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Columbia studios in the 1960s Consoles
Old 28th July 2016
  #1
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Columbia studios in the 1960s

This is a shot of the rack equipment at Columbia studios during the 1960s- Pultec Eqs and what else?
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Columbia studios in the 1960s-controlroomstudi.jpeg  
Old 28th July 2016
  #2
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The bigger boxes are RCA BA-6As, without the hinged faceplates. The top right modules are probably in house built in attenuators, but probably not due to the VU.
Old 28th July 2016
  #3
Now that is retro!

I doubt even anyone here has played with these types of systems
Old 28th July 2016
  #4
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This would be another view of the same control room, at the console is the great late Frank Laico (also know as the control man).
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Columbia studios in the 1960s-16021095378_9f5c1624b1_c.jpg  
Old 28th July 2016
  #5
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I think it is Columbia Square in Hollywood? I was expecting to see LA2A's since Roger McGuinn often talks about Ray Gerhardt D.I.ing the 12 string guitar into two La2a'sin series to 'get that jingle jangle tone'. Though in other interviews Pultec limiters and Fairchilds are mentioned instead. Would that be Fairchilds top right?
Old 28th July 2016
  #6
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It's Columbia Record's 30th Street Studios in New York, the "Church". LA-2As date back to the early 60s, this should be quite earlier than that. The top right stuff looks like in-house built stuff, as the console was as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by antnb View Post
I think it is Columbia Square in Hollywood? I was expecting to see LA2A's since Roger McGuinn often talks about Ray Gerhardt D.I.ing the 12 string guitar into two La2a'sin series to 'get that jingle jangle tone'. Though in other interviews Pultec limiters and Fairchilds are mentioned instead. Would that be Fairchilds top right?
Old 28th July 2016
  #7
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I owned a pair of the RCA's in the picture from this studio for quite a number of years.

They were modified by RCA with an extra faster release switch.

Nice units..
Old 28th July 2016
  #8
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Monk?
I do love rotary pots.
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Columbia studios in the 1960s-3-cbs-30th-street-studio.jpg  
Old 28th July 2016
  #9
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It doesn't look that different from what I saw in Columbia's San Francisco studio in 1972.
Old 29th July 2016
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Monk?
I do love rotary pots.
beautiful photo...if only studios were like this today! makes me sad, they are nowhere near this visually attractive, that console is a work of art.
Old 29th July 2016
  #11
Old 29th July 2016
  #12
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Teo explaining what it was like working for Columbia...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7qHRDlI7s7E
Old 29th July 2016
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Monk?
I do love rotary pots.

Yes, the one and only Monk... Watch the YouTube video above to see Monk in action, (that shot is him at 30th Street).

[deleted by mod]

Last edited by [email protected]; 29th July 2016 at 01:29 PM.. Reason: Pease don't link to other forums. Read the FAQ if in doubt.
Old 29th July 2016
  #14
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Columbia's RCA BA-6a limiters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul EQ View Post
I owned a pair of the RCA's in the picture from this studio for quite a number of years.
They were modified by RCA with an extra faster release switch.
Cannot speak for your limiters but Columbia's BA-6a's were modified in house by their own staff.
Blueprints dated 12-12-1961, revision dated 11-1-1962.
The modifications feature an additional 6H6 and a Stancor A-4208 interstage transformer.
Attached Thumbnails
Columbia studios in the 1960s-ba6a.jpg  

Last edited by cathode; 29th July 2016 at 05:23 AM.. Reason: spelling
Old 29th July 2016
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cathode View Post
Cannot speak for your limiters but Columbia's BA-6a's were modified in house by their own staff.
Blueprints dated 12-12-1961, revision dated 11-1-1962.
The modifications feature an additional 6H6 and a Stancor A-4208 interdstage transformer.
Yes this is what i meant.. They were the Columbia modded BA-6A units with the CBS engraving on the left side...

Here's a pic of one of them below..


Last edited by Deleted User; 29th July 2016 at 01:16 PM..
Old 29th July 2016
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul EQ View Post
Yes this is what i meant.. They were the Columbia modded BA-6A units with the CBS engraving on the left side...

Here's a pic of one of them below..

Beautiful!
Old 15th February 2017
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antnb View Post
This is a shot of the rack equipment at Columbia studios during the 1960s- Pultec Eqs and what else?
Quote:
Originally Posted by antnb View Post
I think it is Columbia Square in Hollywood?
Correct, the original image is from Hollywood. This is another shot, my guess would be a bit earlier:



Quote:
Originally Posted by retractablezing View Post
This would be another view of the same control room, at the console is the great late Frank Laico (also know as the control man).
That's Studio A in New York, 799 Seventh Ave.

Quote:
Originally Posted by retractablezing View Post
It's Columbia Record's 30th Street Studios in New York, the "Church".
As above, neither of the studios pictured are 30th Street.
Old 15th February 2017
  #18
OMG that stuff looks so beautiful.

On the left there , would that be a single track then a two track followed by a three track tape machine(s) on the same track width?
Old 15th February 2017
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flanagan View Post
OMG that stuff looks so beautiful.

