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Best sounding albums. What console was used. Consoles
Old 14th November 2008
  #1
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roonsbane's Avatar
Talking Best sounding albums. What console was used.

Hey slutz,

This is a new twist on an old theme. What is your favorite recording that you can say fairly accurately was recorded and mixed primarily on such and such console. I am not sure that we can draw too many conclusions from this but it might be interesting to see if we notice any patterns. I found it interesting when Geoff Emerick wrote in his book about having to really work hard to get the sounds on Abbey Road closer to what he was used to getting on earlier Beatles albums. The earlier ones being recorded on Telefunken V72 and V76 loaded consoles. The later ones being recorded on essentially the EMI TG12345 console I assume. (as was Dark Side) Personally I dig the Abbey Road sound a bit more than the earlier stuff sonically. I also believe that Elton John GBYBR was recorded on a trident, (correct me if I am wrong) and damn, this recording sounds incredible in my book. Great dynamics! I believe that early Bowie albums were trident recordings as well, though I just read that Helios consoles were also used. I think I can say loosely that I prefer the “forward” Trident sound more than the “forward” API sound. This is also what I hear when I use API against Daking gear which is based on Trident. The other thing to consider is that older recordings tend to be mixed and or recorded primarily using one console’s preamp. Not so any more. Info on tape machines would also be of interest.

Here is what I think I know. Now tell me I am F.O.S. and tell me what you know.
Fleetwood Mac: Rumours langevin AM4?
Beach Boys Stuff Universal Audio Consoles?
Sinatra stuff When Bill Putnam was on retainer Universal Audio Consoles as well.
Thriller Harrison
Steely Dan early albums Mostly Neve
Toto Neve
Jonatha Brook: 10 cent wings Recorded on Focusrite console Mixed by Bob Clearmountain I assume on an SSL
Police: Syncronicity Neve advertises 1081 pre’s
Genesis: Seconds Out mixed on Trident
Peter Gabriel: So Mixed SSL
The Black Crows: Amorica API



I would love to know:
Tears For Fears: Seeds of love
Bowie: Ashes to Ashes or Heroes
New Bowie stuff
U2: Achtung Baby
U2 Joshua Tree
Jeff Buckley: Grace
Pink Floyed: Final Cut
Roxy Music: Avalon
Particular Zeppelin Albums
Hendrix Albums
Was Waiting for Columbus recorded using Massenburg gear as well as the guy himself or was that too early?
Dave Brubeck: Time out
Miles Davis Kind of Blue
Dire Straits: Brothers in Arms
Dire Straits: Making Movies
Donald Fagen: Nightfly Recorded on 3M digital 32 track
Seal: Seal

What do ya know or want to know?

Cameron
Old 14th November 2008
  #2
Gear addict
 

In this cool article Gus Dudgeon tells of his love for MCI consoles, but apparently GYBR was recorded/mixed on a custom built console in the "B room" at the Chateau.

This article from 1975 says:

"At the end of 1973, the two studios closed, the glamorous image of the Château began to decline, and a fair amount of equipment that was once there was suddenly no longer in evidence. Even the desk hand built for the outhouse studio Chopin by Maurice Cornelius van Hall (24 in, 16 out, with, rather surprisingly, 32 VU meters) on which Elton John made most of Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road was somehow, somewhere along the line, mysteriously demolished. Modules were ripped out, multicore cables cut and the desk, now beyond repair, awaits replacement."


(You might get more responses if this thread wasn't in the Remote Possibilities forum.)
Old 14th November 2008
  #3
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The console used has nothing to do with why the album is good. Equipment worship will not make a great recording, musicians do.
Old 14th November 2008
  #4
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huub's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
The console used has nothing to do with why the album is good. Equipment worship will not make a great recording, musicians do.
But, but...but..... Doesn't reading about gear on the internet and discussing gear I have never used make me a worldclass top producer?!?!



And also; Yes! tell me about the consoles!
Old 15th November 2008
  #5
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roonsbane's Avatar
Come on! Come on! I am looking for patterns in sonics. Stop with the curmudgeon answer. I am just having some fun. I am definitely a firm believer that everyone hears differently. I get to work on an API often and I have to say I just don't get it. We have other consoles I would much rather use. It sounds like nothing special to me. Blasphemy I know! Though it has crap loads of headroom, it's notorious headroom is almost unhelpful since I think a lot of engineers like it when they are pushing the pre's hard. This is hard to do since these days there is usually an A/D converter involved and you will easily smack the **** out of any of them if you don't limit after or bring output buss levels way down. Our API hasn't exactly weathered well in it's relatively young life either. Remotesters are my peeps. That's why I posted here.

