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Amigo Studios warehaus Consoles
Old 13th August 2016
  #31
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Anyone know Donn Landee? In his Wikipedia he said API's were used at Amigo. I wasn't aware of any, only the Harrisons.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donn_Landee
Old 14th August 2016
  #32
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[QUOTE=Sounds Great;12072298]Anyone know Donn Landee? In his Wikipedia he said API's were used at Amigo. I wasn't aware of any, only the Harrisons.

Studio A had an in house built console with APIs. Studio E had the Harrison.
Old 15th August 2016
  #33
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Ah, thanks for responding and setting me straight, Phill.

Last edited by Sounds Great; 15th August 2016 at 07:45 PM..
Old 15th August 2016
  #34
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So was the Van Halen stuff recorded in Studio A?
Old 15th August 2016
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
So was the Van Halen stuff recorded in Studio A?
I don't remember the tracks being cut in A but it was overdubbed and mixed there.
Old 8th February 2017
  #36
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Amigo Studios

I remember hearing of the studio when I was younger.
Old 16th May 2018
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibson View Post
Sailing by Christopher Cross

I think Chet Hines engineered that Song/Album.

Its my all time favorite track for its amazing sound, blows me away anytime i listen to it. Its the best rest recording, Period...

I love to know what tape machine? was used with what type of tape? tape speed?, what console? Mics , Pre Amps Etc.......etc.....
Yes:

Quote:
Producer: Michael Omartian
Engineer: Chet Himes
Arrangers: Christopher Cross, Michael Omartian
At that time it was just Warner Bros recording studio I believe.

Not sure of the tape machine as I wasn't there until 1984, at which time it was all MCI 24 track machines, but I was told he did most of the work on the song in the small C room.

Also one a my favorite songs as well, fantastic sonic textures and just a great recording.
The machine was a 3m M79. Great sounding machine. A little soggy...but that mated well with the sort of stoic nature of the Harrison. Punching was painfully slow as we were used to MCI JH124's. That's probably why you found all MCI there by the time you got there. Chet was also an MCI dealer. Tape would have been 456 Ampex likely. That was Chet's go to tape. You have to realize the uniqueness of this recording. We, Christopher Cross, were a band....not a solo artist as he later took the name and identity. Chris Geppert, Andy Salmon, Rob Meurer and my self were known and performed under the moniker Christopher Cross. The complete details of the hijacking are really questionable even to me to this day. Chet was our engineer and Chris's best friend for many years. If none of this seems plausible...ask yourselves how did a newly signed major label artist manage to convince Warner Brothers and Michael Omartian to use these musicians and engineer for their debut work? The reason we were there is because the combination of those entities made that sound what it was.

Chet partnered with a wealthy oil Texas oil man and bought Amigo. Much ensued...Chet did have a 6 series coupe. He made a bit of money off of the CC record. He became a rather in demand sort of fellah after his out of nowhere bursting on to the L.A. Scene and having HUGE sonic success with our debut LP. The drums were uniquely designed by me and ordered especially for the project and in fact it was held up because of a dock strike in Boston that kept us from receiving them. Chet was co owner and chief engineer at Odyssey-Pecan Street-Studio South in Austin. There were not a lot of old mics around that he was used to. So at Amigo he used a lot of stock bits. 414's. SM56. Beyer 881. Not sure what he used on Chris's vocal.

E was a magic studio. The piano was amazing. It was an old Steinway. Omartian plays so hard it had to be retuned after every 3rd pass if he was rocking.

My first impression of Amigo...we had always used the old Koss brown spongy earphones. HV1A. Everything sounds good in there...and we would come into the control room and be disappointed by some JBL 4 way monstrosity that sounded like ass. For these sessions we were given Koss Pro 4a phones which in turn sounded like ass. We cut a rough of Say You'll Be Mine first day....which we ended up scrapping because the tempo was a bit up....but I remember coming in worried because it sounded so awful in the cans...and when the sound came across those Westlakes....I almost pee'd myself and started crying. Finally we sounded like a RECORD! I was just turned 22 a few weeks before and really I was totally green. I have a near photographic memory. If anyone has specific questions I can try to answer. We played Basketball in A :-) Randy Newman was next door cutting Born Again. I played a lot of Tempest in the hall....with Russ Titleman.

