photo manipulation by nacrowe
internet musical equipment retailer/reseller REVERB.COM recently put out a short-form documentary called THE MU-TRON STORY where they interview engineer and MU-TRON creator MIKE BEIGEL about the famous phase pedal and the nature of creation.
now you find any discussion of OSCILLATORS, CAPACITORS and ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS to be a blur of garbled technical speak, but what draws my attention to content such as this is the process by which new sounds are introduced to the world.
and that gets heavy real fast to think through the implications of such. new signal chains equal new vibrations which equals an expanded range of possible sounds. the lexicon of music has thus been furthered, expanding our consciousness and emotional capacity in the process.
BEIGEL speaking about how difficult it was to get his invention off the drawing board and into physical world, yet lived to see it transformed again by the likes of STEVIE WONDER, FRANK ZAPPA, JERRY GARCIA, BILLY CORGAN, BOOTSY COLLINS, ACE FREHLEY and NEIL YOUNG among many others is a pretty satisfying narrative arc to take in. it becomes apparent that those circuits have entered into a spiritual realm, affecting us all.
THE MU-TRON STORY is definitely check it out if you have the inclination.
photo manipulation by nacrowe
RICK BEATO is a trained engineer and producer of nominal fame, having mentored and produced minor bands in the 1990s, mostly out of his studio in ATLANTA, and before that was a instructor at ITHACA COLLEGE in upstate NEW YORK. nothing particularly noteworthy but he did make a living as an engineer and producer with CHRISTIAN artists from what i could find online.
however, what i find compelling about BEATO is his YOUTUBE series of videos called WHAT MAKES THIS SONG GREAT where he basically dissects popular music utilizing the stems from the original recording. it is super interesting because the guy gets into the weeds about MUSIC THEORY and it is completely wonky. i may only understand a third of what he's talking about technically, as i am not a trained musician, but what you come away with is the complexity and depth of thought involved with constructing compelling ROCK AND ROLL music.
even songs by bands i thought i had a handle on (AC/DC, NIRVANA) are unwrapped and presented in a way where the tricks of PRODUCTION and SONG CRAFT are revealed. and example of such is how KURT COBAIN in terms of his singing voice will complete and alter chords that are evoked with the guitar, essentially creating haunting melodies that transcend their individual parts. you get the feeling that COBAIN did this innately, but its still cool to know that in technical terms what he did is of interest to scholars that have the ability to inspect his work on a purely compositional level.
this series, along with WARREN HUART's related INSIDE THE SONG YOUTUBE series, gives you a deep dive into MUSIC THEORY and RECORDING TECHNIQUES within the context of specific songs, which is such a gift. its like learning MUSIC THEORY through osmosis and i am a fan. his actual engineering/production career not so much.