Varispeed - Gearspace.com
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Old 20th December 2010
Gear Maniac
🎧 10 years

Hi Ken,

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this.

What are your favourite instances for introducing varispeed whilst tracking?
Would you ever use varispeed to track vocals for instance?
I was also wondering if it was ever used on Supertramp's Wurlitzer and guitar parts?
Finally, what would be an ideal percentage by which to slow down or speed up the tape?

Thanks Ken!

Old 21st December 2010
Special Guest
Ken Scott's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Hi David, Under most situations varispeed is totally dependent on the situation. I don't remember using it on any Supertramp recording other than something to come a little later. I have used it for vocals. Several times on the Beatles recordings, I can't remember which and All Things Must Pass for the George O'Hara Smith Singers.

One of the things that make a string section sound like a section is both the difference in timing and pitch. Because of this I started using varispeed whenever I double tracked a guitar. Having got the first master track I will engage the varispeed, making the track slightly sharp, and do the double. I feel that this makes the overall sound bigger, but then who am I to say.

Another use of varispeed is on Elderberry Wine by Elton. He played the original piano live and I had him double track his piano with the varispeed in and it's that that gives the out of tune piano sound.

I hope that answers your question.


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