Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: Why do some songs fade out (part 1)

There are two ways to end the recording of a song.  First, you can write it so it has a defined ending.  Second, you can just keep playing and let the engineer fade it out until there’s nothing but silence.  Who came up with the idea of fading a song? 

No one is entirely sure but we do know that the concept of fading a song goes back at least half a century after the introduction of magnetic recording tape.  In the old, OLD days of the 78 RPM record, recordings were made directly to a master disc and timed out to be about four minutes each, which was the maximum amount of music per side of a disc.  It was only after music was committed to tape first that manipulations such as fading were possible.

More next time.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38562 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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