Lifting the curtain on a punk sample

Everyone likes the occasional peak behind the curtains. A nice audio clip from Abbey Road of Eric Clapton playing his Les Paul for The Beatles song While My Guitar Gently Weeps emerged recently. There’s no real processing of the sound and you cannot hear the drums, vocals or other guitars. It sounds very spare, to be honest, once it’s all put together though, it’s the most beautiful thing. The audio clip is like seeing Leonardo’s sketches of the Mona Lisa and then seeing the completed painting itself.

Now, obviously technology has moved on quite some since Abbey Road’s recording heyday and I’m making not claims to be even anywhere near close to the spare playing of Clapton (obviously), but I thought I’d lift the curtain for readers with something I recorded recently. The first clip is my guitar playing (I was jamming over a looped sample from the new Daft Punk album, actual track was Instant Crush featuring Julian Casablancas from The Strokes. I ditched his voice and the DP vocoder malarkey and just used the chord sequence and beats for the jam. The sound you hear is perhaps what you would get if you put a microphone next to the body of the electric guitar but didn’t switch on the amp, the sketch.

Clean guitar no sample beat

The second clip is that same unprocessed guitar sound with the DP sample playing.

Clean guitar over sample beat

The final clip is the processed sound of the guitar. You might think of it as recording microphone in front of the guitar amp being overdriven with some reverb and echo added for atmosphere, think of it as the paint on the canvas.

Processed guitar over sample beat

I should point out that I was monitoring the processed sound of the guitar while recording, rather than hearing the clean version. The full jam is also on SoundCloud you can get to it from the previous blog post here.

There are some similar unprocessed and isolated guitar sounds to be heard in the archives of MitA from the world of the Canadian Prog Fathers Rush.

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