Music Technology in the 60's

60’s Project: Research Report

In this report I will identify and explore key historic developments in technology and techniques relevant to both signal processing and effects processing technology. I will also discuss the use of audio processing equipment identifying key devices and explore both creative and corrective techniques and how these have impacted on modern sound production.

Towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century audio recordings were being recorded in a much higher quality as the years went on. The question now was how to enhance these recordings to make it stand out from other recordings. This involved a combination of microphone techniques and signal processing and of course the performance itself. In the past recording audio was a scientific process, were producers had to obtain written permission to move microphones closer to an instrument. Geoff Emerick had this problem when recording for The Beatles, Geoff had to get permission to move microphones closer to the sound source to get a better sound. Recording the initial signal path to a high standard meant that there was a lesser need of signal processing.

Signal processors were originally added to the recording studio, to allow compensation for poor frequency response or dynamic range problems in equipment. When carefully used, they can add to the accuracy of the sound, and occasionally improve on reality. These devices have somewhat changed from their original conception, but they all use the same basic principles that have been used throughout audio recording. These devices include EQ, Compression, Gates, Reverb and Delays. I will discuss about the specific devices later in the report.

Around the 1940’s and 1950’s saw the American public buy a lot more music after the great depression and end of the Second World War in 1945. In that same year the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) devised the RIAA EQ Curve, which allowed for more audio...