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What type of reverb on the first Zappa album, 1966? Reverb/Delay Processors (HW)
Old 25th October 2018
  #1
Gear Nut
 
SongJohn's Avatar
 

What type of reverb on the first Zappa album, 1966?

My question is, is the album freak-out loaded with plate reverb, or echo chamber? Or both?? I've always loved the echo on this record, can you please take a listen to this song and tell me what you thing? There's lots of reverb on the drums and vocals. YouTube

I've read as much about TTG studio as I can, even searched the building on google Street view. The building is large, but I'm not sure if there was a dedicated space there for an echo chamber....



I put this in high-end because I figured either way, an EMT tube plate or echo chamber would be pretty high-end.


Thanks!!
Old 25th October 2018
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

My guess wouldbe a diy chamber? Cheap (materials & labour) compared to $$$ at the time EMT-140... But I have no idea what was used on Freak Out... Haven't listened to the album in years but the sonic memory I have is more of a Gold Star 60's studio chamber kind of vibe than a plate (?)
Old 25th October 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
If you enter the album name and the studio name (TTG Studios) in Wikipedia, the history is very interesting. TTG was a serious studio in its day, and the noted studio designer Tom Hidley, later of Eastlake and Westlake Audio fame, was one of the pair of studio owners. It may have been one of his first studio designs. If Hidley designed a live chamber there, yes, it would have been a very good chamber, and not at all DYI in the way most of us think of DYI. The Zappa engineer was the other studio owner, so it was not a “sneak in during the night” project. I couldn’t find an equipment list or anything else to indicate whether they had an EMT plate. They did have, according to Wikipedia, the first 16 track recorder on the west coast, which was built by Hidley.
Fascinating stuff. I’m glad the OP’s question caused me to try to find some information.
Old 25th October 2018
  #4
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Bob Ross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
They did have, according to Wikipedia, the first 16 track recorder on the west coast
Just in case anyone finds this statement misleading (unintentionally), Freak Out was not recorded on 16-track.
Old 25th October 2018
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
Just in case anyone finds this statement misleading (unintentionally), Freak Out was not recorded on 16-track.
Thank you. I seemed to imply that it was 16 track, which, as you guessed, wasn’t my intention. Because the album was worked on, mixed, and remixed in several places, it could not have been recorded with a new and very rare track count format.
Old 26th October 2018
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Can't say for certain if it was there in 1966, but in 1968 there was an echo chamber at TTG, according to this article on the Cowsills recording their version of the song "Hair": Classic Track: The Cowsills, “Hair” - Mixonline

"The TTG echo chamber was located on the first floor, across from Hidley’s shop, and was connected to a TEAC tape machine in the adjacent room for any desired tape delay (such as Balestier used on the tail end of “Hair”). "
Old 26th October 2018
  #7
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Frank is widely know to have loved chambers.
Old 26th October 2018
  #8
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mikeyman's Avatar
 

help i'm a rock
Old 26th October 2018
  #9
Angel Balister was the AE there back then, I also know his son. He also recorded Jimi Hendrix there.
Old 26th October 2018
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

The rather strange 'Who Are The Brain Police' from Freak Out .. (apparently this is the freakout component)... drenched in 'verb & tape echo... to my ears it sounds more chamber-esque then EMT plate (?)..






Check out the reverb decay @ 10s here..... my $'s on chamber.. got to love this album,, sounds great

Old 26th October 2018
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
If you enter the album name and the studio name (TTG Studios) in Wikipedia, the history is very interesting. TTG was a serious studio in its day, and the noted studio designer Tom Hidley, later of Eastlake and Westlake Audio fame, was one of the pair of studio owners. It may have been one of his first studio designs. If Hidley designed a live chamber there, yes, it would have been a very good chamber, and not at all DYI in the way most of us think of DYI. The Zappa engineer was the other studio owner, so it was not a “sneak in during the night” project. I couldn’t find an equipment list or anything else to indicate whether they had an EMT plate. They did have, according to Wikipedia, the first 16 track recorder on the west coast, which was built by Hidley.
Fascinating stuff. I’m glad the OP’s question caused me to try to find some information.


Quite a heavy-hitting list of people recorded there according to the wiki entry ... bizarre that one of the partner/engineers was supposedly an Israeli air force general (reserves maybe?) who'd sometimes get recalled for duty......

