam studios: What would happen if Frank was cutting "All Or Nothing At All" in 65-66 with a full studio of the best players in town, and he nailed a vocal...then they go back and hear a toy commercial jingle bleeding through during a quiet section? Hell to pay puts it mildly lol. LOL

Well I've never run a studio, but I have in fact dealt with this issue. My old late-'60s Ampex 440 mono deck had an issue with incomplete erasure. I did actually let it go personally, because it was not particularly noticeable and did not detract from the music when I discovered it was in fact present on the final mix.

There would be no way for Mark or anyone to know if they had reused tape along the way. Remember we are *not* talking about the final 1/4" mix tape. We are talking about the tape in step #2 of this process:

1 - "Times" 4-track tape cut at Gold Star
2 - Backtrack mixed from 4-track to 1/4" mono at Western on *reused Everly tape*
3 - 1/4" mono tape brought to Columbia then transferred to 8-track
4 - *1/4" TAPE TOSSED
5 - Vocals overdubbed
6 - Final mix at Columbia to 1/4" BRAND SPANKING NEW tape

This was not a FINAL MIX, it was a step along the way. Of course it's on the table they just use a scrap tape or something laying around. In fact, I'd say it could be the reel w. the original Everly mix on it but cut out to be spliced onto the Everly album or something.
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« Reply #58 on: June 06, 2020, 01:56:19 PM »

Can someone summarize in simple terms what the other theories are as to how an everly Bros song ended up on Pet Sounds?

The revelation here is that we now have evidence to suggest Brian mixed the tracks at Western - not on the 4th track of the multi as I've mentioned before, but 1/4" mono. Though I still entertain the possibility that that 4th track "reference" track could be the finsl mix - even transferred to mono. Only examining the actual multis would provide answers.
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« Reply #59 on: June 06, 2020, 01:59:25 PM »

Well, I wouldn't use it because I'm a slave to ethical and legal considerations and would not like to risk destroying someone else's property.  I realise most people are not as allergic to doing something wrong as I am. (Tremendous Superego, Freud might say.)

Assuming their consciences were clear, and a client didn't have a problem using used tape, and was properly given a discount, then sure, why not?

But if you're the Beach Boys, why bother with it?  Does Elon Musk wait to buy his monthly papayas until there's a sale on them?  Were the studios, in addition to being very bad at their jobs, and not caring about the sound of the finished product, also hucksters selling used tape at full price?

Here's a scenario -- The Everly's and the Studio Musicians record You Got the Power of Love on February 3rd.  Brian is around, likes the track, and asks for a dub so he can cut a mono to bring home.  By the time the engineer who did Power of Love gets around to giving Brian a copy, it's about a month later.  Brian brings the reel into the mixing session for the intermediate IWFTD track mix, planning to cut an acetate after he's done, and that's how it somehow accidentally gets used without getting erased.

Just as speculative as the other ways, but leaves out the byzantine process and ham-fisted engineering of some of the other hypothesis.
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« Reply #60 on: June 06, 2020, 02:12:52 PM »

Ha that theory sounds crazy to me, but sure? I mean, the tape was reused is my point. I don’t really have any hang ups about how. I can tell you that tapes were and are routinely reused in studios. Artists and producers go through tons of work tapes - these were reused mostly to save the studio $$$. Can’t find it now, but there’s an interview somewhere with someone who worked on Tim Buckley’s Sefronia (1973) was complaining about the label treating Tim poorly - and used the example that the studio was reusing tape and you could hear the previous artist not completely erased in the headphones.
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« Reply #61 on: June 06, 2020, 02:22:17 PM »

Ha that theory sounds crazy to me, but sure? I mean, the tape was reused is my point. I don’t really have any hang ups about how. I can tell you that tapes were and are routinely reused in studios. Artists and producers go through tons of work tapes - these were reused mostly to save the studio $$$. Can’t find it now, but there’s an interview somewhere with someone who worked on Tim Buckley’s Sefronia (1973) was complaining about the label treating Tim poorly - and used the example that the studio was reusing tape and you could hear the previous artist not completely erased in the headphones.

Yes, I think we can objectively say that a tape was reused here.  But until you can present evidence, we will have to agree to disagree that the Beach Boys (or any other massive client) would as a matter of course use used tape.  That is the crux of my problem.  That one of the top ten most important clients at United Western would be given used tape to use when there was stacks of new stuff that they could charge them for.

