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Bearsville Q8 history... Plugin Presets/Expansions
Old 7th February 2010
  #1
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Silvertone's Avatar
Bearsville Q8 history...

I'm doing a little research on the history of the Bearsville Q8 console...

Here (hear) is what I've found out so far... (not a lot but enough to peak my interest even more).

Seems like Les Paul and I had similar hearing...

Bearsville Studios 1969 console:

The whole building was built as a block building, but Studio B was outfitted first, with a Ted Rothstein Quad 8 console; Studio A was like a rehearsal studio and had no equipment.

Who used the console? The Band to Peter Tosh to Van Morrison

A good story:

Back in the early '80s, I worked as an audio engineer at Bearsville Studios in Upstate New York—certainly a country studio and well off the beaten path. Bearsville’s owner and grand patriarch, Albert Grossman, had recently upgraded his studio complex and all the old equipment was relegated to a storage building even more remotely located, where it would live out its days in dust and disuse.

Early one Saturday morning, I heard the front-door buzzer and could see on the monitor that someone was at the front door. I got to the large glass door and saw, of all people, Les Paul. I opened the door and the man himself said, “ Hi, I’m Les Paul,” and offered his hand. returned his greeting with awe, and said, “I know who you are, please come in.”

Mr. Paul had heard that Mr. Grossman had decommissioned an old Quad 8 console and was very interested in buying it. I provided the contact information and Les went on his merry way. I don’t know if he ever did buy that console from Albert, but he certainly made my day.
—Ken Lonas


Anybody out there with "war stories" of this console? The Q8 modules certainly are "one of a kind"... oh and they're friggin great sounding as well!
Old 7th February 2010
  #2
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fuddfar's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
I'm doing a little research on the history of the Bearsville Q8 console...

Here (hear) is what I've found out so far... (not a lot but enough to peak my interest even more).

Seems like Les Paul and I had similar hearing...

Bearsville Studios 1969 console:

The whole building was built as a block building, but Studio B was outfitted first, with a Ted Rothstein Quad 8 console; Studio A was like a rehearsal studio and had no equipment.

Who used the console? The Band to Peter Tosh to Van Morrison

A good story:

Back in the early '80s, I worked as an audio engineer at Bearsville Studios in Upstate New York—certainly a country studio and well off the beaten path. Bearsville’s owner and grand patriarch, Albert Grossman, had recently upgraded his studio complex and all the old equipment was relegated to a storage building even more remotely located, where it would live out its days in dust and disuse.

Early one Saturday morning, I heard the front-door buzzer and could see on the monitor that someone was at the front door. I got to the large glass door and saw, of all people, Les Paul. I opened the door and the man himself said, “ Hi, I’m Les Paul,” and offered his hand. returned his greeting with awe, and said, “I know who you are, please come in.”

Mr. Paul had heard that Mr. Grossman had decommissioned an old Quad 8 console and was very interested in buying it. I provided the contact information and Les went on his merry way. I don’t know if he ever did buy that console from Albert, but he certainly made my day.
—Ken Lonas


Anybody out there with "war stories" of this console? The Q8 modules certainly are "one of a kind"... oh and they're friggin great sounding as well!
I remember that board for one amazing thing that seems so obvious and I've never seen since. When you hit the solo button, the bar graph meters became a spectrum analyzer of that channel. I don't think Les ever bought it. He had an API in the house and a custom built console that he designed.
Old 7th February 2010
  #3
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

.....boy, do I hope you 'bear' with me Larry .....
Old 7th February 2010
  #4
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Silvertone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuddfar View Post
I remember that board for one amazing thing that seems so obvious and I've never seen since. When you hit the solo button, the bar graph meters became a spectrum analyzer of that channel. I don't think Les ever bought it. He had an API in the house and a custom built console that he designed.
What a great feature! Too bad the console doesn't exist anymore.

No I'm afraid Les never got it, Chris Anderson from Nevessa Studios got the console parts (they had been removed from the frame at some point while in storage) and then his chief engineer (and my tech at the time) Frank Moscowitz got the modules from him... that's how I ended up with two of the modules.

