what I can hear on Beatles records

The history and music of the Fab Four
wolfgang
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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Post by wolfgang »

Hi Kiddwad57

I really have no idea whether Paul used his Bassman amp for bass anyway. Best source for these amp-questions, to me, is the "Vox amplifiers" book by Jim Elea, but, no wonder, the book is focused on Vox amps. Through the "Stratocaster year" (1965), I guess, Paul uses mainly his AC100 bass amp. I have no doubt, John used a Fender amp on Day Tripper, there are studio outtakes when even the amp's reverb was used (but eventually not on the record). But my knowledge about the Beatles use of Fender amps is poor. It is mentioned somewhere, Paul liked the sound of the UL 730 amps for bass, but these came up in 1967, when they switched from UL7120 to UL730. In 1968 the full-transistor amps came. For Revolver, he may have used an UL7120 or an UL4120, the bass version of the UL7120. I'm sure, George Harrison played the bass for "She said, she said". The bass part isn't as fluid and funky as Paul, but very exact played. The sound is quiet different to Paul. Paul left the studio before the recording of this last piece for Revolver. the remainig Beatles delivered a masterpiece.

But, there are some more things, I decided to mention after all: comeimg soon
Last edited by wolfgang on Wed Jun 16, 2021 3:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.
wolfgang
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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Post by wolfgang »

But, here are some more things, I decided to mention after all:

Matchbox:
after filming "A hard day's night" they came back to Abbey Road studio 2 after one month to record Matchbox. Carl Perkins, their idol, was present on studio 2. John obviously wanted to repeat his perfect Long tall Sally appearance and started another par force ride on his 325-Miami.
George played the repetitive figure on his 360/12. John started with the best Matchbox intro I ever heared, but when it came to the solo he misplayed it, some lower off-notes appeared. So he had to play it again. In the mono mix, available on the 2009 mono CD set (disk 15 track 13), they used an odd mix of both solos (maybe John insisted on using the misplayed solo somehow), but for the stereo mix, available on the stereo set of 2009 (disk15, track 13) the misplayed solo was, shortly after its propper start, drastically lowered in level. This mix, combined to mono, was used for the German single "Matchbox/Slow down" in 1964.

If you've got trouble:
another song for Ringo (Anthology Disk 3 track 5). Fortunately it was replaced by "Act naturally" for the "Help!"- LP. But if you remove the two middle 8s very exactly (with any sound editor), it's a nicce little song, and to me, maybe because of the droning rhythm guitar, it is the missing link between "Boy's" and "Tomorrow never knows".
wolfgang
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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Post by wolfgang »

George Martin and George Harrison:
George M. somewhere told the story that George H. answered to his critical remarks "And I don't like your tie". "Since then, I loved him" Naive as I was, I took that for real. But today I'm convinced: it was ment ironicaly. They disliked each other from the first day on and from the bottom of their hearts. George Harrison could hardly stand such an whistle blowing, bar striking authoritarian supervisor. Later George M. forced George H. to play, together with Martin's piano the "A hard day's night" solo in halfspeed, instead of letting him practise it for half an hour or so. Furthermore George M. could not often enough double Geoge H's twelve string guitar with his piano. And recently I read in the net, how he forced George H. to play the solo of "Michelle" , (composed by George M.) in the same way, but now in real time. With the piano out of the microphone's range in studio 2. Without any bleed through?
(I can not believe it, but if it was so, I am convinced Paul overdubbed it, playing his Casino, bridge p.u switched on, treble pot down to low, heavily compressed, that's the sound, and to me, it's a typical bass player's solo. But this time I may be completely wrong).
At the latest in 1967, the Beatles became aware, that they earned only a tenth of what other EMI artists do, because ot the rip off contract they had signed with George M. and Northern Songs (source for the latter: Norman Smith's book). George Harrison's first revenge was his song "Only a Northern Song", intentionally mixed in fake stereo for Sgt. Pepper. George Martin refused it. Fortunately there is a good sounding, clean mono mix on the 2009' CDs, Disk 12 track 2.
If this odd song would have been taken instead of "When I'm sixty four", Sgt. Pepper would have been even better. I know, you will hate me, pardon: dislike me for this statement
:D :D :D
Wolfgang
wolfgang
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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Post by wolfgang »

again: Only a Northern Song:
for them who love this song, there is a stereo mix on the "Yellow Submarine" CD, track 11. And last but not least there is an earlier version with snappier lyrics on Anthology disk 4 track 7.

