Recording and mixing "Within You Without You"

Wednesday, March 22, 1967 • For The Beatles

Part of

Recording "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"

Nov 24, 1966 - Apr 20, 1967 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (UK Mono)

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (UK Mono) LP.
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

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The basic track of George Harrison’s song “Within You Without You,” featuring some Indian players, was recorded on March 15, 1967.

On this day, from 7 pm to 2:15 am, work continued on the track, with all four Beatles in attendance. Double-tracked dilrubas were overdubbed onto Take 1, which Indian musician Buddhadev Kansara likely played. The dilrubas were added to track three of the four-track tape. The recording machine ran at 52½ cycles per second instead of the usual 50, causing a slower pitch and tone upon replay.

A reduction mix, named Take 2, followed, freeing up two tracks for additional overdubs.

A mono mix, named Remix Mono 1, was then created for George Martin to score the string sections for the song, which would be recorded on April 3, 1967.

Between 11 pm and 12:30 am, in the control room of Studio One, tape operator Graham Kirkby held a playback of all the Sgt. Pepper recordings to date for The Beatles.

A week later, a refreshed, rejuvenated George Harrison came back to the studio and oversaw the overdubbing of a couple of additional dilruba parts (a dilruba is a bowed instrument similar to a sitar, but smaller). The other three Beatles were present at the session, but boredom set in quickly, so arrangements were made to have them listen to other works in progress in another control room. Deep in concentration, George barely even noticed that the others had departed; he may have even welcomed them leaving him to work on his own. As much as I didn’t care for “Within You Without You” at first, 1had to admit it grew on me as we were recording it.

Geoff Emerick – From “Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles“, 2006

And you don’t remember the other Beatles being there for that session?

No, they were never there … there was one, and if you listen very carefully at the end of one of the sessions, there’s a little bit of tambourine. Now, somebody walked into the studio while we were doing whatever it was, picked up a tambourine and started playing along. And that’s the only bit – an exclusive here – that’s the only piece of somebody else other than George or his Indian friends.

Who was that?

Don’t know.

Not much of an exclusive is it then!

It’s an exclusive. It was either John or Paul or Ringo. They walked in downstairs, we couldn’t see who did it. But we thought ‘Oh there’s a tambourine playing along, who’s doing that?’

Richard Lush – Interview with ABC News, May 25, 2017:

Last updated on January 14, 2024

Songs recorded


Within You Without You

Written by George Harrison

Recording • SI onto take 1


Within You Without You

Written by George Harrison

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 1 into take 2


Within You Without You

Written by George Harrison

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 1 from take 2


Musicians on "Within You Without You"

Buddhadev Kansara:
Dilruba ?

Production staff

George Martin:
Geoff Emerick:
Richard Lush:
Second Engineer

Going further

The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions • Mark Lewisohn

The definitive guide for every Beatles recording sessions from 1962 to 1970.

We owe a lot to Mark Lewisohn for the creation of those session pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - the number of takes for each song, who contributed what, a description of the context and how each session went, various photographies... And an introductory interview with Paul McCartney!

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The Beatles Recording Reference Manual: Volume 3: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band through Magical Mystery Tour (late 1966-1967)

The third book of this critically - acclaimed series, nominated for the 2019 Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) award for Excellence In Historical Recorded Sound, "The Beatles Recording Reference Manual: Volume 3: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band through Magical Mystery Tour (late 1966-1967)" captures the band's most innovative era in its entirety. From the first take to the final remix, discover the making of the greatest recordings of all time. Through extensive, fully-documented research, these books fill an important gap left by all other Beatles books published to date and provide a unique view into the recordings of the world's most successful pop music act.

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If we like to think, in all modesty, that the Paul McCartney Project is the best online ressource for everything Paul McCartney, The Beatles Bible is for sure the definitive online site focused on the Beatles. There are obviously some overlap in terms of content between the two sites, but also some major differences in terms of approach.

Read more on The Beatles Bible


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