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Fletcher/Bob O..."Motown" or "Muscle Shoals" pres?
Old 7th May 2004
  #1
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Fletcher/Bob O..."Motown" or "Muscle Shoals" pres?

1) I was reading that article re vintage pres on the Mercenary website, and Fletcher wrote that he since learned he'd got it wrong re the pres used in Motown recordings (I guess in the 60's)... you know, with that appealing distortion...

Can anyone throw any light on what they used?

2) Does anyone know when the Beatles recording sessions started being tracked on solid state consoles? Was there a point where the tube consoles were retired from Abbey road/EMI? studios.
Old 8th May 2004
  #2
Gear Nut
 

From what I have read and pics i have seen Motown had a Electrodyne console somtime in the 60,s.
I have a few of the electrodyne pre's and they are nice.
Old 8th May 2004
  #3
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flexoffset's Avatar
 

Here's the equipment over at Fame in Muscle Shoals ... about a mile away from me right now.
http://www.fame2.com/studioseqpt.html

Here is (was) some equipment located at the 'newer' location for Muscle Shoals Sound (Rolling Stones, etc -- all the magic happened at the ode studio).
http://www.mssound.com/mssswhy.htm

I'm sure Randall can fill you in on the Muscle Shoals stuff.
Old 8th May 2004
  #4
TC5
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I believe the White album was the first one recorded on a solid state console.
Old 8th May 2004
  #5
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Cool links... Thanx

Thanks for the links, flex...

Anybody else got any tidbits re the Beatles/Abbey Road consoles?
Old 10th May 2004
  #6
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

We had one studio with all Altec solid state preamps and another with a combination of Langeven tube pres, home made 12AX7/UTC xformer pres and Altec and Ampex mixers. We also occasionally used Sculley 280B mike pres and Shure M-67 mixers when we ran out of anything better.

The 20 input Electrodyne consoles we bought after going 16 track were used strictly for mixing and had no mike preamps.
Old 10th May 2004
  #7
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Excellent! Thanks Bob

Old 11th May 2004
  #8
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check out this link for the Brown Sugar sessions at Muscle Shoals
http://www.prosoundweb.com/recording...s3/sugar.shtml

Regarding Abbey Road.. the album Abbey Road was the first to be recorded through a tranny EMI desk
check out this interview with Mike Hedges who wons quite a few of the original abbey road desks...
http://manics.rawkstar.net/articles/mikehedges.php
Old 4th July 2011
  #9
Gear Addict
 

those langevin tube pres are pretty sick.
Old 4th July 2011
  #10
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The White Album was on a REDD tube console. The first and only Beatles album recorded on a solid state console was Abbey Road, which was recorded on the EMI TG12345.
Old 4th July 2011
  #11
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Plush's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by flexoffset View Post
Here's the equipment over at Fame in Muscle Shoals ... about a mile away from me right now.
http://www.fame2.com/studioseqpt.html

Here is (was) some equipment located at the 'newer' location for Muscle Shoals Sound (Rolling Stones, etc -- all the magic happened at the ode studio).
http://www.mssound.com/mssswhy.htm

I'm sure Randall can fill you in on the Muscle Shoals stuff.
It's nonsense what you wrote here above. Did you somehow miss all the magic that happened in Sheffield?
Old 4th July 2011
  #12
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The 1st Muscle Shoals Studio console was a Universal Audio 10 channel tube console which fed to Scully mono and 2 track machines during various early years. In 1969 The Rolling Stones recorded "Brown Sugar" on this console which by now fed a Scully 8 Track machine.

At some stage after this (1969 -71?), the studio changed to a custom 16 channel console (designed by Daniel Flickinger).

The next console was an MCI 400 Series, installed at some point during the mid 70's, along with an MCI JH24 tape machine.

In 1980, a Neve 8038 was installed in the Main Studio, with another Neve in the B Studio.

(From a Mix Magazine interview.)
Old 4th July 2011
  #13
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Supplementary question for Bob O: (Don't mean to hijack the thread)

Bob - did you ever work out of the old Ric Tic/Golden World studios in Detroit? Some people reckon that place had an even more magical vibe than the Hitsville building. The early Edwin Starr tracks seem to bear that out. How about United Sound? I gather that was another great Detroit studio.

If you have any clues about the gear used there then us British soul music devotees would be interested for sure.

