Dirty Little Secret
Clicks and pops. Tape hisssssss and tape echo. The perfect level of imperfection for a world obsessed with ridding itself of human error. Computers have helped usher in an age of inhuman perfection in music. No noise, no limit to the number of takes, and the ability to edit a performance to perfection. Gone are the days when bands had to play an entire song through in order to record it. While this has some benefits, it has also taken some of the soul out of the music. The quest for perfection rids the performance of a certain tension. And it no longer requires the skill level and musicianship of the past. "Dirty Little Secret" was recorded using as much analog equipment as possible. We recorded to tape, actual spinning reels of black magnetic tape. Which, BTW, are pretty hard to get your hands on these days. Each reel is a rare commodity that is only fifteen minutes long. You can't do endless takes until you finally get it perfect. And you can't edit out all the mistakes. You have to land that great performance, channeling the energy and the feel of a live performance and to hell with the little gaffes and 'whoops' that would be digitally edited out. The signal was passed through tubes and hand wired circuits. Even their distortion sounds good, unlike the cold accuracy of digital distortion. A digital sample of a Melotron is easy to use, quiet, and easy to keep running. A real Melotron is almost fifty years old, impossible to keep running, and difficult to play. But boy does it sound great. And boy does it feel great to play. A Hammond B3 from the 1960's, with it's tubes warmed up and the Leslie speaker spinning round and round creates a sound that computers just can't compete with.