The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Abbey Road/EMI retrospect thoughts?
Old 19th December 2010
Abbey Road/EMI retrospect thoughts?


Wondering if you had some awkward moments at EMI as you were a new wave in engineering. From what I've read they had very strict standards?
Also some 1st hand thoughts on Norman Smith would be interesting? Did the Beatles get along with him or was it a bit stiff.

I've always loved pics of sessions with guys in lab coats setting mic positions and stuff. Was that all for show or was it merited. If I was a client I think I'd be impressed if not intimadated.
Blinded with Science
Old 20th December 2010
One more bolt on addition...

How long did you spend in the tape copy room before moving out into the studios full time?

Old 21st December 2010
Special Guest
Ken Scott's Avatar

Hi, I can't say enough about Norman. Stiff? I don't think he would have lasted as long with them as he did if he'd been stiff, he got on great with them. I really don't think Norm has got anywhere near the credit that he deserves for those early records. He strove, within the strict confines of EMI Studios, to change the sound on each one of the Beatles albums. The changes are subtle but most certainly there, leading to the amazing Rubber Soul.

Now, all that being said, I don't know if the leaps made in Revolver and Pepper would have happened with Norman at the helm. Although one to always try pushing the envelope he may have been a little too steeped in the EMI way to be the facilitator of some of the off the wall practices used on those records.

As far as my own Beatle life. I got fired by the manager at the studio because I agreed with the biggest selling band in the world about the headphones that were in use in the studio. I did get re-instated but then decided it was time to move on to Trident.

The lab coats have in my humble opinion been blown all out of proportion. They were worn by the amp room guys, the technical wizards, who at times had to deal with situations that may have got their clothes dirty. As with most of the EMI rules it did make sense to have them wear some sort of "protective clothing". As engineers and seconds we never touched dirty cables, went into damp and musty echo chambers or did any tasks that could mess up our garb and so there was no need for us to protect our clothes. Now if jeans were allowed there would really not have been any need for the coats, but as EMI was such an old company and this was just at the point when "the kids" were taking over, they still enforced a strict dress code and jeans or the like would have probably meant an instant dismissal.

Old 21st December 2010
Special Guest
Ken Scott's Avatar

Hi Jules, Sorry I forgot your add-on. I was never in a copy room. I started in the tape library and after several months, I'm not at home so can't look up the exact amount of time, I became a button pusher, second engineer, and was then on sessions full time until moving up to learn mastering.


Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 459 views: 75691
Avatar for souljahh
souljahh 6th January 2018
replies: 80 views: 22826
Avatar for Eric Stravinsky
Eric Stravinsky 6th November 2019
🖨️ Show Printable Version
✉️ Email this Page
🔍 Search thread
🎙️ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump