Google is giving people the chance to take a virtual tour of the Abbey Road music studios in London, where artists such as the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Jay Z and a number of others have recorded hit tracks and albums, but then you knew that already.
Indeed, Abbey Road Studios has to be one of the most famous recording studios in the world, helped no doubt by The Beatles’ album of the same name. Not too many people can actually boast a guided tour of the building though, but now you can.
Via the site, you can explore the whole of the three main studios and one of the mastering suites, but this isn’t just a simple indoor Google Maps presentation – the items in the room are interactive, so you can play around with the J37 4-track recorder that The Beatles used to record Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, or even learn about how to cut vinyl.
If you’d rather get a (virtual) guided tour rather than wandering around aimlessly, you can get the producer Giles Martin, engineer Mirek Stiles or BBC Radio 6 presenter Lauren Laverne to show you around. Google said that some of the tracks and albums you can hear on the Inside Abbey Road experience will be available to download from Google Play via the discography section of each studio on the tour.
As there’s quite a lot to check out, we don’t want to ruin it for you, but here are five highlights you won’t want to miss.
- John Williams recording the Star Wars Episode 1 soundtrack. If you’re a fan of the films, you may well want to check out this clip.
- Try your hand at balancing the mix against an original track – I only managed 93 percent, but you can probably do better.
- Check out the full 360 degree video of the London Symphony Orchestra during a recording session for Final Fantasy.
- Play around with tape effects over a vocal track in Studio 2. If you’ve been gifted a more pleasant singing voice than me, you can even record your own audio track to play around with.
- Listen to Jay Z talk to Zane Lowe about his album Magna Carta in Studio 3’s control room.
Rumor has it there’s also a hard to find Echo Chamber hidden away in the studios too. It is indeed hard to find.