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Die Wall Of Sound
Little symphonies in the echo chamber
Wall Of Sound is a term of the modern music production and it's generally defined as a contrast to the striking thin sound of country-, folk-, and acoustic productions. The Wall Of Sound becomes especially use in rock- and pop productions as well as in the progressive and metal genre.
Characteristical for the Wall Of Sound is a in parts extreme use of modulational and reverberation effects in the mix, and a wide and full stereophony with a distinct spacial depth. This signature sound is today predominantly created with the aid of high-end studio technology.
However the Wall Of Sound was already developed in 1960 by American record producer Phil Spector (picture, middle). Spector created the Wall of Sound by letting a number of electric and acoustic guitars perform the same parts in unison, adding musical arrangements for orchestral musicians (strings and wind instruments) and then recording the sound in an "echo chamber". In such an echo chamber (picture) you can create maximum sound reflections. Spector incorporated the result of the recording into the mix and created a very full sound which also sounded good in radios and jukeboxes.
Spector himself called his technique "a Wagnerian approach to rock & roll: little symphonies for the kids". – However, the Wall Of Sound was at any rate a step towards a more "poppy" method of production.
Not least because of that, the Wall Of Sound was not entirely undisputed. At the end of the 60's the Beatles' album "Let it be" was re-produced by Spector with the aid of Wall of sound. After that Paul McCartney claimed that the production had ruined his work. He re-released an "originally" version of the album as “Let it be… Naked” in 2003.
On Covenant's album "Europa" from 1998 you can find a "Wall Of Sound" as well. However, this doesn't refer to the production but to the name of one of the first rather poppy produced songs of the band which was mostly done without distortions. Besides that "Wall Of Sound" is the name of a record lable to whose music Covenant were listening to a lot in those days. For these two reasons they thought that "Wall Of Sound" is a cool name for the track. In the lyrics the title becomes part of an interesting pun; where it says: "In silence we are bound - by the wailing wall of sound".
Image source: loti.com
Information source: wikipedia.de, wikipedia.com;
Eskil Simonsson; wallofsound.com
Translation: Sandra Szulakiewicz