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Alright, get a little closer to the mic, here we go...

First, you might want to listen to the Beach Boys song Sloop John B, just to refresh your memory. Then a look and listen to the video Behind The Sounds: Sloop John B will give you some nice insight into the recording and arranging process and open a window onto the keen production expertise of a young Brian Wilson, directing a roomful of seasoned session pros (none other than the Wrecking Crew). It's how they used to make records, kids!
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 7, 2013 - 48 comments

The Business of Phish

Phish has consistently been one of the most popular and lucrative touring acts in America, generating well over a quarter billion dollars in ticket sales. Yet, by other measures, the band isn’t popular at all... Phish doesn’t make money by selling music. They make money by selling live music, and that, it turns out, is a more durable business model. (via) [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Apr 22, 2013 - 83 comments

Sounds with an "eternal essence"

Sometimes called the "Alan Lomaxes of India," the founders of Amarrass Records are on a mission to record and revitalize interest in traditional music from India, Turkey, and beyond. Over 100 videos on their YouTube channel chronicle their field recordings and festivals featuring artists like Lakha Khan, the Barmer Boys, Bombino, and many others. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Apr 12, 2013 - 10 comments

You'll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile.

The Okeh Laughing Record, a novelty recording, was first released in 1923 and rose to #8 on the Billboard charts, becoming the highest ranking anonymous* recording ever. It's history and provenance is completely unknown**. It has since appeared as the soundtrack to cartoons, on Dr. Demento and on Jean Shepard's radio show. [more inside]
posted by 1f2frfbf on Feb 13, 2013 - 24 comments

Sephardic Music: A Century of Recordings

Sephardic Music: A Century of Recordings is a discographic website charting the recording of Sephardic secular and liturgical songs. It includes great sections on 78 rpm recordings, early repertory, and modern recordings. Samples of songs are littered throughout, but many can be found in the Appendix section on 78 labels (at the bottom of the page) and the Songs section of the Appendix. There are many other parts of the site to explore, but the Bibiliography deserves a special mention, as does this page providing samples of 125! different recordings of the popular song A la una over the past 100 years.
posted by OmieWise on Dec 12, 2012 - 12 comments

One of these is not like the others.

Four of the five songs nominated for the 2013 Grammy for Best Dance Recording are international hits. The fifth is so obscure it has raised questions about how it got there. I Can't Live Without You by Al Walser is one of the five nominees for Best Dance Recording. Walser's lack of popularity on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube when the nominations were announced, along with his previously claims to be a voting member of the Recording Acedemy, has led to accusations of foul play or vote manipulation. The music press is now asking, "Who the hell is Al Walser?"
posted by thecjm on Dec 6, 2012 - 136 comments

Sound on Sound's "Classic Tracks"

Sound on Sound magazine's "Classic Tracks" series provides technical and personal details behind the recording of, uh, classic tracks. [Not to be confused with Mix magazine's own "Classic Tracks" series, which was featured previously.] [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 29, 2012 - 21 comments

"Etta James Rocks The House"

On September 27, 1963, at the New Era Club in Nashville, Tennessee, Etta James rocked the house. The result was "simply one of the greatest live blues albums ever captured on tape". [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 26, 2012 - 7 comments

Musopen releases high-quality, free classical music.

Musopen, "a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving access and exposure to music by creating free resources and educational materials", have released upwards of 30 professionally performed and recorded classical works into the public domain. The new recordings are on their site listed under Goldberg Variations, Musopen Symphony Orchestra and Musopen String Quartet. [more inside]
posted by metaBugs on Aug 17, 2012 - 11 comments

Obscure Records at Ubuweb

Obscure Records was a U.K. record label which existed from 1975 to 1978. It was created and run by Brian Eno, who also produced the albums (credited as executive producer in one instance). Ten albums were issued in the series. All ten are available for your listening pleasure at Ubuweb.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 13, 2012 - 30 comments

Aretha Franklin's "Amazing Grace"

On January 13 and 14, 1972, Aretha Franklin sang during services at the Reverend James Cleveland's New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. The audio recordings released as Amazing Grace remain the largest-selling gospel album in history. However, of the 20 hours of 16mm film footage by Sydney Pollack - intended as a concert movie for tandem release - only a few snippets have ever been seen. (previously: 1, 2)
posted by Trurl on Apr 22, 2012 - 8 comments

