Re: French Touch

Subject: Re: French Touch
From: Kevin Austin (
Date: Fri Oct 28 2005 - 23:43:32 EDT

At 12:51 -0400 2005/10/28, Dominique Bassal wrote (in part):
>The reasons of my choice is that Cream and Parmegiani still had
>access to more or less equivalent technology, while 35 years later,
>the cleavage between EA and pop had grown considerably, both in
>technical resources and in the quality of the results.

I think the comparison is not a good one. The machines may have been
the same or similar, but those who have worked in studios know that
the pop medium has almost always had far greater 'capital', read
"people and equipment" available. A quick read of what Phil Spector
had available will show that the distances are enormous.

"Art" ea has almost always been a "solo", or at best a "small chamber
ensemble" medium; the pop industry has had the resources equivalent
to those required for the performance of the Bruckner Ninth.

Few pop musicians worked entirely alone. Mike Oldfield's Tubular
Bells had six other musicians, and two (or more) engineers. The only
composer who I can think of who had anything near this level of
support would be Stockhausen, and this is rather clear in comparing
the sonic clarity of Gesang with other works up until the mid-late
60s (excluding digital compositions).

The pop industry has resources that individual composers do not have
access to, but the level of technical skill in the younger generation
I meet is a large step above the same type of student half a
generation (12 - 15 years) ago.

>In comparison, EA's technical evolution during the same period has
>been slower and slower in integrating the new possibilities :
>multitrack analog and hardware automated consoles have been largely

In my experience, largely for reasons of resources. Dominique will
remember that he came to work in a studio with a Uher-5 mixer, two
Revox tape recorders and a Uher 1/4 - 1/2 track. The speakers were
nondescript, leader tape was recycled and sometimes even splicing
tape had to be scavenged.



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