Great MCI info OKden that's what I am looking for!
More info please.
Old 15th November 2008
  #6
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Chaellus's Avatar
hendrix records were recorded on helios consoles
Old 15th November 2008
  #7
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Jamzone's Avatar
 

Seal 'Kissed from a rose' was mixed on an Euphonics Cs-2000... But that's not what you asked, right??
Old 15th November 2008
  #8
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Jamzone's Avatar
 

I would also like to know what Seal used on the first Album. What's that high pitched
tone on 'Crazy'?? Is that early digital ****?? Like an old tv or something... but higher??
Old 15th November 2008
  #9
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Achtung baby was tracked on a Neve; don't know about the mix.
Old 15th November 2008
  #10
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Good info Jamzone. I've never known a euphonics recording that I could put my finger on, only heard that they did not sound great to those "in the know" that said they used them, but probably actually never did. Well I guess you can still make a fricken amazing sounding recording on one. I have loved Trevor ever since 90215. The high pitch at the end of Violet is definitely an old TV set.
By the way:
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt the console used has nothing to do with why the album is good. Equipment worship will not make a great recording, musicians do.
You forgot to mention a great songwriter. So you have never wondered how GBYBR would have sounded had it been recorded on say a Neotek or a new Neve 88R? So important to that album is it's dynamics. Of course the remaster will probably have the life squished out of it. Did electric ladyland have a Helios?

Give us your info on songs or albums, its all interesting.
Old 15th November 2008
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roonsbane View Post
Good info Jamzone. I've never known a euphonics recording that I could put my finger on, only heard that they did not sound great to those "in the know" that said they used them, but probably actually never did. Well I guess you can still make a fricken amazing sounding recording on one. I have loved Trevor ever since 90215. The high pitch at the end of Violet is definitely an old TV set.
By the way: You forgot to mention a great songwriter. So you have never wondered how GBYBR would have sounded had it been recorded on say a Neotek or a new Neve 88R? So important to that album is it's dynamics. Of course the remaster will probably have the life squished out of it. Did electric ladyland have a Helios?

Give us your info on songs or albums, its all interesting.
With '90215' I assume Yes... High pitched note above 15khz is evident at the beginning of 'crazy'....
Old 15th November 2008
  #12
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Don´t want to upset anyone, but clinical studys has shown that the sound of a recording is 98.4 % what is sounding and the engineer who is capturing it and the rest is the gear.

unslutty but true

unles U use a 4-track portastudio from 1985 ofc
Old 15th November 2008
  #13
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Jamzone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by claesbjo View Post
Don´t want to upset anyone, but clinical studys has shown that the sound of a recording is 98.4 % what is sounding and the engineer who is capturing it and the rest is the gear.

unslutty but true

unles U use a 4-track portastudio from 1985 ofc
Meaning??
Old 15th November 2008
  #14
Gear Head
 

We KNOW the music you record is more important than the way you record it, which is more important than the gear you record it with. But this forum is about gear. Alright?

Early Steely Dan, at least some of it, was recorded on QuadEight. You can see the console on he back of Countdown To Ectstasy. Q8 was also at Motown L.A so used on the mix (not recording) of What's Going On

I think Electric Ladyland, which was done at the Record Plant, was on a custom made console basd on a Helios.
Old 15th November 2008
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claesbjo
Don´t want to upset anyone, but clinical studys has shown that the sound of a recording is 98.4 % what is sounding and the engineer who is capturing it and the rest is the gear.

unslutty but true
Claesbjo, you need to go a little deeper. I am looking for sonic signatures or fingerprints. Again I will point out: Geoff Emerick wrote in his book about having to really work hard to get the sounds on Abbey Road closer to what he was used to getting on earlier Beatles albums. I don't know about you, but I hear a sonic difference (beyond the players and songs), and obviously Geoff did as well.

It's easier to quantify those differences if you know what it was recorded with in the first place. So I guess claesbjo that you feel there is no sonic difference or reasons why an engineer chooses one console over another. Let's try and make some effort to hear and quantify some of those fingerprints.

That's right about the Quad Eight. In fact I remember having a conversation with several engineers passing around that album at lunch and trying to figure out what that console was. It took the sixty-something year old engineer as opposed to us forty-something year old engineers to get that answer.

Cameron
Old 15th November 2008
  #16
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Jamzone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by melonmachine View Post
We KNOW the music you record is more important than the way you record it, which is more important than the gear you record it with. But this forum is about gear. Alright?

Early Steely Dan, at least some of it, was recorded on QuadEight. You can see the console on he back of Countdown To Ectstasy. Q8 was also at Motown L.A so used on the mix (not recording) of What's Going On

I think Electric Ladyland, which was done at the Record Plant, was on a custom made console basd on a Helios.
Could'nt agree more... But I don't beacuse this is gearslutz...
Old 15th November 2008
  #17
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Jamzone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by melonmachine View Post
We KNOW the music you record is more important than the way you record it, which is more important than the gear you record it with. But this forum is about gear. Alright?

Early Steely Dan, at least some of it, was recorded on QuadEight. You can see the console on he back of Countdown To Ectstasy. Q8 was also at Motown L.A so used on the mix (not recording) of What's Going On

I think Electric Ladyland, which was done at the Record Plant, was on a custom made console basd on a Helios.
QuadEight you say?? Haha, did a A/B test of the QuadEight Pacifica vs. NEVE (Vintage, don't remember wich one) center section once. The Quad Eight had more depth, clarity by Miles!! Just interesting...
Old 17th November 2008
  #18
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wineredno1's Avatar
 

I thought Amorica was tracked at Sound City on either a Neve 8078 or 8028 and mixed at Ocean Way by JJP in his room on a Focusrite.

