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Beatles' Engineer Shares his Experiences with Bandier, Music Industry and Newhouse Students at SU

John Smith/WAER News

As Ken Scott was in the infancy as a Music Recording Engineer, call it fate, his biggest break came by working with those Four Lads from Liverpool that would become the most influential group of all time.  So, the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles has him looking back in time at the group that forever changed his life at the ripe age of 16.

Hear the full interview with Ken Scott and WAER's John Smith.

He shared his experiences on Monday with Bandier and Audio Arts Students at Syracuse University.

“The first band that I ever worked with as an Engineer was the biggest band in the world and I had complete freedom.  And there’s no better way to learn about mics and EQ and all that kind of thing; and being able to use whatever I wanted to, any given time, to see how it would sound.  And not being under time pressure or… almost any pressure because they always wanted things to sound differently.” 

But Scott adds that it’s difficult to recount what order of Beatles albums he engineered that were released here in the U-S. The English titles were often changed for the American albums.

“Beatles For Sale, I think was the same. Rubber Soul was definitely the same. And then the White Album, Magical Mystery Tour as Engineer, Main Engineer.”

Scott feels the recording industry has become too predictable, and what made the Beatles Fab was their ability to think outside the box. It was often trial and error at Abbey Road Studios when he picked out microphones with Paul McCartney.

“Paul and I would go into the mic cupboard and he’d go… ummm, I like the look of that one, let's try that one on bass drum.  Okay !  The look of the mic was more important than the sound !”

Scott appreciates the time he spent with the Beatles, especially a close friendship with the late George Harrison.  He says none of the albums the Beatles recorded were never expected to last more than six months to a year.  Their longevity of 40 to 50 plus years is what he calls, “ridiculous.”