Here's a shot of the Warner Brothers MM310's vs. The Bearsville MM310's... a few more "switches" on the Bearsville modules!
Attached Thumbnails
Bearsville Q8 history...-bearsville-warner-bros.jpg   Bearsville Q8 history...-bearsville-wb-mm310s.jpg  
Old 7th February 2010
  #5
Gear Nut
 

I would guess John Holbrook would know as well as anybody, he's still up in the neighborhood.
Old 8th February 2010
  #6
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axisdreamer's Avatar
Was just on line looking at Ampex tape deck info and found this!

Ampex Records was a record label started in 1970. Its biggest hit was "We Gotta Get You A Woman" by Todd Rundgren (as "Runt"), reaching #20 on the charts in 1970. Ampex also originated two subsidiary labels, Bearsville and Big Tree. The label ceased around 1973 and the Bearsville and Big Tree labels were sold to Warner Bros. Records and Bell Records, respectively. Later on, Big Tree was picked up by Atlantic Records.


Pretty cool. A number of Todds early records were on the Bearsville label.
Old 8th February 2010
  #7
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Silvertone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffsochor View Post
I would guess John Holbrook would know as well as anybody, he's still up in the neighborhood.

Thanks for the reminder Jeff. I'll have to call John and have him fill me in on some stories... it's a good excuse to see how he's recovering.

Funny how Tape-Op will never run any interviews of him... I know two writers that have wrote about Johns work (which is fantastic... Tigerlily being a favorite of mine) and yet the powers that be doesn't think he's magazine worthy!
Old 8th February 2010
  #8
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Do we know when the console was taken out of service, Larry?

It would be pretty cool to figure out who's music has been through our sidecar.

Seamus
Old 9th February 2010
  #9
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Silvertone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mumblesound View Post
Do we know when the console was taken out of service, Larry?

It would be pretty cool to figure out who's music has been through our sidecar.

Seamus
I know Ken decommissioned it when he started working there and installed the Neve next. I have to talk to him tomorrow at some point so I'll ask... doing the math myself (of where Ken worked and when) I'm going to guess around the late 70's early 80's.

Well the first post states 3 pretty good acts that recorded through that board and I'm sure Rundgren did too.
Old 8th February 2011
  #10
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Larry or whoever-I just bought the original Ampex MM1000 from Bearsville. Can't find much info on it. Jesse Winchester bought it from the studio in the early '80's and sold it to a guy in Montreal (15 years or so ago) which is where I just got it last week. It's in great condition-still working and very clean. I imagine it was used on some big projects. Anyone know any details about what time frame it was used and/or any projects? I'm wondering if it was the only tape machine there or did they have others?

I'm assuming they replaced it with a 24 track machine in the mid 70's probably. It came with 2 1" 8 track headstacks. One has the Bearsville sticker on it as does the manuals. I've found pics of it in Bearsville but would love to get some more info on it if possible. Thanks guys!!
Old 8th February 2011
  #11
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Silvertone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JQ127 View Post
Larry or whoever-I just bought the original Ampex MM1000 from Bearsville. Can't find much info on it. Jesse Winchester bought it from the studio in the early '80's and sold it to a guy in Montreal (15 years or so ago) which is where I just got it last week. It's in great condition-still working and very clean. I imagine it was used on some big projects. Anyone know any details about what time frame it was used and/or any projects? I'm wondering if it was the only tape machine there or did they have others?

I'm assuming they replaced it with a 24 track machine in the mid 70's probably. It came with 2 1" 8 track headstacks. One has the Bearsville sticker on it as does the manuals. I've found pics of it in Bearsville but would love to get some more info on it if possible. Thanks guys!!
I'll try contacting Ken McKim later today and see if the MM1000 was in service when he started there as a tech. Ken went from Sigma in NYC to Bearsville where he was a tech there for about 18 years (I think)... so this may have still been in use when he got there.

A little correction for above. Ted Rothsteins console was not a Q8 desk but rather one he built (full of chips, not very good sounding). The Q8 desk at Bearsville was originally built by Quad Eight, it's the Black one with the engraved Bearsville logo on each module. Some people think these console are one in the same... but I assure you they are night and day!
Old 8th February 2011
  #12
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Seamus TM's Avatar
 

You mean this one?
Attached Thumbnails
Bearsville Q8 history...-qe.jpg  
Old 8th February 2011
  #13
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JQ127's Avatar
 

Thanks Larry.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
I'll try contacting Ken McKim later today and see if the MM1000 was in service when he started there as a tech. Ken went from Sigma in NYC to Bearsville where he was a tech there for about 18 years (I think)... so this may have still been in use when he got there.

