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The Police Message In A Bottle=MCI
Old 25th February 2013
  #1
Gear Maniac
The Police Message In A Bottle=MCI

According to Police Producer Nigel Gray:

1974 Converted a village hall in Leatherhead to a recording studio, Surrey Sound Studio. 1975 Recorded 4-track demos for, among others, the Wombles and Joan Armatrading.

In 1977 Went 16-track and recorded "Roxanne" for the Police, followed by the album Outlandos D'Amour. Roxanne eventually charted at No 7.
In 1978, recorded first of 5 albums for Godley and Creme.

In 1979, went 24 track with an all MCI setup and recorded and produced Regatta de Blanc for the Police. The album and first single "Message in a Bottle" both came in as new entries at No 1 in the British charts. The second single from the album, "Walking on the Moon", also came in at No 1

As a result of this, Nigel was asked to produce Siouxsie and the Banshees. A string of hits were the result of this co-operation starting with "Happy House" and "Christine". The albums Kaleidoscope and Juju both did well with top 20 hit singles including "Arabian Nights, Spellbound and Israel".

In 1981, recorded Zenyatta Mondatta with the hit singles "Don't Stand So Close To Me" and "De Doo Doo Doo". Nigel was nominated for a Grammy Award for best engineered album for Zenyatta and also won two Grammies for producer of best Rock Vocal (Don't Stand So Close To Me) and best rock instrumental (Behind my Camel).

Many hits followed, see "discography". Nigel eventually tired or recording bands and sold the studio in 1987 and retired to Cornwall. He now has a small home studio which he is happy to rent out with his own services to artists of his own choosing, see the studio

stanton house, recording studio, cornwall,

The Police - Message In A Bottle (live in Hamburg '80) - YouTube
Old 25th February 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Ephi82's Avatar
 

If the inetent was to make me pretty envious of the house, location, and studio, you succeeded. in addition i would love to have a conversation with the owner!
Old 25th February 2013
  #3
Mr. Nigel Gray,

for me, one of the best engineers and mixer in the world.
Stewart Copelands snare, definitely the best snare sound ever !

R.
Old 25th February 2013
  #4
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TinderArts's Avatar
 

IIRC Ronald Prent was also on board for "Zenyatta Mondatta".
Old 25th February 2013
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

So what was the desk for "Roxanne"?
Old 25th February 2013
  #6
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andyspiller's Avatar
 

I can only tell you that in 1986/87 it was a DDA AMR 36:24 (I think the channel count is correct) with an Otari MTR90 when I recorded an album there.
Old 25th February 2013
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hubercraft View Post
You'd wonder how he can get anything done at all with no acoustic treatment and his monitors in the corner like that?
Old 25th February 2013
  #8
Nod
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
So what was the desk for "Roxanne"?
The first Police album was recorded on an Alice desk with an Ampex MM-1000 16 track recorder
Old 25th February 2013
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nod View Post
The first Police album was recorded on an Alice desk with an Ampex MM-1000 16 track recorder
Thank you. Any idea which Alice?
Old 25th February 2013
  #10
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brianellefson's Avatar
Would love to hear what he's making in that space. Probably one of those strong arguments for "it's the engineer, not the gear." Yeah, no treatment, one room, a printer under the desk for crying out loud ... but I bet it all ends up sounding great.
Old 25th February 2013
  #11
Nod
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Thank you. Any idea which Alice?
A "20-16 AM series" evidently
Old 25th February 2013
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nod View Post
A "20-16 AM series" evidently
Thanks.
Old 25th February 2013
  #13
Gear Addict
 

What ? no Neve 1073 used ?

Nigel had mad skills..

Love the early Banshees records he also cut..

Here's the studio info :

http://www.philsbook.com/surrey.html
Old 25th February 2013
  #14
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richgilb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolf Ebitsch View Post
Mr. Nigel Gray,

for me, one of the best engineers and mixer in the world.
Stewart Copelands snare, definitely the best snare sound ever !

