Videos


  • Multitracking and the Making of "Tomorrow Never Knows" | Soundbreaking

    In this clip, a variety of musicians, producers, and writers discuss the revolutionary techniques The Beatles and George Martin used while making "Tomorrow Never Knows," including splicing tapes, using tape loops, sampling, and other unusual (for the time) methods. The record inspired many other musicians and producers, and had a profound impact on future recordings.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Recording Before Magnetic Tape | Soundbreaking

    Before magnetic tape was invented, recordings were live performances etched into the grooves of records, and they couldn't be corrected if there were errors; musicians had to start from the beginnning. With tape, musicians and producers had the ability to manipulate the recording by making corrections or even adding effects to make the record sound better. Although this made records sound less "life-like," magnetic tape made recording so much easier that it quickly became the standard method of recording.

    Grades: 9-12
  • ProTools and the Digital Audio Workstation | Soundbreaking

    In this clip, Justin Vernon demonstrates his use of ProTools at his Digital Audio Workstation. St. Vincent describes a generation of musicians who are able to make music alone, at their computers, rather than with other musicians.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Pink Floyd & Dark Side of the Moon | Soundbreaking

    This clip demonstrates the approach Dave Gilmour and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd took while recording their iconic album, Dark Side of the Moon. They took advantage of the latest technology, such as sequencing machines and 16-track recording. Waters likens their process to painting, as though they were "painting with sound."

    Grades: 9-12
  • Eurythmics & the Home Studio| Soundbreaking

    In this clip, Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart describe their process of writing and recording early Eurythmics records. They preferred the intimacy of their small home studio, and Stewart experinmented with early electronic drum machines, tape machines, and synthesizers to create their unique sound.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Les Paul & Sound-On-Sound | Soundbreaking

    In this clip, Producer Don Was and musicians Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck discuss the revolutionary recording techniques of Les Paul. It includes a clip of Les Paul and Mary Ford demonstrating multitracking on a 1950s television program.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Early Beatles Recording Sessions | Soundbreaking

    In this clip, George Martin and Brian Eno discuss the simplicity of the producer's role on early recordings.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Counterculture in the 1960s U.S. | Soundbreaking

    This clip includes images of people from the 1960s counterculture, as well as John Lennon and George Harrison discussing their participation in it.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Yesterday | Soundbreaking

    See the story of how Paul McCartney and John Lennon's song "Yesterday" was made into a record by George Martin with this clip from Soundbreaking. Martin heard the song's simplicity and decided not to add big, electronic sounds to it, but instead to include a string quartet. McCartney initially opposed the idea, because he thought of classical music as too distanced from who he was as a musician. But Martin convinced him and arranged parts for a quartet. McCartney loved it.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Singer-Songwriters and Self-Production | Soundbreaking

    Learn why some singer-songwriters choose to produce their own records with this clip from Soundbreaking. Producer Peter Asher describes singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell's vision of her own songs, and how it would be nearly impossible for someone else to produce her. Mitchell, herself, admits to this, suggesting that working with a potentially overbearing producer might quell her love of music.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Phil Spector and the Wall of Sound | Soundbreaking

    Musicians discuss the innovative recording processes of producer Phil Spector, including his method now known as "The Wall of Sound," in this clip from Soundbreaking.

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Early Beatles and George Martin | Soundbreaking

    Producers Nigel Goodrich, Tony Visconti and Rick Rubin describe the special relationship between George Martin and The Beatles in this clip from Soundbreaking. Martin took the songs and performances of the intuitively musical Beatles and turn them into great records. He was unique in that he served as almost a fifth band member, placing himself in the band by adding his own arrangements and aural innovations to The Beatles records. As Goodrich says, Martin "took over their sonic picture," and thereby inspired many future generations of record producers.

    Grades: 9-12
  • What Does a Producer Do? | Soundbreaking

    Discover the importance role a producer plays in turning a song into a record with this clip from Soundbreaking. Producers Don Was, George Martin, Daniel Lanois, and Quincy Jones describe how producers must balance their intimate relationship with artists when giving directions, requiring a great amount of diplomacy. A great song can get lost in a bad recorded production, and producers have a crucial role in preventing that from happening.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Sam Phillips and Sun Records | Soundbreaking

    Get to know the renowned Memphis Recording Studio and Sun Records—and how producer Sam Phillips founded them—by watching this clip from Soundbreaking. Phillips was known for crafting unique, individualized sounds for each artist he recorded, but perhaps more importantly, he advocated for black musicians and actively sought some of the most famous artists in the history of rock and roll to record on Sun Records.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Sam Phillips, Elvis Presley, and Crossover Success | Soundbreaking

    Learn about the historic partnership between producer Sam Phillips and singer Elvis Presley with this clip from Soundbreaking. Phillips heard the potential in Presley's voice as someone who could bring black music to white audiences, and encouraged him to sing appropriate repertoire, such as the blues song "That's Alright Mama." This, combined with his skills in the recording studio, is part of what made Elvis Presley a huge superstar.

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Santana Drum Break | Soundbreaking

    Santana performed at the Woodstock in 1969, utilizing a hybrid of rock and Latin percussion instruments. Learn about this method in this clip from Soundbreaking.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Single Ladies and the Church | Soundbreaking

    The-Dream and Trickey Stewart describe the creation of Beyoncé's hit song, "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" and how the "clapping" track over the principal beat of the song was inspired by Southern church music in this clip from Soundbreaking.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Santana and Latin Rock | Soundbreaking

    The arrival of musician Carlos Santana marked the innovative merging of rock guitar, electric blues, and Latin rhythms, thus producing a new subgenre of rock and roll. Learn about it in the clip from Soundbreaking.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Gospel Music of the Southern US | Soundbreaking

    Writers Jason King and Todd Boyd make connections between gospel music and rock and roll, specifically, how the beat physically inspires church and concert goers alike to dance, in this clip from Soundbreaking.

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Beat Throughout American Popular Music History | Soundbreaking

    Musicians describe the importance of "the beat" to our physical and emotional response to music, from the beginnings of Rock and Roll to modern Electronic Dance Music, in this Soundbreaking clip.

    Grades: 9-12

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