A little correction for above. Ted Rothsteins console was not a Q8 desk but rather one he built (full of chips, not very good sounding). The Q8 desk at Bearsville was originally built by Quad Eight, it's the Black one with the engraved Bearsville logo on each module. Some people think these console are one in the same... but I assure you they are night and day!
Old 18th March 2011
  #14
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JQ127's Avatar
 

Hey Larry. Just wondering if you ever talked to your friend about my Ampex from Bearsville.

Thanks-Joe
Old 12th February 2015
  #15
Here for the gear
 

Hey guys, this is great thread! I worked with Ted in the mid-70s and would have the job of cleaning up the noise from the Burroughs meters five years later! Ted's rework of the Q8 was indeed night and day from the original. If any of you have citations or facts that could be added to the Bearsville wiki page, please do, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bearsville_Studios
Old 16th March 2019
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JQ127 View Post
Larry or whoever-I just bought the original Ampex MM1000 from Bearsville. Can't find much info on it. Jesse Winchester bought it from the studio in the early '80's and sold it to a guy in Montreal (15 years or so ago) which is where I just got it last week. It's in great condition-still working and very clean. I imagine it was used on some big projects. Anyone know any details about what time frame it was used and/or any projects? I'm wondering if it was the only tape machine there or did they have others?

I'm assuming they replaced it with a 24 track machine in the mid 70's probably. It came with 2 1" 8 track headstacks. One has the Bearsville sticker on it as does the manuals. I've found pics of it in Bearsville but would love to get some more info on it if possible. Thanks guys!!
Happened to be browsing Jesse Winchester and then decided to look up info on my friend's Ampex MM1000 which he sold to you.

If I may tell a little anecdote that starts when I met Jesse Winchester who was living in Montreal at the time. I was looking at buying a Soundcraft board and it was a lot of money and my first big mixing board (we had just bought an MM1000 which was used for playback only at Expo 67) and was not feeling secure about the potential purchase. The dealer suggested I call Jesse as he had the exact same board. I hesitated for a few days but eventually my desire for a mixer was enough to overcome my shyness (Jesse was a rising artist at the time and I was intimidated). Jesse told me to come over anytime and I went over the next day and he graciously answered all my questions about the board. That is where I noticed he had an Ampex 16 track in his home studio.

Years later he was going through a divorce and I heard he was selling everything. I called my friend John who was looking for a board and other equipment. He ended up buying his Soundcraft and the MM1000 as well as a few other things.

I recorded a few of my own songs on that MM1000. It was a lovely sounding behemoth.

My friend John gave you a great deal and I hope that you are still enjoying it today.

I was wondering if that machine ever recorded The Band? They did some work in Bearsville no?

I would love to hear what happened to the Ampex.

Cheers

Jim
Old 16th March 2019
  #17
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nobtwiddler's Avatar
We could always ask Ted ...?

I see him all the time at Paul Antonell's studio (The Clubhouse).
Old 16th March 2019
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler View Post
We could always ask Ted ...?

I see him all the time at Paul Antonell's studio (The Clubhouse).
Well do so my good sir, then let us curious folks know.

Cheers

Jim
Old 16th March 2019
  #19
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Drumsound's Avatar
So what happened to the studio. Converted to living space, town down, sitting in ruins?
Old 16th March 2019
  #20
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nobtwiddler's Avatar
From what I remember, Sally Grossman, (Alberts wife) sold the studio and property to a couple of guys.

Apparently it was deeded with the sale that the property could never be used as a commercial recording studio again?
(this is what I was told)

Shortly after that, the new owners opened it up quietly, but were doing sessions, and I heard they got shut down, because of that agreement?

Not sure if that's true, but I gotta tell ya, never heard anything about the studio again?
Who knows,
They could be doing sessions, and if they are I'm sure it's only on a need to know basis?

Last edited by nobtwiddler; 16th March 2019 at 03:21 PM..
Old 16th March 2019
  #21
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler View Post
From what I remember, Sally Grossman, (Alberts wife) sold the studio and property to a couple of guys.

