blue wrote:The Beatles definately utilyzed the studio as an instrument or compositional tool. I know they used to have several tape loops running through the mixer and then bring up different levels as if playing an instrument.
Probably the most extreme example of this technique is 10cc's "I'm Not in Love" which had 256 tracks of tape loops in the final mix. They filled 16 tracks with voices singing the same note for each 16 notes they wanted (over more than one octave I guess). Then those tapes were put onto another 16 track, which was mixed to stereo with the chord sequence being 'played' by bringing faders up on the desk at the right time. Probably took days to do what can be done in an hour or so on a sampler.
I would also add Teo Macero and Miles Davis to the list of subjects to study. Here's an interview about Macero's editing compositional techniques:
Some of his descriptions of what he did seem rather vague like he didn't recall or even know what he did to achieve the results. Maybe that's on purpose to perpetuate the mystique or protect his secrets? I don't know.
I would encourage you to have a focus on the cultural aspects of the technique like the impact of cut and paste, time stretching and compression, and also the way mixing changed from emphasis on melody and the voice to rhythm and texture over the years. That's the area which is most applicable outside the studio geek's perspective.
As you might have guessed by now, this is a topic on which I can discuss for hours and hours. If there was a forum dedicated to this subject I would probably waste an inordinate amount of time there. Tell me when you have had enough. ;)