Building off George Martin’s half-speed, wind up piano technique (covered in Episode 1), The Beatles and their producer used varispeed — variable speed recording — to alter the sound of instruments, vocals, and even entire rhythm tracks of songs. These alterations changed the textures of these parts in sometimes subtle, and sometimes dramatic ways. Today, we examine how Martin and The Beatles used this technique on six recordings from 1966 to 68, and we invite pianist Jesse Reeks back to discuss the reason Martin used this technique on two of his piano solos.
Kehew, Brian, and Ryan, Kevin. Recording The Beatles.
Lewisohn, Mark. The Beatles Complete Recording Sessions.
Beatles Book Monthly. June 1966