Thursday, August 13, 2009

Les Paul: 1915-2009

Raymond Scott's fellow musician, inventor, and multi-track recording pioneer Les Paul died today at age 94. Details about this audio giant and his important accomplishments here.

Below is an excerpt from THE WORLD OF SOUND, a chapter I contributed to the SOUND/UNBOUND anthology, compiled by Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky:
In 1952, Raymond Scott designed and built two of the world’s first multi-track tape machines, capable of recording seven and fourteen parallel tracks on a single reel. Two years later, sonic maverick Les Paul made an eight-track prototype, and inventor Hugh Le Caine devised a way to mix-down six separate tape sources in 1955. But as author/music historian Thom Holmes points out, “nobody came close to matching Scott’s early achievement.” Scott filed two patents for his advancements in magnetic tape technology in 1953, and a third in ’59.
2011 UPDATE: Neil Strauss included a chapter about Raymond Scott in his new book, EVERYONE LOVES YOU WHEN YOU’RE DEAD, and added this footnote:
"During an interview with Les Paul, the musician who helped develop the electric guitar and popularize multi-track recording, I mentioned Raymond Scott and accidentally set him off on a tirade. Evidently, the two were rival innovators. 'He used to come to my house,' Paul snapped. 'He sure had some equipment though. I envied him.'" 

1 comment:

  1. Just watched the Les Paul special on Channel 13, and was wondering about that; so glad to have this information!!

    Carrie Makover

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