All you need is love:
the Beatles pre-produced a take of "All you need is love" where George H. gave a deconstructed performance on violin. You can partly hear it on the last track of the "Rock Band'" videoplay mix for about one and a half second from 1:15 and 1:45 and 2:24 ( Paul is playing double bass). And George M. could not mix it as low as inaudible for the eventual record.
But, George Harrison was also dissed occasionally by John and Paul . They came in with songs they had composed and practised together, but poor George was expected to play the solo of his life from scratch. But that wasn't George, he could hardly stand that pressure. Ringo was more hardened.

Wolfgang
wolfgang
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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Post by wolfgang »

George Harrison:
beside George Harrison's India-influenced and his Gospel -songs, there are excellent rockers ( o.k, here's the list: Taxman (with John Lennon's "secret chord" since "You can't do that": D7#9, even Herbie Hancock used an F7#9 for "Cantaloupe Island") , I want to tell you, Only a Northern Song, Blue Jay Way, It's all too much, While my guitar gently weeps, Piggies , Savoy Truffle, Old brown shoe, Here comes the sun, Something, For you blue (George on Ukulele, John on laptop slide guitar), I me mine (the last song The Beatles recorded, without John (listen to George's statement ahead of the Anthology version - disk 6 track 22). John or Paul could not have written these songs, alone or together. Both had another style of writing. George songs weren't so beatle-ish.

India:
in early 1968 the Beatles made holidays at the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi camp in India.
Also present were Mike Love of the Beach Boys and Donovan Leitch . John learned a sort of finger picking from Donovan (this was perfectly explained here in this forum), and Mike Love told them (I wasn't there, but I'm sure) how the Beach Boys recorded their songs:
beside their vocals (and a bit of Brian Wilson's bass playing), all the instruments were played by a band of excellent L.A. studio musicians (today known as "The Wrecking Crew", with Hal Blaine and others) on the records. For the good sound the Wrecking Crew had some tricks: amongst other things a Fender Jazz Bass was often doubled with a Danelectro 6-string bass guitar.
What a relief to John and Paul. With a huge wave of creativity they came back to Studio 2:
John used his new finger picking style immediately. A Fender Jazz Bass replaced Paul's Rickenbacker, and a new Fender VI Bass enlarged their instrument selection. Soon they recorded "Back in the USSR" (Mike Love had made a joke: why don't you play a "Beach Boys" song?) But, maybe because John and Paul demanded Ringo to play the drums like Hal Blaine, (with six toms!), Ringo gave up annoyed and quit the band. Fortunately he came back after some weeks of holidays. In the meantime Paul was the drummer, but soon it was clear to everyone: Honey, don't! And in the end, they even had not enough courage to mix the "Beach Boys choir" of "Back in the USSR" loud enough for the cause .
wolfgang
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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Post by wolfgang »

For You Blue:
just a brand new correction: George used his Gibson J-200 guitar with a capo at the fifth fret, not an Ukulele. I was wrong!
Source: the book of the new (Oct. 2021) "Let it be" 50th Anniversary CD-set

Wolfgang
wolfgang
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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Post by wolfgang »

Update - The new Revolver 2022-mixes:

Paperback Writer:
The "Recording The Beatles"-book and others say that a new approach in recording the bass guitar was used. A bass speaker chassis was used as a microphone in front of the bass box. As an unwanted side effect we can hear a lightly 100 cycles per second - or as we say today 100 Hz (Hertz) - hum at the beginning of the song, just before the bass starts, best heard on the bass track of the "Rock Band'" video play mix. This is twice the mains frequency used in Europe (50 Hz), probably caused by the humming bass amp or another sporadic electromagnetic hum. Why do I mention it?