Dean Benedetti

On Saturday, March 1, 1947, at the Hi-De-Ho nightclub in Los Angeles, in a booth near the bandstand, Dean Benedetti switched on a Wells-Gardner disc cutter - starting what would become the most legendary jazz recordings in history. (400 KB PDF) [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Feb 20, 2012 - 16 comments

Music, Movies, Microcode, and High-Speed Pizza Delivery

Le Blues De Memphis — behind the scenes at STAX & FAME Recording Studios (1969) and Hollywood Blues, a 1969 Hollywood Recording Session. Just a sample of the vintage 50s, 60s & 70s music, movies, microcode and high-speed pizza delivery at Bedazzled.tv. [sacré bleu]
posted by netbros on Jan 31, 2012 - 7 comments

Alan Lomax's Global Jukebox

A decade after the death of renowned folklorist Alan Lomax, his vision of a "global jukebox" is being realized: his vast archive — some 5,000 hours of sound recordings, 400,000 feet of film, 3,000 videotapes, 5,000 photographs and piles of manuscripts, much of it tucked away in forgotten or inaccessible corners — is being digitized so that the collection can be accessed online. About 17,000 music tracks will be available for free streaming by the end of February. NYT article here.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 30, 2012 - 39 comments

78 78s

78 78s - In Search Of Lost Time - is a streaming mix of beautiful 78s from around the world, collected and curated by Ian Nagoski. "I started sifting through boxes of junky old 78s that no one else wanted about 15 years ago, and almost right away, I made a rule: Anything that wasn't in English, buy it." [more inside]
posted by carter on Jan 29, 2012 - 15 comments

Don't Spend It, Honey

Toronto Musician Corin Raymond wants to pay for his next recording using Canadian Tire Money.
posted by Fuzzy Monster on Jan 12, 2012 - 36 comments

Doug Wimbish! Doug Wimbish!

Doug Wimbish plays bass.
posted by Trurl on Jan 9, 2012 - 22 comments

The Kitten Covers

Classic album covers, now with kittens!
posted by reenum on Nov 3, 2011 - 35 comments

Complete recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas

Artur Schnabel was the first pianist to record all of Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas. He would not be the last. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Oct 20, 2011 - 22 comments

Lost: Wired's Guide to Pop Culture's Buried Treasure

Wired takes a look at some pop culture legends that elude fans and collectors.
posted by reenum on Sep 23, 2011 - 67 comments

"Ooooooooooooooooooooh girrrrrrrrrrrllllllllll. It was at that time that I lost my mind."

What then happens is an unbelievable series of Kafkaesque email threads, out-of-office messages, invented holidays, bizarre threats, secret handshakes. If you’re lucky, and very very persistent, you might end up with a CD of it, along with a note saying that “this never happened” and “don’t tell anybody you have this.” Nico Muhly on the difficulty of listening to one's own work.
posted by villanelles at dawn on Sep 10, 2011 - 11 comments

Snap, Crackle, Rattle and Hum.

40 Noises That Built Pop [parts 234]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Sep 7, 2011 - 79 comments

Howard Shore's music for Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy

The annotated scores for [*and Filmtracks.com's reviews of] Howard Shore's soundtracks to The Fellowship of the Ring*, The Two Towers*, and The Return of the King*
posted by Trurl on Aug 24, 2011 - 21 comments

People used to make records, as in a record of an event — the event of people making music in a room

"The George Sanders Touch: Songs For the Lovely Lady" ...exists. Wow! But Not on CD.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Jul 5, 2011 - 10 comments

ALLLRIIIIGHT! METAFILTER! YOU FEEL GOOD!

People, Let Me Get This Off My Chest is a 65 minute compilation of stage banter by Paul Stanley of KISS. Paul repeatedly reminds the Army that they’re getting their money’s worth... , that the next tune is the first time they’ve played it on tour, that he was talking backstage to someone... about what kind of alcohol that people in the area like to drink, that they’re just getting started, and that he’s got an “uzi of ooze” in his pants.
posted by Trurl on Jun 4, 2011 - 69 comments

The axeman cometh for recording studios

"You want how to make a million in the studio business? Start with two million." Abbey Road is safe, but with Olympic, Townhouse, The Hit Factory and Eden all overtaken in recent years by the developments in digital recording, what's to be done with all that history?"A museum? A doctor's surgery? A Wedding venue? Flats? Or chop them into little pieces and sell them to your fans? (video in Spanish, scroll down for English text)
posted by RegMcF on May 20, 2011 - 46 comments

badabadabadacraaassshhh!!

