For artists, limitations can be the mother of invention. Leonardo da Vinci famously stated that “small rooms or dwellings set the mind in the right path; large ones cause it to go astray.” For Sir George Martin and his team, the right path was Abbey Road where they pushed 1960’s recording technology to its limits.
It was fifty years ago today, give or take, when the height of British studio recording technology was a Studer four-track tape deck. Modern-day musicians best this technology today ten-fold on their phones alone, and have access to an almost unlimited number of tracks on the average laptop recording rig. However, in the 1960’s four tracks were not limiting: they were empowering. Multi-track recording opened vast new areas of creativity, and allowed geniuses like Sir George to invent the next era of popular music.