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Old February 6th, 2009, 06:19 AM   #1
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Les Paul and multi track?

Just watched a PBS doc on Les Paul. Mostly because I'm a guitar player. But as the documentary progressed my jaw dropped as it claimed Les Paul was the inventor of multi track and overdubbing? Wiki wasn't real clear on this and I was curious if anybody knew if this were true.

BTW, even if it isn't the doc blew away my conceptions about needing a studio to record a good album.

Les would walk into a friend's bathroom and say, "Can I make a recording in there real quick, it has great acoustics for voice," then he'd go to his car, get his equipment and start recording then and there. Then he'd use the living room to run a base line. Two weeks later the song was number 1 on the charts. Old school.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 08:37 AM   #2
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Yeah, Les Paul is credited with inventing multitracking. Didn't he also come up with the idea of using electric pickups on a solid body guitar?
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Old February 6th, 2009, 09:19 AM   #3
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Yes, he pretty much invented modern rock and roll.

And, if you didn't know, he still plays two shows Monday nights at the Iridium Club in NYC.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 12:51 PM   #4
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to get slightly off topic, many folks don't realize what goes into a recording from a "sound" standpoint. Back in the 60s (1960s not 1860s ;-]) I was a drummer and giged with some bands big and small. One band that became rather popular as in major wanted to do a demo record and asked me to do the session. We went to a very small recording studio here in Chicago and the band wanted a certain sound for the crash cymbol. Well all I had was about 6 or 7 A.Ziljains that had the sound I wanted but they didn't like it. Fortunately we were about 1 block away from the largest drum shop aorund at the time a place called Franks Drum Store on Wabash Ave.. All the big names went there and since I knew Morrie the owner I figured he would help me out. He did. The sound they (the band) wanted was none other than a lid from a garbage can. So Morrie lent me one from his garbage can.They (the band) went on to be a major group of the time and I went into the service and did 2 years in RVN. Funny how things work out. Point is, you don't need to be in a big studio with all the bells and whistles to make it work.
Ahhh, the memories. Good thing I can still remember them ;-)

Don
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Old February 6th, 2009, 01:29 PM   #5
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Ah come on Don, you gotta tell us the name of that band.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 02:37 PM   #6
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naw, there were some hard feelings between a lot of the guys back then for reasons I won't get into and many of the original members aren't around anymore but it was a well known group and they were around for a long time.
Oh well, everything happens for a reason.

Don
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Old February 6th, 2009, 06:32 PM   #7
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OMG, Don... you were the original drummer for the Beatles?!!
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Old February 6th, 2009, 06:36 PM   #8
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lol.I could only wish but I have never been to England. ;-)
Actually I still have a drum kit here at home but it's really my sons' although he hasn't played in about 10 years. Hmmm, then why is it in my house instead of his? Oh well, kids. Maybe his son would like them.

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Old February 6th, 2009, 07:44 PM   #9
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I know that Steely Dan used garbage can lid buried on several of the tracks on "Aja", but they recorded it in LA so I know it wasn't them.

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Old February 6th, 2009, 07:49 PM   #10
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yes they did. it was actually a very popular tool. AAMOF, Neil Peart (Rush) has use things like plywood to achieve certain sounds. Tin cans, plastic buckets, and empty paint cans can really give some great sounds.
Anyway back to the topic.

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Old February 7th, 2009, 08:11 AM   #11
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My vote was the Velvet Underground, although I think they used garbage cans, not just the lid. Anyway, they were in NYC not Chicago.
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Old February 8th, 2009, 11:21 AM   #12
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FYI, Les was also one of, if not the first to "close mic" individual instruments. Let us not forget his guitar effect boxes like the Paulverizer. If addition to tape based Flanging and Phasing.
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