Tommy Taylor
Old 17th May 2018
  #38
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Tommy, thanks for the post! What a great record you made there.

'Sailing' has always held a spot on my mixed artists tapes, and then CD's.
Old 10th June 2018
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTaylor View Post
The machine was a 3m M79.

You have to realize the uniqueness of this recording. We, Christopher Cross, were a band....not a solo artist as he later took the name and identity. Chris Geppert, Andy Salmon, Rob Meurer and my self were known and performed under the moniker Christopher Cross.


E was a magic studio. The piano was amazing. It was an old Steinway. Omartian plays so hard it had to be retuned after every 3rd pass if he was rocking.

disappointed by some JBL 4 way monstrosity that sounded like ass.


I wonder if the JBLs were 4350s? I could never get anything to translate well with mine and I never heard anyone who owned them (Symzyck etc) ever get much of anything good with them either.

Omartian told me that when he did piano sessions for Steely Dan's "Here At the Western World", the live band had to play the thing over and over for half a day before they even started recording it... and that some of that style rubbed off on him.

I've often wondered if the CC stuff was tracked/rehearsed over and over into oblivion as well.... as an Omartian idea.

I hear that there was some sort of major argument to get the piano solo in to Sailing as Gephert didn't like it or want it there but Omartian was forcing the issue. I sometimes get the impression the entire piano solo area is an edit.

Maybe not... maybe the argument was solved before tracking began. Any memories on this?
Old 10th June 2018
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTaylor View Post
If none of this seems plausible...ask yourselves how did a newly signed major label artist manage to convince Warner Brothers and Michael Omartian to use these musicians and engineer for their debut work? The reason we were there is because the combination of those entities made that sound what it was.
Indeed. How does a relatively new group first time together in the studio get so many people like this to lend a hand?
Attached Thumbnails
Amigo Studios warehaus-cc-record-info.jpg  
Old 11th June 2018
  #41
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Wow Tommy awesome to have you here!

I just had the record spin on my turntable today since I read that it was tracked/mixed on a Harrison and since I own one I had to give that record another listen. You guys did some great work!

Best Regards

Jo
Old 12th June 2018
  #42
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Listen to the chimes and bells on 'Sailing', integral part of the sonic landscape. A lot of high frequency content in there.

Really the icing on the cake that makes the song so special!
Old 15th June 2018
  #43
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Just saw this thread and thought I would post.

I worked at Amigo under the great Lee Herschburg from 1981 until WB sold it around 1984

I engineered Los Lobos first record there, Randy Newman's "Trouble in Paradise" with "I Love LA" , Eric Clapton's "Forever Man" several Rickie Lee Jones albums The Three Amigos soundtrack , and a bunch of other stuff.

Yes studio E had the modified Harrison and until around 82 studio A had a Demedio custom console with API els and mic preamps . Then it was replaced by a new MCI console. C had an old MCI console and then an early SSL.

The mastering room was adjacent to Studio A

We had two of the 3m 32 track digital machines which sounded great , 3m 79 analog decks and lots of outboard gear and mics.

It was a really wonderful place staffed by a bunch of great people ....Lee , Karen Apere, Denny Shaw, Dennis Ghiatis, Phil Brown, Paul Brown, Bobby Hata, Winston Wong, Rudy Hill, Al McPherson, Annie Steer and my future wife Margaret Gwynne who was an assistant engineer and maintainace tech. I have picture of everyone taken near the end that I'll try to find and post. (my apologies to anyone I didn't name)

The studio changed hands a few times after Chet left and I never worked there again. Around 5 years ago I was in the neighborhood and drove by. The place looked exactly the same from the street. A few months later i learned it had been demolished to make way for a new high school.