Last edited by Dayo; 4th July 2011 at 04:13 PM.. Reason: spelling
Old 4th July 2011
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradD View Post
The White Album was on a REDD tube console. The first and only Beatles album recorded on a solid state console was Abbey Road, which was recorded on the EMI TG12345.
True, but you're forgetting that the White Album was recorded in part at Trident studios on their then totally custom desk (the first A range). Abbey Road was always just a little behind the times with technological upgrades. They wanted to be absolutely sure everything was amazing before sending it to the studio.
Old 5th July 2011
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
We had one studio with all Altec solid state preamps and another with a combination of Langeven tube pres, home made 12AX7/UTC xformer pres and Altec and Ampex mixers. We also occasionally used Sculley 280B mike pres and Shure M-67 mixers when we ran out of anything better.

The 20 input Electrodyne consoles we bought after going 16 track were used strictly for mixing and had no mike preamps.
sweet
Old 5th July 2011
  #16
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ray_subsonic View Post
The 1st Muscle Shoals Studio console was a Universal Audio 10 channel tube console which fed to Scully mono and 2 track machines during various early years. In 1969 The Rolling Stones recorded "Brown Sugar" on this console which by now fed a Scully 8 Track machine.

At some stage after this (1969 -71?), the studio changed to a custom 16 channel console (designed by Daniel Flickinger).

The next console was an MCI 400 Series, installed at some point during the mid 70's, along with an MCI JH24 tape machine.

In 1980, a Neve 8038 was installed in the Main Studio, with another Neve in the B Studio.

(From a Mix Magazine interview.)
i wish i had all those pres
Old 5th July 2011
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walth View Post
i wish i had all those pres
3 of the best sounding preamps ever made right there. Nothing that shabby about MCI 400 Series pre's either ...
Old 5th July 2011
  #18
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sedohr's Avatar
 

Those vintage threads are classic, don't matter if they're from 2004, you can continue whenever you like. Unlike threads about PT 5 or Logic 7, doubt that they get revisited after seven years

Kalli
Old 5th July 2011
  #19
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Blast9's Avatar
^ LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by ray_subsonic View Post
The 1st Muscle Shoals Studio console was a Universal Audio 10 channel tube console which fed to Scully mono and 2 track machines during various early years. In 1969 The Rolling Stones recorded "Brown Sugar" on this console which by now fed a Scully 8 Track machine.

At some stage after this (1969 -71?), the studio changed to a custom 16 channel console (designed by Daniel Flickinger).

The next console was an MCI 400 Series, installed at some point during the mid 70's, along with an MCI JH24 tape machine.

In 1980, a Neve 8038 was installed in the Main Studio, with another Neve in the B Studio.

(From a Mix Magazine interview.)
Thanks Ray! Great info
Old 5th July 2011
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sedohr View Post
Those vintage threads are classic, don't matter if they're from 2004, you can continue whenever you like. Unlike threads about PT 5 or Logic 7, doubt that they get revisited after seven years

Kalli
Great point!
Old 19th July 2011
  #21
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by flame Linear View Post
From what I have read and pics i have seen Motown had a Electrodyne console somtime in the 60,s.
I have a few of the electrodyne pre's and they are nice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast9 View Post
1) I was reading that article re vintage pres on the Mercenary website, and Fletcher wrote that he since learned he'd got it wrong re the pres used in Motown recordings (I guess in the 60's)... you know, with that appealing distortion...

Can anyone throw any light on what they used?

2) Does anyone know when the Beatles recording sessions started being tracked on solid state consoles? Was there a point where the tube consoles were retired from Abbey road/EMI? studios.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
We had one studio with all Altec solid state preamps and another with a combination of Langeven tube pres, home made 12AX7/UTC xformer pres and Altec and Ampex mixers. We also occasionally used Sculley 280B mike pres and Shure M-67 mixers when we ran out of anything better.

The 20 input Electrodyne consoles we bought after going 16 track were used strictly for mixing and had no mike preamps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ray_subsonic View Post
The 1st Muscle Shoals Studio console was a Universal Audio 10 channel tube console which fed to Scully mono and 2 track machines during various early years. In 1969 The Rolling Stones recorded "Brown Sugar" on this console which by now fed a Scully 8 Track machine.

At some stage after this (1969 -71?), the studio changed to a custom 16 channel console (designed by Daniel Flickinger).