Rain:
as we know , the basic track was played very fast and recorded at the standard tape speed, running the recorder at the standard mains frequency of 50 Hz. To slow this basic track down (to get the wanted unfamiliar sound) it was played back by varispeed with 42 Hz (not 42 kilocycles, as is erroneously written in the Revolver 2022 brochure) and transferred to a second recorder running at the standard speed (50Hz mains frequency).
We can hear the slowed down track as Song No.11 on the Revolver-Session1 CD (Take 5, slowed down).
We hear drums and guitars and also the double tracked vocal part by John. And bass guitar. And here it is again, the 100 Hz hum (like in Paperback Writer, see above). So, the bass was likely separately recorded at normal speed. How can I claim this? The proof:
When listening to Song No.10 on the Revolver-Session1 CD (Take 5, fast) you can hear (with an original count in) the drums and the guitars and the bass guitar. If the bass would have been played fast together with the drums and guitars, the hum on Song No.11 should read (slowed down) 42Hz/50Hz x 100Hz = 84Hz. Crosscheck: the hum on track 10 is sped up to 124Hz = 50Hz/42Hz x 100Hz. So, in reality we hear on Song No.10 a sped up version of track No.11 without John's vocal track. They should have removed the bass track, too.

But it seems to be much more complicated: as is seen on the tape box photo (Revolver- brochure p.76), only track 4 (vocals) was recorded at 42Hz. Likely this is the double tracked vocal part by John. If we slow down Song No.11 further by 5% (a semitone), his voice sounds very natural. So it's likely that the original basic track was only slowed down to 44 Hz, as the "Recording The Beatles"-book suggests. It follows they performed the fast basic track in A major, not B flat major. By the way, the count in to Song No.10 on the Revolver-Session 1 CD (Take 5, fast), slowed down by 5%, still stays natural. And, consequently, John's part sounds sped up a semitone in the final mix. The final mix seems to be in G maj, well-fitting to the bass part.

As I wrote above at the very beginning of this thread, to me, the reprise of the fast basic track was played back at double speed while another guitar was added playing only 3 or 2 notes (A2 open string,G2 open string,a3 2nd fret D-string), but now very, very fast. When this basic track was slowed down these 2 or 3 half speed notes expand the original guitar arpeggio downward in a perfect way.

She said, she said:
whether it's Paul or George on bass guitar stays unsolved. The bass part on Revolver-Session2-CD (Song No.17 / She Said She Said - Take 15 _ Backing Track Rehearsal) comes very near or is identical to the final mix. What counts for George: on the tape box photo (Revolver-brochure p.53) there is no bass track noted. Instead it is noted "for best see (reel) E59877"

Conclusion: which ever mix you like most: turn off your mind, relax, stop analysing and enjoy these wonderful songs of The Beatles
wolfgang
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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Post by wolfgang »

Rain again:
to make the complicated record session for Rain easier to understand, here the possible recording process:
starting with playing the fast drums and guitars in A maj, recorded at 50Hz standard speed. Afterward playing back the tape by varispeed at 42 Hz as a guide for John while simultaneously recording John's vocals twice on this same tape. Then probably the end of the song (the fast reprise, still in A maj) was played back at double speed (using the faster tape speed of the tape recorder) while simultaneously recording the "extra guitar-3-note arpeggio A G a" (when this basic track was eventually slowed down these 2 or 3 half speed notes expanded the original guitar arpeggio downward in a perfect way, an octave lower then a guitar can play). Then a reduction take was made playing back this tape at 44Hz and record it on a second recorder at standard speed (50Hz) in the following way: track1:"Rhythm track" (drums together with the guitars, slowed down from A maj to G maj), track4: John's double tracked vocals intentionally shifted up a semitone in pitch. Then the bass was added at normal speed (in G maj) to the now slowed down take.This is Song No.11 on the Revolver-Session1 CD (Rain - Take 5 _ Slowed Down) . As described in the Revolver-brochure another reduction take was made, take 7: Background vocals, tambourine and at last the backward vocals were added

O.K.?
wolfgang
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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Post by wolfgang »

Again a never ending story: more Rain, forget about the "Rain again" post!
At first a correction: Not a bass speaker chassis but a "White Elephant" speaker (logically not the active model RLS10 but the model RLS11 with passive speaker input, used in reverse as "microphone output") was used to record the bass guitar on Paperback Writer and Rain.

