Les Paul

Les Paul demonstrates multi-tracking (1953)

This is cool school on a stick. Les Paul and Mary Ford demon-strate his multi-tracking technique. I say demon strate because eventually with 16, 24 and more tracks, the music became more mechanical and tedious. When you play live, the musicians respond to each other in real time. When you are laying down tracks, you can respond to the tape recorder, but it can never respond to you. By the time you’ve gotten to 24 tracks (or 16) the result sounds much more mechanical and robotic. When you see somebody live and they’re great, then you buy the record and it’s not so great, it’s usually the multi-track process that is to blame. Most of the 60s was done with 2-8 tracks at most. Most of the 50s was done live in the studio.

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