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How Michael Jackson Can Enhance Audio Demos

Pointing out a mistake on the "Beat It" recording (right before Eddie Van Halen's solo) serves as a nice demo technique.


How Michael Jackson Can Enhance Audio Demos
In Michael Jackson's "Beat It," the sound of a door knocking on the track provides a nice demo technique for CE pros.
Robert Archer · June 26, 2009

The world lost a controversial entertainer with the passing of Michael Jackson on June 25, 2009. 

Like him or not, there’s not much to argue about in terms of how Jackson impacted the world of pop culture, especially during his heyday in the early 1980s. That impact even extends into the world of consumer electronics, specially audio. 

That impact can be found on the King of Pop’s multi-platinum album “Thriller,” and the 1983 No. 1 song “Beat it.”

Most people know that the album was produced by music legend Quincy Jones and that guitar icon Eddie Van Halen played the guitar solo on “Beat It.” Most people, however, don’t know that Jones and Jackson actually left a mistake on the song that is completely obvious. 

Installers interested in showcasing this mistake for clients can play “Beat It” and point out the mistake at the 2:45 minute mark on the track, which is just prior to Van Halen’s guitar solo. The mistake—an audible knock on the studio door—was made by a technician who didn’t realize he was interrupting a recording session.

The mistake was left in the final mix of the song and the rest, as they say, is music history. 

To hear the mistake, watch the “Beat It” video on Youtube here. (NOTE: The feature which normally allows us to embed Youtube videos is blocked on the “Beat It” videos that we found on Youtube.)

If you just want to hear Van Halen’s guitar solo (listen closely for the knock at the very beginning), it’s available here:



  About the Author

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at [email protected]

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