1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

Noticed in alot of early Bob Dylan, Beatles recordings...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by DenLegend, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. DenLegend

    DenLegend Guest

    I noticed that they pan to the drums all the way to either left or right
    Why did they do that?

    Now the drums in todays modern recording are set right in the center besides cymbals and crashes etc..

    Why is this?
  2. mugtastic

    mugtastic Active Member

    most of those recordings were made with 4 track machines (eventually went to 2 - 4 track machines and up and up). so the drums would be minimally miked and recorded and put down on one track. then alot of time would be spent on the mono mixes (at least in the beatles case) and finally a stereo mix would be created for this new format. where do you put the track of drums in this new stereo? way over here or way over here.
  3. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Well, I hear a lot of stereo-panned drums on records from that era...
    Except for one specific drum- KICK. That and bass instruments. And this was because of the consumer medium used at that time: vinyl records.
    Those little grooves that the player needle needed to track were a problem at low frequencies. Excessive bass on one side of the groove and not on the other caused the needle to mis-track and skip around on the disc.
    Also, back then, most music like that was produced to be played on MONO radio, AM and FM. Extreme panning of many instruments causes phase issues when played back in mono.
    Finally, it was the prevailing thought at the time by many producers that centering certain specific instruments-mainly kick drum and bass- would add more "drive" to a records' sound. I remember working in a Philly studio back in the mid-70s for a guy who would absolutely FREAK if I didn't center the bass and kick. He acted as if it was his "secret weapon" to get airplay! Looking back isn't always pretty, eh?
  4. DenLegend

    DenLegend Guest

    Lol thanks for the replies now i understand
  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    If I remember correctly [insert favorite '60's joke here] my old vinyl copy of Yesterday and Today (Capitol's version of Revolver) had the instruments on left and vocals on the right (at least of some songs). I've read that EMI was primarily concerned with the mono mix as late as Sgt. Pepper. Stereo was considered a gimmick aimed at the silly American market. (However, I take the memories of everyone involved with a grain of salt. They lived through the 60's in a far truer sense than I did.)
  6. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member

    More from George Martin:

  7. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Most of all of the above. Remember that most of the market for that music back then was teenagers who were lucky to have ANY stereo playback device. Cars didn't have stereo until late. And even if someone HAD stereo, it was likely the speakers were placed close together from one of those all-in-one, plastic portable units, or they played through their parent's HiFi AM/FM/turntable console...where the speakers were about 2-3 feet apart.

    Unless you sat right in front of one of those, stereo was not a big issue...it seemed to be all coming from about that point anyway. And Abbey Road Studios were hesitant to spend precious tracks on stereo drums. They were behind American and the other British studios on upgrading to 8-track. Part of that was the corporate climate that insisted that EVERYTHING that entered EMI studios had to be tested and possibly modified to their specs. It would take many months, usually. And, it was usually necessary with their proprietary-like levels and connections.

    The Beatles actually liberated one from a testing room, in frustration, towards the end. They got scolded a bit...but what can you say to the guys that put you on the map?

    The only true stereo Beatles drum track was on "The End".

    Their stuff still sounds pretty good, considering.

  8. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Good mono beats bad stereo any day of the week.
  9. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

  10. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    The other reason was that FM was just coming into it's own and slowly overtaking AM as a listening media. FM receivers were very finicky devices and if they weren't getting enough signal would automatically go in to a mono mode. AM was mono to start with and lots of radio stations that I worked at had stereo turntable pre-amps (planning for the "future") but either only used the left output or installed a modification to sum the channels so they were mono when it went into the mono broadcast console. The other major problem was that all music in the 60's was released on vinyl and it had its own problems with out of phase signals and overdone bass that could cause the playback stylus to literally jump out of the grove. There was a special filter called an elliptical filter that summed the bass below a certain point so it would be mono bass and only the higher frequencies would be "stereo" With CDs you don't have to worry about such things. Lots of decisions at that time were made due to the technical limitation of the delivery media.

    Good questions and good answers.......

Share This Page