TTG Studios - Wikipedia
Old 28th October 2018
  #12
Gear Nut
 
SongJohn's Avatar
 

Thanks for all the opinions here. I think it's a chamber too. The drums on the alternatre version of "any way the wind blows" in the middle...sounds like you're right in the chamber with them.

Does anyone know about the smaller sunset sound echo chamber? We're talking 5x5x15 ish...very small, but from the 60s. Anyone know any tunes that used this chamber?
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Old 28th October 2018
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

No idea about the Sunset chamber question, but I find the whole subject of chambers pretty fascinating - especially with those 60's LA studios... food for thought is Gold Star was apparently a fairly non-remarkable demo/jingle kind of studio until the owner created a magical chamber after years of experimentation - leading to the studio being in demand for top flight sessions with Phil Spector, Brian Wilson etc etc...
Old 28th October 2018
  #14
Gear Nut
 
SongJohn's Avatar
 

RE201, I agree, the subject matter is fascinating. I always thought plate reverb was the way to go, but I feel as though the reverb on "Freak Out" is the best sounding I've ever heard. And "You've lost that loving feeling". I had no idea echo chambers could be so bright. I always thought they had a booming, boxy short-decay type sound, but the fact is Freak Out's reverb is very bright.

On another note, I just want to say it's really sickening to see that Sunset Sound is still up and running yet can't get the sound of the first Doors album. Really what a big gigantic disappointment. They installed this goofy SSL-looking non-tube board in the mid 80s. Why not demolish/remove the original echo chambers while they're at it? Bang up job.

Who are they trying to cater to anymore? Clearly not the people who love Doors, Zappa, and '60s music. Why was 1966 the last time things sounded this good? It's utter rubbish. New recordings just don't sound that good

Last edited by SongJohn; 28th October 2018 at 06:07 PM..
Old 28th October 2018
  #15
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skybluerental's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RE201 View Post
The rather strange 'Who Are The Brain Police' from Freak Out .. (apparently this is the freakout component)... drenched in 'verb & tape echo... to my ears it sounds more chamber-esque then EMT plate (?)..






Check out the reverb decay @ 10s here..... my $'s on chamber.. got to love this album,, sounds great

It doesnt sound like an EMT 140 to me, so likely a chamber..........

Whatever verb is being used, it is being pre delayed by a tape deck.
Old 28th October 2018
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SongJohn View Post
x I feel as though the reverb on "Freak Out" is the best sounding I've ever heard. And "You've lost that loving feeling".

You've Lost That Loving Feeling -> drenched in Gold Star chamber (!)...


On chambers, here's an interesting tour of the chambers at Rockfield Studios... plus dry & 'chambered' drums/precussion.... eye/ear-opening stuff!

Old 28th October 2018
  #17
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SongJohn View Post
Thanks for all the opinions here. I think it's a chamber too. The drums on the alternatre version of "any way the wind blows" in the middle...sounds like you're right in the chamber with them.

Does anyone know about the smaller sunset sound echo chamber? We're talking 5x5x15 ish...very small, but from the 60s. Anyone know any tunes that used this chamber?
Go to 19:25 on this video. The Sunset chamber is shown while talking about Van Halen 1.



Quote:
Originally Posted by SongJohn View Post
RE201, I agree, the subject matter is fascinating. I always thought plate reverb was the way to go, but I feel as though the reverb on "Freak Out" is the best sounding I've ever heard. And "You've lost that loving feeling". I had no idea echo chambers could be so bright. I always thought they had a booming, boxy short-decay type sound, but the fact is Freak Out's reverb is very bright.

On another note, I just want to say it's really sickening to see that Sunset Sound is still up and running yet can't get the sound of the first Doors album. Really what a big gigantic disappointment. They installed this goofy SSL-looking non-tube board in the mid 80s. Why not demolish/remove the original echo chambers while they're at it? Bang up job.

Who are they trying to cater to anymore? Clearly not the people who love Doors, Zappa, and '60s music. Why was 1966 the last time things sounded this good? It's utter rubbish. New recordings just don't sound that good
Studios, especial in LA, need to give their clients what they desire. In the 80s, when budgets where huge, when consumers actually paid money for music, you needed to keep up. No one wanted to make records that sounded like the Doors at that time. Its a business decision.
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