Isolated Keith Moon drum tracks for Won't Get Fooled Again and Who Are You? (via)
posted by Crane Shot on Jul 19, 2010 - 85 comments

25% of streaming music royalties aren't getting to the artists

1. Create a record label named "Unknown."
2. Form a band named "Various Artists."
3. (step 3 not required)
4. PROFIT!
No, really: Please take your royalty check Royalties are piling up from digital music streams, and a nonprofit has to track down artists who don't know. Then it has to convince them it's not a scam.
posted by planetkyoto on Mar 12, 2010 - 20 comments

LiveR Than You'll Ever Be

40 years ago today, The Rolling Stones played two concerts at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. In the darkness of the audience was a man known to history only as "Dub"... [audio auto-plays] [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Nov 9, 2009 - 13 comments

Dinosaur Jr. apparently too old (not really)

[musicnewsfilter]: European copies of Dinosaur Jr.'s new album Farm have been recalled after duplication software "doubled the sound layers, resulting in a 3 dB increase in the overall sound volume." [more inside]
posted by auralcoral on Jul 12, 2009 - 61 comments

Oldest recorded voice

Last year we discussed a recently discovered 10-second audio recording from 1860 that was thought to be the oldest known recorded human voice, a girl or woman singing the 18th century French folk song “Au Clair de la Lune”. Turns out, it was being played too fast - slow it down and it's the voice of the inventor himself. As well, a number of other recordings have been found, pushing back the oldest recording to 1857. Hear it all on NPR (5-min). [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jun 1, 2009 - 24 comments

Big boys don't cry

10cc's I'm Not In Love and the story behind it.
posted by klangklangston on May 12, 2009 - 56 comments

So Right and So Wrong

Tape Op Magazine exposes Sufjan Stevens' ghetto recording techniques. Via The Buddy Project
posted by chuckdarwin on Apr 27, 2009 - 39 comments

Recording the Dukes of the Stratosphear's 25 o'clock

Andy Partridge (ex-XTC frontman) and producer John Leckie (Stone Roses/Radiohead) discuss the making of The Dukes of the Stratosphear 25 o'clock EP, getting sacked by Mary Margaret O'Hara, Roy Harper kissing a sheep and recording Syd Barrett in Abbey Road in 1975 (parts I and II). [more inside]
posted by johnny novak on Apr 24, 2009 - 24 comments

The Year of Led Zeppelin

The Year of Led Zeppelin: A (completed) quest to listen to every Led Zeppelin concert in a year
posted by Joe Beese on Apr 17, 2009 - 54 comments

Click click victorious, buzz buzz glorious, Long to reign over us, buzz buzz click click.

The first known recording of a digital computer playing music, recorded by the BBC in 1951. The music played on a Ferantti Mark 1, one of the first commercial general-use computers, and was entered via punchtape and played on a speaker usually used for making clicks and tones to indicate program progress.
posted by Artw on Jun 18, 2008 - 14 comments

The New Yorker: The Gerbil's Revenge

Tourists black out reflective retinas in snapshots before printing them, and millions of people refer to strangers they’ve never spoken to as friends, because they’ve connected through a social-networking platform. [...] It should come as no surprise, then, that singers sometimes choose to correct recorded flaws in pitch with modern software, like Antares’s Auto-Tune.

Sasha Frere-Jones on auto-tuning, in The New Yorker. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jun 10, 2008 - 98 comments

Researchers Play Tune Recorded Before Edison See also Phonoautograph

Researchers Play Tune Recorded Before Edison
The Phonoautograph
The history of the Phonoautograph. A technology in which you can still buy stock.
posted by y2karl on Mar 27, 2008 - 34 comments

The Muscle Shoals Sound

The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section was comprised of four session musicians operating out of the tiny northern Alabama town of town Muscle Shoals. Just four unassuming crackers who happened to have provided the funky underpinning for a huge number of hit songs by, among others, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Paul Simon, Joe Cocker, The Staple Singers , Jimmy Cliff and many, many others. Hey, they were the house band to the greats. Big respect to the men from 3614 Jackson Highway! [note: see hoverovers for link descriptions] [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Feb 24, 2008 - 27 comments

(NSC) - RIP Ron Murphy, master vinyl cutter.

