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Sonic Differences Between Abbey Road and White Album
Old 3rd July 2018
Lives for gear
21 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Sonic Differences Between Abbey Road and White Album

Hi Geoff,

Even though the White Album and Abbey Road were recorded with a relatively short amount of time between them, the sonic differences between the two are pretty stark (in terms of high end, transient response, overall clarity). From what I can gather, similar mic'ing techniques were employed (outside of stereo mic'ing Ringo's drums on The End), same room, same 8-track machines, but the TG console was introduced between the two sets of sessions.

How much did the TG console account for the sonic differences in the resulting albums? Were there other factors (e.g. EQ or compression being used differently, fewer tape generations)?
Old 9th July 2018
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
Great question, I'm interested in the hearing the reply, too. I remember when I purchased the White Double, then only available in vinyl.
Music was (is) great, but one of the muddiest of all Beatles records, not only compairing the Abbey Road. The later digital outputs of the WD have made the sound more clear, I think.
BTW, I believe that one reason for the brilliat sound of the Abbey Road, is, not only the desk, but the 16 track machine. Or am I wrong, did they use two 8-trackers in the AR?

And Geoff, I wish all the best for you. You are the master of the close mic technique.
Old 19th July 2018
Hi, if we use the White Album as a constant, what happened when we started to record the Abbey Road Album was having now the luxury of selectable e.q. on every channel, a compressor, limiter on every channel and many more mic inputs on the T.G. Desk. where on the REDD Desk basically eight, I could now put into practice the many things I could not do before, so I now began to change many of the mic positions and experiment, that is why the "Abbey Road" Album sounds the way it does when it is compered with other albums up to that point.Geoff
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Old 6th August 2018
Gear Maniac
🎧 15 years
Funny i much prefer The sound of the White Album to Abbey road !
Could that be the switch from valve to tranny desk ?
And then the tape machines 3m to studer is that correct ?
The both sound great though and Abbey Road more Polished. but yes very different texture .
Great to know your preference soundwise .
Old 10th August 2018
Deleted 1846071
I don't hear a single White Album sound. I hear lots of different sounds. The bright colors of Back in the USSR are more akin to the Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour sonics than they are to the dry dark sound of Happiness Is A Warm Gun.
Old 15th August 2018
Lives for gear
S_A_P's Avatar
i would be curious as to what your input or lack there of to each of the tracks on the white album. If what I’ve read is correct it was a lot of solo tracking by each of the members and sometimes at the same time in each of the studios. Since you can’t be 2 places at once I would imagine assistant engineers made the call at least some of the time. To me the white album is one of my favorites and the overall sound of it reminds me of John Lennon’s early solo work. It’s kind of like being in a room with slightly too little light. The details are there but it’s a struggle to see/hear them all. That said it’s actually a pleasant thing to me. I feel like the low fi of it makes your mind fill in the gaps and attach more emotion to the music. Most of the songs on the white album are happy but there is a twinge of sadness injected by the darker overall sound.

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