Various types of recording and mixing software have been on the market to consumers for a long time, but few have stood up to the test of time and stayed on the market very long. Imageline’s FL Studio 9 is definitely an exception. FL Studio began its life back in 1997 as a simple midi sequencer with very few options. Today the program is a full-fledged digital audio workstation capable of everything from simple demo tracks to full blown studio album projects. Read more
As I began to think about how (and with whom) to start this column, something occurred to me… pianos. Pianos are exactly the same no matter who sits down to play them; none of the keys can be moved or added to, none of the pedals re-positioned or taken away. It is an instrument that is fixed and rigid; tuned to a standard set of notes and from one to another are all, in theory at least, the same. Read more
Capitol’s John Lennon Anthology Box Set sheds some fascinating light on rock’s first intellectual. The set’s four disc contain nearly 100 tracks, nearly all of which have never been officially released; many hadn’t even appeared on bootlegs. The song span Lennon’s entire post-Beatles career, from 1970 up to his murder in 1980. As with Capitol’s Beatles Anthology sets (1995 – 96), the majority of the tracks here are alternate studio takes of well-known songs. There’s a version of “Imagine” with a prominent, and somewhat intrusive, harmonium part.
Also included is an early take of “Mother,” with Lennon on guitar rather than piano. (Unlike the Beatles Anthology, unfortunately, the liner notes for the Lennon box do not provide details such as take numbers.) Snippets of studio banters—especially some jovial sparring with Phil Spector—give an intriguing glimpse of what it was like to record with John Lennon. What emerges is a portrait of an artist clearly in control of his music, setting tempos and correcting problems with an air if easygoing authority. Read more