Slau takes you behind the scenes at BeSharp, a recording studio in New York City. Listen to excerpts from sessions, gear reviews and equipment shootouts.

I know so many people that have either met or dealt with Stevie Wonder in some capacity. I had the pleasure of meeting him once, many years ago (almost 20), at a pro audio retail shop in Manhattan. We spoke briefly and I mentioned the fact that I was legally blind which didn't seem to make a big impression on him. I guess he meets blind musicians all the time. oh well. The coolest part of the whole encounter was when I walked around to the keyboard opposite where Stevie was trying a new Ensoniq sampler and I got to hear him singing quietly while playing the keys. Without copper, electrons or speaker cones between us, it was the most incredible thing to hear him move the molecules of air that separated us, only a few feet apart. I'll never forget it. So, it was with great interest that I unzipped the file that "Big Al" from the Project Studio Network (http://www.projectstudionetwork.com) sent me a while ago. It was a set of WAV files from the multitrack master for "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder from his  "Talking Book" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talking_Book) album released in 1972. It was a 16-track recording that featured mostly Stevie singing as well as playing drums and keyboards along with some horn players. The original recording didn't sound all that spectacular to me. I guess, for that time, it sounded alright but, by today's standards, well, let's say it wouldn't win the grammy for best engineered album. The track list is: 1. kick drum 2. drums (left) 3. drums (right) 4. vocal 1 (final take) 5. vocal 2 (unused) 6. keyboard delay 1 7. keyboard delay 2 8. clavinet 2 mic 1 9. clavinet 2 mic 2 10. clavinet 1 mic 1 11. clavinet 1 mic 2 12. clavinet 1 mic 3 13. clavinet 1 mic 4 14. horns (left) 15. horns (right) 16. synth bass If you dig around the "InnerTubes" you'll find these multitrack files along with other ones from various artists. I absolutely love going through multitrack masters and checking out the individual tracks. It's fun to piece together what happened, trying to imagine what the engineers were thinking, what production decisions were being made, etc. Most of all, what strikes you is that all one needs to do most often is simply bring up the faders and there's the song -- no automation, no plug-ins -- it's just all there. I think multitrack masters, especially ones by some of the legendary acheter viagra artists and bands from the 60s and 70s, should be used extensively in audio education. Actually, not only should they be used in audio programs in schools but they should also be made widely available to those aspiring to learn the craft of engineering and producing. I could just hear the RIAA preparing the documents for the lawsuits... "Superstition" engineered by Austin Godsey and mastered by George Marino

Direct download: SWS012-Superstition_Multitrack.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 5:07pm EST

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