la luna | è un occhio

in 1983, i encountered two technical revolutions. the first one was the → C64 home computer. the second one was an analog tascam 4 track recording machine.

portaone ministudio (veradrive, wikicommons)

i got introduced to this cassette deck (which ran at double speed and only in one direction) by a friend. we recorded a pretty cool new wave song which you find → here. a few years later i had gotten so familiar with the exploitation of four audio tracks that i arranged songs which sounded like six or seven track recordings. the trick was bouncing two or more tracks onto a free one. the price was a noticeable loss of audio quality.

with the luxury of digital recording and abundant tracks it’s easy to forget those exciting times of affordable semi professional analog home recording. i dug out my fostex 150 four track machine and several cassettes from the 1980s and digitized them with the steinberg UA44c interface. here is a screenshot of what the four tracks of a song i recorded in 1987 looked like in cubase:

four analog tracks landed in cubase.

i had created a decent mix of the four tracks back in 1987. in my DAW (cubase) the raw recordings sounded very messy. the reason was track bouncing. for example parts of the vocals appear in tracks 1, 3 and 4. even the main rhythm and bass track 2 (→ casio MT40 and → mini moog, bounced into a single track) is not “clean”. there are additional bass slices in track 4. in order to mix this song i needed to cut parts of the tracks and open extra tracks. in the next screenshot you see the four tracks from above, distributed across eight tracks:

the four track song, fanned out for the mix.

when mixing old recordings i do not add modern digital effects. all i did here, apart from slicing things up, is some panning, i used a milde EQ to enhance the bass in track 8 and i let iZotope ozone master the song. here is the result. it sounds like 80s, and it is from the mid 80s. and thanks to bea who provided me with the hook line…

la luna è un occhio (GEMA)