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Great Albums Recorded In Mobile Studio
Old 14th October 2019
  #1
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Great Albums Recorded In Mobile Studio

"Mobile recording studios have a longer history than you might think. As early as the 1920s, record companies in both the U.K. and the U.S. were experimenting with location recording, albeit with incredibly primitive equipment. This was the pre-magnetic tape era, after all."


https://thefatangelsings.com/2018/11...mobile-studio/
Old 14th October 2019
  #2
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swafford's Avatar
 

Interesting read. What strikes me about the list is they are all British bands. Was mobile recording in the 60s/70s a British thing and if so, why is that?

As I've mentioned before, one of my favorite live/mobile recordings is of the New Zealand band The Drongos, a minimally recorded rock and roll masterpiece on the sidewalk around Thompkins Sq. Park on NYCs lower east side. Besides capturing a fantastic performance by a band at their peak, I love the ambient sounds you can hear on the top, end and middle of songs - cars, buses, people selling drugs, people walking by captured from left to right in the stereo field - it just screams "downtown NYC, early 1980s." You pointed out John Holbrook engineered, and if I could find the LP (in my unorganized wall 'o records) I could tell who the truck was, as I seem to remember it being listed. Anyway -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3A5Twsml2I

at 1:30, you can hear the bus go by. HAHA! I love this!
Old 14th October 2019
  #3
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
I would suspect the fact that there are so many amazing mansions, castles, cottages and such. These large dwelling homes are the perfect place to record music in.

I've recorded a fair amount of music in locations like these across America.

It's a fabulous way to create music!

Quote:
Originally Posted by swafford View Post
Interesting read. What strikes me about the list is they are all British bands. Was mobile recording in the 60s/70s a British thing and if so, why is that?

As I've mentioned before, one of my favorite live/mobile recordings is of the New Zealand band The Drongos, a minimally recorded rock and roll masterpiece on the sidewalk around Thompkins Sq. Park on NYCs lower east side. Besides capturing a fantastic performance by a band at their peak, I love the ambient sounds you can hear on the top, end and middle of songs - cars, buses, people selling drugs, people walking by captured from left to right in the stereo field - it just screams "downtown NYC, early 1980s." You pointed out John Holbrook engineered, and if I could find the LP (in my unorganized wall 'o records) I could tell who the truck was, as I seem to remember it being listed. Anyway -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3A5Twsml2I

at 1:30, you can hear the bus go by. HAHA! I love this!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

great read
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
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tourtelot's Avatar
August 22, 1941, John Avery Lomax recorded the man to be known as Muddy Waters with the rig pictured below for the Library of Congress. Waters first recording. It had a big 15" speaker in the back seat of the car for playback, I presume. So sorry I didn't take a picture of the whole car.

The Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, MS just a few days ago.

The car is on this page, scroll down a bit:

https://www.deltabluesmuseum.org/

Also got to visit Stax Records and Sun Recording in Memphis as well as Muscle Shoals in Alabama. Ended up in NOLA. Nice road trip for music and food.

D.
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Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
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tourtelot's Avatar
More photos of the Library of Congress Mobile Recording "Truck".

D.

PS. I tried to load seven more photos, all upright in my folder, but presented in all sorts of wrong ways in the post. Why is that? Upside down/sideways photos look like my grandmother shot them, not a technically proficient photographer. Dumb!
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Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
More photos of the Library of Congress Mobile Recording "Truck".

D.

PS. I tried to load seven more photos, all upright in my folder, but presented in all sorts of wrong ways in the post. Why is that? Upside down/sideways photos look like my grandmother shot them, not a technically proficient photographer. Dumb!
This happens to me at times. You have to open the images in Photoshop or another editor and just save it. This will create the proper upright image. You see, you phone knows to do this, yet other devices may not.

This is why I always take shots a specific way. If I'm in landscape, I will always have the camera with the button on the right. This way all my images will always be (right or wrong) in on direction.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
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Swurveman's Avatar
People always talk about epic albums, but I find this era also fascinating in that mobile demo recordings launched careers of unsigned artists and bands. Here's a Rick Reed interview of how he recorded and mixed Mudcrutch's demo from his truck. This demo launched Tom Petty's career, as it got interest immediately by many record companies and got Mudcrutch and Petty signed.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
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swafford's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swurveman View Post
People always talk about epic albums, but I find this era also fascinating in that mobile demo recordings launched careers of unsigned artists and bands. Here's a Rick Reed interview of how he recorded and mixed Mudcrutch's demo from his truck. This demo launched Tom Petty's career, as it got interest immediately by many record companies and got Mudcrutch and Petty signed.
That's a great story.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
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tourtelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
This happens to me at times. You have to open the images in Photoshop or another editor and just save it. This will create the proper upright image. You see, you phone knows to do this, yet other devices may not.

