Google’s Street View has always been a fun tool, with its funky, wall-eyed images transporting you to faraway places from the comfort of your desktop. But today the service has outdone itself, extending an invitation to anyone and everyone to explore the point of inception for some of the most important and influential recorded music in history. Welcome to Abbey Road Studios.
Through a new interactive experience called Inside Abbey Road, users from across the globe are invited to virtually explore the grounds of the legendary studio that served as a creative haven for the artists and producers that carved out the mold for modern recording. From the Beatles’ signature recordings to Jay-Z’s Magna Carta album, Abbey Road has seen a lot. And now you can see Abbey Road.
Giles Martin, Abbey Road producer and son of “the 5th Beatle” Sir George Martin, spoke about the collaboration with Google for access to this “hive of creativity” that has stood as a recording staple for over 80 years, from the first live global broadcast to the invention of stereo sound.
“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,” Giles said.
Apart from unprecedented access to the public — via more than 150 different 360-degree panoramic images — Inside Abbey Road offers a host of interactive tools to play around with as you virtually wander through the various control rooms, mixing booths, and sound stages that comprise the halls of the studio.
Users are offered to play with a virtual J37 4-track recorder (the famed rudimentary device used to track Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band), mess around with tape effects, see how vinyl is cut, and watch virtual artists as they ready for the red light. You can navigate through the side map, move between each hall and studio, and read up on famous recordings and historical moments such as the “Birth of Film Scoring.”
In addition, users are invited to follow Giles Martin, Abbey Road engineer Mirek Stiles, or BBC 6 radio presenter and recording artist Lauren Laverne on guided interactive tours.
“We’re best known for some of the amazing music created at the studios,” said Abbey Road managing director Isabel Garvey, “but ‘Inside Abbey Road’ gives music fans and musicians unprecedented access to find out a lot more about the studio’s role in unleashing some of this creativity, whether that’s with legendary artists known all over the world or those just starting out.”
If you’re a music fan — especially one partial to those 4 mops from Liverpool — this new tool is a fantastic way to waste away a few hours exploring one of the most influential landmarks in musical history — and you won’t even have to leave your cubicle.