I think Brothers In Arms was tracked at Air Montserrat on the Neve Air Montserrat console to a Sony Dash recorder. I think it was mixed at the power station in New York no idea what on though.
Old 17th November 2008
  #19
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allencollins's Avatar
 

rumors is api
Old 17th November 2008
  #20
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roonsbane's Avatar
wineredno1 said:
Quote:
I thought Amorica was tracked at Sound City on either a Neve 8078 or 8028 and mixed at Ocean Way by JJP in his room on a Focusrite.
Damn! that was going to be the one API recording that I knew I loved sonically.
I still need one now.

Does anyone else have a recording that they have always wondered about?
Cameron
Old 17th November 2008
  #21
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Beyersound's Avatar
I want to know about The Cars "Candy O", I am pretty sure most of it tracked on the A Range (my favorite pres) at Cherokee. I would love to know what console it was mixed on. That record is one of the most enduring high fidelity rock recordings ever. I worked with Joe Gastwirt soon after he remastered it and asked him what he did in mastering to make it sound so good. He said "almost nothing, that record is just amazingly well done". It might have picked up some harmonic content from his EAR 660s.
Old 17th November 2008
  #22
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roonsbane's Avatar
Oh I missed that. Allen collins wrote:
Quote:
rumors is api
Well, their you go. Rumors has some great sonics on so many levels.
Old 17th November 2008
  #23
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Hornblower64's Avatar
 

Time Out, as well as most other recordings to come out of Columbia's 30th street studio in the late '50's and early '60's (Miles, Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, etc.) were recorded on custom consoles with Altec Lansing parts. Other gear would have included Neumann and RCA microphones, Pultec EQ, Ampex 300 tape decks, and Altec Lansing monitors. Compressors seem not to have been used much, from all I've seen and read.
Old 15th January 2010
  #24
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by roonsbane View Post
wineredno1 said:

Damn! that was going to be the one API recording that I knew I loved sonically.
I still need one now.

Does anyone else have a recording that they have always wondered about?
Cameron
a couple of 80's CBS great sounding albums:

Journey - Escape
Ozzy - Diary of a Madman
Old 18th January 2011
  #25
Gear interested
 

console?

I was wondering if you could answer a few questions about console for two albums. The first is what console was used to record the Electric Ladyland album by Jimi Hendrix. The second is what console was used to record the AC DC Back in Black album?....
Old 18th January 2011
  #26
Gear addict
 

sweet tea studios puts out a lot of good sounding records with a board full of 1081s (modest moust, a lot of rock)

electriclady land uses mainly 1081s, some 1073s and they used to have a bunch of focusrite ISA-110 modules. people hate those but some of the best sounding records i have ever heard were recorded and mixed with focusrite studio desks.
i love them. (d'angelo)

a BCM 10 full of i think 1073s maybe 1066s, was used to track john mayers drum sounds
Old 18th January 2011
  #27
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Beyersound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Protoolsrocker View Post
I was wondering if you could answer a few questions about console for two albums. The first is what console was used to record the Electric Ladyland album by Jimi Hendrix. The second is what console was used to record the AC DC Back in Black album?....
Back In Black was definitely an old MCI.
Old 18th January 2011
  #28
Simple answer - they used what they had to work with...

Like most things in life the KISS principle is in play here.

All the esoteric gear in the world isn't going to make as much difference as the person who is using it.
Old 18th January 2011
  #29
What paint did Michaelangelo use? Damn-- that guy got some great... colors!
Old 18th January 2011
  #30
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Wow this thread has come back from the dead. But, I believe I need to clarify what I am looking for. I understand that most bands in the 50s 60's or 70's just went to the closest studio much of the time. That is not what I am speaking about. I am looking for sonic signatures of certain gear.

Geoff Emerick himself says that when he switched consoles at EMI to the solid state console he had a hard time getting the sound he was hearing or at least used to. I personally have a preference for the sonics of the later Beatles albums sonicaly. Also, If you read articles with older producers or engineers they often make reference to seeking out a certain console or tape machines "sound, " i.e. Bruce Swedien raves about the harrison that he did Thriller on. This would seem to show evidence that certain gear has a sound that is sought out. I am sure most here on the slutz forum have personally never worked on a Helios console, EMI console, or even seen one for that matter. Give me classic examples of recordings you know were recorded on __________? I certainly hear the difference when I use an 88R preamp on a recording as opposed to a Grace and I do think it is quantifiable. Also, I was in this business when it was rare for someone to use external preamps. Fortunately, this makes it a bit easier on those older recordings.

Two big contributing factors will be the console, and tape machine. Others will be: custom Marshalls, AC30's and well tunes Ludwig drums all played in a certain style. I get that!

Cameron
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