The modern recording studio is a powerful tool. With perfect soundproofing, high-end equipment and a room full of professional minds, the environment is ideal for experimenting. This can result in happy accidents, utterly unique sounds and perhaps even a world record.
Inspired by the new infographic titled “The Sound of Music”, created by Technical Foam Services, this piece explores the happy accidents and unique happenings of the recording process.
During the recording process, mistakes can often occur, but sometimes these mistakes can affect the final result in unexpected and wonderful ways.
A good example of this is in Van Halen’s 1978 “Eruption”, in which the producer recorded Eddie rehearsing a solo for a live performance and used the footage for the final track. Eddie’s frustration at the mistake that was captured at the start of the track, didn’t stop this from becoming one of the greatest solos of all time. To create unique and distinctive sounding instrumentals like this, it is thought that Eddie often dissembled his guitars and processing devices to create new effects. For instance, to create the low growling sounds towards the end of the track, Eddie allegedly ran his guitar through a cheap echo unit called a Univox.
Another example is the dog barking at the beginning of Jane’s Addiction’s 1990 track “Been Caught Stealing” was also a happy accident. While recording, the dog which belonged to Perry Farrell began barking, which gave them the idea to include the sound. They placed a microphone in the vocal booth, and had Perry run around with the dog, who began barking even more. This shows how an idea inspired by an accident, can make a track truly unique and iconic.
Not only do studios allow artists a freedom of expression to create the “right sound”, they can also create a sense of unlimited time. When recording, artists can take weeks, months, and even years to create an album. But for some, this can take merely a day!
An example of this is Vollgas Kompanie, the Swiss band who recorded their album “Live” on the 15th August 2008 and released it to the public the following day. They currently hold the title of “fastest album release” in the Guinness World Records, to the dismay of Jack White who sought to break this record with his live recording of “Lazaretto” in April 2014. The record was recorded, pressed, assembled and available for sale at the store in less than four hours, but it has not yet been entered into the Guinness World Records.
Another mind-boggling record which was broken by Rock Choir was the “largest musical act to release an album”. Consisting of 4,386 singers, Rock Choir produces a wide variation of musical genres including pop, gospel and Motown. The singers range from 6-years-old to 80-years-old and the choir itself is open for people to join on a termly basis. The choir are known for covering a series of popular songs, and have appeared on major television channels and shows, including the BBC.