On the left there , would that be a single track then a two track followed by a three track tape machine(s) on the same track width?
Kind of hard to see at that angle, but the 3-track would have been 1/2", while the mono and stereo machines were 1/4".

Reverse angles from a few years later, with Brian Wilson:





Note the custom 8-track using Ampex 354 electronics. Additional outboard gear in front of the existing rack as well.
Old 15th February 2017
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukpac View Post
That's Studio A in New York, 799 Seventh Ave.

As above, neither of the studios pictured are 30th Street.
I see, thought it could be one of the many incarnations of the 30th Street Control Room, which changed position and layout a few times over CBS's run on that particular studio.
Old 15th February 2017
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retractablezing View Post
I see, thought it could be one of the many incarnations of the 30th Street Control Room, which changed position and layout a few times over CBS's run on that particular studio.
Some of the details changed a bit, but there were only 2 main incarnations there:

1) Original control room at the west end of the studio. Raised up several steps, U shaped window, older console(s). Tape machines in the control room. Used until 1962, still in place until the mid-'70s.

2) New control room at south side of studio. Up one or two steps from the studio floor, large rectangular window. Original console (similar to those pictured above) used until 1971 or so, second console used until the studio closed. Tape machines in adjacent machine room.

This is Frank Laico at 30th Street in the mid-'60s:



Definitely similarities to Studio A, but note the door on the rear wall and large opening to the machine room. In contrast, in Studio A the patchbay was against the side wall with a window with curtains behind it.
Old 15th February 2017
  #22
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Amazing pictures!

That eight track behind Brian Wilson I'm lead to believe it was designed as a Dynamic Stereo 4 track? Hence the meters grouped like 4 stereo machines? But the method never caught on?

I'm also assuming it was later used by Terry Melcher recording The Byrds as a stepping stone, - to record one instrument per track with vocals and an overdub or so, before mixing down on the 3 track? Does anyone know, was there only 1 or 2 eight track machines in the room? in case for bouncing tracks to make room for more overdubs?
Old 15th February 2017
  #23
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There undoubtedly were always two machines available in order to be able to make safety copies. This was back when the folks out in front of the mikes were being well paid by the hour. Younger people obviously can't relate to this concept.
Old 15th February 2017
  #24
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Hi Bob

Can you explain how the three speakers on the wall were used for monitoring? Was it always L-C-R one track of the three track per speaker? or combined to stereo on the mixer with an option to check the mono on the centre speaker?

And Im guessing if the balance engineer balanced to three rack tape, then the three track was sent to the mastering room to compile the stereo and mono tapes for cutting to acetate, or could the mastering engineer cut direct from the three track and miss out a generation of tape transfer?
Old 15th February 2017
  #25
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Three tracks would have been mixed to mono, later stereo. That is what would have gone to mastering.

3 speakers were for L, C, R

Lukpac used to work there I believe, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Here's my 12x3 track, made from all Langevin parts...

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Old 15th February 2017
  #26
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Four monitor speakers were used for 4 track. The primary economic purpose of monitors was spotting musical mistakes before the musicians went home because, once again, they were being very well paid by the hour. This was also why the recording gear in that era was cost-no-object.
Old 15th February 2017
  #27
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3 and 4 track monitoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by antnb View Post
Can you explain how the three speakers on the wall were used for monitoring? Was it always L-C-R one track of the three track per speaker? or combined to stereo on the mixer with an option to check the mono on the centre speaker?

And Im guessing if the balance engineer balanced to three rack tape, then the three track was sent to the mastering room to compile the stereo and mono tapes for cutting to acetate, or could the mastering engineer cut direct from the three track and miss out a generation of tape transfer?
well I am not mr bob, you can send him a pm,
but am familiar with the 3 and 4 montors on the wall.
the consoles of the era did not have a monitor section, aka, "jukebox",
thus, each bus or track playback was sent to the respective monitor.
pretty simple wouldn't you say?
mastering rooms did not generally work from a 3 or 4 track master but there were exceptions.
RCA's Dynagroove mastering process would sometimes include mixing from the 3 track.
Old 15th February 2017
  #28
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Thank you for explaining.

its an era where many things deemed common practice at the time are not written down, too mundane to be recalled, yet are vital to understanding how the recordings were produced.
Old 15th February 2017
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
Three tracks would have been mixed to mono, later stereo. That is what would have gone to mastering.

3 speakers were for L, C, R
A bit later on, I worked a lot of three-track sessions for movies and TV where the three tracks were stems, e.g. rhythm/horns/strings. People would always monitor in mono, though, not with a stem per speaker. That evolved into four-track, the fourth track being 60 Hz sync.
Old 16th February 2017
  #30
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A monitor mixer made no sense before 8 track and headphones became common. The live mix was done to one mono monitor but playback was to 3 or 4 both in the control room and out in the studio. Basically we ran the take and played it back for everybody if the producer considered it worth checking out. Musicians were expected to raise their hands if they heard any problems so that another take could be done immediately. The goal was to record four songs or twenty minutes of music in three hours.
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