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gear used at "The Hit Factory" in London
Old 8th July 2015
  #1
Here for the gear
 

gear used at "The Hit Factory" in London

Having recently watched the "Stock Aitken Waterman Story" (Mike Stock, Matt Aitken, and Pete Waterman) on Youtube about how these songwriters/producers created hit after hit for artists like Kylie Minogue, Dead or Alive, and Rick Astley in the 80s. I really love the signature sound they created and would love to know about the gear they liked to use on these hits. Below is a pic of the mixing console they used, does anyone know what it is? What about synths and drums machines? Microphones? It looks like they liked the Akg c414eb.
And please, don't "Rick Roll" this thread. I hope for a serious discussion of the gear.

Old 8th July 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
The infamous "Calrec Soundfield" mic was credited on many of their records. Quite rightly, it's a fantastic microphone.
Old 8th July 2015
  #3
Here for the gear
 

I only have pictures of Rick standing in front of a C414eb but maybe that's not what was used on the tracks. What mixing console is that in the pic I posted?
Old 8th July 2015
  #5
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From wikipedia:

Notable instruments
Linn 9000
Yamaha DX7
Roland D-50
Emulator II
Fairlight CMI
Old 8th July 2015
  #6
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gainreduction's Avatar
 

I remember an interview with one of them, can't remember who it was, and he was talking about them mixing with as little bass as they could possibly get away with. Since that made the song louder in the end

He also said they finished a song a day (write, produce and mix) but personally find that hard to believe. Maybe rough tracks but the hits we all know by now must have been a little more than a day of work.

I think the whole thing did not end up all too well. Fights over investments gone wrong or something like that.

They sure had an impressive number of hits, like them or not. Can't take that away from them

I see a pair of Auratones and a cool phone. Don't know about the gear..
Old 9th July 2015
  #7
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

OMG - look at that phone!!!
Old 9th July 2015
  #8
Solid State Logic
 
Jim@SSL's Avatar
 

From my cherished copy of the SSL "Black Book"...
Attached Files
File Type: pdf StockAitkenWaterman.pdf (1.39 MB, 311 views)
Old 10th July 2015
  #9
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ParkRun View Post
HBelow is a pic of the mixing console they used, does anyone know what it is?

This is driving me crazy.....

I recognise the mixer - I have had my hands on one - but I cannot, for the life of me, remember what it was.

It was not an expensive one and I'm pretty certian it was a British manufacturer.

Allen & Heath comes to mind - but I'm not certain.

It doesn't look like a Soundcraft.

Maybe if I stop thinking it will come to mind..........
Old 10th July 2015
  #10
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Hi
I would guess an early Allen and Heath (Syncon?).
Matt S
Old 10th July 2015
  #11
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Syson View Post
Hi
I would guess an early Allen and Heath (Syncon?).
Matt S
If it is, it's likely the forerunner to the Syncon.
Old 10th July 2015
  #12
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
This is driving me crazy.....

I recognise the mixer - I have had my hands on one - but I cannot, for the life of me, remember what it was.

It was not an expensive one and I'm pretty certian it was a British manufacturer.

Allen & Heath comes to mind - but I'm not certain.

It doesn't look like a Soundcraft.

Maybe if I stop thinking it will come to mind..........
Found it !!!

It's an Allen & Heath MOD3/4



I searched through all the obsolete models on Allen & Heath's website until I found it.

And then Googled the model number

Old 11th July 2015
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
Found it !!!

It's an Allen & Heath MOD3/4



I searched through all the obsolete models on Allen & Heath's website until I found it.

And then Googled the model number

Wow that thing looks great! But maybe that wasn't their main room in that pic? I've seen other pictures of Stock and Aitken in front of what looks like an SSL...
Old 11th July 2015
  #14
Here for the gear
 

That A&H appears in a scene where they are filming Rick Astley and talking about how his manager persuaded Pete to go see him up near Newton and that is Rick sat at the desk so I'm afraid I don't think it is anything to do with the Hit Factory.

General history — PWL Recording Studios gives an idea of the sort of gear that had around and at the start of the documentary you can see that the Hit Factory console is a much more expensive looking device. Quite a lot of the synths were sold off on Ebay a couple of years ago or at least they were up for auction - I remember that a few of them at least didn't meet their reserve the first time.

Sound on Sound did a Classic Tracks piece back in Feb 2009 on the production of Rick Astley's 'Never Gonna Give You Up' http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb0...racks_0209.htm which seems to spill the beans as far as the SAW sound goes.

Last edited by MintyPig; 11th July 2015 at 09:19 PM.. Reason: Added SoS link
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