Ron Murphy cut records, but not just any records. Responsible for cutting the actual vinyl master plates of much of the now revered Detroit Techno including Jeff Mills, Carl Craig, Underground Resistance's seminal Knights of the Jaguar, and much more - he demonstrated impeccable craftsmanship and skill in both mastering records for sound and aesthetics at company known as Sound Enterprises source link AKA National Sound Corporation. Schooled in Motown, dubplates and jukeboxes, he is the bespoke-crafted, analog link between the digital future and analog past that is the roots of Techno music and modern techno DJ culture. [more inside]
posted by loquacious on Feb 13, 2008 - 15 comments

The Great World of Sound!

Want to be a recording star? The Great World of Sound is looking for new talent!
posted by The Deej on Nov 18, 2007 - 22 comments

Proof that Led Zeppelin fans are geekier than Rush fans

Led Zeppelin's The Song Remains The Same motion picture soundtrack, reverse engineered. [more inside]
posted by melorama on Nov 17, 2007 - 58 comments

HOMOPHONI

HOMOPHONI
posted by hama7 on Oct 7, 2007 - 37 comments

The History of K-Tel

Philip Kives, the "K" in K-Tel records, built his pioneering record label by cramming up to 24 songs on low-fi compilation LP’s (later cassettes, 8-tracks, and CDs) and aggressively marketing them with TV ads. What's your favorite K-Tel album?
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Mar 26, 2007 - 33 comments

The Indie Band Survival Guide

The Indie Band Survival Guide: A fantastic, free, 101 pages collection of useful information for musicians - covers topics such as recording, copyright, major label contracts, commercial radio, promoting your music, band websites, distribution, filesharing and live shows.
posted by Ira.metafilter on Feb 25, 2007 - 9 comments

Pandora Podcasts on music composition and performance

The Pandora Podcast Series: "The idea behind them is to provide some interesting, and hopefully entertaining segments on various aspects of music theory. Kind of like a peek under the hood of music composition and performance using lots of musical examples." So far they've covered vocal harmony, drumming, electric guitar effects, recording vocals and elements of salsa. Schedule for rest of 2007.
posted by Ira.metafilter on Feb 15, 2007 - 7 comments

Haaaaah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! The Laughing Policeman!

When I was a kid, my dad, who grew up in London, during the Blitz, used to play this old record: a song called "The Laughing Policeman." It always put a smile on my face. According to Wikipedia, it was written in 1922 by Charles Jolly, who wrote "numerous other laughing songs (The Laughing Major, Curate, Steeplechaser, Typist, Lover, etc)." If you want to hear the happiest policeman ever, here's the mp3. The song has inspired cartoonists, mystery novelists (great series, by the way!), filmmakers, a more-recent recording (mp3), and, inevitably, some scary people on youtube. Speaking of youtube, this is how I remember the song.
posted by grumblebee on Feb 11, 2007 - 41 comments

Old school grooves

"In the monitor booth the sound technician listens to the rehearsal through a loudspeaker, and in cooperation with maestro Ellington, brings the music to its highest sound perfection before transmitting it through the electrical circuits to the recording machine!" Record Making With Duke Ellington (1937). [YouTube]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Nov 27, 2006 - 11 comments

Me and my 424

Tweak's Guide to Home Recording. A comprehensive home recording guide that will take you all the way from buying an audio interface to choosing a mic preamp to learning the subtle arts of compression and EQing. A good refresher course even for those with recording experience. And for those more interested in composition than recording, Tweak's piece on Inspiration is insightful as well.
posted by ludwig_van on Apr 3, 2006 - 32 comments

Another Synth Guru Has Left Our Presence

John "Paia" Simonton died late last week. His company, PAiA is one of the grandfathers of the DIY synth scene. I have one of his modular synths half-constructed in my garage. He helped create an American buzz for electronic music and DIY music gear in the 70s, and was highly influential till his passing away.
posted by blackvectrex on Nov 29, 2005 - 10 comments

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