Pete Townshend discusses simple but effective recording techniques

"In the past week I have been discussing with a couple of people I hold in high esteem about the way we used to record music. This comes down to a simple thesis. When the Who were in the studio for their first session back in 1964 the engineer, for the purpose of this post let's imagine it was Glyn Johns, would set up a microphone over the drums, put one on the bass drum, and that was pretty much that. I have read that on early Beatles recordings only two mikes were used on Ringo's kit. These two mikes would go into a simple mixing box, sometimes with big black round knobs, to be combined with the bass guitar, electric guitar and piano into a single channel of sound. From there they would go into what is called a 'compressor', a device that literally compresses (squashes) the sound dynamically, the loud bits are made quieter and the quiet bits louder.