DEEP Inside the Golden Age of Analog Recording Technology

Last week, I got my copy of Recording The Beatles, a new magnum opus from Curvebender Publishing. I’m doing a review of it for MAKE Vol. 11.

I cannot begin to tell you how off-the-hook amazing this thing is. I was so excited by it, my hands were sweating when I first cracked it open. The “out of box experience” is intense. First off, it weighs a freakin’ TON. It’s oversized, hardbound, 540 pages long. It comes in a thick card slipcase, modeled on a ’60s reel to reel master tape box. Besides the book, you get all sorts of nifty goodies, like copies of B&W snapshots of the Fab Four and their engineers in the studio, a two-sided repro of the lyric sheet for “A Day in the Life,” a postcard to “The Beatles Band” from George Martin on vacation, a poster of the control surface of the main mixing board at EMI Studios, and other misc. stuff.

Inside the 11-pound wonder, you travel deep, deep into the minutia of the recording process. The book has detailed specs and photos of nearly ever bit of hardware used at Abbey Road from the mics to all of the tape machines and mixing consoles, the effects gear, the speaker systems, the studio instruments, the echo chambers, everything. The recording section goes through things like the Effects, how they were created, how they were used, what tracks they were used on, etc. There are even sidebar charts listing the tracks and the timecodes, so you can cue up the track to the place where various effects were employed. There are gorgeous photos throughout, even floorplans of Abbey Road and each of the studios within.