Are you saying that studios would pay for artists to use tape out of their (the studio's) own pocket?  Why would they not bill the label or the artist for any tape at all that they used?

And then, if this is a matter-of-course recycling, you are not only saying that the engineers Brian worked with were hacks, but one could conclude, with that Tim Buckley anecdote, that the studio was in fact treating Brian badly.
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« Reply #62 on: June 06, 2020, 02:36:56 PM »

Ha that theory sounds crazy to me, but sure? I mean, the tape was reused is my point. I don’t really have any hang ups about how. I can tell you that tapes were and are routinely reused in studios. Artists and producers go through tons of work tapes - these were reused mostly to save the studio $$$. Can’t find it now, but there’s an interview somewhere with someone who worked on Tim Buckley’s Sefronia (1973) was complaining about the label treating Tim poorly - and used the example that the studio was reusing tape and you could hear the previous artist not completely erased in the headphones.

Yes, I think we can objectively say that a tape was reused here.  But until you can present evidence, we will have to agree to disagree that the Beach Boys (or any other massive client) would as a matter of course use used tape.  That is the crux of my problem.  That one of the top ten most important clients at United Western would be given used tape to use when there was stacks of new stuff that they could charge them for.

Are you saying that studios would pay for artists to use tape out of their (the studio's) own pocket?  Why would they not bill the label or the artist for any tape at all that they used?

And then, if this is a matter-of-course recycling, you are not only saying that the engineers Brian worked with were hacks, but one could conclude, with that Tim Buckley anecdote, that the studio was in fact treating Brian badly.

Main points re: tape being reused -

1 - I don’t think there’s much of a functional difference in using lightly used or one pass tape vs new tape - so long as the machine was calibrated correctly. We have evidence in this case that it was not.

2 - My assumption is that if tapes were reused, they would be bulk erased prior to use. I don’t know if bulk erasers were readily available quite yet - but they exist for this exact reason, to reuse tape on a regular basis. This is a fact that studios reuse tape. As to in what each scenarios in the 1960s, I can only speculate.

3 - this would depend on studio policies. Most studios have a very particular set of terms regarding pricing for tape, and whether or not the studio or client owns the physical tape. This likely would include some section regarding “abandoned” tapes.

4 - whether or not the studio charged full price, included the cost of tape in their rates, or had a particular rate for used tape (50% off etc - the assumption in the Tim Buckley anecdote is the label was being cheap and this was the case) is unknown.
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« Reply #63 on: June 06, 2020, 02:48:21 PM »

Ha that theory sounds crazy to me, but sure? I mean, the tape was reused is my point. I don’t really have any hang ups about how. I can tell you that tapes were and are routinely reused in studios. Artists and producers go through tons of work tapes - these were reused mostly to save the studio $$$. Can’t find it now, but there’s an interview somewhere with someone who worked on Tim Buckley’s Sefronia (1973) was complaining about the label treating Tim poorly - and used the example that the studio was reusing tape and you could hear the previous artist not completely erased in the headphones.

Yes, I think we can objectively say that a tape was reused here.  But until you can present evidence, we will have to agree to disagree that the Beach Boys (or any other massive client) would as a matter of course use used tape.  That is the crux of my problem.  That one of the top ten most important clients at United Western would be given used tape to use when there was stacks of new stuff that they could charge them for.

Are you saying that studios would pay for artists to use tape out of their (the studio's) own pocket?  Why would they not bill the label or the artist for any tape at all that they used?

And then, if this is a matter-of-course recycling, you are not only saying that the engineers Brian worked with were hacks, but one could conclude, with that Tim Buckley anecdote, that the studio was in fact treating Brian badly.

Main points re: tape being reused -

1 - I don’t think there’s much of a functional difference in using lightly used or one pass tape vs new tape - so long as the machine was calibrated correctly. We have evidence in this case that it was not.

2 - My assumption is that if tapes were reused, they would be bulk erased prior to use. I don’t know if bulk erasers were readily available quite yet - but they exist for this exact reason, to reuse tape on a regular basis. This is a fact that studios reuse tape. As to in what each scenarios in the 1960s, I can only speculate.

3 - this would depend on studio policies. Most studios have a very particular set of terms regarding pricing for tape, and whether or not the studio or client owns the physical tape. This likely would include some section regarding “abandoned” tapes.

