The Beatles Psychedlic Influences

The Beatles Psychedlic Influences

At the start of ‘Revolver the Beatles were looking for new musical techniques to imitate the sound they would hear during their trips. There are an abundant amount of report that LSD causes auditory hallucinations. One of the many examples come from a veteran psychedelic user by the name Chew. He explains When I voice trailed off, and I heard it repeated, as if echoed, over and over . as if circling the group(Chew 1). The Beatles must have had a similar experience because one of the main themes we hear in their music is the use of an echo like distortion. Studio technician Ken Townshend was in charge of recreating LSD auditory illusions.

According to To reach effects the Beatles were looking for voices that were trailed off or echoed Yvette Holzwarth’s Article The Beatles and Drug Culture in the Sixties’ explained that Townshend caused amplified reverb with the inception of ADT (Automatic Double Tracking). The meant that Townshend figured if he copied a track and added about 100 milliseconds of delay(Holzwarth 7). The delayed tape is then put together with the original track which then creates dynamic sounds. Effects like this can be heard on tracks like ‘Within You, Without You’ from the Sgt Peppers album. According to Holzwarth this effect is applied to every single track on ‘Within You, Without You’ Another effect that was used by Townshend was flanging. Holzwarth states that flanging is an audio effect similar to phasing that are electronically create large space to house the sounds . Townshend would have to create this by putting a finger on the rim of the tape reel . causing it to slow down(Holzwarth 7). Effects like this will cause a sweeping sound that can be heard on ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ on the vocals kaleidoscope eyes(Lennon). The drone of the tambura and the highnotes of the guitar and the carefully hit cymbolys attempt to replicate someone falling into a dream.

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