Tag Archives for " Abbey Road studios "
If you love old recording desks, then you have a chance to buy not one, but 2 iconic consoles that have huge pedigrees with tons of hits. The first is the EMI TG12345 MK IV from Abbey Road Studios made famous for the recording of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, and albums by Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Kate Bush, The Cure, among many others.
Back in the day, all consoles at Abbey Road and other EMI-owned studios were designed and built by the EMI in-house technical staff. and this particular desk is only one of two like it ever built (the other now belonging to producer Michael Hedges). The console has 40 channels, with a compressor on each channel (which was quite innovative for its time), divided into 24 input channels and 16 monitor channels, since this is from the days of 16 track tape recording.
Many think that the solid state TG12345 MK IV was the best sounding console every built, although I know at least a couple of former Abbey Road engineers who disagree and think the tube REDD series sounded better, but that’s probably splitting hairs. Regardless, it’s still in working order and is up for auction at Bonhams. It’s expected to go for somewhere in the high 6 figures!
The second classic desk is a very nice API 2488 from Sunset Sound Factory in Hollywood which has been heavily modified and fully restored (which cost around $165k in today’s dollars). It has 36 inputs, 16 busses and 29 (!) full monitor channels, plus a Martinsound Flying Fader package.
This console was at the heart of recordings by Chili Peppers, Motorhead, Sheryl Crow, Brian Wilson, Bonnie Raitt, Beck, Jimmy Cliff, Smashing Pumpkins and many more. No mention of the price, but it’s available from Vintage King.
The best thing about these desks is that they’re available in working order and should find a nice home without being parted out. There’s less and less of a need for a big piece of iron like these iconic consoles these days, but hopefully they’ll both find nice homes.
If you’re a hard-core Beatles fan then you’ll love this Beatles Bloopers video. If you’re not, you’ll still enjoy some of the humor involved when various members of the band screw things up on songs that you’ve heard hundreds of times. Here are a few other things to listen for though.
1. John Lennon’s voice is truly impressive. I don’t think I ever gave him credit for the range that he had back in the day.
2. The Abbey Road reverb is truly lovely. You’ll hear gobs of it here, and it played a large part in the sound of the band (and others of that era who recorded there too).
3. It’s cool to hear inside a few of the songs to how some of the parts were played, if even only for a second. The interplay between guitars is a little more obvious in places than in the final mixes.[Photo: Beeld en Geluidwiki – Gallery: The Beatles]
If you ever wanted to hear a true Hollywood story, then you’ll love this week’s episode of my Inner Circle podcast. Engineer Tom Weir has had some studio experiences that you could only get if you grew up in Southern California, and you won’t believe how cool some of them have been.
Tom is also the owner of Studio City Sound, and we’ll discuss just how different having a Hollywood-area studio is compared to almost anywhere else in the world.
In the intro I’ll take a look at what people are really listening to when streaming (it’s not what you think), and talk about the famous console from Abbey Road Studio 1 being up for sale.
A few years ago I was speaking with an accomplished songwriter friend and I told him that I had just seen Paul McCartney in concert and how it was an 11 on a scale of 10. ” Of course, that’s like seeing Beethoven,” he replied. Yeah, Sir Paul may eventually be viewed that way, but no matter how you look at his career, he’s given us some of the most memorable and enjoyable music ever.
Here’s a great video of a television show that Paul did at Abbey Road Studios where he talks about how he came up with the idea for many of his songs (like “Blackbird,” “Lady Madonna,” and especially, the Mellotron part in “Strawberry Fields”).
It’s very cool to see some of the old Abbey Road gear, as Paul plays bits from his famous and latest tunes (this was more or less a promo for his latest album at the time). He also builds a song up from scratch where he plays all the instruments.
The Beatles, and John Lennon in particular, loved to double track vocals but hated the act of doing it. Not only that, back in the 4 and 8 track days, the doubled vocal would take up a track that could have been used for another element of the production.
That’s why Abbey Road chief engineer, technical director, and later studio manager Ken Townsend came up with an ingenious way of simulating a double by using a couple of tape machines that’s still tough to duplicate even today (although Waves now has a nice simulation). He called the effect ADT or Artificial Double Tracking.
Here’s Ken describing how the effect worked.