4 - whether or not the studio charged full price, included the cost of tape in their rates, or had a particular rate for used tape (50% off etc - the assumption in the Tim Buckley anecdote is the label was being cheap and this was the case) is unknown.

I accept all that.  I guess there are just too many unknowns elsewhere in the scenario.

And I think the most important part is supremely unanswerable, regardless of the mechanics of how it got there, it's there.  But whether it's there because of shoddy work, impatience, greed, or intentionality, it certainly rocks the myth of Brian being a perfectionist with able engineers working with him.  (Unless it's intentional.). If it's unintentional, it's almost shocking what a bad job they did.
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« Reply #64 on: June 06, 2020, 02:54:33 PM »

And, I'm very curious as to the veracity of Steve Douglas's statement that when Brian first played him what Brian thought was going to be the final mixes, they were even more noisy than they ended up, such that Steve couldn't believe how sloppy they were and made Brian go back and try again.

I'm not sure how that would fit in to the timeline and the documentation we have, but it speaks to it not being intentional.  So what gives? 
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« Reply #65 on: June 06, 2020, 03:06:41 PM »

One more thing:

If You Got the Power of Love is on both IWFTD and IJWMFTT, are we saying that Brian did his intermediate Western Track mix of both songs on to the same tape at the same time?  Do we have any paper corroboration of that?
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« Reply #66 on: June 06, 2020, 03:10:13 PM »

To me, this is not a shock, nor does it reflect on Brian’s penchant for perfection in terms of PRODUCTION. Pet Sounds and 1960s pop/rock recordings in general can be considered sloppy, lo-fi, or unprofessional today. There’s tons of distortion on “Here Today”, there’s background noise etc. The erasure issue is just another one (one I’ve always noticed on “Waiting for the Day” and just assumed it was erasing over a previous mix attempt).

I think to understand why these issues were accepted and not noticed is to think about what they were doing — they were making a RECORD, primary audience listening on LP or AM radio - both formats with a higher noise floor (particularly on Capitol LPs) and distortion characteristics than any of the issues apparent on Pet Sounds. Sure it’s someone’s job to pay attention to this stuff, but if some mistake happened, with clock ticking, etc ... you accepted these artifacts as inconsequential. One man’s opinion.
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« Reply #67 on: June 06, 2020, 03:13:43 PM »

... one example: putting the entire backtrack on 1 track of the 8-track is a pretty unusual way to go. To me, this is strictly workflow with less regard for technical sound quality.
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« Reply #68 on: June 06, 2020, 03:32:31 PM »

Steve Douglas:

"I remember when Brian turned in Pet Sounds ...It was full of noise. You could hear him talking in the background. It was real sloppy. He had spent all this time making this album and zip, dubbed it down in one day or something like that. [When we said something to him about it], he took it back and mixed it properly. "


Here's a guy whose job (contemporaneous to these recordings) was to develop product, that is, records, to sell, and he thought it was sloppy.  And that's an earlier version -- what we have is presumably better.  I think we can't discount his testimony when it comes to questioning why some of the Beach Boys mixes are so shoddy.
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« Reply #69 on: June 06, 2020, 03:33:36 PM »

Here's a scenario -- The Everly's and the Studio Musicians record You Got the Power of Love on February 3rd.  Brian is around, likes the track, and asks for a dub so he can cut a mono to bring home.  By the time the engineer who did Power of Love gets around to giving Brian a copy, it's about a month later.  Brian brings the reel into the mixing session for the intermediate IWFTD track mix, planning to cut an acetate after he's done, and that's how it somehow accidentally gets used without getting erased.

Just as speculative as the other ways, but leaves out the byzantine process and ham-fisted engineering of some of the other hypothesis.
Such things simply weren't done. That's a violation of the very thing you value, the intellectual property. Probably a contract violation as well. Most producers/artists were against the notion that the others may get ideas from their work, so letting somebody other than producer/artist to take a copy home was the gravest violation imaginable. The asker would feel himself a fool were he to entertain the idea.

