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Brian Eno’s Multi-Track Rosetta Stone

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When I first began experimenting with multi-track music recording in the mid-1980s, a speech by Brian Eno, titled “The Studio As Compositional Tool“, was the Rosetta Stone for me, opening my eyes to the incredible possibilities of multi-track recording.

I was in the process of OCR’ing my old photocopy of it, when I found someone had already typed and uploaded it to the Web–which is fine by me. One minor correction to the piece: it’s subhead says, “From Downbeat [magazine], probably 1979″. It’s actually from two issues: July and August of 1983.

For anybody who’s thinking about home music recording and has never experimented with it, this article is an eye-opener. Everything that Eno describes as possible in a commercial recording studio is now available to the home recordist with a PC and a decent soundcard. All he or she needs to get started is a program such as Cakewalk’s Home Studio or Sonar or Sony’s Acid, and it’s off to the races.

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