R.

All the drumming is a godsend with The Police...his drumming is so interesting the song can easily become second fiddle. It also takes your attention away from Sting.
Old 25th February 2013
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianellefson View Post
Would love to hear what he's making in that space. Probably one of those strong arguments for "it's the engineer, not the gear." Yeah, no treatment, one room... but I bet it all ends up sounding great.
+1



R.
Old 25th February 2013
  #16
Nigel Gray (Stewart Copeland) snare sound on "Outlandos d’Amour" is not to be compared with anything.
Maybe it was the Ampex MM-1000 machine and the console, the microphones and the room.

In Any Case it was to 90% of Nigels microphone placement and EQ setting. (I am certain of it!)
The low mids are incredible !

R.
Old 26th February 2013
  #17
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brianellefson's Avatar
All time favorite drum sounds: Outlandos and Zenyatta. Love that close, thuddy snare sound.
Old 26th February 2013
  #18
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unsung's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by richgilb View Post
All the drumming is a godsend with The Police...his drumming is so interesting the song can easily become second fiddle. It also takes your attention away from Sting.

Old 26th February 2013
  #19
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tekis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianellefson View Post
Would love to hear what he's making in that space. Probably one of those strong arguments for "it's the engineer, not the gear." Yeah, no treatment, one room, a printer under the desk for crying out loud ... but I bet it all ends up sounding great.
Hello.
Old 26th February 2013
  #20
Gear Addict
 
chout's Avatar
 

Zenyatta Drums for me...they just sound so great to my ears.
Old 26th February 2013
  #21
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by richgilb View Post
All the drumming is a godsend with The Police...his drumming is so interesting the song can easily become second fiddle. It also takes your attention away from Sting.
Yeah, Sting's genius songs, bass playing, and unique voice... what a burden!

- c
Old 23rd August 2016
  #22
Old 23rd August 2016
  #23
Lives for gear
 
brockorama's Avatar
 

Wow. My condolences and respect.

Some of my favourite records ever. RIP.
Old 24th August 2016
  #24
Farewell. Those albums have been gifts to my life.
Old 24th August 2016
  #25
Gear Addict
Before I even knew what a producer or engineer did, I noticed Nigel Gray's name on so many great records that changed my life when I was a youngster. RIP
Old 24th August 2016
  #26
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
Yeah, Sting's genius songs, bass playing, and unique voice... what a burden!

- c
And this is why I love you, man.
Old 24th August 2016
  #27
Quote:
Nigel was a qualified medical doctor who followed his passion into music and was able to use his kindly bedside manner to coax three extraordinarily successful records from a band operating at the time on the tiniest of shoestring budgets. We simply couldn't have done it without him, that's the truth
wow , what a dude.


Quote:
Some of my favourite records ever. RIP.
Regatta de Blanc is an album I will never tire of listening to.
Old 24th August 2016
  #28
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jindrich's Avatar
 

Leaving aside how great those records are, what strike us is that Nigel Gray...
...was a Doctor who left medicine behind to become an audio engineer.


Jut the opposite path everybody is after these days. Mostly because that would allow:

1) to eat everyday
2) afford decent/expensive equipment
2) support a family


Yeah, days are A'changing...
Old 24th August 2016
  #29
Engagement Manager
 
Sniperschool's Avatar
Nigel made so many great sounding records

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/thos...ssed-away.html
Old 24th August 2016
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
Leaving aside how great those records are, what strike us is that Nigel Gray...
...was a Doctor who left medicine behind to become an audio engineer.


Jut the opposite path everybody is after these days. Mostly because that would allow:

1) to eat everyday
2) afford decent/expensive equipment
2) support a family


Yeah, days are A'changing...
Or it could just be that he didn't have to depend on his work as a sound engineer to live...plus, it should also be noted that there are still many people who make a good living as sound professionals.

The guy did own a studio that he regularly updated with the latest high-end gear, that must have required some pocket change to maintain...
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