now more Rain: starting with playing the fast drums and guitars ( John and Paul) in A maj, recorded at 50Hz standard speed simultaneously on two separate tracks on the Studer J37 tape machine.
Then the end of the song (the fast reprise, still in A maj) must have been played back at double speed (using the faster tape speed of the tape recorder, no varispeed involved here) while simultaneously recording the "extra guitar-3-note arpeggio A G a" on a third track (when this basic track was eventually slowed down these 2 or 3 half speed notes expanded the original guitar arpeggio downward in a perfect way, an octave lower then a guitar can play).
Then an undocumented "internal bouncing" must have been made: the three tracks (drums, guitars and the additional "double speed guitar") were combined ("reduced") to track 1 and the original three tracks were erased. Track 2,3 and 4 were now left empty.
Then the bass guitar was recorded by varispeed at 44.5Hz on track 2 (in G maj). Afterward playing back the tape by varispeed at 42 Hz as a guide for John while recording John's vocals twice on track 4 and track 3. This is take 5 and is meant to be played back at 44.5Hz.
This is Song No.11 on the Revolver-Session 1 CD (Rain - Take 5 _ Slowed Down).
As described in the Revolver-brochure a reduction take from take 5 was made on a new tape, take 7: guitars and drums were transferred to track 1, bass guitar to track 2, both John's vocals combined to track 3 (some reverberation was added on verse number two "when the sun shines..."). Then background vocals (John, Paul and George) together with tambourine (Ringo) were recorded on track 4, and at last the backward vocals were added probably on track 3.
This corresponds to the 1969 stereo mix made for Capital Records.
How Giles Martin managed to separate drums from guitars, background vocals from tambourine for the new 2022 stereo mix remains his secret. Perfect
wolfgang
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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Post by wolfgang »

unsolved questions left about Rain:
the used Studer J37 tape recorders had two tape speeds: 7.5 ips (inch per second) and 15 ips.
The slower speed actually isn't technically good enough for a Beatles' master tape. It would have been very experimental to use the 7.5 ips speed. So my thoughts about playing the additional third guitar to a double speed playback isn't possible with the J37. It stays unsolved, how they made the low guitar notes on the existing take 5.
Furthermore: if an ADT-track was made from track 4 (John's vocals), then it was only possible by doing it at a speed of 15 ips and running the tape (three semitones higher) at 50 Hz. That's not likely. I do believe John did a second take at 42 Hz recorded on track 3.

Feel free to comment, please

Wolfgang
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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Post by wolfgang »

Addendum to my posts to the 2022-Revolver mixes for Rain and She Said She Said:

the last posts were a nice example of my long "reverse engineering" process to make the recording of Rain plausible. Sorry for that. :)
here's my last attempt to solve the mystery:
1) the J37 tape was recorded at 15 ips as is noted on the tape box.
2) to stick to my idea of using a double speed process to record the astonishing low guitar notes a bouncing process was nessessary with a two track BTR3 recorder.
Drums and Guitars (played fast in A maj.) from the J37-15ips-50Hz take was transferred to a BTR3 recorder, track1 at 15 ips. Then it was played back at 30ips and the third guitar was simultaneously recorded (very, very fast). Afterwards it was played back at 15 ips with both tracks combined to the J37 track1 (the only remaining track) at 15 ips. So far, no varispeed was used.
3) bass guitar was played at the eventual speed and pitch in G maj. Therefore the varispeed frequency was 44.5Hz. It was recorded to track 2.
4) John's vocals were recorded on track 4 with varispeed frequency of 42 Hz as noted on the tape box.
5) a second vocals track was sung by John and recorded to track 3 with a varispeed frequency of 42 Hz. No ADT was used.
6) This is take 5 and is meant to be played back at 44.5Hz.
This is Song No.11 on the Revolver-Session 1 CD (Rain - Take 5 _ Slowed Down).
7) As described in the Revolver-brochure a reduction take from take 5 was made on a new tape, take 7: guitars and drums were transferred to track 1, bass guitar to track 2, both John's vocals combined to track 3 (some reverberation was added on verse number two "when the sun shines..."). Then background vocals (John, Paul and George) together with tambourine (Ringo) were recorded on track 4, and at last the backward vocals were added probably to track 3.
This corresponds to the 1969 stereo mix made for Capital Records (2009-stereo-CDs Disk16 Track 4).

She Said She Said:
The bass part on Revolver-Session2-CD (Song No.17 / She Said She Said - Take 15 - Backing Track Rehearsal) comes very near but is not identical to the final mix. What counts for George: on the tape box photo (Revolver-brochure p.53) there is no bass track noted. Instead it is noted "FOR BEST SEE (reel) E59877". To me it's George who played the bass guitar.

I used the following literature sources:
"Recording The Beatles" by by Kevin Ryan & Brian Kehew (2006)
"Revolver Track by Track" (2022) -The book to: The Beatles: Revolver (2022 Mix) (Limited Super Deluxe Edition)

Again: feel free to comment, please

Wolfgang
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