This is why I always take shots a specific way. If I'm in landscape, I will always have the camera with the button on the right. This way all my images will always be (right or wrong) in on direction.
Thanks. I do that. The photos I wanted to share were taken by my partner. Maybe not such a "technically proficient photographer".

D.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
If you haven't adjusted the images by opening them up in an editor and just saving them, I can do it for you. Just upload the images and I will fix them up for you if you like.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
Thanks. I do that. The photos I wanted to share were taken by my partner. Maybe not such a "technically proficient photographer".

D.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
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tourtelot's Avatar
Thanks for the offer Steve. Let's see if this worked.

More pix.

D.

Success!
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Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
A few "studio" albums were recorded by Stevie Wonder via the Record Plant remote truck he bought and parked in the lot of Wonderland. "Hotter Than July" was the first one. It used the original API console. A few years later it was removed, sold and replaced with an SSL 4k.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
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Remoteness's Avatar
Didn't he have all is keyboards and such in one truck and the RP remote truck was the CRM?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
A few "studio" albums were recorded by Stevie Wonder via the Record Plant remote truck he bought and parked in the lot of Wonderland. "Hotter Than July" was the first one. It used the original API console. A few years later it was removed, sold and replaced with an SSL 4k.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Wonderland was an older 1950's recording studio located on Western Ave in LA. Steve bought it in 1979 and refurbed it. A Neve 8126 was installed in the rear control room, the original large control room with the 25 foot wide windows was converted into a lounge. That rear control room was small and I found it cramped. The Record Plant truck was used while the studio was being rebuilt.

This is a large building and it has a big storage room. It holds most of the keyboards, drums and other gear. Everything is there ready to use. Steve never sold off one piece, believe me, I tried. He said it was "in case". He can pull out every piece he ever used from 1970 onwards if needed.

The tech room was upstairs above the rear control room. That's where a 30 watt pre-tower FM transmitter was set up to do the radio-car mix of "I Just Called To Say I Love You", the Oscar winning song. Steve's brother Calvin would drive Steve around the block while he "phoned-in" the mix changes. Steve wanted the perfect "car mix".

It was if you also had a Rolls Royce with a $10k sound system.
Old 3 days ago
  #16
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Wow, think of the respect (and the great parking spot) I'd get if I showed up to remotes in a rig like Lomax's!
Old 3 days ago
  #17
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Remoteness's Avatar
True story, Phil!


Quote:
Originally Posted by philper View Post
Wow, think of the respect (and the great parking spot) I'd get if I showed up to remotes in a rig like Lomax's!
Old 3 days ago
  #18
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tourtelot's Avatar
Yes, but you'd be limited to recording in mono.

(Plus carrying around those fragile acetate blanks.)

https://www.apollomasters.com/

D.
Old 3 days ago
  #19
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Remoteness's Avatar
Back to mono!


Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
Yes, but you'd be limited to recording in mono.

(Plus carrying around those fragile acetate blanks.)

https://www.apollomasters.com/

D.
Old 1 day ago
  #20
Here for the gear
 

On another note, Frank Zappa was always cutting edge recording live and his albums reflect that. Some of the stuff around 82-82 was superb- and the band was too!
Old 1 day ago
  #21
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Remoteness's Avatar
I provided the TV Audio truck for Frank Zappa's live music performance concert which was broadcasted live from the Palladium in NYC on October 31st, 1981. My first truck, 'The Bunker' was one of six trucks that were involve in this history making live broadcast event. It was the first time in history that cable television (was only mono audio back then) and FM radio ever simulcasted to provide a stereo audio mix via 200 radio station across the USA.

MTV and the Starfleet Radio Network with the broadcasters.
  • Unitel handled the video capture and broadcast via three production trucks.
  • In Frank Zappa's truck, Frank's engineer, Mark Pinske had the 120 stage and audience channels grouped down to 24 channels which fed the two Ampex 2" 24 track machines, plus those 24 channels also fed FOH, MON, and StairFleet's Radio bus. MON world also had access to the 120 individual inputs just in case any of the band members needed a different blend than what Mark had happening in the truck.
  • Starfleet's Radio Bus took the 24 channels from Frank's truck, plus our MC, Host and audience mics and did their own mix.
  • Aura-Sonic's The Bunker truck took Mark's stereo feed and we added all our MC, Host and six or eight audience mics we had setup for the TV Audio mix to Unitel's production trucks.

Here's the intro to this historic event for your review...



Zappa opened up with 'Black Napkins.' During the tune and after his amazing guitar solo, he addresses some rules, introduces his band and mentions the historic significance of this event...




Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbone View Post
On another note, Frank Zappa was always cutting edge recording live and his albums reflect that. Some of the stuff around 82-82 was superb- and the band was too!
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