The person who'd be able to make a copy for his personal use, other than the producer/artist, would be an engineer. But I doubt this would have been the case in the first half of the sixties - no general need for this and stricter workplace discipline.
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« Reply #70 on: June 06, 2020, 03:42:03 PM »

Here's a scenario -- The Everly's and the Studio Musicians record You Got the Power of Love on February 3rd.  Brian is around, likes the track, and asks for a dub so he can cut a mono to bring home.  By the time the engineer who did Power of Love gets around to giving Brian a copy, it's about a month later.  Brian brings the reel into the mixing session for the intermediate IWFTD track mix, planning to cut an acetate after he's done, and that's how it somehow accidentally gets used without getting erased.

Just as speculative as the other ways, but leaves out the byzantine process and ham-fisted engineering of some of the other hypothesis.
Such things simply weren't done. That's a violation of the very thing you value, the intellectual property. Probably a contract violation as well. Most producers/artists were against the notion that the others may get ideas from their work, so letting somebody other than producer/artist to take a copy home was the gravest violation imaginable. The asker would feel himself a fool were he to entertain the idea.

The person who'd be able to make a copy for his personal use, other than the producer/artist, would be an engineer. But I doubt this would have been the case in the first half of the sixties - no general need for this and stricter workplace discipline.


I agree it's not legal or likely.  But I assume Brian and the Everlys were friends or at least cordial acquaintances and it seems more likely to me that a tape of theirs would be transmitted to Brian through a casual but personal and real connection rather than by chance.  Plus we have a couple of instances of Brian talking about running off acetates of stuff, on tape.  The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is offering to run off acetates of How to Speak hip for session musicians at the...I think it's the Hang on to Your Ego track session.  Which is admittedly different because How to Speak hip had been out for years.  And Brian definitely ran off monos of his stuff for friends.
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« Reply #71 on: June 06, 2020, 03:52:24 PM »

Most likely, the Everlys tape was disregarded / binned / whatever, because it wasn't needed by them or their producer. Erased (incompletely, as it turned out) and tossed to the heap of other such tapes. Then somehow it got picked up. And even when the unwanted sounds got onto another tape, of a valued client, that was not a huge "crime". Worst things happen in the studios - valuable tapes get mangled, erased partially or completely, just because the machines or people sometimes malfunction.
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« Reply #72 on: June 06, 2020, 06:29:16 PM »

I recall hearing that a big hit of the '70s - I believe it was either "Afternoon Delight" or "Moonlight Feels Right" - was recorded on used tape. Not sure if that was the multi-track or the mixdown tape.
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« Reply #73 on: June 06, 2020, 07:01:29 PM »

I seriously doubt Brian intended to purposely incorporate this Everly Brothers track into his productions of two different songs as a "found sound".
 
As for the Western engineers not saying anything about it - well, they couldn't if they didn't notice it, and they wouldn't have noticed it if it was improperly erased on the very mono machine they were using, and that happened to be misaligned to the mono machine at United that it was recorded on. Or, if both the United and Western machines were identically aligned (which is a more likely scenario, considering both were Putnam studios, and the machine model was probably the same), but the mono machine used at Columbia was aligned slightly differently (and possibly a different model). Only at Columbia would it have been noticeable, and Brian in his haste and disregard for "minor" background noises said not to worry about it. Truthfully, it's MOST noticeable prior to the start of both "IWFTD" and "IJWMFTT" on the S.O.T. boots, not on the actual released mixes. When it IS noticeable on the final mixes, it's that squirrely sound between 0:05 and 0:09 of "IJWMFTT" - and honestly, I've always liked that sound, as it seems a bit mysterious and otherworldly when you don't know what it is! Fits the music perfectly, IMO.

