How Did Tech influence Psychedelic Music
Psychedelic music emerged in the 1960s, as part of the larger hippy movement that challenged traditional values and norms.
At its core, it was about pushing boundaries and exploring new sounds, often aided by the use of mind-altering substances like LSD.
However, it is also true that technology played a key role in the development and evolution of psychedelic music. In this article, we will explore the influence of tech, and the ways in which technology continues to shape the genre today.
New Recording Techniques
One of the most important ways in which technology influenced psychedelic music was through the use of new recording techniques. During the 1960s, recording studios began experimenting with multitrack recording, allowing for greater flexibility and control over the recording process.
This was hugely influential to the extent there are guitar effects pedals available today that specifically seek to recreate that “Abbey Road” sound - the Keeley 30ms being one of the more popular.
This allowed for greater experimentation with sound and allowed artists to layer different tracks and effects to create new and unique sounds.
One of the most famous examples of this is The Beatles' album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." Released in 1967, the album was a landmark in the development of psychedelic music and was heavily influenced by new recording techniques. T
he album features a wide range of sounds and effects, from backward guitar solos to sound collages made up of snippets of different songs. It was a triumph of creativity and experimentation, made possible by advances in recording technology.
Another way in which technology influenced psychedelic music was through the development of new instruments and effects pedals. One of the most iconic effects pedals of the 1960s was the wah-wah pedal, which allowed guitarists to create a distinctive "wah" sound by manipulating the pedal.
Jimi Hendrix was one of the most famous users of the wah-wah pedal, and his use of the effect helped to define the sound of psychedelic guitar.
Other effects pedals, such as delay and reverb pedals, allowed for the creation of trippy, otherworldly sounds that became a hallmark of psychedelic music. Musicians also began to experiment with new instruments, such as the sitar and the mellotron, which added new textures and sounds to the music.
Another way in which technology influenced psychedelic music was through the use of light shows and other visual effects.
Many psychedelic rock concerts featured elaborate light shows, which used projectors and other effects to create a trippy, immersive experience for the audience.
This helped to create a sense of community and shared experience among concertgoers, and it helped to enhance the psychedelic experience. Take a look at footage of some of the early Pink Floyd material with Syd Barrett.
Today, technology continues to play a major role in the evolution of psychedelic music.
Advances in digital recording technology have made it easier and more affordable for musicians to create high-quality recordings from their homes or small studios. This has allowed for greater experimentation and innovation, as artists are free to explore new sounds and textures without the constraints of a traditional recording studio.
Additionally, the rise of electronic music has brought new tools and technologies to the genre.
Many contemporary psychedelic musicians incorporate electronic elements into their music, from synths and drum machines to digital effects and sampling. This has led to a blurring of the lines between different genres of music, as musicians are free to experiment with different sounds and styles.
In conclusion, technology has had a profound impact on the development and evolution of psychedelic music. From the use of new recording techniques to the development of new instruments and effects pedals, technology has helped to shape the sound and aesthetic of the genre.