The Dark Side of the Moon was released on 1973 by Pink Floyd as his eighth album. This album was based on the ideas of live shows during 1968. However, it lacked the extended instrumental excursions of its principal contributor, Syd Barret. The Dark Side of the Moon was aimed at exploring post-war problems, madness, and death facing the kids who came of age in the 1950’s (Gallucci, 2016). This was a sign of tribute to Barret who had experienced several mental breakdowns on different occasions. It was also a tribute to the young generation in the age bracket of the twenties that was searching for a reason and purpose.
Parallel Lines was the third album by the American rock band, Blondie. It was released on 1978. The music was the culmination of each aspect that the band was working to achieve. It effectively applied both music and styles that saw it being classified as the modern pop record. The perfection and the quality of this song were influenced by the dismissal of the Blondie band in CBGB in 1975. In this music event that happened at NYC club, Blondie band was despised as 1960’s throwback pop group (Swanson, 2013). However, through aggression and determination, the band became the most successful one by releasing an album that captured the attention of everybody.
Audio Production Techniques Analysis
In the next discussion, this report is going to contrast audio production analysis of both The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd and The Parallel Lines by Blonde songs. In the analysis, the report will focus on addressing critical aspects such as mixture elements used in the songs, timbre and the texture of the instruments used, sound effects in the production and any additional production such as layering, pitching and double tracking that might have been used in the songs.
Characterized by the mixture of psychedelic rock, ominous spoken word passages, and cerebral sound effects, Pink Floyd song is one of the most tantalizing in the music industry. The combination of the sound and the variation of the volume throughout the song makes The Dark Side of the Moon one of the best album that has continued to attract appreciations over decades (Alper, 2016).
On the other side, Parallel Line has appropriately and effectively applied sound effects. The Parallel Line song starts with a phone ringing and being answered. This act is combined with guitar sounds and drumbeats. Immediately, a female voice follows singing in frustration of not being able to contact her lover and who do not mind answering her call (Comaratta, 2010). In these events, the combination of sound and alternation of volume give the song best combination of the sound effects. Besides, the tightened rhythm that is aligned with the vocals and voices in the song gives the song the best mix elements.
When it comes to timbre and texture, Pink Floyd has properly observed these two critical factors from the start of the song to the end. Upon listening to the song, one will realize that an album serves a great example of the music that has a flow and whereby its elements have been linked together. Even though some of the critics argue that timbre and tone in the Floyd song seem to be boring, their applicability cannot be ignored. Putting into consideration that this song was released in the 1970s when technology was a bit slower than today, it would be wrong to argue that Floyd did not apply timber and texture effectively.
Even though Floyd effectively applies timber and texture, the Parallel Line by Blondie seems to be better. According to Abed (2010), Blondie picks an extra ordinary pop song craft and juice it with outstanding texture. Starting with a plethora of sonic textures, cascading arrangements and aluminum-tight backbeats, this song qualifies as the best in the applicability of timbre. The categorization of the music sections makes the song flow from the beginning to the end. This has attracted majority of the music lovers to continue listening to the song over and over again.
Producers involved in the Songs
The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd
The production of The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd can be largely attributed to Nick Mason Alan. Parsons (Kerzner, 2013). The two icons were very instrumental in the success of Floyd song. In an interview, Nick noted that to get the close of the sound in song recording the drums selected must be original. Nick argues that this combination worked best for the Floyd song. In the production of the song, the two producers relied on the drum set and microphone selection consistently to produce good results. The minor changes that the producers applied involved changing EQ from drummer to drummer but without the replacement of the microphone.
Both Alan and Nick largely depended on drum and microphones to produce Floyd song. On the choice of microphones, Nick used snare microphone, Neumann U87. This was the best applicable microphone in the 1970s, and in the modern music arena has been replaced by KM 84. Neumann was a large microphone and therefore, required spacious room for Floyd song to be produced. On top of snare microphone, Alan used a single microphone to improve the quality of the song to obtain the necessary fizz.
Kick drum microphone is another musical instrument that was used by Alan during the recording of The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. In the production of the Floyd song, Alan focused on damping the kick before inserting the microphone (Brown, 2015). He inserted roughly half way to the kick and rotated it to fit the position. Additionally, Alan also used moving toms commonly referred to as AKG D19s for the original recording of The Dark Side of the Moon. This technique was aimed at making the song live.