Whether it's Chuck or Bo Henry who did the mono instrumental dubdowns with Brian on these two songs, the thought over on the Hoffman forum is that both were indeed done at the same session, which explains why the Everlys track appears on the mono dubdown for both. The Badman book details the March 6th string overdub on "IWFTD" (which was engineered by Bo, just like the basic track was earlier that day), and also indicates that, after the strings were added, a vocal overdub was recorded, and that work was done on another, unknown, song that same evening. Well, for one thing, a vocal overdub was NOT added to the first-generation 4-track for "IWFTD", because that's filled with three tracks of basic and one track with the string overdub. However - remember how I mentioned that on the S.O.T. presentation of the mono track with lead vocal overdubs, there is a layer of background vocal "ahhs" seemingly locked in with the mono track? I mean, the level and positioning of that is such that I wonder if Brian added those "ahhs" while the mono dubdown was being made to 1/4". Seems unlikely at first thought, since he knew he'd have another seven tracks to add vocals at Columbia - and in fact, the 8-track notation implies that Track 7 wasn't even used -  yet those "ahhs" sure seems to be locked in there with the instruments, in mono. And, this would explain Badman's detail about a vocal overdub being added to "IWFTD" and work on another song (mono dubdown of the instrumental tracks for "IJWMFFT"?) being done that same evening - all at Western. So this would have been Bo Henry's work (it was a Sunday, and Chuck was apparently off on Sundays at this point in time). Not that it was Bo's fault if the machines at the Putnam studio were aligned differently than the one at Columbia - that happens, which is why overdub engineers working with a tape from another studio typically spend a bit of time aligning their machine to the test tones recorded at the start of the tape by the first studio's engineers, before they begin recording. But if Brian - in his haste to start getting vocals laid down - told them not to bother, then there you go.
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« Reply #74 on: June 06, 2020, 07:17:56 PM »

I seriously doubt Brian intended to purposely incorporate this Everly Brothers track into his productions of two different songs as a "found sound".
 
As for the Western engineers not saying anything about it - well, they couldn't if they didn't notice it, and they wouldn't have noticed it if it was improperly erased on the very mono machine they were using, and that happened to be misaligned to the mono machine at United that it was recorded on. Or, if both the United and Western machines were identically aligned (which is a more likely scenario, considering both were Putnam studios, and the machine model was probably the same), but the mono machine used at Columbia was aligned slightly differently (and possibly a different model). Only at Columbia would it have been noticeable, and Brian in his haste and disregard for "minor" background noises said not to worry about it. Truthfully, it's MOST noticeable prior to the start of both "IWFTD" and "IJWMFTT" on the S.O.T. boots, not on the actual released mixes. When it IS noticeable on the final mixes, it's that squirrely sound between 0:05 and 0:09 of "IJWMFTT" - and honestly, I've always liked that sound, as it seems a bit mysterious and otherworldly when you don't know what it is! Fits the music perfectly, IMO.

Whether it's Chuck or Bo Henry who did the mono instrumental dubdowns with Brian on these two songs, the thought over on the Hoffman forum is that both were indeed done at the same session, which explains why the Everlys track appears on the mono dubdown for both. The Badman book details the March 6th string overdub on "IWFTD" (which was engineered by Bo, just like the basic track was earlier that day), and also indicates that, after the strings were added, a vocal overdub was recorded, and that work was done on another, unknown, song that same evening. Well, for one thing, a vocal overdub was NOT added to the first-generation 4-track for "IWFTD", because that's filled with three tracks of basic and one track with the string overdub. However - remember how I mentioned that on the S.O.T. presentation of the mono track with lead vocal overdubs, there is a layer of background vocal "ahhs" seemingly locked in with the mono track? I mean, the level and positioning of that is such that I wonder if Brian added those "ahhs" while the mono dubdown was being made to 1/4". Seems unlikely at first thought, since he knew he'd have another seven tracks to add vocals at Columbia - and in fact, the 8-track notation implies that Track 7 wasn't even used -  yet those "ahhs" sure seems to be locked in there with the instruments, in mono. And, this would explain Badman's detail about a vocal overdub being added to "IWFTD" and work on another song (mono dubdown of the instrumental tracks for "IJWMFFT"?) being done that same evening - all at Western. So this would have been Bo Henry's work (it was a Sunday, and Chuck was apparently off on Sundays at this point in time). Not that it was Bo's fault if the machines at the Putnam studio were aligned differently than the one at Columbia - that happens, which is why overdub engineers working with a tape from another studio typically spend a bit of time aligning their machine to the test tones recorded at the start of the tape by the first studio's engineers, before they begin recording. But if Brian - in his haste to start getting vocals laid down - told them not to bother, then there you go.


Bo Henry...is that what Henry Bowen David's friends called him?  That is quite interesting--I'd love for Linett to pop in here to confirm whether there are indeed vocals on the mono backing track on the CBS 8-track.  That would be fairly significant addition to the knowledge-base about how things were done.

As is the discussion here.  As much skepticism as I have about all the scenarios, it has to be one of them!  Thanks for caring, friends.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 07:26:42 PM by aeijtzsche » Logged
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