Taking the lead once again

Guitarist Jimmy Page explains how he used the internet to break new ground in recording

WHAT WE did was in fact a media first. I was called on a Thursday with the request to do a song with Puff Daddy. At the time, I was rehearsing for the tour we are doing now and they told me that Puff Daddy would like to do a version of "Kashmir" for the Godzilla soundtrack. I spoke to him later that day. He really wanted to work with me, but it was unfortunate timing because all the equipment was going off the next day to Eastern Europe. Puff Daddy said he thought that we could work something out.

We decided to do it using the Internet. This meant going on tape in London simultaneously, using a satellite link-up between the two of us. The only real problem was that there was a slight [time] delay on the link. But it didn't really matter as we had communication between us via mobile phones. People were rushing around like maniacs on their mobiles.

Puff put two orchestras on it simultaneously and created this massive sound. People had used Zeppelin riffs before but had just ripped us off. Puff was really respectful and, although he was fully aware of the original, he didn't want just to take a sample from it.

It was a bit odd. Even though there was a satellite link-up, we needed to be really focused and disciplined. I knew that everybody had their eyes on me; there was no room for mistakes. In fact, in the end, it was the studio that made the mistake, as it couldn't accommodate enough phone lines and the kick-off was about half an hour late. All I had to do was go down there with my amplifier and guitar.

I don't know whether I would do it again. It would have to be something pretty amazing, to be honest; for my sort of playing, it is much easier to be with the musicians at the same time. That was a mighty project: the whole thing had epic proportions and a tight time scale. We got the idea on Thursday and had achieved it by Saturday.

The whole thing coming together with Puff Daddy was really interesting and a great experience. The project was good in every way. How the reel was done CTS Studios in Wembley, north London, was the scene for a double- ended recording session linked via ISDN between CTS in the UK and Capitol Studios in Los Angeles. Jimmy Page's guitar parts were recorded in London using its AMS-Neve Capricorn digital console, with Jimmy playing live in the studio to the backing tracks which had been sent over to CTS via ISDN earlier in the day. The two production teams communicated via a five- hour satellite video link and film crews recorded the proceedings at both sites.

CTS engineer Toby Wood recalls: "The session began with the transatlantic transfer of the backing tracks - these came across as five stereo pairs, with time-code, using our APT ISDN system. We constructed a slave reel from these tracks in preparation for recording Jimmy Page's guitar parts.'

Wood explained that the system is most useful when a film's director wants an extra musical part some time after the main session, and the time and expense involved in getting everyone back together can be saved. For this project, the most demanding aspect of the logistics was ensuring that the right people got the relevant music or communications feed.

"At the same time as recording Jimmy's guitar overdubs, we had to make sure that the film crews got a clean feed of music and that Jimmy could hear talkback from our control room and from Puff Daddy in LA. Also, LA had to have a permanent communications link with ourselves."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Christopher Eccleston (centre) plays an ex-policeman in this cliché-riddled thriller

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey looks very serious as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

TV This TV review contains spoilers
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Wiz Khalifa performs on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park in Birmingham

Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury


Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars creator George Lucas


Arts and Entertainment


Arts and Entertainment
A shot from the forthcoming Fast and Furious 7


Arts and Entertainment
The new-look Top of the Pops could see Fearne Cotton returns as a host alongside Dermot O'Leary


Arts and Entertainment
The leader of the Church of Scientology David Miscavige


Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
    Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

    Confessions of a former PR man

    The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

    Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

    Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
    London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

    The mother of all goodbyes

    Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
    Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

    Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

    The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions