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Old 05-06-15, 03:14   #1
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Default Digital tour of Abbey Road studios

Digital tour of Abbey Road studios

The virtual mystery tour! Beatles fans can now take a digital tour of Abbey Road studios using Google

* The world famous studios have never before been open to the public
* But in a Google first the web giant has made an app with a virtual tour
* Includes archived Beatles photos and music videos of stars at the studio
* Users navigate round in the same way that Google Street View works

(Right click to Open Link in new tab)
It has the most famous zebra crossing in the world outside it, and has hosted every major name in music in the last 80 years, but Abbey Road studios has never before been open to the public.

Despite receiving around 500,000 visitors a year, mostly to walk the famous crossing, the studio doors have been shut to those not recording ever since 1931 - that is, until now, thanks to a new collaboration with Google.

The result is Inside Abbey Road, a new web app that takes users on an interactive, immersive and hugely detailed virtual tour of the inner workings of Abbey Road.

The studios hosted the world's first live global broadcast - from none other than The Beatles - as well as playing a role in the invention of stereo by EMI engineer Alan Blumlein.

With the aim of sharing some of this history, Google has stepped in to showcase as much of it to the public as possible, in a range of ways.

Those familiar with Google Street View will find plenty they are used to in the way Inside Abbey Road is navigated, with a point and click of the mouse, as well as click and drag to scan the more than 150 360-degree images that make up the experience.

But these are only the top layer to the app, which then has several animated sequences in place of images that show sound technicians at work in the three studios and mastering suite.

Then added to this are a range of information points in the form of short articles on subjects ranging from cutting vinyl records to creating stereo.

There are archive photos from Abbey Road down the years, as well as YouTube videos of performances that are placed in the exact spot they were filmed from.

These include music videos from the likes of Take That, Kate Bush and Bastille, as well as an interview between Zane Lowe and Jay Z.

Giles Martin, a producer based at Abbey Road for artists like Paul McCartney, and whose father Sir George Martin produced The Beatles, said: 'Abbey Road Studios has been a hive of creativity and source of world-class recordings for more than 80 years.

'The artists using the studios have sold countless millions of records and have helped create popular culture as we know it today. It's an inspirational place and an honour for me to work there today.

'This collaboration with Google gives the outside world a great insight into the everyday workings of the studio and allows anyone to glimpse the magic that goes on inside the world's most famous recording studio.'

Tom Seymour, the head of Google's Creative Lab, said: 'We're always looking at how we can use technology to bring people closer to cultural icons and institutions around the world.

'With Inside Abbey Road, we wanted to open the doors to the iconic music studio for anyone in the world to step inside and experience the stories, the sounds, the people and the equipment that make Abbey Road Studios what it is today.'

There are also guided tours voiced by producer Mr Martin, as well as from DJ and presenter Lauren Laverne and Abbey Road studios' head of audio products Mirek Stiles.

Abbey Road studios was opened on 12th November 1931 by classical music legend Sir Edward Elgar. The first custom-built studio complex of its kind, Elgar used it in its early years to record some of his famous pieces.

The facility had been fashioned out of a 16-room residence at 3 Abbey Road, St. John's Wood which had been bought by record company EMI in 1929.

It has three recording studios and has been used by every major name in music over the last 80 years.

Studio one can play host to a 110-piece orchestra and 100-person choir simultaneously and has been used by the London Symphony Orchestra and the Glenn Miller Orchestra among others.

In June 1962 The Beatles made their first recording there in what was the start of an artistic collaboration that would last until 1970 when the group split. In total, around 90 per cent of the legendary band's music was recorded at Abbey Road studios.

Five years after recording there for the first time,history was made when a worldwide satellite television link-uip was broadcast from the studio of The Beatles performing All You Need is Love live. An estimated 350 million people listened to the broadcast.

Among the famous artists to have recorded at Abbey Road are the Spice Girls, Pink Floyd, Cliff Richard, Queen and Shirley Bassey.

Hundreds of thousands of Beatles fans make their way to the studios every year and many of the walls and signs in the vicinity of the building are covered with Beatles-themed graffiti.

In 2010 rumours began circling that cash-strapped EMI were looking to sell the studios. A year later the company sold its recorded music division for 1.2billion to the French-owned Universal Music Group.

Because it is a working studio it is closed to the public. But now, thanks to Google's new web app, music fans can enjoy and interactive, virtual tour of the building.
One of the most eye-catching moments within the app is the animated panorama that places users at the centre of the London Symphony Orchestra as they perform in one of the studios.

Google is calling the new site a continuation of their tradition of creating tools which help users see and experience things they would never have had access to otherwise.

It follows in the footsteps of the Pyramids of Giza being added to Google Street View, and the Google Cultural Institute's work on Vincent Van Gogh.

There are also some gaming-style interactions to play with, including the J37 track recorder that was used to record Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - which can be interacted with to create your own version of audio tracks, to try to match against the original.

For music fans, there is a huge amount of detail and history to be unearthed from using the new app, and for general users there is the ability to use it across devices, and probably find out something new in the process.

Users can try the experience by visiting
(Right click to Open Link in new tab)

See source for all photos.
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