The next console was an MCI 400 Series, installed at some point during the mid 70's, along with an MCI JH24 tape machine.

In 1980, a Neve 8038 was installed in the Main Studio, with another Neve in the B Studio.

(From a Mix Magazine interview.)
The Tridents are nice A Range. Expensive just like neve
Old 19th July 2011
  #22
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Blast9's Avatar
yes - love the a range saturation and "thump"
Old 9th February 2012
  #23
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayo View Post
Bob - did you ever work out of the old Ric Tic/Golden World studios in Detroit? Some people reckon that place had an even more magical vibe than the Hitsville building...
I did many sessions at Golden World. It had a bigger, more comfortable control room and a better sounding live chamber. The studio acoustics were lots worse than Hitsville and there was a great deal of traffic noise. I don't know anybody who worked at Hitsville who has ever found a better small studio. Something inside me screams when I think about that room only being a museum today. It still has the vibe and things always sound incredible in there.

My first few years hanging out around studios were at United. It had been built as a sound stage for producing automobile commercials. For me it never had the magic of the RCA Victor-designed Hitsville room.
Old 9th February 2012
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
We also occasionally used Sculley 280B mike pres and Shure M-67 mixers when we ran out of anything better.
.
The Scully 280b has no mic preamp, input is directed through a Triad A-68J transformer configured voltage step-down.
Old 9th February 2012
  #25
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

What can I say? Ours had a separate mike input jack on the back and an input selector on the front. I was always told it was a b. We also had the very first prototype Scully 8-track which was an older design.
Old 9th February 2012
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
I did many sessions at Golden World. It had a bigger, more comfortable control room and a better sounding live chamber. The studio acoustics were lots worse than Hitsville and there was a great deal of traffic noise. I don't know anybody who worked at Hitsville who has ever found a better small studio. Something inside me screams when I think about that room only being a museum today. It still has the vibe and things always sound incredible in there.

My first few years hanging out around studios were at United. It had been built as a sound stage for producing automobile commercials. For me it never had the magic of the RCA Victor-designed Hitsville room.
Thanks for the info Bob - much appreciated. I love that early Edwin Starr stuff that I'm guessing was done at Golden World; Back Street, Agent Double O Soul, Stop her on sight, Headline news and so on. Great vibe!

I had no idea that RCA designed the Hitsville studio. Here was me thinking it was all a happy accident in Berry Gordy's garage!
Old 9th February 2012
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcocet View Post
True, but you're forgetting that the White Album was recorded in part at Trident studios on their then totally custom desk (the first A range). Abbey Road was always just a little behind the times with technological upgrades. They wanted to be absolutely sure everything was amazing before sending it to the studio.
.....


Trident had the Soundtechniques console at that time, hooked up
to the Ampex 440-8.
The TRIDENT " A-range " prototype came later...

I had an early TRIDENT B-range, hooked up
to a Ampex MM1100 (same micpres/audiocards) about 10 years ago, great sounding couple, not
the easiest to maintain tho'

.....

Best,
Tom
Old 9th February 2012
  #28
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I could be wrong but I dont think that RCA "designed" Hitsville..they had room treatment "inspired" by the RCA studios design elements ie diffusers,absorption etc
If one is familiar with the old RCA New York studios,you could plainly see and hear the influence
Old 9th February 2012
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
I could be wrong but I dont think that RCA "designed" Hitsville..they had room treatment "inspired" by the RCA studios design elements ie diffusers,absorption etc
If one is familiar with the old RCA New York studios,you could plainly see and hear the influence
Ah! Now that makes sense. Partly explains how RCA made a lot of very Motown sounding records in the mid sixties (Kenny Carter, Herb Ward, Lorraine Chandler to name just a few that bombed!)

Talking of great sounding studios, the early Gamble and Huff stuff had a very unique sound. I'm thinking of late sixties Philly recordings by the Intruders, O'Jays, Dee Dee Sharpe and more - all those Neptune/Gamble recordings. Could pick out the crack of a Philly snare a mile off and the chamber or whatever reverb it was sounded just awesome. Not to mention those lovely octave guitar licks....
Old 9th February 2012
  #30
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
What can I say? Ours had a separate mike input jack on the back and an input selector on the front. I was always told it was a b. We also had the very first prototype Scully 8-track which was an older design.
Might have been the first 280, which DID have a mic pre input, those were made around 1968..Just worked on one of those...Built like a Tank..
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