Saturday, April 7, 2012
Adventures In Mono Recording: Broken Arrow
Having learned recently that most artists of the 1960's specifically recorded in mono has lead me to reconsider a medium of recorded music that I've always considered as inferior. Turns out The Beatles, Brian Wilson, Bob Dylan and Phil Spector preferred the medium (Wilson was deaf in one ear; he heard everything in mono). For someone trained in stereo separation since their inception like all of us, it can be jarring at first, especially with headphones. All of the sound is rushed to the center of your cranium, causing that Wall that Spector created, especially on later, more advanced recordings of the decade.
Here's a perfect example. Neil Young's psychedelic combo of the dregs of modern life and an apology to the treatment of Native Americans, rendered in stellar one-dimensional sound from the original mono pressing of "Buffalo Springfield Again". the sound, which traverses across distant genres and jumps back and forth in time, carries significantly more weight when jumbled all together directly between your eyebrows.
Put the phones on and hear what I'm talking about.