And yes it was originally Snuff Garett's demo studio and it must have been pretty funky. In the closet where the outboard gear was kept you could still see the packing blankets that had been nailed to the walls for sound treatment. I was told in those days the studio had a Langevin console (AM4?) that was powered by a car battery. If memory serves Blue Cheer's debut album "Vincibus Eruptum" was recorded at Amigo before Warner acquired it when they bought Snuff's company .

It was a great time and the end of an era....... Mark Linett

Mark Linett

Last edited by yrplace; 15th June 2018 at 05:44 AM..
Old 15th June 2018
  #44
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Pictures

First picture is in Studio E. I am on the far left, Al Mcpherson has his back to the camera and Paul Brown is in the blue shirt on the right

2nd picture is the whole gang outside the traffic office

3rd picture - Russ Titelman, Margaret and me

The last one - Lee , Bill LaBounty, Russ with me in the back
Attached Thumbnails
Amigo Studios warehaus-img482-1-.jpg   Amigo Studios warehaus-img482.jpg   Amigo Studios warehaus-img483-1-.jpg   Amigo Studios warehaus-img483.jpg  
Old 15th June 2018
  #45
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And they had that cool Sony reverb box. Very expensive piece from what I understood.
Old 3rd July 2018
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
I wonder if the JBLs were 4350s? I could never get anything to translate well with mine and I never heard anyone who owned them (Symzyck etc) ever get much of anything good with them either.

Omartian told me that when he did piano sessions for Steely Dan's "Here At the Western World", the live band had to play the thing over and over for half a day before they even started recording it... and that some of that style rubbed off on him.

I've often wondered if the CC stuff was tracked/rehearsed over and over into oblivion as well.... as an Omartian idea.

I hear that there was some sort of major argument to get the piano solo in to Sailing as Gephert didn't like it or want it there but Omartian was forcing the issue. I sometimes get the impression the entire piano solo area is an edit.

Maybe not... maybe the argument was solved before tracking began. Any memories on this?
No we cut the basics for that in less than 2 weeks. We worked leisurely. Sometimes we did 2 tracks a day. Omartian was a family guy and went home after dinner. We would usually show up late morning, cut, lunch, cut, dinner and go home. All of those songs had been played live for nearly a couple of years except Spinning which had never been played by me ever. It is probably 1st or 2nd take. We were a great band! Omartian lent his grand piano prowess, study savvy and exuberance to a very well baked cake. We didn't need to rehearse. A few arrangement changes and we were done.

The piano solo was not an edit. It's an overdub but the section and chord changes existed always in the exact form you hear them. Omar just felt the chords by themselves just lay there doing nothing and it needed something. I wasn't there at that point I had gone back to Texas.
Old 3rd July 2018
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
Indeed. How does a relatively new group first time together in the studio get so many people like this to lend a hand?
No I think you missed my point. The question I posed was...regarding us being a band vs. a solo artist. If we were not a band they would have simply hired the Toto guys or whoever to do the record. Andy and Rob and I and Chet for that matter (although he had worked with Joe Ely, Jerry Jeff Walker, Carole King and others) were virtual unknowns. How would we have gotten on that record in that situation if we weren't a band? We were a 4 piece band called Christopher Cross. Warner Brothers and the industry turned him into Christopher Cross. The real evidence is in the difference in the subsequent efforts. They don't sound remotely similar. And well to quote Bullwinkle Moose "we'll stand on our record".
Old 3rd July 2018
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studjo View Post
Wow Tommy awesome to have you here!

I just had the record spin on my turntable today since I read that it was tracked/mixed on a Harrison and since I own one I had to give that record another listen. You guys did some great work!

Best Regards

Jo
Thanks Jo! Glad to be here. I just clicked on a bookmark and saw these replies. I guess I should have some alerts set up...not sure how to do that.

Off to a session on my own LP! Thanks for the nod! It was truly a life changing experience making that record there. I wish I could watch the movie.
Old 3rd July 2018
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
Tommy, thanks for the post! What a great record you made there.

'Sailing' has always held a spot on my mixed artists tapes, and then CD's.
Thank you so much! The fact that people still love the record and enjoy what we did is the most gratifying thing to come out of it truly.
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