Apparently it was deeded with the sale that the property could never be used as a commercial recording studio again?
(this is what I was told)

Shortly after that, the new owners opened it up quietly, but were doing sessions, and I heard they got shut down, because of that agreement?

Not sure if that's true, but I gotta tell ya, never heard anything about the studio again?
Who knows,
They could be doing sessions, and if they are I'm sure it's only on a need to know basis?
That's interesting. I wonder why she would do that, and why anyone would agree to it.
Old 16th March 2019
  #22
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
That's interesting. I wonder why she would do that, and why anyone would agree to it.
could be simply the municipality's decision - i.e. zoning.

the property was recently for sale. This page has the real estate listing but now says it is "no longer available."


Quote:
10,000 square foot, 5+ bedroom, 5 bath, 2 kitchen, 2 wet bar, and newly remodeled 1500 sq ft office suite. The entire complex has just undergone renovations and remodeling which dramatically increase the splendor of this contemporary manor. Simply put, this is an extremely rare, once in a lifetime opportunity to own and live in a piece of musical history. Not zoned for use as a commercial studio at this time.
I was there once in the early 70's. A friend brought me by to check out the studio, but we couldn't go in because The Band was using it for a business meeting, which turned out to be planning for Watkins Glen. I got to see the lobby. We did get to check out a giant room which I seem to recall was the unfinished 'other' studio - it was just being used for storage. I could not believe how much amazing gear was just sitting there, apparently gathering dust.

At one point Garth Hudson came out and I was a bit surprised to seem him as dressed-up and dapper as he always appeared on stage or on an album cover. 3 piece suit, pocket watch and chain.... I guess I expected the musicians to be more casual when off-duty. Maybe it was just him. Or maybe there was a photo shoot that day.

Last edited by joeq; 16th March 2019 at 09:06 PM..
Old 16th March 2019
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
That's interesting. I wonder why she would do that, and why anyone would agree to it.
My understanding it was to protect the trademark/ legacy of bearsville records which Sally still owned.

I drove up there with a friend ( who worked there at one point) a year or so ago. We got yelled at by whoever was there. There were piles of junk all over the driveway and property. Was pretty sad to see.
Old 16th March 2019
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phanlon View Post
My understanding it was to protect the trademark/ legacy of bearsville records which Sally still owned.

I drove up there with a friend ( who worked there at one point) a year or so ago. We got yelled at by whoever was there. There were piles of junk all over the driveway and property. Was pretty sad to see.
Sounds like it's going the way of Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec.
Old 16th March 2019
  #25
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
could be simply the municipality's decision - i.e. zoning.

the property was recently for sale. This page has the real estate listing but now says it is "no longer available."




I was there once in the early 70's. A friend brought me by to check out the studio, but we couldn't go in because The Band was using it for a business meeting, which turned out to be planning for Watkins Glen. I got to see the lobby. We did get to check out a giant room which I seem to recall was the unfinished 'other' studio - it was just being used for storage. I could not believe how much amazing gear was just sitting there, apparently gathering dust.

At one point Garth Hudson came out and I was a bit surprised to seem him as dressed-up and dapper as he always appeared on stage or on an album cover. 3 piece suit, pocket watch and chain.... I guess I expected the musicians to be more casual when off-duty. Maybe it was just him. Or maybe there was a photo shoot that day.
I didn't think of the zoning thing. Pretty cool story about Garth Hudson.
Quote:
Originally Posted by phanlon View Post
My understanding it was to protect the trademark/ legacy of bearsville records which Sally still owned.

I drove up there with a friend ( who worked there at one point) a year or so ago. We got yelled at by whoever was there. There were piles of junk all over the driveway and property. Was pretty sad to see.
That's a ridiculous plan. If she sold it to someone who made records there, they would talk about it, and it would actually make people seek out things done there. "We tracked where Todd recorded XTC..."

Its sad to hear that its in disarray.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluzzi View Post
Sounds like it's going the way of Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec.
That still saddens me so. The vandalization and then the fire just completely killed any hope it could come back.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #26
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rectifried's Avatar
Weirdly I recorded with a band I was in at le studio and bearsville ...Ken Scott was producing then Ian Taylor
RIP both studios
Le studio had an early ssl..like serial 4 Ken was telling me while we’re working
Still have my Le Studio t shirt ..somewhere
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