For the recording of The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, Alan uses four tracks for the kit. These tracks include stereo, track for snare, track for kick and kit plus (Ruhlmann, 2012). This was aimed at committing the right sounds to the album. This is because during the recording of the album effects are widely realized on reverb, delay or tape. It was by the efforts of Alan and Nick and the expertise of Floyd in song composition that led to the release of The Dark Side of the Moon as one of the best songs of the century.
Parallel Lines by Blondie
The world class pop music by Blondie is attributable to the producer, Mike Chapman. Mike Chapman engineer, Peter Coleman was also a key pillar in the success of Parallel Line album. After Richard Dodd had recorded the first session of the music, Peter Coleman helped to design the glam rock sound. The glam rock sound had been influenced by Tony Visconti’s productions of T-Rex. T-Rex production had themselves as a result of 1950’s and 1960’s influence (Buskin, 2008). This is why in one of the events the Blondie song was referred to as 1960’s throwback pop. Therefore, it is quite clear that Mike Chapman helped in contributing the success of Parallel Lines.
In one of the interview, Chapman noted that he was focused on accomplishing groove epitome (Buskin, 2008). On the aspect, of sonic approach, Visconti played a crucial role. The grooves experienced in the song were all borrowed from the mid to late 1950s songs. With this in place, the next step was to use the drums to produce the desired sound and make them different and unique from the other producers.
Again, the Chapman team was concerned about the applicability of the guitars and the vocals. To come out of this headache, Chapman and his team dwelled on using a slap back echo sound that was very common in 1970’s with rock guitars. The combination of these aspects gave the Chapman team, a blueprint of producing the Parallel line. Mile Leander was responsible for putting all the song elements together.
The Chapman’s production approach makes the Parallel Line album records unique and different from one another (Myers, 2015). Despite that all the records have the same vibe, none of them sounds as if the guitars and drums used were the same. The key factor behind this style is because Chapman was trying hard to sound different from other producers but without going against the methods of production. However, this is not the case nowadays because it is quite hard to differentiate production techniques among producers.
Production Techniques Impact on the Songs
Apart from the song writers, both Alan and Chapman were very instrumental in the success of The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd and Parallel Line by Blondie respectively. The contribution of Alan has made The Dark Side of the Moon one of the best albums in the music discipline. This is evidenced from the appreciation that has been accorded to this song by the United States. On the other side, the collaboration of Blondie with producer Mike Chapman led to the music that was being disputed as the 1950s, and 1960s throwbacks become one of the best album of the century.
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Alper, E. (2016, September 6). Do-It-Yourself Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon With These Isolated Vocals And Sound Effects. Retrieved from That Eric Alper: https://www.thatericalper.com/2013/09/06/do-it-youself-pink-floyds-dark-side-of-the-moon-isolated-vocals-and-sound-effects/
Brown, J. (2015, July 19). How Pink Floyd made 'Dark Side of the Moon.' Retrieved from Newsweek: https://www.newsweek.com/eclipse-354066
Buskin, R. (2008, June 9). Blondie 'Hanging On The Telephone'. Retrieved from SOS Publications Group: https://www.soundonsound.com/people/blondie-hanging-telephone
COMARATTA, L. (2010, August 7). Dusting ‘Em Off Blondie – Parallel Lines. Retrieved from Consequence of Sound: https://consequenceofsound.net/2010/08/dusting-em-off-blondie-parallel-lines/
Gallucci, M. (2016, March 1). The Story of Pink Floyd's ‘Dark Side of the Moon.' Retrieved from ultimateclassicrock.com: https://ultimateclassicrock.com/pink-floyd-dark-side-of-the-moon/
Kerzner, D. (2013, June 2). Alan Parsons shows how he records drums at State of The Ark. Retrieved from recordproduction.com: https://www.recordproduction.com/record-producer-features/alan-parsons.htm
Myers, M. (2015, March 3). How Blondie Created ‘Heart of Glass’. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-blondie-created-heart-of-glass-1425401870
Ruhlmann, W. (2012, September 3). Parallel Lines Blondie. Retrieved from Apple Inc.: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/parallel-lines/id724578151
Swanson, D. (2013, September 23). Thirty-Five Years Ago: Blondie Release ‘Parallel Lines.' Retrieved from ultimate classic rock: https://ultimateclassicrock.com/blondie-parallel-lines/