Updated: Nov 1, 2018
The recording industry recently lost the soul of a true legend - Geoff Emerick
on the 2ndof October of 2018, he was 72.
To understand the legendary status of Emerick’s profile, one must look at his own renounced 58-year career and the artists that he recorded during his time in the land of the living. He was known as the ‘Mixing Engineer for the Beatles’.
Geoff Emerick began his career in 1960 working a variety of different jobs at EMI studios (later famously named Abbey Road) and first worked with the Beatles in 1962 at the young age of 16 as a recording assistant. Through his tenure at EMI, he worked as a lacquer cutter, mastering engineer, and balance engineer. He assisted in the recording sessions of the Beatles classics of “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”
In 1966, the famous Producer, Arranger, Composer, Conductor, George Martin asked Emerick to sound engineer for the Beatles. The first track he worked on was Revolver’s “Tomorrow Never Knows” where he was famously able to deliver on John Lennon’s request on making his voice sound like he Dalai Lama on a mountaintop.
His true moment of greatness came at the recording sessions for St Pepper’s Lonely-Hearts Club Band, where he won a Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.
Geoff Emerick’s tenure as legendary engineer continued with Paul McCartney and Wings during the 1970’s, and other artists such as Elvis Costello, Cheap Trick, Jeff Beck and Kate Bush in the 80’s.
In light of his passing, Emerick (through the vision of the Beatles), was able to push the engineering boundaries, that included the mixing of classical works with pop - most notably with the Sargent’s Pepper album.
In contrast to today’s music industry, technology has dramatically shifted the way
recordings are done. Mixing consoles had a maximum of 8-16 tracks, however, The Beatles were pushing this way beyond capacity, and Emerick would need to mix down a number of tracks to fit them into the tape.
As new ways to record and perform live appear, more opportunities are presenting themselves for mixing engineers, and who knows what Mr Geoff Emrick could have done with the right tools and these opportunities. Rest in peace sir!